Imagery Estate

Wine and Art – A Great Combination

Wine and art are a great combination for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, wine is one of my passions and my wife is by passion and schooling an artist (she got her Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and photography). Second, wine is a work of art in itself, a delicious liquid that walks a fine line between art, science, and Mother Nature.

Imagery Estates Winery, which is in the Sonoma Valley just outside of Glen Ellen, took wine and art to a new level. If you read this blog you know that Megan and I are members of the Imagery wine club and get their wine 4 times a year. After drinking their Malbec recently, which is one of the wines in their artist collection, I decided that I should post not only about the wine, but about how Imagery marries wine and art perfectly. Labels for the Imagery Artist Collection wines are produced from artwork commissioned from among the world’s most notable contemporary artists. The original one-of-a-kind works of art are the property of Imagery Estate Winery. The collection, currently numbering 190, is on permanent display at the winery’s on-site gallery.

Not all of the wines that come from Imagery are part of the artist series, but a good percentage of the wine club deliveries bear a one of a kind, artist designed label. Here are some of the ones that we have gotten in the past 2 years.

The only requirement is that the art contain the Imagery symbol of a Pantheon. Some labels are easier than others to see the Pantheon design but sometimes finding them is part of the fun. All the labels have full scale paintings for sale and are on display in the Imagery Tasting room, providing an excellent backdrop to their hand crafted wines.

The 2004 Malbec is from vines grown in Lake County. After harvest the grapes were fermented for 28 days using a pumpover method before the wine was put into French Oak barrels for 20 months. This wine was bottled in June of 06 and came in our September 2007 shipment.

My Tasting Notes –

Nose – Candied pecans, clove, blackberry, Nestle Quick, Ketchup and after about 45 minutes of being open I got espresso

Taste – Fig, molasses, thyme, blackberry, passion fruit

Mouthfeel – Nice dry, dusty mouthfeel with medium body and nice noticeable acidity

Finish – Long with lingering strawberry and black pepper

This was an excellent Malbec, very similar to ones that I have had from Argentina. This California version was slightly softer but with the same fruit levels and profiles, although it seems to me that I get more leather or suede notes on the nose of the Argentinean ones. I need to go back through some tasting notes to verify that, because I could be making it up. 🙂

If you are in the Sonoma Valley doing some wine tasting make sure that Imagery is one of your stops, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.


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Categories: art, Imagery Estate, labels, wine review, wine tourism | Leave a comment

Food, Wine and Family – on a Saturday Night

Saturday night Megan and I had Jeff and Elizabeth over for dinner. The weather was chilly here in Richmond so the fire was roaring when they arrived. They were gracious enough to bring over a nice dry Rose and a bottle of Legend Brewery chocolate porter that we enjoyed as we sat around the fire place.

For dinner we made coconut crusted sesame ginger tofu with buckwheat soba noodles and a side of sautéed spicy cashew fresh greens.  For a wine we chose the 2004 Imagery Estates Barbera because we thought its fruitiness and soft tannins would go nicely with the dish.

My Tasting Notes –

Nose – Black cherry, black olive, blueberry

Taste – Cinnamon, cherry

Mouthfeel – Medium body, very smooth soft mouthfeel, good acids and very smooth tannins

Finish – long with slightly spicy white pepper finish

The wine was fabulous, great dark color and a luscious mouthfeel that went great with the crispy texture and richness of the coconut as well as the rest of the dish.  For a little post dinner treat, we had some Fonseca Bin 27 port, a great way to warm up on a chilly evening.

I think a great time was had by all and it was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening, with family, food and wine.

Categories: family, Imagery Estate, tofu, wine review | 5 Comments

My November Wine Shipment – And Yes I’m a Dork

There is just something fun about receiving packages in the mail. Today I received our November wine shipments from Seghesio and Imagery Estates. When our wine shipments arrive I am like a kid (or just me at 30) at Christmas, ripping off the tape holding my wine safe in that flimsy cardboard box. A box so flimsy that I am in total disbelief as to how it ever makes its way from California in one piece. (That is the magic of the egg carton or Styrofoam wine bottle shipper.)

I eagerly take a look at the information sheet shipped with the wine first to find out what goodies I have received. Then I remove the outer shell of the egg carton shipper to unveil the glory of my new cellar treasures. Corny I know, but after a day of work – it is pretty exciting.


Take a look.


Categories: Imagery Estate, seghesio, wine | 3 Comments

Wine Tasting: 2004 Imagery Estate Sunny Slope Merlot


Megan and I received this wine as part of our Imagery Estate Wine Club shipment earlier this year. Each shipment contains two bottles of wine that are usually only offered at the winery (as was this Merlot) and get four shipments a year. We visited them when we were on our Napa and Sonoma trip at the end of last year and had a great time. It is a beautiful place to visit, with an excellent tasting room and staff, and an awesome patio for enjoying a picnic lunch.

Some information on the wine: The Sunny Slope vineyard that these Merlot grapes are from is quite interesting. The site that the vineyard is on is pretty much an old rock quarry and the vines were planted in holes drilled or pick axed more than 20 years ago. The vines get a great southwest exposure that produces a ripe, concentrated, thick skinned grape. The 2004 vintage was dry overall, in fact humidity levels at the end of the season dropped well below the average 30%. (Geez, I wish the humidity around Richmond would average 30%) Proper vineyard care and patience prevailed in allowing the grapes to develop their wonderful flavor, even though sugars were rising prematurely.

I believe the wine, without the 15% member discount, is $38.

dsc_0698.jpgMy Tasting Notes:

Nose – Cherry, boysenberry, and caramelized onions

Taste – Rich Black Cherry and celery

Mouthfeel – medium body with a very rich texture, very smooth and polished

Finish – great long length, leaving me with a bit of cocoa on the aftertaste

This was a delightful Merlot, and unfortunately I didn’t write in my notes what we drank this with, and I can’t remember since it was a couple of weeks ago. Since this is only distributed from the winery, you can’t run to your local wine shop and pick it up. But, if by chance you are in Sonoma, give them a visit, you won’t be disappointed.

Categories: Imagery Estate, sonoma, wine tasting | Tags: , , | 3 Comments