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A classic Cabernet Sauvignon for lovers of Napa wines! Blended from vineyards throughout the Napa Valley appellation for balance, this vintage is comprised of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. The nose is deep and intense with stewed blackberry, plum, and eucalyptus and French vanilla and cinnamon from their use of 50% new French oak. The palate is rich and voluptuous, with those stewed black fruits, and the freshness of raspberry and red plum. An excellent pairing for the classic American steak dinner! Michelle DeWyngaert
The Bedrock Heritage Bedrock Vineyard is from a Zinfandel based blend composed of 22 inter-planted varieties planted in the 1880s in Red Hill clay-loam soils, no-till cover crop farming, native yeast fermentation. Zinfandel really shines from these old, gnarled vines. The concentration of flavor that you get from the very low yields adds richness to the wines without having to pick them late and overripe. The nose shows a mix of violet, minty eucalyptus, and ripe, but not syrupy, purple plum. The palate shows additional complexity with a touch of cocoa powder, black tea, and black cherry. Rich and comforting, this will be excellent in the colder months! Michelle DeWyngaert
55% Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites for aromatics from old vine plantings (up to 100 years old) around Sonoma County, fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel and raised in a nice bit of French oak for a bold, bright-fruited, silky, and satisfying wine that is unbeatable at this price.
An extremely rare thing to find is 50+ year-old, consistently dry-farmed California Cabernet Sauvignon. So when I heard about this very low yielding Monticello Vineyard, my ears perked up. Grown on the west-facing hillsides of Moon Mountain. The winemaker for Beta has been working tirelessly on his own estate vineyards on Diamond Mountain since 2008, and while the vines are not yet mature enough for a full release, he works with his mentor at the Monticello Vineyard on this bottling. Though I have not had the pleasure of trying this wine as it is very highly allocated, it has been described by Antoni Galloni as having "Savory, mineral and ferrous notes abound in a deceptively mid-weight yet explosive Cabernet Sauvignon." Michelle DeWyngaert
There is a lot of mystery surrounding the winemaker of Beta Wines, Ketan Mody. He lives alone at the top of Diamond Mountain dedicating his time to the creation and care of his 10 acre plot that he bought and planted in 2008, farming completely organically, with no tilling, or even mowing. While waiting for these vines to mature he has embarked on making wines from sites he deems worthy and this year's release now includes this bottling from the Vare Vineyard in Napa closer to the valley floor. As this wine is in very limited supply, I am obliged to trust the expert opinion of Stephen Bitterolf and this description from Antonio Galloni with notes of "Licorice, herbs and red stone fruits add nuance on the fleshy, expressive finish". Michelle DeWyngaert
A native of Oregon, but thoroughly inspired by Burgundy, winemaker Doug Tunnell has been farming his 40 acre estate vineyard strictly organically for the last 25 years, and more recently certified Biodynamic. This bottling is a selection of barrels from various plots throughout his vineyard to get a true representation of the vintage each year. This years "Select" Pinot Noir has a beautiful nose of fresh roses, stems and all, red currant, raspberry, and juicy pomegranate. Indeed this is very Burgundian in style with just a bit more focus on the fruit. The wine is fresh and lively; for me it conjures a crisp, fall, afternoon. Michelle DeWyngaert
Broadside is a project of very talented winemaker Chris Brock. The Cabernet is fermented with wild yeasts and aged in barrels, 10% of which are new. The resultant wine is remarkably fresh and full bodied with an interesting spicy character and plenty of bright, tangy dark fruit.
From the folks who run Hobo Wine Co., here we have the delicious new vintage of one of our favorite inexpensive Cabernets from California! Tart blackberry and ripe cassis mix with herbal hints and wildflower on the nose while broadly gracing the firm, rich, powerfully tannic palate. Sourced from many lesser known but sustainably or organically farmed vineyards throughout Sonoma county. Aged for nine months in neutral oak barrels.
Clos Saron is a small family-owned production whose mission is to create wines with "essence of place," as they call it, and work in a self-sustaining eco-system that's as non-interventionist as possible. They never add yeast, corrections, or additives except for occasionally a small amount of SO2, and they do not rack, fine, or filter their wines. The 'Black Pearl' is a co-fermentation of 50% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, and 10% Viognier aged for 2.5 years in oak before bottling.
Cooper Mountain Vineyards started in 1978 when Dr. Robert Gross and his wife, Corrine, planted the first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in the unique soils of Cooper Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Today, the estate has more than 100 acres dedicated to organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking. This Pinot Noir is refreshing and ripe, with brambly raspberry and cherry fruit, baking spice, and earthy flavors.
Cathy Corison's wines eschew the bold, heavy-handed flavors and dollops of massive French oak embraced by her Napa Valley counterparts, instead focusing on teasing deeply concentrated, ripened fruit from the deep, stony alluvial soils of her vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena. With dark fruit and violet notes, this Cabernet is nothing short of impressive with allusive black cherry and black tea flavors, and meaty undertones. A quintessential example of power intersecting with elegance.
Nouveau wines always signal the change a change in seasons for me; there's something so fresh and hopeful about them. The 2019 'Nouveau Nouveau' is a chance to taste a bit of Columbia Valley with this bottling from the Willard Farm in Yakima. Fermented in stainless steel with full carbonic maceration and then bottled unfined and unfiltered so this wine remains super vibrant and fruit forward. Juicy purple plums dominate with notes of fresh herbs and a spicy kick on the palate. This wine is meant to be fun, cheerful, and should be served with a bit of a chill. Michelle DeWyngaert
Drew Family Cellars was established in 2000 with a mission to create age-worthy, cool climate California Pinot Noir. They settled in the coastal appellation of Mendocino Ridge and planted their own estate in what was once an orchard, at 1250ft elevation. This bottling is a blend of fruit from their organically farmed estate and lots from like-minded farmers at the Valenti, Fashauer, Perli, and Wendling vineyards. The grapes are fermented with 20% whole-cluster bunches and aged in 10% new French oak, with the rest in neutral oak barrels. The nose is fully ripe, wild cherry, with a bit of stewed red fruit, licorice and dried herbs. The proximity to the coast and the abundance of fog keep the acidity well balanced with the richness of the fruit and that kiss of new French oak. MichelleDeWyngaert
This is a beautiful granitic Syrah from the Barsotti Ranch Vineyard. Classic Syrah aromas: smoke, cracked pepper, black and red fruit, and at the center, that same iron noticeable in the taste of the grapes. Youthful, quite fresh, with a brisk high note, faintly suggestive of roses. Energetically very tense in the mouth, slightly bloody (that iron!) and ever so vaguely feral. The first time I tasted this blind I called it for being a dense Cabernet Franc from the Loire, which surprised me. It is big and beautiful and absolutely built for cellar-aging. 208 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
This is a great example of Steve Edmunds no-fuss style of wine-making. Planted in 2005, these Gamay vines are producing bright, fresh wines that speak to the rocky, granite soils, similar to Beaujolais, in which they're grown. The high elevation of the vineyards keeps the grapes in balance despite the warm climate of El Dorado. It shows fresh and stewed cherry on the nose, with a bit of anise, and ripe cherry and red plum on the palate with a mineral finish. Drink this slightly chilled, and enjoy with friends as it'll be a nice pairing for a wide range of proteins. Michelle DeWyngaert
This 100% Gamay rosé comes from the Witters Vineyard of volcanic, clay soil and the Barsotti Ranch Vineyard composed of mostly granite soils. 2018 was a warmer vintage for El Dorado than the previous year, but the Gamay maintained a great balance of freshness and ripeness. I am a firm believer that rosé should be enjoyed year-round, and the Edmunds Bone-Jolly has a rich savory quality to it that makes it a perfect food-pairing for any season. The granite soils show through on the nose with a hint of that dark rocky minerality, mixed with ripe strawberry and watermelon juice. The palate has a nice weight to it and a salty finish. I will happily drink this alongside paella in the summer and butternut squash in the winter. Michelle DeWyngaert
Andrew Scott of Eminence Road prefers to let nature take its course while making his wines, and for this vintage, that meant waiting many months for his Elizabeth's Vineyard Cabernet Franc to finish fermenting. Because of that, this year's "Hector" is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are foot-stomped, fermented whole cluster, and aged for a year in neutral French Oak. I love the balance between juicy black currant and raspberry and the savory, roasted pepper quality that you get from the Cabernets. The palate is concentrated but not heavy with firm tannins that soften the longer it has to breath. I look forward to trying this bottling again after a few years in the cellar! Michelle DeWyngaert
After tasting a lineup of Enfield Co. wines it was easy to see why winemaker John Lockwood is so enamored with this bottling. The Pretty Horses is a co-fermentation of 90% Tempranillo, largely from the Shake Ridge Vineyard, and a bit of Graciano and Pinot Noir to keep this wine a bit lighter on its feet. This wine is made to be enjoyed young and often, though I suspect it has the substance and structure to evolve over the next few years in the bottle. The nose is a savory mix of tobacco leaf, ripe purple plum, stewed raspberry, a touch of smoke and charcuterie. The palate has a nice richness with velvety tannins, but does not feel the least bit heavy. This will make a versatile food pairing for anything from BBQ pork to eggplant parmigiana. Michelle DeWyngaert
I can't say that I've had much Syrah from Willamette, and indeed the Havlin Vineyard is relatively young (planted in 2009), but I'm already intrigued to find more. The vineyard is 100% dry-farmed and LIVE sustainable certified. The soil here is silt loam over ironstone bedrock, which not only helps keep the yields low on these younger vines, but also imparts a distinct mineral backbone to this wine. 20% whole cluster in the fermentation, aged for 18 months in neutral French oak, and then bottled with just a bit of SO2 in accordance with Mike Hinds' minimalist philosophy. The nose is rich with a touch of dark, bitter chocolate, and the palate presents a really beautiful, concentrated texture with black pepper and dried herbs. Perfectly savory, this wine is calling to be paired with something roasted. Michelle DeWyngaert
The 'Cotillon' red blend is the Frenchtown Farms' ode to classic Cotes du Rhone wines. Sourced from the organically farmed David Girard Vineyards at 1400ft elevation in the Sierra Foothills on well-draining volcanic soil. This wine displays the benefits of the extreme diurnal temperature shifts by being both beautifully ripe, and also full of vibrant acidity. The blend is 70% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, and 10% Syrah all left whole-cluster, then foot-stomped and aged in old French barrels for 8 months. The nose is a an enticing mix of bright, maraschino cherry, juicy, red plum, and a savory meatiness with soft, fresh herbs. This will be perfect with Mediterranean fare or anything stewed with herbs de Provence! Michelle DeWyngaert
This Cabernet is sourced from a single block of the Bates Ranch Vineyard located above 1000 feet on the eastern flank of Mt. Madonna at the very southern extremity of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Farmed exclusively by winemaker Kenny Likitprakong, this dry-farmed block was planted in 1973 by local wine legends Val and Dexter Ahlgren. As with much of the Cabernet from this region, the emphasis is on structural tension. Not quite as histrionically robust or extracted as Cabernet from other parts of California, this wine has some muted cassis scarved in layers of dusty tannin and spice. This is a style of Cabernet that would have been much easier to find in these hills back in the 1970s. 207 cases produced, with shorter extraction time, 10% whole cluster fermentation, and 25% new oak. Andrew Farquhar
This is a fun, super drinkable, glou glou wine from Contra Costa County in CA. Laura Bissell's intention with her Lalalu line is to be delicious, quaffable, and not overly complicated, and this Cabernet Franc is exactly that. Fresh, lively notes of juicy cranberry and fresh raspberry, with a touch of herbaceousness and fresh earth on the nose. The tannin is minimal, but enough to keep the wine in balance. The grapes are farmed organically and spontaneously fermented, then aged in neutral barrels. I love this wine slightly chilled with charcuterie, but can also see this being the perfect pairing for burgers (veggie or meat-based). Michelle DeWyngaert
The Momtazi Vineyard is certified biodynamic in the McMinnville Foothills, the furthest west of the three vineyard properties that Kelley sources from. She describes the fruit from Momtazi as being the most savory, which she relates to the wild nature of the vineyard, the abundance of fauna, and the basalt soil the vines are grown on. The grapes are fermented 100% whole cluster for this bottling and aged in neutral Burgundy barrels. Kelley's description of the nose is "deep red-fruited, exotic, and perfumed with some spice and subtle hints of round-scented, dewy roses." Michelle DeWyngaert
Named in honor of a 15th century priestess and poet from Rajasthan, this wine is truly a transcendent poetic experience. The grapes are sourced from the Maresh vineyard, one of the oldest and most respected vineyards in Willamette Valley. As with all the 2017s, the nose has grand aromatic power, with elegant notes of crushed strawberry and spice attenuated into an elegant whole. Fermented spontaneously in used French oak barrels. This wine has a lot of structure, and will age for up to 10 years in the cellar. Well-knit, silken tannins give a bigger structure to this wine than its color would portend, and will allow it to stand up to braised meats, coq au vin, or saucisson sec. A little smoky tension tells the secret of its volcanic soils. 662 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
Primal is the perfect descriptor for this savory wine. Made from 100% Tempranillo from the organically farmed Forlorn Hope Vineyard in Calaveras County, then fermented whole cluster and aged in puncheon. Hank and Caroline's "do nothing" philosophy translates into their wine as the flavors are unencumbered, raw, and full of flavor. The nose on this wine shows dried and fresh cherries, violets, and cured meats. The palate is juicy and textured owing to the schist and limestone soils of the vineyard. A perfect wine to pair with stews or game meats as the name of the wine suggests! Michelle DeWyngaert
One of the first wines I ever loved was old-vine California Zinfandel, so I was very excited to taste this expression from Maître de Chai. The Stampede Vineyard was planted in the early 1940s with own-rooted Zinfandel on decomposed granite. Inspired by the wines of the famous Ridge Vineyards, this bottling is a field blend of mainly Zinfandel, with a bit of Mission and Carignan. The fermentation is done with 50% whole cluster bunches in open-top neutral oak and then aged for one year. The wine is a classic Zinfandel mix of fresh, ripe, and also dried red plum and raspberry. The tannins are present and driving, but not aggressive, well balanced by its fresh acidity, and a peppery finish. This wine will be excellent with flavorful game meats, and I look forward to trying it again in several years to see how it has progressed. Michelle DeWyngaert
Margins Wine is a really exciting project from Megan Bell in Northern and Central California. Megan's mission is to find vineyards who are close to, or working towards becoming fully organic and create incentives for their transition. This bottling is 100% Mourvedre from the Sattler's Vineyard in Santa Clara Valley. Though there was one pass of Roundup used during this growing season, the Sattler's have committed to fully transitioning to organic farming by 2020 because of their agreement with Margins Wine. The wine is bright and juicy, pleasantly candied on the nose, but surprisingly more savory on the palate with notes of umami, salted plum and dried herbs. As it was a cool growing season in 2018 the grapes retained significant acidity and the wine fermented to a pleasant 10.4% ABV making this a perfectly chillable red and a great food pairing. Michelle DeWyngaert
This vintage of Nero d'Avola is a blend of two Mendocino vineyards; 14 year-old vines in Benson Ranch Vineyard and 33 year-old vines, the oldest in the state, in Fox Hill Vineyard. Martha Stoumen was inspired by her time working with COS in Sicily when she sought out these inland vineyards with Nero d'Avola. The nose is a compelling mix of damp soil, dried savory herbs and black cherry, and on the palate is nice balance of tannic tension and acidity with notes of black currant and plum, finishing with a lingering taste of amaro and medicinal herbs. Pair this with something briny like a puttanesca sauce! Michelle DeWyngaert
Dollar per ounce this is one of the best values for Napa Valley fruit that you can find! Steve Matthiasson is a dedicated organic farmer and low-intervention winemaker. This is old-school California Cabernet Sauvignon at its finest. The blend for 2016 is from six different Napa vineyards; 85-90% Cabernet Sauvignon with a small percentage of Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The wine is gently extracted with minimal pump-overs and fermented at a low temperatures. It is aged for 20 months in mostly used and less than 20% new French oak which adds just a touch of baking spice to the aroma and a silky texture to the tannins. This wine has a beautiful nose of freshly cut cedar, ripe purple plums, a touch of graphite and black tea, and the palate brings just a squeeze of lemon, fresh potting soil, savory herbs and raspberry. All signs lead to this being incredibly age worthy, but if you can't wait to open it, I recommend decanting for at least an hour. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is the ultimate bistro wine! Pour yourself a glass, close your eyes, and you're suddenly in a little French, or perhaps based on this blend, Italian bistro. This years "Tendu" is 47% Aglianco, 42% Montepulciano, and 11% Barbera from the Windmill Vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills AVA. Fermented in stainless steel, aged in neutral barrels, and then bottled with no additives and no sulfur, just pure, juicy goodness. Super pretty on the nose with violets, dried and fresh raspberry and purple plum. On the palate is a just the right balance of acidity, structure, and concentration with a dark, rocky finish. This is will be an excellent pairing for a wide range of savory fare from burgers, to stews, to roasted veggies! Michelle DeWyngaert
Sean Minor is a negociant production working with high quality vineyards throughout the central and north coast of California to create fresh, easy drinking, great value wines like this classic California Pinot Noir. Fermented with 100% de-stemmed grapes to emphasize the ripe fruit and aged in oak barrels to give it those quintessential sweet oak spices.
Pearl Morissette wines are proof that if you can grow it organically (and deliciously) in Niagara, you can do it anywhere. Typically the Metis Rouge is all Cabernet Franc, but this vintage Francois Morissette decided to add in a bit of Gamay and Pinot Noir, all fermented whole cluster, vinified separately, and then blended together. The nose leads with earth and garrigue, and follows with juicy raspberry and currants. The palate is structured and concentrated without being heavy, and just enough vegetal undertone to let you know it's Cabernet Franc dominant, but not enough to take away from how approachable this wine is. I'll be drinking this with grilled vegetables or salmon filet. Michelle DeWyngaert
Porter Creek offers the best of the Russian River Valley and proves why this AVA became so popular. The Estate bottling of Pinot Noir comes from their steep hillside vineyards farmed biodynamically by Alex Davis and family. The grapes are left about 20% whole cluster and then gently pressed, with punchdowns by hand, and then aged in oak barrels, ~25% new barrels are used to add a little "salt and pepper" as Alex would say. Though the nose is beautiful, it's all about the texture with this wine; silky and sensuous, with concentrated flavors of stewed cherry and blackberry, dried herbs, and forest floor, seasoned with clove and finishing with a lick of salty licorice. Drink this with roasted or seared salmon, or wild mushrooms to bring out the umami qualities of the wine! Michelle DeWyngaert
80% old vine Carignan from the Trimble vineyard in Mendocino and 20% Zinfandel from Porter Creek's own vineyards, this dry rose is one of my favorites of the summer. Crackling with acidity, bright fruit and a lovely seam of minerality on the nose, this wine is complex and hefty enough to pair with grilled meats and barbecue, while also having the snappy mouthwatering agility to be drunk as an aperitif. Winemaker Alex Porter always creates balanced wines, and this is no exception. All the fruit is dry-farmed, whole cluster pressed, and aged in neutral oak before bottling. Andrew Farquhar
The 'Boaz' is a blend of old-vine Carignan, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Testa Ranch planted in 1912. The grapes are fermented together as whole clusters, and then aged in neutral barriques. The wine is made without additives, including SO2, and as with all of the Ruth Lewandowski wines, it is unfined and unfiltered. The winemaker describes this wine as "burly," but "acid-driven and focused."
The 'Elimelech' is 100% Riesling from Cole Ranch in Mendocino. Cole Ranch is one of the smallest AVA's in North America, a monopole planted in the 1970's. The high elevation, ~1500ft, keeps the temperature down, and the property gets a solid amount of rain so the vineyard is completely dry-farmed. These conditions, coupled with the warmth of the California sun, led to this bold, 14%ABV dry Riesling that the winemaker describes as, "flashy, fleshy, and flamboyant."
The Estate bottling from Stolpman showcases a blend from each of the vineyard blocks. It's a real blessing to have complete control over their fruit each year and continue their commitment to dry-farming even in drought-ridden California. Their aim is to create a rich, concentrated wine without becoming jammy or viscous. The grapes are vinified 50% whole cluster in open-top fermenters and then aged in neutral barrels. The nose is unmistakably California Syrah with classic notes of cracked black pepper, fresh violets and rosemary, laid over stewed plums and ripe black cherries. The palate is rich with silky tannins giving it a gentle but firm backbone and a peppery finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
One of the best bottlings by Stolpman vineyards each year is the La Cuadrilla. Stolpman Vineyards has created a unique opportunity for their vineyard team by awarding them full control over "La Cuadra" a 2 acre block, to be managed and harvested according to the measures they see fit. These grapes are then blended with other Stolpman blocks, and the proceeds for this bottling go back to the members of La Cuadrilla. This year's blend is a55% Syrah, with 27% Sangiovese and 18% Grenache vinified mostly in concrete, some in stainless steel, and then aged in neutral oak barrels. The wine is rich and juicy with a nice color concentration from the Syrah. The nose is ripe, almost stewed red fruits, with soft, pleasant tannins and minty, eucalyptus finish. Incredibly balanced and drinkable, cheers to La Cuadrilla on another great vintage! Michelle DeWyngaert
A really lovely bottling of California sunshine, this Chardonnay from Bacchus is fruit-forward, buttery and easy drinking. Enjoy with roast chicken or creamy pasta dishes. Bacchus is a project from winemaker and wine director David Gordon who set out to create high quality wines at a great value that showcased the best of California vineyards. I'm not saying you should sneak this into a movie theatre to make the perfect pairing for popcorn, but I'm also not *not* saying that..Michelle DeWyngaert
This is a Gewürztraminer that might just change a few hearts and minds about the grape. In the wrong hands, Gewürztraminer can become cloying and overpowering with the scent of Grandma's potpourri, but this wine from Kenny Likitprakong shows some serious restraint. Sourced entirely from the Rancho Llegado vineyard in Monterey County, the frequent cool winds of the area maintain the much needed acidity to balance this wine. Banyan was designed by Kenny and his father with their Thai heritage in mind, and as such this Gewürztraminer is the perfect pairing for South-east Asian cuisine or anything with a bit of spice to it. Though it is fermented nearly dry, it maintains a softness with notes of ripe nectarine, a touch of tropical fruit, sage, and bright, fresh gardenia blossoms. Michelle DeWyngaert
Brian and Stephy Terrizzi's Broadside project focuses on sustainably farmed vineyards and minimalist winemaking (native yeasts, minimal handling, neutral oak), as well as purity of flavor and varietal expression.Their Central Coast Chardonnay is a quintessential example of their wine growing and winemaking philosophy; a bright and creamy Chardonnay with ripe lemon and peach flavors and a saline minerality.
Winemaker Chris Walsh is able to source fruit from several high-quality, organically farmed vineyards in and around the Amador County area to make his low-intervention wines. The 'Space Oddity' is a refreshing bottling of Verdejo from the Heringer Vineyard in Clarksburg which is currently in conversion to organics. What makes this bottling so interesting is the blend of techniques used. One third of the grapes are fermented on the skins until dryness, 1/3 with the skins for just 12 hours, and 1/3 directly pressed which give this wine a beautiful texture on the palate. The nose is clean and herbaceous; a mix of sage and fresh grass with a bit of ocean breeze, and the palate is crisp and lemony with the sea breeze translated to a creamy, salty finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
I am not often impressed by Pinot Blanc as it is relatively neutral and typically blended with Auxerrois or other innocuous grapes, but when it's done right, for me, it's all about the texture. This 100% Pinot Blanc from Kelley Fox showcases her incredible attention to detail and desire for balance, bringing forth a rich, silky texture in the wine. The nose is delicate with fresh white flowers, lemon zest and a bit of underripe peach, and the palate has a bit more ripeness to it while still showing plenty of acidity and a lingering mineral undertone. Whole-cluster fermented in neutral oak with a complete malolactic fermentation adding to its rounded edges. The grapes are all from Freedom Hill Vineyard, which was planted in 1982 on marine sediment, which really shines on a neutral variety like Pinot Blanc. I will happily sit and contemplate this wine on its own, but it would be a lovely companion to anything you might enjoy an understated chardonnay with. Michelle DeWyngaert
This beautiful California Viognier is more reminiscent of its Rhône iteration than many other examples I've had from the sunshine state. Blended from two vineyards, Cedarville on decomposed granite, and the famed Sumu Kaw vineyard on volcanic soils. They don't usually make a varietal Viognier at La Clarine Farms, but the 2018 vintage was so good it spoke for itself. Everything you want from this grape on the nose: a field of fresh white and yellow flowers, soft herbs, and a perfectly balanced acidity on the palate with a waxy, but not oily texture. Michelle DeWyngaert
Maître de Chai sources this beautiful Chardonnay from the Rorick Vineyard in Calaveras County of the Sierra Foothills AVA. Way up at 2000 ft above sea-level, Matthew Rorick farms these 45-year-old vines on steep slopes of blue limestone and schist. The farming is done all organically and the wines are made with natural yeast fermentation, which, with this vintage, meant that there was no malo-lactic fermentation. The wine is then filtered to avoid refermentation and reduce the need for heavy-sulfuring at bottling but never fined. Between the elevation of the vines, the limestone, and the lack of malo-lactic fermentation, this wine is super fresh and vibrant. Notes of ripe green and yellow apple mix with dried hay, and a touch of honey. As with all of Maître de Chai's wines, the style is a return to the more restrained, elegant style of winemaking of their predecessors from the '60s and '70s. Michelle DeWyngaert
California Sauvignon Blanc has a reputation for being either overly ripe or overly oaked, but in the hands of the Maître de Chai winemakers and with 50-year-old vines, it can show remarkable restraint and complexity. The Herron Vineyard in Sonoma Valley was planted in 1969 by an enthusiastic teenager from Oaxaca, Rudy Rodriguez, and has been farmed organically ever since by Rudy's family and Phyllis and Wynne Herron, the current owners. The soils are never tilled and only occasionally mowed to maintain the health of the soil and intricate micro-biome of the vineyard. Today the vines are super low-yielding creating concentrated, flavorful Sauvignon Blanc. The nose displays a mix of wet stone, nectarine, lime, and a touch of lemongrass. On the palate, the wine shows ripe pear and pink grapefruit with plenty of acidity, but with softened, rounded edges owing to the neutral barrel fermentation and élevage. Michelle DeWyngaert
'Honeymoon' is a delightful blend of 85% botrytized Colombard, and 15% Chardonnay leaving this wine ever so slightly off-dry (just 2g R/S). The Colombard comes from 70+ year old vines in the certified organic, dry-farmed Ricetti Vineyard, and the Chardonnay is sourced from the practicing organic Hawkeye Vineyard, both in Redwood Valley, CA. The nose is reminiscent of a Loire Valley Chenin Blanc with notes of honey, spiced apple compote and chamomile. On the palate it's even a little savory with a bit of white button mushroom and golden raisins. This wine is a perfect pairing for Thai food, but I look forward to seeing this evolve with a few years in the cellar! Michelle DeWyngaert
Revik Wine Co. is the passion project of two married couples who released their first vintage this past summer. This is a fantastic Sauvignon Blanc that positions itself at the forefront of a new wave of dynamic, elegantly structured, complex Sauvignon Blancs coming from the West Coast. Made with fruit sourced from the Saphi Vineyard in Coombsville (Revik winemaker Phil Holbrook's dry-farmed home vineyard), this wine was aged in both stainless steel and neutral oak, with 8 months on the lees. Unfined and unfiltered, and fermented with native yeast, this wine has great depth and a long linear texture, with subtle, muted citrus fruit wrapped in a chrysalis of finely spun woolen notes. Peach fuzz and melon rind absorb into zippy acidity. The subtle degrees of shading are spectacular and the finish feels like forever. Andrew Farquhar
The 'Naomi' is a 100% Grenache Gris from Gibson Ranch in Mendocino from the oldest known vines of the grape in California; planted around 1900. These ancient vines grown in mineral-rich, gravelly loam soils impart intense flavor to this richer, textural white.
An excellent, well-balanced example of California Sauvignon Blanc blended from three organically farmed vineyards in Mendocino. The fruit here is both fully ripe and surprisingly refreshing with notes of tropical fruit, pink grapefruit, and just a touch of soft, fresh herbs. This is a pleasant wine for drinking on it's own, but would be a great pairing for lighter proteins with a fruit chutney, or a vegetable quiche. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is the estate's flagship wine, and perhaps the type species for Finger Lakes Riesling as a whole. All estate fruit from vineyards that have had no herbicides since 2004; spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel takes place over the course of 7+ months. Slightly off-dry, with notes of spring blossoms, a little citrus character, almost a hint of lime. Beautifully structured and with a kind of roundness that is very satisfying. A classic New York Riesling, slightly fuller-bodied than a Mosel Riesling, but still with loads of acidity and just a touch of sweetness make this an easily quaffable wine that pairs with a wide range of foods such as bratwurst, oysters, or mango salsa. Andrew Farquhar