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Our domestic rose magnum this summer! Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos consistently produce some of the most delicious Pinot, Syrah, Viognier, and Grenache in Santa Barbara County. Farming and sustainability are central at Ampelos - they are Demeter certified biodynamic, SIP certified, and even their bottles are produced in California. Their 2016 rose is fresh and flavorful, combining 80% Syrah, farmed and harvested specifically for rose, 15% Grenache, and a 5% splash of Riesling from recently planted vines on their estate. Juicy watermelon and strawberry blossoms, with crunchy pomegranate, blood orange, and orange zest. Ariana Rolich
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.
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. Andrew Farquhar
This cuvée is 52% old-vine Carignan, 40% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Semillon. Whole cluster pressed and foot-trod, this a gorgeous and deep-structured wine with notes of blue fruit and plum, with delicate violet aromatics coming from the white grapes. Notes of crushed black pepper and game on the palate form an overall elegant package, with some smoky, meaty, dense funky notes at its core. Carignan becomes more dense and structured as the vines get older, and this is quite a powerful wine. 120 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
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.
2017 was a challenging vintage in the Willamette Valley. Through starlight and storm, the intense attention to detail and care given in vineyard and winery have produced some of Division's finest wines ever. Named "Lutte," which means "fight to overcome" in French, this is a Gamay sourced from a few places throughout the wide Willamette Valley. Most of the fruit (75%) is from the Methven family vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills. The rest if from Redford Wetle (Eola as well) and the Carson vineyard in Dundee Hills. This is an extremely pretty expression of Gamay, with soft notes of black pepper on the nose that mix with plush soft red fruit. Extraordinarily texturally complex on the palate, with bright yet sumptuous notes of sour cherry and cranberry sauce on the palate, this wine has elegance in spades. A little lighter than medium-bodied, but with fine structure and mouthwatering acidity. 12.4% alcohol by volume. Andrew Farquhar
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
Equal parts Grenache, Tempranillo, and Mourvedre with a little Graciano added in, this is a pretty ruby-red color, with elegant aromas of bright cherry but also earth. The Shake Ridge Ranch vineyard in Amador County is, in the words of Steve, "one of the most magnificent vineyards I've ever seen, anywhere." The wine is medium bodied on the palate, with gently grippy tannins, and a high-toned array of flavors balancing fruity and savory, that linger impressively on the long finish. Andrew Farquhar
This refreshing and bright Pinot Noir from star California winemaker Kenny Likitprakong is sourced predominantly from the Arroyo Seco AVA, in other words, Steinbeck country. Native yeast fermentation and spontaneous malo are followed by nine months on the lees with occasional batonnage in used French oak barrels. Bright red fruit and elegant texture make for a fine, refreshing wine that lingers pleasantly on the palate. Andrew Farquhar
This wine has a ton of great minerality and character, with amazing funky notes and crackling acidity. This wine really begs for pairing with food, and would work great in a wide range of situations. Whole cluster fermentation brings a seething yet delicate tannic grip to the affair, with black pepper notes and leafy humus on the palate bringing an autumnal character to the fore that makes it perfect for this time of year. Twelve months are spent in used French oak barrels followed by bottling with only 18 ppm sulfur. 130 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
David Hirsch founded his vineyard in 1980 on the windswept Sonoma Coast, and is widely considered the region's eminence grise. Farming, living, and vinifying out on the wild coast above Fort Ross, his San Andres Fault Pinot Noir is considered the flagship wine of this estate winemaker, sourced from 23 of Hirsch's 61 separate vineyard blocks perched just above the fogline. This is perhaps the most iconic Sonoma Coast Pinot, with fine redcurrant and delicate cherry fruit enumerated within extraordinarily linear silken tannins. The structural architecture is written in heroic alexandrine verse, with undercurrents of bramble, redwood-needle, wet stone, and snuffed candle-wick. Serve with duck, roast pork, Dungeness crab, or turkey in mole poblano. Andrew Farquhar
I didn’t want to be the one to write anything about this wine but Eben talked me into it. I don’t wax as poetic about wine as most people, but Eben said “You don’t have to. What did it remind you of? A favorite song?” And that’s when it hit me. After drinking this wine I woke up singing “Didn’t I” by Kelly Clarkson with the line “Didn’t I give you everything” repeating in my head. And it hit me: yes this wine did give me everything, everything I’d expect from a natural Syrah from California. I love how alive this wine is and how it screams of fresh blackberries, green olives with herbs and some roasted meat. The weight is medium, and the acidity is a bit bright. It’s by no means a French wine but it doesn’t have to be and it’s not trying to be. This wine is young and would need time or open for a few hours, but in time it will…give you everything. John L.
From one of the most historic vineyards situated in the highest reaches of the Santa Cruz Mountains, featuring panoramic views of Silicon Valley, Mount Eden's 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most tightly structured and elegant wines coming from California. The mature vines, planted in 1979 and 1984 from budwood sourced in the 1890s from Chateau Margaux, this wine has extraordinary depth, moving through scintillating layers of blackberry, bramble, graphite, and cedar, all dusted with the Central Coast's ever-present aroma of bay laurel. Large, robust, and tannic, but with strong, broad-shouldered fruit singing through, this is a fantastic wine to have now with steak after a couple hours' decant or as a gift for a serious collector who can put it away for 10-30 years. Andrew Farquhar
Kudos to our friend Richard Luftig for the phenomenal quality and price of Pied a Terre Cabernet! Always one of our best-selling American reds, 2014 is a deep, ripe, and focused vintage for Pied a Terre. There is great energy and balance in this bottle, which will elevate your wintry dinners and holiday gift lists alike! Ariana Rolich
Marcus Bokisch, the grower who owns the eponymous Bokisch vineyard located in the Sacramento Valley north of Lodi, is specifically attempting to grow grapes that work in the hot and sunny climate of the Central Valley. Graciano is generally a rare blending grape in Rioja, but is known for retaining high acidity even in the very hottest places. Fantastic fruit and great concentration are wedded to great acid structure and a wonderful aromatic profile full of pomegranate seeds, cranberries, and a dense, ferrous minerality. Drink with pot-roast, barbecue ribs, hamburgers, or mole tacos. Andrew Farquhar
Diogenes Ridge is located at 1800 feet above St. Helena in the Vaca mountains, this Cabernet is athletic and powerful, but without any excess weight. 15% whole cluster, spontaneous open-top ferment, eighteen days on the skins, and eighteen months in 50% new French oak barrels give this wine a force that is brought to an exquisite tension by its incredible acid backbone. Powerful, tannic, and clocking in under 14% ABV, this wine is extraordinarily balanced and capable of many years of cellaring. Traditional black currant is furled in chocolate shavings, hearth ash, peppercorn, cherry pit, samovar, and alabaster dust. Tiny production (two barrels) and alertness in the cellar have produced a fantastic expression of Napa Cabernet that bridges stylistic tendencies and generations. Andrew Farquhar
A mellow peach color in the glass, this rose is a little softer than Rootdown's other offerings, but it exhibits much of the herbal, mineral, and tea-like aspects associated with this grape. Trousseau planted in 2004 is gently foot-trod upon arrival in the winery, followed by spontaneous fermentation and cold-stabilization. Herbal, with fine green-apple fruit and a smudge of earthiness, this light and elegant rose is a great food wine. I had with hummus, tabouleh, foule, and baba ghanouj, with which it went famously. These magnums are incredible party bottles in addition to being exclusive on the east coast to Chambers Street Wines! Andrew Farquhar
Sun-drenched and scorchingly refreshing, this sangiovese rose sourced from a small 2 acre vineyard on Duncan Peak in Mendocino is the color of blood orange flesh in the glass. Hand-harvested, the grapes are then squeezed with high pressure to get a lot of flavor from the skins. Juicy and ripe, with incredible acidity, an herbal freshness, and powerful blood orange character, this is a supercharged rose with such concentration it feels like drinking a glassful of rubies. These magnums are incredible party bottles in addition to being exclusive on the east coast to Chambers Street Wines! Andrew Farquhar
Originally poured by-the-glass at Eleven Madison Park, this wine has aged beautifully in the five years since the vintage. Black pepper and graphite float over a dark, mushroomy core. Funky humus notes blend with pretty blackberry and slightly herbal notes. Soft, but with fine silky tannins, this wine will age for up to another five years but is drinking perfectly right now. Pair with wintry stews, braised oxtail, or dense miso-brothed ramen. Andrew Farquhar
Mellow gold in color, with lush coconut and sweet corn on the nose. The palate is medium to full bodied, with good citric character and fine pear flavors mingling texturally on the palate. This wine, aged in 50% stainless steel and 50% used French oak, is a great late-summer food pairing. Perfect for corn on the cob, crab cakes, or ramen. Sourced from Santa Maria Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands. Drew Farquhar
The Cameron estate Chardonnay, from 2 acres of vines planted in 1987.
The Quaker Run Vineyard, planted in 1999, is located on the eastern flank of the Blue Ridge Mountains, nearly touching Shenandoah National Park. This Chardonnay's spontaneous fermentation lasted for nearly 11 months and then rested on the lees for an additional seven months. Big, round, and extraordinarily texturally dense, this wine has fine leesy, yeasty, bready character that is elegantly interpolated through the fine white peach and meyer lemon fruit core. This is a big classic Chardonnay, though it has fine acid structure that adds to a long, slightly funky, lingering finish. Andrew Farquhar
This dry Muscat is from the Suisun Valley, and it's the first year Folk Machine have bottled a Muscat. 100% Muscat Canelli (Muscat blanc a petit grains), this was fermented dry in stainless steel. This dry wine has gorgeous floral, peachy, white grape juice aromas, but on the palate is a well-built, finely structured dry wine. There is a breadth of palate that makes it excellent for sipping cold in the sunshine. Andrew Farquhar
Named after the marine fossils found in the Oligocene marine sediment that makes up the soil of the vineyard and the baby deer hiding in tussocks in the oak savanna that surrounds the vineyard, Fossil & Fawn is a site-specific experiment that focuses on the dry-farmed Silvershot Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. They make this Pinot Gris exactly as if it were a red wine. About half the lot was destemmed and then foot-trod for two weeks during indigenous yeast fermentation. The other portion of the lot was set aside for full carbonic maceration. Bottled unfined and unfiltered the next spring, this wine is amazingly juicy on the nose, but the palate is funky, with herbal and leathery notes to complement the good muted red fruit. Nervy and energetic, this is a fantastic light red, deeper in hue than many skin-contact Pinot Gris wines I've tasted, yet still light and refreshing. Fantastic with mezze, grilled seafood, marcona almonds, or fried chicken. 131 cases porduced. Andrew Farquhar
Precedent is the label of Nathan Kandler, longtime winegrower at Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a renowned destination for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Precedent illustrates Kandler's versatility and curiosity and has introduced us to some truly unique California vineyard sites. Wirz Vineyard is home to 60+ year-old dry farmed, head-trained Riesling on decomposed granite over limestone in the Gabilan mountains. We usually have an off-dry Riesling on the holiday table, but I'm happy to go in a drier direction in this case... Concentrated, gleaming apricot, citrus rind, and tropical fruit is laced with gritty, long minerality and backed by supple texture and acidic tension. Terrific with herbed root vegetables and citrus glazed poultry or fish and anything peppery or spicy. Ariana Rolich
Precedent is the personal project of Nathan Kandler, winemaker at the excellent Thomas Fogarty estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. If you've never had California Chenin Blanc or you're never been thrilled by one, Precedent is a pure rendition of the grape from 30+ year-old vines planted on pink granite and silica-rich quartz soils in eastern Lodi. Ripe and pretty aromas of lemon, honeycomb, and white flowers, followed by brisk flavors of citrus and white peach, with fresh acidity and salty minerals. Unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulfur additions. Ariana Rolich
Revik Wine Co. is the passion project of two married couples who are releasing their first vintages this 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. Two barrels produced. Andrew Farquhar
Sourced from the organically certified Larner vineyard at the southern end of Ballard Canyon, this is one of the most electrifying wines made from Viognier I have ever tasted. On one level this wine shows all the classic varietal character of Viognier: apricot, peach fuzz, and honeyed herbal notes. Yet these are mixed into a transcendent admixture with incredible structure, great acidity, and a distinct nervy saline character coming from the Larner vineyard's limestone bedrock, laid over with sand. Hints of chamomile, white peach, pine resin, and beeswax fill out this elegantly textured, structurally profound wine. Andrew Farquhar
This bright, fresh, sunny sauvignon blanc is a classic Mendocino style, sourced from the Gibson and McFadden vineyards. Bright citrus fruit and pleasant herbal characteristics meld with spring grassland on the palate, reminiscent of a Sancerre but a touch softer and with more rounded fruit. A nice subtle floral character is interlaced throughout nose, palate, and finish. Andrew Farquhar
This fantastic Chardonnay is from the Freedom Hill vineyard located in the foothills of the coastal range 10 miles southwest of Salem. The soil here is well-drained silty clay loam. Whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented, this wine was aged sur lie for 11 months in neutral oak before bottling. Broad and magisterial, but with great energy, this is a beautiful Chardonnay, with peach aromas and a touch of more tropical character. The sur lie aging gives it a marvelous roundness on the palate that sublimates the brighter fruit character into something lush and restrained. The retention of such energy in this wine makes it a great Chardonnay for summer, and would pair well with cold summer soups, fish, or bruschetta. While it's drinking marvelously now, this wine will improve for up to half a decade if cellared. Andrew Farquhar
For Nathan Kandler, winemaker at Thomas Fogarty, Portola Springs is the most extreme of their Santa Cruz Chardonnay vineyards, with its very steep slopes and cool marine air influence. The Chardonnay grapes ripen very slowly and yields are frustratingly low. Portola Springs has a characteristic lemon drop and verbena with flavors of lemon oil, sea spray, and dried thyme. Pair with roasted cauilflower or chicken. Jonas Mendoza
Portola Springs Vineyard is a consistent standout in the excellent range of Thomas Fogarty Chardonnays. 2012 has riper, sunnier fruit tone than the austere 2011, without sacrificing any of Portola Springs' cool mineral core and impressive, driving acidity, owing to the low-yielding, late-ripening, nearly 40-year-old vines planted on basalt and shale. Complex and rich enough to handle poultry and pork dishes, with refreshing energy to compliment seafood and veggies. Ariana Rolich
The original vineyard planted by Mr. Wiemer himself, this wine is from a parcel farmed biodynamically. Cold spontaneous fermentation takes place over the course of months. 65% of the grapes picked two weeks late allow for this wine's beautiful mellow sweetness. 20% fermented in 1000L Hungarian barrels. This is an extraordinarily pretty wine, with delicate, expressive acidic structure laid over with a number of layers of beautiful fruit. Notes of peach, Meyer lemon, and white flowers all mesh together in harmonious accord. Pair with Peking duck, fresh fruit, or blue cheese. Andrew Farquhar
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