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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
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.
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.
This wine is from the Green Valley of Solano County, located just over the Vaca mountains from Napa. This wine comes from two vineyards, the Frei Vineyard and the Wirth Ranch Vineyard, both of which are dry-farmed and have average vine ages over 65 years. This style of wine was formerly known as Napa Gamay, and for good reason; the taste is reminiscent of Beaujolais with medium tannin and great energy, though more purple in color and with darker fruit. Partial carbonic maceration gives the wine a light and lifted character. Pair with pork chops, veal, branzino, or carnitas tacos. Andrew Farquhar
It's easy to love this gulpable, peppery red blend from Broc Cellars! Chris Brockaway makes a wide range of California wine but the common denominators are that they must be made without additives (other than a small amount of SO2 as necessary), always fermented with indigenous yeasts, using grapes from vineyards that do not use synthetic chemicals (many of them certified organic), and of course they must be delicious. This years 'Love Red' is 77% Carignan from 70 year-old vines partially de-stemmed, 15% Valdiguié, and 8% Syrah, both whole-cluster. The wine is aged in neutral barrel and concrete and bottled with just a minimum of SO2. The nose is spicy with stewed black cherry, and on the palate lots of bright acidity, red currant, cherry juice, and just a little tannin to give it some grip with a bit of dried earth on the finish. Perfectly pleasant in every way. Michelle DeWyngaert
Let's be honest, who doesn't love rosé? There is a lot to love about this plush, summery rosé from Broc Cellars. Chris Brockaway makes a wide range of California wine but the common denominators are that they must be made without additives (other than a small amount of SO2 as necessary), always fermented with indigenous yeasts, using grapes from vineyards that do not use synthetic chemicals (many of them certified organic), and of course they must be delicious. The blend comes from the Ricetti, Rosewood, and Wirth Ranch vineyards in Mendocino and Solano Country Green Valley and is 80% Valdigue, 14% Zinfandel, and 6% Trousseau. This year's rosé is a deep salmon color, bursting with notes of ripe, juicy strawberry and watermelon with a salty, savory finish and plenty of acidity that keeps this sunny Mendocino wine from becoming too fruity. Michelle DeWyngaert
The Abbey Ridge Vineyard sits at one of the highest elevations in the Dundee Hills at ~600ft. These 40+ year-old vines are farmed organically and without irrigation; relying instead on cover crops to maintain the moisture/health of the soil. 2017 was a very successful and classic vintage for Oregon with no disease pressure. The winemakers describe this wine as having both rose petal and red fruit aromas as well as more savory notes of salumi, black pepper, and olive.
The 2018 Dundee Hills bottling is a 100% Pinot Noir from a blend of two of the Cameron vineyards; Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique, both farmed organically, and with no irrigation. This year was a bit warmer for the Willamette Valley than previous vintages, and as such the wine has a darker color with a fuller body and silky tannins. The winemakers describe this wine as having "a big voluptuous mouth with Amarone flavors that make for a great one night stand. " Sounds decadent!
This years "Ribbon Ridge" Pinot Noir comes entirely from the tiny (less than two acres) White Oak Vineyard farmed by Alan Foster. The fruit from White Oak tends to a good deal of structure and intensity to the wines, and the team at Cameron believes this is their best vintage yet! The flavors they describe as, "deep aromas of black cherries, rose, wood spice, lavender and loam, an opaque ruby color and a palate packed with black cherry, raspberry and soft, savory tannins. "
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.
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.
'Entre Nous' is a blend of fruit from La Colina Vineyard in Dundee Hills and the Four Winds Vineyard in the McMinnville Coast, all 100% Pinot Noir. This blend brings the ripeness and juiciness of the more inland vines, and the lift and elegance from the coastal influence. A small portion of new oak barrels and the rest neutral, frames this wine with a touch of baking spice, nothing dramatic, that will only continue to integrate as it ages. The nose has a beautiful floral, rose water aroma with notes of freshly picked white cherry, raspberry, and a sense of the volcanic soils that line the Willamette Valley. The palate is perfectly clean, almost austere with powdery tannins, but balanced by ripeness and power from the La Colina fruit. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is the newest release of Dashe's Vineyard Select, meant to be a food-friendly, "bistro wine". The blend is 80% Zinfandel, 9% Teraldego, 5% Tannat, 3% Mourvedre, and 3% Petite Sirah. The fruit for this bottling is sourced from a variety of vineyards Sonoma County, Contra-Costa, and Clarkesburg to create the perfect balance of ripeness and complexity. Each variety is fermented separately then aged for 14 months in 1-year-old French oak. Though I have not yet tasted this vintage, the Dashe wines have been a staple at Chambers Street for their consistently tasty Zinfandel. Michelle DeWyngaert
A beautiful example of Pinot Noir from the Demeter certified Johan Vineyard in the Willamette Valley. Exposed to cooling winds from the Van Duzer Corridor, it is the last picked of the Day Wines giving it a delicate freshness. The grapes are left 25% whole cluster during fermentation and then the juice is aged for 19 months in 15% new French oak, the rest neutral. This wine feels like Oregon to me. There is a perfect balance of richness and concentration to the flavor, while still showing enticing notes of fresh soil and dried herbs. The nose is a mix of fresh and stewed raspberry, rosemary, anise, and rose petals. The palate is plush with structured tannins that leaves me to believe that this will age nicely over the next several years. Michelle DeWyngaert
Gamay finds an excellent home in the basalt soils of the Columbia Valley! The winemakers at Division farm a six-acre block on the Car-Ousel Vineyard which they are now transitioning to organics. The grapes are picked early for a more "white-wine style" freshness, which was thankfully just in time to beat an uncommonly early bout of frost. The fruit was destemmed, fermented in steel tanks, and though typically they prefer to bottle their wines as is, this vintage called for a bit of filtered with organic inactive carbon to prevent oxidation. All of this is to say, this will be a bright, crispy rosé, full of energy! The winemakers describe this vintage as having "the complete aromatics, chalky minerality and fleshy weight means drink up now or wait for the honey-ed notes that will come with time." Michelle DeWyngaert
One of my favorite Division bottlings is the 'Les Petits Fers' modeled after the wines of Beaujolais-Villages. The wine is a blend of Gamay from five vineyards, four from the Eola-Amity Hills AVA in Willamette, and one from Umpqua Valley. The vineyards are all being farmed organically or in the process of transitioning to organics. In order to create a nice balance in this wine between the bright, fruity flavors that are highlighted with carbonic maceration, some of the lots only go through a partial carbonic maceration. The wine is then pressed off and aged in a mix of cement, a puncheon, a few old French oak barrels and one stainless tank. The winemakers describe this vintage as lighter and less funky than previous years , but with all the hallmarks we love about Gamay, "fine white pepper, fresh herbs and dusty strawberry, plus chalky notes," can't wait to try some! Michelle DeWyngaert
The 'Béton' is crafted for the Division-Villages line of wines inspired by the village level wines of France, and in particular, the food-friendly, easy to enjoy, bistro wines. The backbone of this vintage is Cabernet Franc coming from two vineyards in the Applegate Valley, with the rest of the blend a mix of Gamay, Pinot Noir, Côt (Malbec), and Syrah from four different vineyards throughout Oregon. While this wine has less to do with varietal character, it does paint a tasty picture of Oregon viticulture. The grapes are fermented separately, with Gamay and some of the Cabernet Franc undergoing carbonic maceration, and the rest fermented with various levels of whole cluster bunches to create balance in the finished product. The juice is then pressed and aged together in a giant concrete (hence the name Béton) tank. The winemakers describe the aromatics as, "[screaming of] Cabernet Franc with violet floral overtones, graphite and red cur-rants. The pallet is juicy, clean, fruity, but balanced with Cab Franc notes of pepper and fall leaves, stewed pie cherries, nutmeg and clove." Michelle DeWyngaert
Do you love a bright, juicy Beaujolais, but would like to try something a little different and a little earthier? This 100% Pinot Noir comes from a blend of two Willamette Valley vineyards in transition to organics, the Cassin Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton, and the Methven Vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills. For this bottling the Division teams ferments entirely with carbonic maceration to highlight the freshness of these cool climate sites. After fermentation the wine spends about five months in a mix of concrete and old French oak barrels. Though I haven't yet tasted this years vintage, the winemakers describe it as having, "a mineral-driven mix of dusty earth, red berries and pure Pinot fruit with just enough structure to add depth and intrigue." Perfect for drinking chilled with a deli sandwich! 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
There is always something so compelling about the Gamay Noir grown on the decompossed granite soils of the Barsotti Ranch. The 2018 vintage in El Dorado was fairly cool at the end of the season, which meant the grapes could spend a little extra time on the vines, which Steve tells us led to a "more tender wine, both flavor-wise and texturally."The grapes are destemmed and punched-down twice daily to release color and tannin, and then pressed into stainless steel.
A light, summery Cabernet France from Andrew Scott of Eminence Road! This bottling comes from the Elizabeth's Vineyard on the east side of Seneca Lake with soils comprised of a thin layer of loam over shale. The grapes are foot-stomped as whole-clusters in tanks and then pressed after 16 days into neutral barrels where it finished fermentation and remained for the rest of a year. As is typical with Eminence Road wines, the Cabernet Franc is bottled unfined, unfiltered and unfussed with. At only 10.7% alcohol this is dangerously easy to drink and has a really nice umami, savory quality that makes it excellent as a food pairing, and finishes with the quintessential Cabernet Franc herbaceousness. The winemaker suggests serving this 'en plein air' for the full aromatic experience!
This vintage of the Elizabeth's Vineyard Pinot Noir proves that even with challenges in the growing season, a good winemaker can still make something beautiful. 2018 was incredibly rainy in the Finger Lakes. Compared to the previous vintage which was dense and concentrated, this year's Pinot Noir is lithe, almost a dark rosé. The grapes were left whole-cluster, then foot-crushed, and aged in neutral French oak barrels. The nose is an enticing blend of earth and fruit with notes of sage, moss and river rock with juicy raspberry. A perfect Pinot Noir for Springtime and lighter proteins! Michelle DeWyngaert
Let me start by saying this is not your parent's Zinfandel. This is a delightfully refreshing, 100% carbonic maceration of Zinfandel from the high elevation, Baldinelli Vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley. The vines here are roughly 30 years old, grown on sandy-loam soils, which comes through on the palate with powdery tannins. The wine is fresh and tart with notes of cranberry and fresh raspberry and savory qualities of salty black olive with just pleasantly grippy tannins to give this lighter red a nice back-bone. Serve this wine with a bit of a chill and pair it with a range of grilled proteins that will benefit from this juicy red.Michelle DeWyngaert
A perfect summer sparkler for backyards and rooftops or dreaming of backyards and rooftops. Chris Walsh works with the Pritchard Vineyard for this bottling; a no-till, organically farmed, one acre site in Amador County. 'Uncorked!' is 100% Zinfandel, half of which is direct-pressed as whole clusters, and the other half is foot-stomped and left for eight hours on the skins. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel tank, bottled then undergoes a secondary fermentation. The result is a bright, juicy, non-disgorged, sparkling Zinfandel!
Drinking a Pinot Noir from Eyrie Vineyards is all the proof you need that these wines of the Willamette Valley deserve a place on the world's list of the most expressive and age-worthy wines. This single vineyard bottling from Roland Green stuck out the most to me in a tasting of five different Eyrie Pinots for its intense and captivating aromas. The Roland Green vineyard is positioned at about 550ft elevation planted over 30 years ago on rich volcanic soils, and like all their vineyards, the vines are own-rooted, non-irrigated, and certified organic. The nose is a powerful blend of ripe red and black cherry, tree bark and damp moss, a bit of salt and on returning to the wine, a touch of something smoky, like peat. The palate is concentrated with flavor and acidity. A beautiful wine that I cannot wait to revisit! Michelle DeWyngaert
Inspired by the wines of the Jura, Jason Lett decided to plant the first Trousseau vines in the Willamette Valley in 2012 and has farmed them organically ever since. The result is this beautiful, delicate and earth-driven wine. The grapes are destemmed and the juice is aged in 500L neutral puncheons, and then left unfined, unfiltered, and without sulfur at bottling. I love the light, coppery rose color of this wine and the nose of fresh soil, geranium and river rocks. The palate is lean and refreshing, but gentle tannins give the wine just enough structure. Michelle DeWyngaert
Folk Machine is a project from winemaker Kenny Likitprakong devoted to fun, food friendly wines from the Central Coast of California.This Pinot Noir is where Folk Machine all began and is composed from fruit from Mission Ranch and Ceder Lane Vineyard in Arroyo seco, Brosseau Vineyard from Chalone, and the Tom Ritchie Vineyard from the Sonoma Coast. The coastal influence that unites them all makes for a lighter, fresher style of Pinot Noir, clocking in at ~13% ABV. The wine is fermented spontaneously and kept on the lees for extra creaminess and then aged in oak barrels at least two years old for nine months. Pleasurable and easy-drinking, this Pinot Noir shows notes of bing cherry, ripe raspberry, and bit of soft, fresh herbs. Michelle DeWyngaert
As the name suggests, this wine is an attempt at "doing nothing" to the juice (other than adding a very minimal amount of sulfur) and creating a juicy, fresh, chillable red for the Summer. The blend is 27% Pinot Noir, 23% Pinot Gris, 20% Gewürztraminer, 14% Pinot Blanc, 10% Chardonnay and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon; everything but the kitchen sink. The grapes are fermented whole cluster with 83% going through carbonic maceration to add that bright, fruity, floral character, and then aged in a mix of French and Oregon Oak, and stainless steel for six months, before bottling unfined and unfiltered.There was only one case of this available, so if you're as big a fan of Fossil & Fawn as we are, you better get one quick!
We are very sad that there are only six bottles of this Pet-Nat available this year! The 'Sorta Summer" comes from a unique blend of hybrid and vinifera grapes; Pinot noir, Niagara, Golden Muscat, Concord. The Pinot Noir and Niagara are both from the Breckenridge Vineyard, and the Golden Muscat and Concord come from the backyard of the Sorta Summer House (a quaint little Portland getaway). The grapes are direct-pressed and fermented with native yeasts, and then the fermentation is completed to dryness in the bottle, leaving a low ABV, effervescent summer rosé, which they describe as "explosively fruity, but [with] a light toastiness."
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 cuvée is meant to be an overview of what the Santa Cruz Mountains have to offer, and is sourced from three different vineyards: 40% Upper Block Amaya Ridge, 35% Aptos Creek, and 25% Smith Road. While the blend varies a little vintage to vintage, the wine shows consistency in its expression of classic Santa Cruz restraint. Fine cranberry fruit with a hint of some baking and savory spices, this Pinot is finely structured, with delicate tannins and a fine acid backbone. Open and inviting now, this wine will also benefit from a few years of cellaring. Excellent with roast chicken, lobster rolls, or miso-broth ramen, this will work just as well without food, as it is aromatic and mesmerizing as a standalone experience. 600 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
Hirsch Vineyards was established in 1980 on the true Sonoma Coast. These were some of the first vines planted this far West in what is now the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. These vineyards run along the San Andreas Fault which means an abundance of different soil types contribute to complexity of these vines. This is the bottling that founder, David Hirsch, calls 'the Hirsch Hirsch' as he believes is it most representative of their unique terroir. Because of the diversity of soil types and aspects, each vineyard block is farmed and vinified separately, though all using biodynamic practices since 2014.
It is Mimi Casteel's incredible dedication to 'regenerative agriculture' that makes this wine from the Willamette Valley so special and sought-after. Her farming practices go beyond organics and work to actively restore the health of the soil and the land surrounding the vineyard, creating a living, breathing ecosystem. She believes, and I can't help but agree, that this unlocks more flavor and complexity in the grapes because more nutrients and biodiversity is available to the vines. Positioned along an east-facing slope of the Eola-Amity Hills, the Hope Well vineyard experiences an intense diurnal shift that helps maintain freshness even in this warmer vintage. This year she destemmed the grapes completely, with very gentle extraction, and then aged the wine in 10% new French oak, with the rest in neutral barrels for 10 months. Michelle DeWyngaert
Of all of the Kelley Fox Pinot Noirs that I have had the pleasure of tasting, this bottling is the most ethereal. The Star of Bethlehem Flower Block is positioned one acre behind the Maresh house where a famed cherry tree once stood and has since burned down. It is now the only block on the vineyard where the Star of Bethlehem Flower will grow, hence the name, and there is indeed something more floral to this bottling. The vines here are own-rooted Pommard clones, planted in 1991, tended lovingly with biodynamic practices by Kelley. As with all of her wines now, it is fermented whole cluster and aged in neutral barrels. The nose is delicate with notes of rose water, fresh raspberry, red currant, and soft sweet herbs, and the palate is bright with gentle tannins. If you're opening this now, it will do well with some air by decanting it an hour early. Michelle DeWyngaert
I am really enamored with this single-block bottling from Kelley Fox! The Maresh vineyard was planted in 1970 and is prized for its biodiversity; home to several kinds of fruit trees, an array of wildlife, and an abundance of cover crops. The Royal Ann block runs along a row of 100 year-old Royal Ann cherry trees and borders the Star of Bethlehem Flower block. Fermented ~50% whole cluster, and then aged in neutral French oak for about a year. This wine seems to defy physics by being both rich and opulent and also crystalline and vibrant. It has a beautiful floral quality on the nose, with notes of pomegranate and white cherries, intertwined with fresh rosemary and crushed rock. The palate is a bit riper with silky texture and notes of bitter-sweet amaro on the finish. This is a definitely a bottle to cellar, but pretty captivating already. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is an earthy summer wine from Kelley Fox! The Pinot Gris comes from ~30 year-old vines grown on one our favorite vineyard sites: the Maresh Vineyard in Dundee Hills, Oregon. While Pinot Gris typically makes light, crisp, white wines, if the juice is left to macerate on the skins for twenty days, the result is a brilliant brick-red color and additional depth of flavor and structure. The nose has a savory earthy quality upfront, like fresh turned soil and a touch of cumin, followed by juicy red apple, rose petal, and ripe strawberry. The palate shows more red apple, quince paste, white pepper and solid base of grippy tannins and a tangy red-berry finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
'Wabi-Sabi' refers to the creation of something beautiful from things that are imperfect in some way. This red blend from Populis is an attempt to do just that with an unconventional mix from Mendocino of Carignane, Syrah, and Zinfandel made from 20-70 year-old vines. The grapes are partially destemmed and then aged in a mixture of polyethelene tanks and neutral oak barrels. Eben described this wine as "cheerful, a touch spicy, medium bodied and smooth with just a slight bit of tannins. Good with a slight chill but not too cold."
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 1920s 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 focuses on lesser known grape varieties and encouraging farmers to transition to organic practices. The Sattler's Vineyard in Santa Clara is currently in transition and has commited to Margins to be fully transitioned by this year! Though this site is quite hot and dry, the evening are drastically cooler which leads to bright, fresh acidity in the grapes balanced with juicy, ripeness. This 2019 bottling is actually a blend of 90% Counoise, 4% Chenin blanc (Clarksburg), 3% Barbera (SCM), and 3% Merlot (SCM). The grapes are fully destemmed, fermented with native yeasts, and aged in neutral oak for four months before bottling as is, with just a tiny amount of SO2.
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.
If ever Cabernet Sauvignon could be described as refreshing, this is it. This is a Cab for those times when you still want some grip and structure, and those beautiful black fruit and herb aromas, but you need something lighter and fresher: enter Papa Jaja from Inconnu. Laura works with an organically farmed vineyard in Clarksburg, just next to the Sacramento River for this bottling, which she ages for one year in neutral barrels. The nose has notes of fresh and dried blackberry, savory herbs and roasted shishito peppers, and the palate is much brighter with black cherry juice and cassis with a soft, lingering tannins. Drink this young, with a bit of a chill, while hanging out around the grill. Michelle DeWyngaert
Richard Luftig, one of New York's best sommeliers, has made a Cabernet known for phenomenal quality and price: Pied a Terre Cabernet! Always one of our best-selling American reds, 2015 is a deep, ripe, and focused vintage for Pied a Terre. This is a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon that has classic California character but more structure and reserve than a lot of riper wine. The tannic structure is tightly woven, with fine acid backbone and lush cassis, blackberry, and slightly redder berry fruit. This is a California Cabernet meant to be consumed with food, and will pear excellently with New York strip steak, pork loin, or coq au vin. Andrew Farquhar
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
This is their flag ship Pinot Noir which comes from the steep hillside vineyard situated along Westside Road at the entrance of Porter Creek, which has ideal southern face. Hard clay top soil with a fractured stone bedrock place continual stress on these vines, resulting in a very expressive, unique vineyard designate wine. The nose has aromas of wild berries and forest floor, a weighty mid-palate and long silky finish.
A classic example of Sonoma County Zinfandel. Aromatically, it has explosive cherries and berries, and on the palate it is rich and textured on the finish. Produced from hillside grown vines and blended with 5% Carignane for texture and overall harmony.
This is a truly unique expression of Zinfandel. It's not flashy, or bold, it embodies freshness and minerality (not words we generally associate with this grape). The Sky vineyards sit way up at 2100ft elevation on Mt. Veeder with 14 acres of Zinfandel, and a few of Syrah, on red clay soils. The vines are tended with only organic treatments, an abundance of cover crops, and no irrigation. Everything in the cellar is done by hand, fermented in open-top bins with native yeasts, punched down three times per day, pressed through an old basket press and aged in neutral oak barrels. All of that cool mountain air brings plenty of bright acidity to this wine with notes of fresh raspberry and blackberry, a touch of fresh herbs and white pepper. The palate has a beautiful, powdery texture from the clay soils, lifted by the wild, brambly fruit. Michelle DeWyngaert
The 'Juvenile' is a great way to taste the classic and enduring style of Turley Zinfadel without paying a fortune for one of the single vineyard bottlings. This is a blend of grapes from the youngest vines on 18 different vineyards.
This Turley Bottling is an homage to Joe Duarte, a grower who first introduced the Turley's to the incredible vineyards of Contra Costa. The blend consists of fruit from the Evangehlo, Mori and Salvador vineyards; all with a vine age of 100+ years! The winemakers describe this one as having the "softest, silkiest tannins" in the lineup!
This is a single-vineyard bottling from the Dusi Vineyard, on the west side of Paso Robles, which consists of own-rooted, head-trained vines planted in 1945 on mostly alluvial soils. The warm climate and dense soils lead to this fuller-bodied, richer style Zinfandel.
This is a single-vineyard bottling of the Kirschenmann Vineyard which is owned and farmed by the Turley winemaker, Tegan Passalacqua.The vines were planted in 1915 on their own roots in silica-rich sandy soils of the east side of the Mokelumne River AVA. The proximity to the river keeps these vines cool which brings more freshness to the wine.