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Another fantastic cider from the Aaron Burr Cidery! The Appinette blends together NY apples and a local grape, Traminette (a genetic cross between Gewürztraminer and the French-American hybrid Joannes Seyve). Lively and complex with heady aromas of guava, pineapple, banana, and lemon curd. There is also a very pleasant vinous muskiness. On the palate, it is quite earthy and very dry with a gentle sparkle, making it almost more reminiscent of wine than cider. Salty minerals, delicate fruit, and a vigorous acidity balance it out and make it rather food friendly! Tim Gagnon
The apples for this bottling are sourced from the hills overlooking the East Branch Delaware River. Like all of the apples for their Homestead Ciders they are foraged from wild, abandoned orchards that have not been treated with chemicals for years. This cider is a beautiful amber color, is a touch off-dry with a sharp, tangy acidity, and is a bit more effervescent than some past releases. Classic woodsy, funky aromas mingle with hints of citrus, carrot, and baked apple and the palate is mineral and backed by sturdy tannins. This would definitely do well on your Thanksgiving table, and it would be interesting to see how it develops over the next couple of years. Tim Gagnon
An ode to the blending wines used to make champagne, this wine is 53% pinot noir and 47% chardonnay, vinified with no skin contact as a full-on high-energy white wine. Yellow apple and white peach on the nose mix with classic ripe unoaked Napa chardonnay character. The palate is quite different, having a briny quality and increased depth from the pinot noir. This wine is great for sipping cold on a sunny spring day. No new oak, native yeast fermentation in barrel. Andrew Farquhar
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. Jonas Mendoza
This is Broc's first vintage making Chenin Blanc from the Frei vineyard in Solano County's Green Valley AVA, located across the Napa county line from Coombsville, in Napa's southeasternmost corner. Cooled by air from the San Pablo Bay, this small viticultural area has a decidedly maritime climate. This wine, aged in handmade puncheons crafted by Stockinger (one of Austria's, and Europe's, finest artisanal cooperages), has incredible reserve, with a nose of lemon pith, hay, and woolen mittens that is a harbinger of the sturdy structure and linear acidity to be found on the palate. 118 cases made. Andrew Farquhar
The 2017 Catawba Pétillant Naturel is the funkier and edgier of the two Chëpika wines : a huge electric bolt of acidity is wrapped around a funky, musky, animal character. There's a juicy, honeysuckle character on the nose that is almost reminiscent of Muscat, while the palate is very dry, with the soft mousse accentuated and amplified by a mouthwatering tart candied lemon peel character. Native yeast fermentation, no added sulfur, and only 9.2% alcohol! This is a perfect summer sparkler with tons of energy, the perfect accompaniment to trout, guacamole, or tabouleh. Andrew Farquhar
This wine, made from the native Delaware grape, is an elegantly structured and delicate wine with finely grained green apple and honeysuckle notes. The soft, mouth-coating mousse is rendered in a beautiful, almost impressionistic manner. Fine structure and acidity on the palate presents in subtle counterpoint to the gentle bubbles that give this wine its distinct texture. A clean finish and delicate character make this a fantastic wine to pair with shrimp, baked Brie, or sushi. Andrew Farquhar
A blend of 31% Melon de Bourgogne, 26% Chardonnay, 22% Chenin Blanc, 8% Viognier, 7% Riesling, and 6% Muscat sourced from Monterey, Mendocino, and Napa AVAs. The 2016 has a bouquet of lime flower, salty orange citrus and juicy stone fruit. The palate is rich and creamy but a cool mineral acidity gives an energetic lift that makes this fabulous for all seasons and with almost any dish. Recently we enjoyed this with fried shrimp tossed in chili oil. Amanda Bowman
Dragonette Cellars produces small lots of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc from cool-climate vineyards in California. The biodynamically farmed Duvarita Vineyard lies just west of the Santa Rita Hills appellation on gentle, south-facing slopes of almost pure sand. Although there’s less than 15% new oak, biscuity aromas mingle with ripe peach, melon, and lemon pith flavors along with honey and vanilla undertones. Vibrant and fresh, this Chardonnay perfectly exemplifies the terroir and potential of Santa Barbara County. Jonas Mendoza
This 100% chenin blanc is sourced from Merritt Island in the Sacramento river delta, near Clarksburg. Natural fermentation occurred after six days on the skin, and continued for a month. Broad and inviting on the nose, this wine has fine citrus character that mixes with a broader, more textured elegance on the palate. Lemon curd and a delicate peach character intermix over light tannin from the extended skin contact, though it is softer and prettier than many more deeply hued orange wines. This wine will pair excellently with heavier seafood, like braised scallops, lobster, or monkfish, particularly if a cream sauce is involved. Light sulfur only at bottling. 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
The talented and tireless team of Cara and Aaron Mockrish have somehow managed to both take over farming prime slopes of Renaissance in North Yuba (Sierra Foothills) and combine Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier -- two of the wine world's most misunderstood, yet potentially lovely, varieties -- into something we can all agree on. Pearl Thief is irresistibly refreshing, flavorful, and textured, driven by tangy acidity and firm minerality (thanks, Renaissance!). Crisp stone fruits, fresh green herbs, honey-lemon and lemon balm intertwine with richer notes of sweet cream, pineapple, and intense apricot, on the way to a long, strongly mineral finish. A perfect accompaniment for curried vegetables and fish! Ariana Rolich
A curious and fascinating Blanc de Noirs (white from red) of Cabernet Sauvignon.
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 Linda Vista Vineyard in Oak Knoll, organically farmed by Steve Matthiasson, this Chardonnay is a regal example of what made Napa Chardonnay so world famous. Oak Knoll, with moderating influence due to its proximity to San Pablo Bay, has a cooler climate than any other AVA in Napa after Carneros. This is an incredibly fresh and inviting Chardonnay, with lots of acidity giving fantastic structure and bright apple and pear character; yet the Napa sunshine gives it a rich, nutty, broad character. Pressing is whole cluster and aging is half in neutral oak barrels and half in stainless steel for ten months. Partial malolactic. Six barrels produced. Andrew Farquhar
This Chardonnay comes from younger vines in Rhys' Anderson Valley Bearwallow Vineyard, and aged for 14 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Like a riper Chablis, there are notes of zesty lemon, white nectarine, and just-ripe peach. On the palate, lemon juice, lemon pith, and saline flavors with bright acidity and a tight mineral core.A perfect introduction to Rhys' stunning Chardonnays. Jonas Mendoza
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
This fantastic Roussanne is sourced from the valley of the mighty Columbia River. Grapes are hand harvested and immediately pressed as whole bunches. Native yeast fermentation occurs in old oak barrels followed by 6 months of elevage, with one racking before bottling and no battonage. Beautifully rounded and expressive, with tart melon and citrus pith notes mixing with a candied fruit character. This wine is an incredible textural experience, round and soft, yet somehow airy on the palate. The wine is unfiltered and lightly sulfured before bottling. Only 23 cases produced! 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