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The 2022 Sauvignon Blanc comes from three sites within Sonoma - Uboldi Vineyard, Judge Vineyard, and Bedrock Vineyard - each of which impart their own characteristics on the wine. The bulk of the wine comes from Uboldi, which offers some tropical fruit and richness while retaining good acidity. Judge Vineyard adds bright aromatics and herbal complexity while Bedrock Vineyard contributes depth and minerality. The wine is fermented in a combination of smaller barrels and 320-liter cigares with some larger puncheons, adding texture and bringing everything together in the most harmonious way. This wine was absolutely singing when we tasted with Chris at the shop recently. It has some melon and tropical fruit with a lush texture that's complemented by racy acidity and a chiseled mineral backbone. This is giving but still brimming with energy and tension, and would be a versatile pairing option with its ability to hold up to richer dishes.
Chardonnay grape from California. Fermented in tank and transitioned to 30% new French and 8% new American oak post-fermentation.
Hermann J. Wiemer saw the great potential of the Finger Lakes to create high-quality cool-climate Riesling as they do in his native Mosel, Germany. The winery was founded in the 1979, one of the first in the region, and continues to be a benchmark for excellent Finger Lakes Riesling. Despite the incredibly challenging weather conditions which can lead to disease-pressure, they are committed to sustainable farming by not using herbicides or insecticides, and reducing their need for fungicides by managing the canopies to increase airflow. The dry Riesling is an excellent example of the great potential of this region for cool-climate varieties.
From a dry-farmed parcel of vines planted in 1991, in ancient sedimentary soils. "The 2021 is pale golden yellow, brilliant, and transparent. The nose begins with an almost heady, whirling nose of powdery minerals, ocean air, tropical fruits, and honey. These aromas are repeated in the mouth that has beautiful texture and racy acidity. " (KF)
This is from a vineyard planted in the Dundee Hills with cuttings from Cameron's legendary Abbey Ridge vineyard. "Its appearance is that of pale spun gold with brilliant transparency. Because of both its youth and seriousness, the nose as I type these words is restrained while also delicately perfumed with vanilla, pears and cream, along with a hint of salinity. This character continues in the mouth on a lovely frame and texture, ending with a long finish. I can’t wait to see what this Chardonnay does over time. I would suggest holding this wine for a few years before opening. There’s this alluring golden pear energy that it has." (KF)
The Freedom Hill Vineyard is situated on the border of the Eola-Hills AVA in the Willamette Valley upon an ancient seabed, which lends its seashell minerality to this wine. The grapes are pressed whole cluster into stainless steel for fermentation and then racked into neutral French oak and aged for roughly six months. The 2021 is all about texture - it has that melt-in-your-mouth sensation that envelopes the palate and finishes clean and dry, with a deep saline minerality and lively acidity. There's a nice balance of fruit and savory notes with enough body to hold up to a variety of foods but light enough to enjoy on its own. It's a perfect balance of richness and brightness, somehow feeling both powerful and lithe at the same time. JD
Steve Matthiasson's signature Napa white wine has always been a staff favorite and we were thrilled to come across a parcel of MAGNUMS of the outstanding 2014. Steve has always loved richly textured white wines and consequently was drawn to both Bordeaux Blanc and Friuli. This wine brings the two together, with Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grown on gravel and Ribolla Gialla and Friulano on rockier soils. The result shows bright citrus and some fleshier stone fruit up front, with spicier flavors, sea shell notes and a rich beeswax character that is reminiscent of older Chenin Blanc. The development in the bottle also shows in the nose, as the bright yellow fruit character of the wine's youth intermingles with aromas of dates and dried mint. This is one of the most consistently excellent and satisfying whites in California, and the chance to drink it with some age from a big bottle should not be missed this Christmas season. Sam Ehrlich
Situated in one of the coldest regions of Southern California, this Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County manages the perfect balance between richness and weight, with bright, mouth-watering acidity. Unlike the stereotype of California Chardonnay, the "movie-theatre butter" flavor that comes from an over-abundance of diacetyl presents as a creamy and tangy cream fraiche instead. The proximity to the Pacific Ocean and sandy soils of the vineyard give this wine it's freshness and an aroma of seashells on the nose with soft, white flowers, yellow apple skin, tarragon, and french vanilla. On the palate is an immediate rush of acidity like freshly squeezed lemon juice, followed by the rounded, creaminess of yogurt and finishes with a lingering the lingering stoniness of smooth river rocks. An excellent deal for well-made, organically farmed, food-friendly Chardonnay.
Chilion is a rare example of Cortese from the United States, grown in the quartz and sandstone rich soils of Fox Hill Vineyard. It sees six months of skin contact, adding incredible complexity and depth. It was pressed on the spring equinox of 2021 followed by another six months in neutral egg-shaped containers. Definitely an orange wine worth your time.
Naomi is 100% Grenache Gris from the hundred-year-old bush vines at Gibson Ranch in Mendocino, planted somewhere around 1910. The grapes are pressed as whole clusters with full malolactic conversion taking place, then spend five months on lees, racked once and bottled unfined and unfiltered. It's a dark gold, almost amber in the glass with subtle aromatics of apricot, peach, some earth and faint white flowers. There's a nice texture and firm acidity, making it a great wine for the table, with a clean mineral finish. It gets better as it opens up and is best served chilled but not too cold, where it can really showcase the complex minerality and depth coming from the old vines.
Scrumpy (a term for farmhouse cider in Europe) Ewe (referring to the sheep that graze their orchards) is a traditional cidery making cider the old-fashioned way up in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. The Farmhouse Dry cider is a blend of Old Winesap, Northern Spy, Spigold, Newtown Pippin, Gold Rush, Ida Red and Spartan apples fermented with native yeasts and aged for 10 months in a mixture of American and French oak. It is described by Scrumpy Ewe as having "hints of butter, lemon, floral, oak on the nose, full bodied."
An excellent, well-balanced example of California Sauvignon Blanc blended from three organically farmed vineyards in Mendocino. The fruit from each vineyard is fermented separately all in stainless steel to preserve their individual qualities, and then blended together before bottling.Bright, sunny notes of white grapefruit, clementine, and sweet basil. Plenty of juicy acidity, and a crisp, clean finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
Chardonnay grape. Sustainable farming. Vinification & Aging: The wine was fermented in a combination of stainless steel tank, neutral oak puncheon, and barrel. Malolactic fermentation was followed by aging in French oak barrels (mostly Damy with some Cavin and Tremeaux), 30% of which were new, with occasional lees stirring. The wine aged for 10 months in barrel before the final blend was assembled.