The recently released Gehricke Chardonnay is sourced from one of those tucked-away parcels of land in a rural sub-region of Sonoma. So if you’re up for tasting some terroir, this is your baby. Crisp. Broad. Long. Eight months in French oak. Fair warning: there were only 823 cases produced so you might have to look for it. Or call Gehricke. 30.00
What is it with Concha y Toro?? Every vintage is a bulls eye. Just finished tasting the Marques de Casa Cohcha Chardonnay. It’s a big mouth full of fruit somehow showing lots of creaminess while holding on to crisp acidity. This level of quality would cost at least ten dollars more in CA. 22.00
Marques de Casa Concha Caberent Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a single vineyard, high above Chile’s Maipo Valley–home to some of Chile’s finest wines. Dark in color, aromatic in the glass, and rich on the palate, Casa Concha Cab is a fine bit of wine making–and another deal at 25.00
2014 Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Malbec…the name is a bit of a mouthful, but then again, so is the wine. Chile has so many good wines–and Concha y Toro has its label on a lot of them. While Argentina might have the corner on Malbec in volume, her little neighbor next door knows a few things about about the grape, too. Serie Riberas, or “Riverbank Series” takes its name from the rich soil of the riverbanks in the Palo Santo vineyards in the Colchagua Valley in Chile. The Serie Riberas Malbec is a little darker in color and flavor than some of its Argentine counterparts. The Gran Reserva earns its stripes with its rich, robust body and satiny tannins. Nice. 17.00
I tasted my first Trivento wines last year and was an instant fan. Trivento, meaning “three winds”…the winds blowing through the vineyards of the high mesa plateau where Trivento grapes are sourced in the foothills of the Andes. And while the grapes are not technically organic, they might as well be considering the pristine conditions. Mountain air, snow melt for water, and no bugs/pesticides. Doesn’t get much purer than that.
Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad Mendoza Malbec but some are clearly a cut above the others and the entry level Trivento Malbec is a sweetheart–and a steal at just 11.00. Lots of rich red fruit and a bit of oak brings on some coffee and chocolate notes.
2014 Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec was rated 90+ by some of the big boys last vintage and I’ll wager this vintage will give it a run for its money because of the wonderfully consistent climate–and the fact that the grapes used in Golden Reserve are hand-selected from premium vineyards. Rich color, aromas of berries, jam, and coffee followed by robust fruit and soft tannins on the palate. You could spend a lot more and not get anything half this good. 21.00
2015 Mud House Sauvignon Blanc and 2014 Mud House Woolshed Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc illustrate once again how the same grape, even within the same region, can produce wines with distinctly different aromas and flavors. The ’15 Mud House brings on the classic Marlborough citrus/grapefruit aromas and flavors. 17.00
The ’14 Mud House Woolshed Vineyard is more about aromas of passionfruit and lemon. On the palate, Woolshed is a mouthful of lime and melon. A blind tasting of these two side by side would make for interesting dinner party conversation. 20.00
Haymaker Sauvignon Blanc is a lip-smacking Kiwi. Consistently ideal growing conditions and weather make Marlborough ground zero for wonderful wines–especially Sauvignon Blanc. Grapefruit, guava, and tropical fruit are all part of the sensory experience of this gently priced drop. 12.00
Day light savings time starts in about a week, so summer must be just around the corner. Time to ramp up on the Sauvignon Blanc–starting California. 2015 saw a rough year for grape growers, translating into few grapes. The good news for wine drinkers is that the fruit that was produced was of great quality.
s standard Sauvignon Blanc has always been a good value–loaded with all sorts of citrus flavors and nice clean minerality. 12.00
Geyser Peak River Ranches Sauvignon Blanc kicks it up a couple of notches. Harvested from the prized Russian River Valley, the juice went straight into the stainless steel tanks with some specialty yeast strains–enhancing the aromatics of this little gem. GP River Ranches brings on gooseberry, fig and mint on a finish that goes on and on. Interesting how two wines from the same varietal can produce such uniquely different experiences. Vivi la differance. 22.00
Rutherford is home to some of the biggest names in Napa, but I have to confess, I hadn’t tasted anything from Swanson Vineyards until recently. Turns out it was love at first sight. Sometimes I find Pinot Grigio to be delightful–sometimes, Meh. Swanson was definitely delightful. Great floral aroma, tangy, complex flavors–bringing both fruit and dryness into the picture. Outstanding summer-sipper. 21.00
My family tasted the Swanson Vineyards merlot last week and raved about it. My daughter, who knows what she likes in red wines, compared the Swanson merlot to a very expensive red a good friend brought to dinner recently. This little beauty seriously reminded me of just how good a merlot can be. Of course it does have a healthy splash (12%) of Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petite Verdot in the mix. Winemaker Robin Akhurst clearly knows what’s what when it comes to blending. 32.00