New Zealand, in Style

Check out the Brancott Estate Winery’s amazing art installation:

–further proof that wine enhances civilization–and the arts.

I’ll toast to that with a classic Brancott New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc…

French Class

The 2014 JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc is a class act–French class that is. Made from chardonnay grapes sourced near the famous Macon and Pouilly Fuisse appelations in the south of Burgundy,

2014 JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc

JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc shows classic chardonnay character without a lot of oak competing for attention (70% of fermentation in stainless steel). What emerges is a great example of a fine White Burgundy:  rich, ripe fruit nicely balanced with a lingering rounded finish. 17.00

New Releases from Justin

Justin” time for the holidays: one look at the three newly released reds from Justin Vineyards & Winery and you know one–or all of them–belong on your Holiday list either as a gift or for a festive dinner. Justin has been one of the gems of Paso Robles for years. In fact the release of the 2015 vintage of Justification marks its 25th anniversary.

2015 Justification: a “Right Bank” Bordeaux-inspired blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot loaded with red fruit and herbal notes. Lots of Old World character supported by gorgeous Paso Robles fruit.  50.00

2015 Savant: is a cool blend of two of Paso’s premier grapes–Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon–coming together seamlessly with lots of depth and character. An elegant food wine.  50.00

2014 Isosceles: marries Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot in what is Justin’s flagship wine. Aged for 21 months in new French oak, Isosceles is a seriously elegant wine. Approachable now with its intense fruit, Isosceles has the potential for a long cellar life–if you can keep your hands off it. Perfect for that wine lover on your gift list.  72.00

Justin’s Latest: 2015 Savant, 2015 Justification, 2014 Isosceles

Albert Bichot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose

Another great Cremant: Albert Bichot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose. We’re on a roll. Great fun to compare the Albert Bichot Brut Rose with the Gerard Bertrand Brut Rose. The Bichot comes from Burgundy and shows more influence from the red grape content in its blend: Chardonnay, Gamay, and Pinot Noir. The color is a little darker and flavor tends toward black currant along with raspberry. Pair this elegant sparkler with Med. or Asian food. 25.00

Albert Bichot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose

Gerard Bertrand 2014 Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux

Gerard Bertrand 2014 Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux Brut Rose is a bit of a mouthfull–but a beautiful mouthfull. Shared it with some friends on our sunny deck and they were delighted. Rich mouthfeel loaded with raspberry and strawberry flavors but finishing clean and fresh. We talked about how cremants are made in the Champagne method but that the wine makers have more discretion than the growers/producers in the actual Champagne region. the Bertrand Cremant Rose is largely Chardonnay with equal parts Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir. There are six recognized Cremant regions in France. Limoux, in Lnaguedoc (in the South of France) is one of those regions. alk about Champagne taste on a beer budget–this little Cremant is about a third the price of traditional Champagne. 18.00

Gerard Beertrand 2014 Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux Brut Rose

DALUCA Prosecco

DALUCA Prosecco is the sort of bubbly you can pop for any occasion. Fresh, slightly sweet, and thoroughly mouth-watering, DALUCA is a reminder of why Prosecco is a popular aperitif in Italy. It’s light and clean on the palate and relatively low in alcohol at about 10.5 abv. Just the thing to whet the appetite without weighing you down. And it’s a deal: 14.00

DALUCA Prosecco–Classy Bubbles

Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery–Fine Wines

Gary Farrell’s recently released 2015 Russian River Selection Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the sort of wines that put California on the map as world class producers. Both wines are elegant expressions of their varietals. Yes, they are priced a bit above what many wine drinkers might pay for their daily quaffing–but then again, these are not your everyday wines. In fact, you could say that these two Farrell are the sort of wines that set the standards the others are measured against. If you are looking to treat yourself–or someone else–Gary Farrell Russian River Chardonnay (35.00) and Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir (45.00) are wines you won’t forget.

Gary Farrell 2015 Russian River Selection Chardonnay & 2015 Russian River Selection Pinot Noir