2015 Ravenswood Teldeschi* Zinfandel *Single Vineyard

Ravenswood Teldeschi Zinfandel, 2015, is a reminder of just how amazing a good Zinfandel can be. Sourced exclusively from the Teldeschi Vineyard in Dry Creek, this Zin will knock your socks off with its blue fruits, dark berry and chocolate, and peppery notes. Bring on the ribeye.  39.00

2015 Ravenswood Teldeschi Zinfandel

New, from Leese-Fitch

Leese-Fitch manages to do it again: make solid wines at everyday low prices. Twelve bucks with get you into the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (78%)…the rest being an exotic combination other red varietals. Bottom line: great crowd-pleaser–perfect for a house wine. 12.00

Leese-Fitch Cabernet & Firehouse Red Wine

The other new release I just is Leese-Fitch Firehouse Red Wine (Petite Sirah, Zin, Merlot, Mourvedre, Syrah and Tempranillo). With all those varietals, Firehouse should be a mouthfull–and it is! 12.00

Martini Sparklers=Party in a Glass

Just the words “Asti” and “Prosecco” bring to mind bubbly delight. Add the Martini name to the mix and you’ve got yourself a couple of Italian classics.

Martini Collezione Speciale Asti is a sweet Spumante from the Piedmont region of Northeastern Italy–known for its impressive, robust reds–AND its famously fun Asti Spumante. Based on 100% Moscato Blanco, this little Asti Spumante will remind of nothing so much as dessert in a glass. Fun, but light, too, Asti comes in at only 7.5% abv.  25.00

Martini Collezione Speciale Asti Spumante & Prosecco

Matini Collezione Speciale Prosecco originates in the Veneto/Friuli region in Italy’s Northwest–the product of 100% Glera grapes.Aromatic, refreshing and Extra Dry (less dry than “Dry”….I know). In a word, Martini’s Prosecco makes the perfect aperitif..and just 11.5% abv  25.00

2016 Game of Thrones Pinot Noir

Game of Thrones Pinot Noir might be trading on the name of the mega-series–but who cares when this cool Oregon pinot delivers estate grown fruit from the Willamette Valley. Premium fruit, and time in quality oak produced rich fruit aromas with notes of spice, vanilla and toasty oak. Game of Thrones Pinot Noir is no mythical fantasy.  20.00

2016 Game of Thrones Pinot Noir

Cannonau di Sardegna from Sella & Mosca and La Kiuva Rouge de Vallee

Every time I taste a wine from Sardinia I ask my myself why I don’t visit them more often. Sella & Mosca’s Cannonau di Sardegna is no exception. BTW, “Cannonau” is the Sardinian designation for Grenache (or “Garnacha” in Spain.) Whatever you call it, expect to be treated to rich red tones in the glass, a hint of violets on the nose is followed by warm, plum flavors on the palate. Put a taste of the Mediterranean in your glass without leaving the country. A deal at about 16.00.

Sella & Mosca Cannonau de Sardegna Reserva 2014

La Kiuva Rouge de Vallee is a blend of Sardinian grapes (largely Nebbiolo). Light ruby color, intense aromas of red fruit and spice, and a dry, tannic finish. The perfect wine for pizza or pasta. Drink like an Italian for 15.00.

La Kiuva Rouge de Vallee

2015 Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir–Santa Barbara County Beauty

2015 Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir. Santa Barbara County

A nice California for twenty bucks? You betcha: 2015 Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir. This little beauty from Santa Barbara County benefits from first class vineyards and the cooling breezes of the nearby Pacific. Burgundian in style,  L&L Pinot shows lively red fruit in tandem with well balanced acidity. ‘Nough said.  20.00

Alsatian Gewurztraminer–a Little Bit of Heaven

I have long been a sucker for Gewurztraminer–hard to find one I don’t like–and when it comes to Alsatian Gewurztraminer, what’s not to like. These three beauties illustrate the diversity and complexity of the little grape with the big name.

2016 Beck-Hartweg Gewurztraminer comes from a small historic (back to 1590) winery. Expect delicate aromas, a fruity palate, and a clean finish.  20.00

2016 Meyer-Fonne Gewurztraminer is a relative newbie in the business (only three generations). Complex aromas evolve on the palate as ripe fruit and honey notes emerge.  24.00

Barmes Buecher Gewurztraminer Tradition 2012 carries on a long tradition indeed–going back to the 17th century.  Rich, sensuous and intense, Barmes Buecher, makes a big impression with its tangy finish.  31.00

Beck-Hartweg, Barmes Buecher & Meyer-Fonne Gewurztraminers

 

Charles Smith Wines Rock

Charles Smith might sound like a pretty common name, but in the wine industry, Charles Smith is one-of-a-kind. Smith was born near Napa and went on to manage some big name European rock bands–in the process he developed a taste for fine wines before getting into the business of wine-making for himself.

The fledgling wine maker released a few hundred cases of his first wine in 2001–and within a decade he was being named Wine Maker of the Year by the press. Bottom line: classy wines at great prices.

2016 Kung Fu Girl Riesling gets 90pt rating regularly–it’s wonderfully aromatic and off-dry. And dripping with juicy Riesling flavors. Goes great with all kinds of food–especially Asian/Indian/spicy. Knock yourself out for about thirteen dollars.  13.00

2016 The Velvet Devil Merlot indeed wraps velvet around its lush dark fruit. Rich and focused, The Devil will remind you just how good a Merlot can be.  13.00

2016 Boom Boom! Syrah: dark fruit, rich tannins and lodes of blackberry fruit, with some boysenberry. Oh, and there is just a touch of Viognier to gild the lilly.  18.00

Charles Smith Boom Boom! Syrah, Kung Fu Girl Riesling & The Velvet Devil Merlot

Flora Springs: Exceptional Whites

Flora Springs 2017 Sauvingnon Blanc starts with exceptional fruit and from there it just gets better. Aged in a combination of French oak and stainless steel for seven months, the wine rests on its lees (pulling in richness and flavor.) The result is textured and creamy, with notes of fig, honey dew and apricot–and a reminder that Sauvignon Blanc can be a symphony of flavors. 27.00

Flora Springs 2017 Family Select Chardonnay is 100% Napa Chardonnay aged for seven months in French oak. Medium-bodied and textured, this Flora Chard brims with Meyer lemon, tropical fruit and toasty oak. Oh, and it is creamy, too, thanks to partial malolactic fermentation (converting tart malic acid into soft/rich lactic acid.) Don’t worry about understanding the science–your senses will tell you everything you need to know about Flora’s mouthwatering Chardonnay. 36.00

Flora Springs: 2017 Sauvignon Blanc & Family Select Chardonnay

Robert Mondavi Winery’s Oakville Wines

Robert Mondavi’s remarkable terroir-driven Oakville wines are classic examples of Napa’s best. Near the heart of Napa valley, and between the Mayacamus and Vaca mountain ranges, Oakville is home to some of Napa’s finest fruit.

Robert Mondavi Winery’s 2015 Fume Blanc,Oakville was one of Mondavi’s brilliant creations–both marketing and wine making. Clean, crisp citrus acidity and depth of fruit.  20.00

Robert Mondavi Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville carpet bombs the senses with lush dark fruit. Elegant tannins and nuanced oak complete this picture perfect Napa gem.  58.00

Robert Mondavi Winery 2015 Fume Blanc, Oakville & Robert Mondavi Winery 2014 Caberent Sauvignon, Oakville

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