2018 Nik Weis’ St. Urbans-Hof Estate Riesling,the Real Deal

Off-dry, in the traditional Mosel style, Nik Weis’s Urbansoff-Hoff Estate Riesling is the sort of Riesling that could make just about anyone a believer in Germany’s most famous grape. Elegantly balanced between acid and sweetness, this Nik Weis sends the palate on a roller coaster ride of aromas and flavors. Great food wine. 18.00

2018 Nik Weis’s Urbansoff-Hoff Estate Riesling

Sterling Vineyards Rosé

Lovin’ rosé at this time of year–and happy to see that trusty Sterling Vineyards has some great rosés to offer: Sterling Vineyards 2016 Vintner’s Collection Rosé and a special treat in the form of 2016 Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Sparkling Rosé (28.00).

Expect light strawberry/raspberry flavors and a light pink color with the Vintner’s Collection Rosé (available in 750ml (12.00) and a handy, very cool, outdoor-friendly 375ml aluminum can (8.00).

Sterling Vineyards 2016 Napa Valley Sparkling Rosé & Sterling Vineyards Vintner’s Collection Rosé

2015 BV Tapestry Reserve: a gem

Beaulieu Vineyards has been around for over a century–and they have earned their reputation as one of Napa’s most venerated producers. BV’s 2015 Tapestry Reserve is another BV gem. A Bordeaux blend, Tapestry combines Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot to produce a virtual tapestry of aromas and flavors. Generous use of new oak adds nuance and spice to what is already a mouthful of diverse fruit. A serious wine worth holding onto for a few years–if you can resist. 65.00

2015 BV Tapestry Reserve Red Blend

Stags’ Leap Petite Sirah Not so Petite

Since 2015 is Stags’ Leap’s 126th vintage, you might expect them to get it right–and yes, they did–in a big way.

Predominately Petite Sirah, with elements of Sirah, Grenache and mixed Rhones, this handsome Stags’ Leap bottling is complex, deep, and rich. The flavor profile is a crazy quilt of dark fruits and exotic spices. A perfect match for grilled meats, 2015 Stags’ Leap Petite Sirah is also a delight to sip on its own. 47.00

2015 Stags’ Leap Petite Sirah

Pair from Portugal

Two whites, both from central Portugal, got my attention in a big way this spring. Ready for a change from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, I craved something new and interesting–something tangy and European.

Along came 2018 Fitapreta Branco, a blend of three native Portugese grapes I’d never heard of. Turns out Fitapreta Branco is a traditional blend fermented in stainless steel. The result: a rich bodied wine with bright fruit and refreshing minerality. Just what the doctor ordered for summer. 22.00

2018 Fitapreta Branco

Herdade do Rocim 2017 Mariana Branco White is another Portugese beauty, also from the Alentejano appellation, is light, with nice citrus fruit and plenty of crisp acidity. Well worth a visit. 13.00

2017 Mariana Branca

Justin Time

Justin is a big name in big wines: ISOSCELES and JUSTIFICATION to be precise. But Justin has some other beauties going with its 2018 Justin Sauvignon Blanc and 2018 Justin Rose--both great summer sippers

Justin Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the diverse Central Coast and features citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. 16.00

Justin Rose is based primarily on Syrah–also Central Coast–and delivers tangy red fruit and crisp apple notes. 20.00

2018 Justin Sauvignon Blanc & 2018 Justin Rose

Barossa Ink Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz

Barossa Ink is term tossed around in the world of Aussie wine. It refers to the rich dark hue so common in Barossa Valley reds. In this case, the Barossa Ink comes courtesy of Grant Burge–a legend in Australian wine making and sage of the Barossa itself. Burge’s 2016 Barossa Ink Shiraz is a classic Oz Shiraz: midnight dark, vibrant with plum, coffee and dark chocolate. Get some: 16.00. 2017 Barossa Ink Cabernet Sauvignon brings in a bit of Merlot, Petite Verdot, and Shiraz to round out the already lush Cab. Prune, raisin, and fig show up–along with fine tannins. A beaut drop: 16.00

Barossa Ink 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon & Barossa Ink 2016 Shiraz

Mellow Reata Chardonnay

2017 Reata Chardonnay comes from Jamieson Ranch Vineyards and award-winning winemaker, Linda Trotta. Sourced from micro climates on the Sonoma Coast, Reata comes across rich and juicy, with layers of aroma and flavor. If you like creamy texture coupled with a clean finish, Reata is your baby. 20.00

2017 Reata Chardonnay

Pick a Pair: Geyser Peaks Sauvignon Blancs

Geyser Peak’s 2018 California Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Geyser Peak River Ranches Sauvignon Blanc show just how good (and how reasonable) California Sauvignon Blanc can be. Both wines get just a touch of Gewurztraminer–a nice bit of lush fruit to go up against the crisp acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc. River Ranches, sourced from Russian River fruit, brings on an extra layer of mouthwatering juice. 10:00/20.00

2018 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc & Geyser Peak river Ranches Sauvignon Blanc

Fleurs de Prairie Rosé

Packaged in the classic Provence-style Rosé bottle this little “Wildflower” (translantion) is a thing of beauty. The freshly released 2018 Fleurs de Prairie Rose, shows off with red fruit and refreshing citrus notes. Fresh is good. 22.00

2018 Fleurs de Prairie Rose

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