Viva Italia! And Frescobalid’s 2015 Nipozzano Reserva Chianti (DOCG)!
2015 Nipozanno Classic Chianti Reserva: Tuscan winemaking with tons of prime fruit from vineyards just about twenty miles from Florence. 2015 proved to be an excellent year for the largely Sangiovese grapes in this Reserva Chianti; then twenty four months of barrel time produced a mature, elegant wine with a fresh, spicy character. If you are a fan of Italian reds, this is your bambina! 20.00
2017 Cherry Pie Pinot Noir comes out of Monterey, Santa Barbara, and Napa counties. The Tri-County blend brings out some of the best characteristics of each region. Expect nicely balanced acidity, bing cherry and raspberry, and a long, smooth finish. Cheers for the Cherry Pie! 23.00
Firesteed Cellars, out of Oregon’s Willamette Valley have been making solid wines–at great prices–for a good while now. Nice to see that the 2018 vintage of their Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir don’t disappoint.
Firesteed’s latest Pinot Gris shows lively varietal character and delicate balance. 15.00
2018 Firesteed Pinot Noir is lush, fruit-forward-cherry-strawberry bomb in a glass.
Mullan Road Cellars 2016 Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauviginon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc from some of the Columbia Valley’s prime vineyards. Ideal growing conditions produced outstanding fruit. The result: aromas of plum, currant, and herb leading to a complex palate of black fruit and spice. Satiny tannins and a long finish complete the picture. If this were a Napa blend you could expect to pay considerably more than Mullan’s SRP of 45.00.
Cakebread Cellars have been making wine–and making a name for themselves for over forty years. 2018 Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from some of Napa’s finest vineyards–and it shows. Aged in a combination of stainless steel and French oak, Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc shows rich tropical fruit and citrus flavors with a surprisingly lush texture. 30.00
Cakebread Cellars 2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay is another great vintage. Cakebread Chard’s familiar mouthfeel kicks in instantly, coating the palate with its creamy texture–all the while maintaining a fine balance with its acidity. A clean, zippy finish lingers long after lesser chards would have disappeared. Seriously delicious. 40.00
California’s Prisoner Wine company loves its eccentric labels–Blindfold white blend and The Snitch Chardonnay are no exception.
Blindfold, 2017, is a mouth-watering Rhone-style blend of Chardonnay, Roussane, Viognier, and Muscat–mostly aged in oak. Heady aromas of citrus, lychee, and other stone fruit lift out of the glass. Rich, and nicely balanced, Blindfold has some awesome hang-time on the palate. 32.00
The Snitch 2017 Chardonnay gets its richness and lush mouthfeel from 100% malolactic fermentation, new French oak, and just a touch of Viognier. Creamy pear/apple flavors abound balance by refreshing acidity. 35.00
Inniskillin Winery, located on the Niagra Peninsula in Canada, has long been one of my favorite producers of icewine–not that there are a lot of icewine producers in North American. And that is because icewine (a dessert wine) is a very tiny, very select niche in the world of wine–and Germany tends to have the lion’s share of the market worldwide.
What Inniskillin has done is establish itself as one of Canada’s first estate-based wineries–and a winery to make Canada proud.
For the uninitiated, icewine is produced from grapes left on the the vine until the first hard freeze. At that stage of the season the grapes start to look more like raisins. The hard frost isolates the remaining water in the grapes–leaving intensely sweet and concentrated fruit. The tiny amount of juice given up by the shriveled grapes has a syrupy texture almost like honey–and tastes almost like honey. The key to icewine is formulating it so the intense sweetness and fruit is offset by clean a acidity. A great icewine is like nectar–made to be sipped. Naturally, this rare nectar commands a rare price.
2017 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine: flavors and aromas of tropical fruit, peach, and citrus. 49.00
2017 Inniskillin Reisling Icewine: aromatic lemon/lime and peach is reflected in the flavor profile. 79.00
2017 Inniskillin Cabernet Franc: an explosion of strawberry/raspberry flavor and aroma–layers of lush fruit. 84.00
So, what’s a proudly organic winery doing putting some of their wines in a can?? Turns out what Bonterra Organic Vineyards is doing pretty smart…and very handy for wine drinkers on the go. If you are a hiker, a picnicker, or hangin’ at the beach, you got a friend in Bonterra‘s new 250ml cans. Nice wines, great price, totally portable. 18.00/4pack/250ml cans
Bonterra 2018 Sauvignon Blanc--citrusy, clean and crisp–oh yes, and organic–so you can have a drink and feel virtuous at the same time.
Bonterra 2018 Rosé–chill with strawbery, citrus, and tropical flavors–summer in a can.
Bonterra 2018 Young Red--serve cool, be cool. Lively fruit and zippy acidity. Thinkin’ BBQ.
Renzo Masi Chianti DOCG, 2018 is sourced from the Rufina subzone of the Chianti region. Based almost entirely on Sangiovese, this Renzo Mazi is textbook Chianti: aromatic, smooth, and medium-bodied. Plum and red fruit combine to make an exceptionally easy-drinking, food-friendly wine. Great price. 12.00
Renzo Masi Erta e China 2017 IGT Toscana is a 50/50 blend of Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon and is a Tuscan red, through and through. Sangiovese brings in black cherry and herbal notes while the Cabernet adds big fruit, complexity, and a long finish. Viva Toscana! 16.00