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.
San Pedro winery is Chile’s oldest and largest exporter. San Pedro’s 1865 Single Vineyard wines celebrate their first year of production with a line of quality wines at bargain prices.
1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (2016) shows off top quality, hand-harvested fruit with solid body and complex aromas/flavors of citrus. Love the lingering, crisp acidity on the finish. 17.00
1865 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir (2015) is all pinot, all day. Loaded with cherry, raspberry, and strawberry flavors, 1865 Pinot expresses tangy freshness and a fruity finish. A deal. 17.00
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
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
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).
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
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