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
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
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
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
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
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 2016Barossa 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
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
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