I love Pinot because it has to impress with grace and subtlety rather than brawn. Being trained as a musician, I love the idea that the skill in the winemaking is evident in every wine, in the same way that skill is evident in a singer’s performance on stage.
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JCB No. 69 Rosé, Dry Sparkling Wine, Burgundy, $60 (S) – Rating 90 This is one of my favorite go-to dry sparklers because it has plenty of body, acidity and depth to enjoy with food or all on it’s own. 100% Pinot Noir from Burgundy, salmon-colored with lots of bubbles. Aromas of strawberry and delicate [...]
Breggo Pinot Gris 2012 Anderson Valley, CA, $25 (S) – Rating 90 A very easy drinking Pinot Gris, perfect to usher in warmer weather. Creamy mouth-feel with balanced acidity and just a hint of sweetness. A nose of white peach, citrus and baked apple. Well-integrated flavors of red apple, pear, ripe pineapple, white peach and [...]
Distant Cellars Prospect Zinfandel 2010, Fiddletown, CA, $28 (S) – Rating 91 A big step forward from the 2009 freshman effort. A slightly leaner style of Zinfandel blended with a bit of Alicante Bouschet to create a Zin lover’s flavor profile. A nose of blueberry and black berry with subtle aromas of coffee, chocolate and [...]
2009 Castello di Amorosa La Castellana Red Wine, Napa Valley, CA, $88 (S) – Rating 91 A Super-Tuscan blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Sangiovese. Give this baby 30 minutes to an hour in a decanter to reach it’s masculine greatness. A rich bouquet of dark cherry, raspberry and dark spice. A [...]
JCB No. 65 Brut 2006 by Jean-Charles Boisset, French Sparkling Wine, CA, $60 (S) – Rating 92 A beautiful and expressive Blanc de Noirs Crémant de Bourgogne. The nose is soft, offering aromas of honeycomb combined with floral notes. Soft and round on the palate with balanced acidity. Creamy and well-integrated flavors of vanilla, ripe [...]
J Vineyards Pinot Noir -Misterra 2012, Russian River Valley, CA, $50 (S) – Rating 93 Very exciting in it’s uniqueness. A blend of 90% Pinot Noir, 6% Pinotage and 4% Pinot Meunier that offers up some rustic old world impressions. Very expressive nose with aromas of blue fruit, ripe raspberry and forest floor. Lush on [...]
2010 Canard Vineyard Throwback, Red Wine, Napa Valley, Ca, $65 (S) – Rating 90 Small production of only 98 cases blended of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Ripe cherry aromas with notes of dark red fruit and cola. Balanced across the palate showcasing the supple tannins and food pairing acidity. Flavors [...]
2011 Terlato Wines The Federalist Visionary Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, CA, $25 (S) – Rating 90 A jammy Zinfandel, especially for a cold winter’s night. Plenty of fruit with enough juicy acidity to pair well with red meats, especially BBQ. Aromas of blackberry jam, black cherry and cacao. Well balanced tannins with a jammy zinfandel [...]
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2011 Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma County, CA, $19 (S) – Rating 90 A fantastic value Zinfandel (blended with 16% Petite Sirah) for under $20. A robust nose of black cherry jam, espresso and dark spice. A soft mouth-feel with balanced acidity and silky tannins. Flavors of dark cherry jam, blackberry, strawberry, plum, [...]
Gavi may be my wine find of the summer.
2012 John Anthony Vineyards Church Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Carneros, CA, $45 (S) – Rating 93 A truly extraordinary Sauvignon Blanc from an intimate Carneros vineyard. A delicious blend of juicy acidity and minerality with a creamy mouth-feel. Opens with bouquet of baked pineapple and tropical aromas with distinct notes of flinty minerality. Balanced on the [...]
2010 Dry Creek Vineyard Foggy Oaks Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA, $20 (S) – Rating 90 Barrel fermented with 85% malolactic fermentation, this Chardonnay is a winner at $20. The nose is reminiscent of mom’s apple pie with warm notes of yeast and nutmeg. As it opens more tropical and citrus aromas come [...]
2012 John Anthony Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, CA, $22(S) – Rating 91 A refreshing wine on a warm summer evening, interesting enough to stand alone and inviting enough to pair with fresh summer fare. Expressive aromas of baked pineapple and white peach with floral notes to round out the experience. Mouth-watering acidity for excellent [...]