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This wine comes from the Luchsinger Vineyard in the Clear Lake AVA in Lake County. Though considerably less well-known, Lake County is the fourth of the counties that make up the North Coast wine country. It is located to the east of Mendocino and Sonoma and directly north of Napa. The main feature of this area is Clear Lake, the largest natural lake wholly located within California, and the oldest freshwater lake in the nation. The lake, at 1,300 feet, is at quite a high altitude, making for cold nights. A blend of 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Tinta Cão, a less famous grape from the Douro. Whole-cluster, foot-trod, and kept on the skins for 24 hours, this is a beautiful, bright, classic rosé with finely-grained tannins and a nice spicy bite disguising a nice earthy chassis beneath. Andrew Farquhar
55% Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites for aromatics from old vine plantings (up to 100 years old) around Sonoma County, fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel and raised in a nice bit of French oak for a bold, bright-fruited, silky, and satisfying wine that is unbeatable at this price.
Broadside is a project of very talented winemaker Chris Brock. The Cabernet is fermented with wild yeasts and aged in barrels, 10% of which are new. The resultant wine is remarkably fresh and full bodied with an interesting spicy character and plenty of bright, tangy dark fruit.
Sourced from dry-farmed Valdiguie vines that are over 90 years-old in the organic certified Rosewood Vineyard in the Redwood Valley of Mendocino. A fine crunchy mousse with great acidity and the character of a handful of wild berries or the underbrush they were gathered from, this is a wonderful, deeply-hued rosé from one of our favorite winemakers. At only 11% this is a fantastic bubbly for the summer, and as Pét-Nats go has enough pop and fizz to be used in a celebratory fashion. Andrew Farquhar
This wine is from the Green Valley of Solano County, located just over the Vaca mountains from Napa. This wine comes from two vineyards, the Frei Vineyard and the Wirth Ranch Vineyard, both of which are dry-farmed and have average vine ages over 65 years. This style of wine was formerly known as Napa Gamay, and for good reason; the taste is reminiscent of Beaujolais with medium tannin and great energy, though more purple in color and with darker fruit. Vineyards are dry-farmed and have an average vine age of sixty years. Partial carbonic maceration gives the wine a light and lifted character. Pair with pork chops, veal, branzino, or carnitas tacos. Andrew Farquhar
From the folks who run Hobo Wine Co., here we have the delicious new vintage of one of our favorite inexpensive Cabernets from California! Tart blackberry and ripe cassis mix with herbal hints and wildflower on the nose while broadly gracing the firm, rich, powerfully tannic palate. Sourced from many lesser known but sustainably or organically farmed vineyards throughout Sonoma county. Aged for nine months in neutral oak barrels. Andrew Farquhar
This cuvée is 52% old-vine Carignan, 40% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Semillon. Whole cluster pressed and foot-trod, this a gorgeous and deep-structured wine with notes of blue fruit and plum, with delicate violet aromatics coming from the white grapes. Notes of crushed black pepper and game on the palate form an overall elegant package, with some smoky, meaty, dense funky notes at its core. Carignan becomes more dense and structured as the vines get older, and this is quite a powerful wine. 120 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
Cooper Mountain Vineyards started in 1978 when Dr. Robert Gross and his wife, Corrine, planted the first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in the unique soils of Cooper Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Today, the estate has more than 100 acres dedicated to organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking. This Pinot Noir is refreshing and ripe, with brambly raspberry and cherry fruit, baking spice, and earthy flavors.
50% Cabernet Sauvignong and 50% Merlot, this Bordeaux Blend tastes like anything but. From old vines planted on a thin loam over broken shale, this wine is brimming in electric acidity, with the stone fruit character on the nose becoming a pleasant surprise of tangerine and blood orange on the palate. It is rare to have a red wine with citric fruit character, but this is one. This wine is almost Italianate in style, and would pair excellently with red pasta sauces, but also has the oomph to stand up to lamb or a more delicate cut of beef. The Elizabeth Vineyard, sustainably farmed, is located on the east side of Seneca Lake. Andrew Farquhar
This 100% Pinot Noir was foot stomped and then added whole cluster to one ton bins for spontaneous fermentation. The grapes received once daily punchdowns for 8 days before being bucketed into the half-ton bladder press. Settled juice was pumped into old French oak barrels to finish fermentation which continued into June of 2018. In September the wine was racked off its lees and gravity bottled by hand without fining or filtration. This is a beautiful Pinot Noir, bursting with fine ripe cherry fruit that mixes with notes of herbs, spice, and a little sandalwood character. This is one of the most complete and dynamic Pinot Noirs I've had from the Finger Lakes. Andrew Farquhar
This refreshing and bright Pinot Noir from star California winemaker Kenny Likitprakong is sourced predominantly from the Arroyo Seco AVA, in other words, Steinbeck country. Native yeast fermentation and spontaneous malo are followed by nine months on the lees with occasional batonnage in used French oak barrels. Bright red fruit and elegant texture make for a fine, refreshing wine that lingers pleasantly on the palate. Andrew Farquhar
Natural fermentation from a new Gamay experiment winemaker Kenny Likitprakong is overseeing in the Arroyo Seco AVA, this is a beautiful, elegant, decidedly fresh red-fruited rosé. A very short maceration makes this light in tannin and color. Bottled in green glass, which is made from much higher levels of recycled product and has a considerably smaller carbon footprint. Andrew Farquhar
This wine has a ton of great minerality and character, with amazing funky notes and crackling acidity. This wine really begs for pairing with food, and would work great in a wide range of situations. Whole cluster fermentation brings a seething yet delicate tannic grip to the affair, with black pepper notes and leafy humus on the palate bringing an autumnal character to the fore that makes it perfect for this time of year. Twelve months are spent in used French oak barrels followed by bottling with only 18 ppm sulfur. 130 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
This Cabernet is sourced from a single block of the Bates Ranch Vineyard located above 1000 feet on the eastern flank of Mt. Madonna at the very southern extremity of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Farmed exclusively by winemaker Kenny Likitprakong, this dry-farmed block was planted in 1973 by local wine legends Val and Dexter Ahlgren. As with much of the Cabernet from this region, the emphasis is on structural tension. Not quite as histrionically robust or extracted as Cabernet from other parts of California, this wine has some muted cassis scarved in layers of dusty tannin and spice. This is a style of Cabernet that would have been much easier to find in these hills back in the 1970s. 207 cases produced, with shorter extraction time, 10% whole cluster fermentation, and 25% new oak. Andrew Farquhar
This Cabernet Franc is sourced from the organically-farmed Cedar Crest Vineyard at 3,000 feet on the slopes of Lassen Peak, California's only active volcano, in Tehama County in the far north. Virtually unheard of, this mountain has the possibility of being California's Mt. Etna. The main difference is it is in a much cooler climate region, and Cabernet Franc is better suited here. This wine is made using native yeast fermentation, élevage in neutral French oak, and minimal sulfur at bottling. This wine has classic Cabernet Franc character, but with a little volcanic twist: black pepper, violets, a bit of graphite and some stony aromas are found on the nose, while the palate is a touch darker fruited than a lot of Cabernet Franc, with some plum skin, a little touch of coffee, and a bit of snuffed candle. The long, pleasing finish ends in a wisp of gunsmoke. Decanting for half an hour really brings the fruit out. Only 52 cases produced! Andrew Farquhar
Harrington is a fantastic urban winery based in the Mission in San Francisco, founded on the principles of low intervention winemaking, old vineyards, and obscure varietal wines. Corvina, the main grape used in the production of Valpolicella and Amarone, is rarely vinified by itself, and also extraordinarily rare in the New World. This one is native yeast fermented, fermented in stainless steel, aged in neutral French oak and 75 gallon stainless steel for 6 months before bottling with minimal sulfur. Very light in tannin but full of loads of energy, this is a great slightly-chillable red with a gorgeous watermelon aroma that is followed by a surprisingly dry, elegant, red-fruited palate. Fantastic as an aperitif with brie or cured meats, or on its own! Andrew Farquhar
David Hirsch founded his vineyard in 1980 on the windswept Sonoma Coast, and is widely considered the region's eminence grise. Farming, living, and vinifying out on the wild coast above Fort Ross, his San Andres Fault Pinot Noir is considered the flagship wine of this estate winemaker, sourced from 23 of Hirsch's 61 separate vineyard blocks perched just above the fogline. This is perhaps the most iconic Sonoma Coast Pinot, with fine redcurrant and delicate cherry fruit enumerated within extraordinarily linear silken tannins. The structural architecture is written in heroic alexandrine verse, with undercurrents of bramble, redwood-needle, wet stone, and snuffed candle-wick. Serve with duck, roast pork, Dungeness crab, or turkey in mole poblano. Andrew Farquhar
Made from a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Counoise, this is a surprisingly intense, herbal rosé from one of our favorite producers in California. Hank Beckmeyer works in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, off the beaten wine-world path. Tart minerality, intense herbal notes, wineberries, fresh raspberries and a little canteloupe and grapefruit pith on the finish make for a wine that is both juicy and refreshing but also tart, and seething with focused energy. The perfect level of intensity for a next-level summer rosé. Vegan, unfined, unfiltered, and organically farmed! Andrew Farquhar
Sean sources this fantastic, bright, easy-drinking Pinot Noir from vineyards throughout the Central Coast. Destemmed, with three days of cold soak in stainless steel before fermentation begins. Bright red fruit and soft tannins mix with fine acidity and a little vanilla from some oak to make a bright and juicy, lifted vinous experience! Drink with a slight chill. Andrew Farquhar
From one of the most historic vineyards situated in the highest reaches of the Santa Cruz Mountains, featuring panoramic views of Silicon Valley, Mount Eden's 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most tightly-structured and elegant wines coming from California. The mature vines, planted in 1979 and 1984 from budwood sourced in the 1890s from Château Margaux, this wine has extraordinary depth, moving through scintillating layers of blackberry, bramble, graphite, and cedar, all dusted with the Central Coast's ever-present aroma of bay laurel. Large, robust, and tannic, but with strong, broad-shouldered fruit singing through, this is a fantastic wine to have now with steak after a couple hours' decant or as a gift for a serious collector who can put it away for 10-30 years. Andrew Farquhar
Richard Luftig, one of New York's best sommeliers, has made a Cabernet known for phenomenal quality and price: Pied a Terre Cabernet! Always one of our best-selling American reds, 2015 is a deep, ripe, and focused vintage for Pied a Terre. This is a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon that has classic California character but more structure and reserve than a lot of riper wine. The tannic structure is tightly woven, with fine acid backbone and lush cassis, blackberry, and slightly redder berry fruit. This is a California Cabernet meant to be consumed with food, and will pear excellently with New York strip steak, pork loin, or coq au vin. Andrew Farquhar
A mellow peach color in the glass, this rose is a little softer than Rootdown's other offerings, but it exhibits much of the herbal, mineral, and tea-like aspects associated with this grape. Trousseau planted in 2004 is gently foot-trod upon arrival in the winery, followed by spontaneous fermentation and cold-stabilization. Herbal, with fine green-apple fruit and a smudge of earthiness, this light and elegant rose is a great food wine. I had with hummus, tabouleh, foule, and baba ghanouj, with which it went famously. These magnums are incredible party bottles in addition to being exclusive on the east coast to Chambers Street Wines! Andrew Farquhar