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A really lovely bottling of California sunshine, this Chardonnay from Bacchus is fruit-forward, buttery and easy drinking. Enjoy with roast chicken or creamy pasta dishes. Bacchus is a project from winemaker and wine director David Gordon who set out to create high quality wines at a great value that showcased the best of California vineyards. -MD
Brian and Stephy Terrizzi's Broadside project focuses on sustainably farmed vineyards and minimalist winemaking (native yeasts, minimal handling, neutral oak), as well as purity of flavor and varietal expression.Their Central Coast Chardonnay is a quintessential example of their wine growing and winemaking philosophy; a bright and creamy Chardonnay with ripe lemon and peach flavors and a saline minerality. The wine is fermented in tanks, then aged in 75% steel and 25% oak barrels, left on the lees and stirred regularly for a creamier feel on the palate.
We at CSW are a contentious bunch when we taste together. Rarely are we all in agreement and often it's because we all dislike a wine. But the day we tasted this, we were unanimously rapt. This sparkling wine made from a solera barrel of Chardonnay from Michael Mara Vineyard stopped us cold. The level of complexity is impressive, with lemon peel and an earthy peach pit character pushing up against brown butter and ginger juice. With air the mineral component becomes more apparent, chalky and salty and the finish is incredibly persistent and long. Like most really great sparklers, this is first and foremost wine and you should not be afraid to decant this. What you lose in fizz you will gain in detail. Sam Ehrlich
Soft white almond blossoms, ripe apricot, a bit of sweet herbs, wet stone, Meyer lemon zest, all with a slight drizzle of honey. The palate is vibrant and juicy bringing plenty of energy but balanced with enough weight so it does not feel the least bit sharp or thin. Enjoy this wine now, as I did, with a spicy red pepper flake, anchovy and parsley pasta, or put it in the cellar for several years and wait for those honeyed and golden notes to really come through! Michelle DeWyngaert
The Scythians Red is a classic California table blend, a salute to the jug wines of yesteryear (albeit made with a great deal more precision, care and probably fewer dead mice in the fermentation tanks!). A blend of Mission, Grenache and Alicante Bouschet, I was expecting something relatively brooding and so was surprised and kind of thrilled to find quite a delicate wine. This is all cherry and green strawberry, with beautiful driving acidity and a real mineral vein giving the wine energy. The sandy soils keep the mouthfeel quite lithe and lacy. Sam Ehrlich
100% Palomino, from 100-year old vines. The fruit here is round, hinting at white peach and green melon, with a distinct saltiness that is inherent in the variety. There is a slight oxidative note in the nose that is reminiscent not only of Sherry but of classic Jura whites. This is outstanding and a terrific Autumn white wine, full of texture. Sam Ehrlich
Scrumpy (a term for farmhouse cider in Europe) Ewe (referring to the sheep that graze their orchards) is a traditional cidery making cider the old-fashioned way up in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. The Farmhouse Dry cider is a blend of Old Winesap, Northern Spy, Spigold, Newtown Pippin, Gold Rush, Ida Red and Spartan apples fermented with native yeasts and aged for 10 months in a mixture of American and French oak. It is described by Scrumpy Ewe as having "hints of butter, lemon, floral, oak on the nose, full bodied."
The 'Golden Crab' is a blend of 50% Wickson Crab, 50% Golden Russet to create this bright, bold, dry cider from the Catskills.
The 'Stone Cutter', an homage to stonemasons and a nod to the sharp acidity of this cider is a blend of sharp apples, Wickson Crab, Northern Spy, Esopus Spitzenberg, a small portion of sweet Fortune apple, and some bittersweet Yarlington Mill and Brown Stout apples to balance it out. Bright, refreshing, and slightly sparkling, this is a perfect cider to pair with sharp cheeses, or as an aperitif.
Joe Swick does it again! Here is a tasty, cheerful blend from Washington State (Columbia Gorge) and Oregon fruit, macerated on the skins for an enchanting orange hue. 30/30 Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer, with a host of other grapes, including Pinot Auxerrois and Riesling. The Gewurz takes care of the floral/spice aromatics, and the Chardonnay gives nice weight to the palate. Not too light, not too tannic, it's a really nicely balanced orange wine. Nice work Joe! -EL
The Valravn Chardonnay comes from a blend of Sonoma vineyards, 40% Sonoma Coast, 30% Russian River & 30% Sonoma Valley, all farmed without synthetic chemicals . The fruit from the Russian River valley is fermented in barrels, but the remainder is fermented in stainless steel to maintain their freshness, with 40% of the blend going through malo. The wine is aged in French oak, with just 25% new barrels used. On the nose notes of buttercup daisies, yogurt, fresh yellow apple, ripe pear, and lemon oil. On the palate is a nice creaminess up front, followed by bright acidity, and finishes with a mouth-coating silkiness. Notes of creamy white peach, juicy pear, lemon, and a tiny touch of lemon pith on finish to maintain balance. A fantastic deal for well made Sonoma Chardonnay!