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Mellow gold in color, with lush coconut and sweet corn on the nose. The palate is medium to full bodied, with good citric character and fine pear flavors mingling texturally on the palate. This wine, aged in 50% stainless steel and 50% used French oak, is a great late-summer food pairing. Perfect for corn on the cob, crab cakes, or ramen. Sourced from Santa Maria Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands. Drew Farquhar
The Cameron estate Chardonnay, from 2 acres of vines planted in 1987.
The Quaker Run Vineyard, planted in 1999, is located on the eastern flank of the Blue Ridge Mountains, nearly touching Shenandoah National Park. This Chardonnay's spontaneous fermentation lasted for nearly 11 months and then rested on the lees for an additional seven months. Big, round, and extraordinarily texturally dense, this wine has fine leesy, yeasty, bready character that is elegantly interpolated through the fine white peach and meyer lemon fruit core. This is a big classic Chardonnay, though it has fine acid structure that adds to a long, slightly funky, lingering finish. Andrew Farquhar
This dry Muscat is from the Suisun Valley, and it's the first year Folk Machine have bottled a Muscat. 100% Muscat Canelli (Muscat blanc a petit grains), this was fermented dry in stainless steel. This dry wine has gorgeous floral, peachy, white grape juice aromas, but on the palate is a well-built, finely structured dry wine. There is a breadth of palate that makes it excellent for sipping cold in the sunshine. Andrew Farquhar
Named after the marine fossils found in the Oligocene marine sediment that makes up the soil of the vineyard and the baby deer hiding in tussocks in the oak savanna that surrounds the vineyard, Fossil & Fawn is a site-specific experiment that focuses on the dry-farmed Silvershot Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. They make this Pinot Gris exactly as if it were a red wine. About half the lot was destemmed and then foot-trod for two weeks during indigenous yeast fermentation. The other portion of the lot was set aside for full carbonic maceration. Bottled unfined and unfiltered the next spring, this wine is amazingly juicy on the nose, but the palate is funky, with herbal and leathery notes to complement the good muted red fruit. Nervy and energetic, this is a fantastic light red, deeper in hue than many skin-contact Pinot Gris wines I've tasted, yet still light and refreshing. Fantastic with mezze, grilled seafood, marcona almonds, or fried chicken. 131 cases porduced. Andrew Farquhar
Precedent is the label of Nathan Kandler, longtime winegrower at Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a renowned destination for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Precedent illustrates Kandler's versatility and curiosity and has introduced us to some truly unique California vineyard sites. Wirz Vineyard is home to 60+ year-old dry farmed, head-trained Riesling on decomposed granite over limestone in the Gabilan mountains. We usually have an off-dry Riesling on the holiday table, but I'm happy to go in a drier direction in this case... Concentrated, gleaming apricot, citrus rind, and tropical fruit is laced with gritty, long minerality and backed by supple texture and acidic tension. Terrific with herbed root vegetables and citrus glazed poultry or fish and anything peppery or spicy. Ariana Rolich
Precedent is the personal project of Nathan Kandler, winemaker at the excellent Thomas Fogarty estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. If you've never had California Chenin Blanc or you're never been thrilled by one, Precedent is a pure rendition of the grape from 30+ year-old vines planted on pink granite and silica-rich quartz soils in eastern Lodi. Ripe and pretty aromas of lemon, honeycomb, and white flowers, followed by brisk flavors of citrus and white peach, with fresh acidity and salty minerals. Unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulfur additions. Ariana Rolich
Revik Wine Co. is the passion project of two married couples who are releasing their first vintages this summer. This is a fantastic Sauvignon Blanc that positions itself at the forefront of a new wave of dynamic, elegantly structured, complex Sauvignon Blancs coming from the West Coast. Made with fruit sourced from the Saphi Vineyard in Coombsville (Revik winemaker Phil Holbrook's dry-farmed home vineyard), this wine was aged in both stainless steel and neutral oak, with 8 months on the lees. Unfined and unfiltered, and fermented with native yeast, this wine has great depth and a long linear texture, with subtle, muted citrus fruit wrapped in a chrysalis of finely spun woolen notes. Peach fuzz and melon rind absorb into zippy acidity. The subtle degrees of shading are spectacular and the finish feels like forever. Two barrels produced. Andrew Farquhar
Sourced from the organically certified Larner vineyard at the southern end of Ballard Canyon, this is one of the most electrifying wines made from Viognier I have ever tasted. On one level this wine shows all the classic varietal character of Viognier: apricot, peach fuzz, and honeyed herbal notes. Yet these are mixed into a transcendent admixture with incredible structure, great acidity, and a distinct nervy saline character coming from the Larner vineyard's limestone bedrock, laid over with sand. Hints of chamomile, white peach, pine resin, and beeswax fill out this elegantly textured, structurally profound wine. Andrew Farquhar
This bright, fresh, sunny sauvignon blanc is a classic Mendocino style, sourced from the Gibson and McFadden vineyards. Bright citrus fruit and pleasant herbal characteristics meld with spring grassland on the palate, reminiscent of a Sancerre but a touch softer and with more rounded fruit. A nice subtle floral character is interlaced throughout nose, palate, and finish. Andrew Farquhar
For Nathan Kandler, winemaker at Thomas Fogarty, Portola Springs is the most extreme of their Santa Cruz Chardonnay vineyards, with its very steep slopes and cool marine air influence. The Chardonnay grapes ripen very slowly and yields are frustratingly low. Portola Springs has a characteristic lemon drop and verbena with flavors of lemon oil, sea spray, and dried thyme. Pair with roasted cauilflower or chicken. Jonas Mendoza
Portola Springs Vineyard is a consistent standout in the excellent range of Thomas Fogarty Chardonnays. 2012 has riper, sunnier fruit tone than the austere 2011, without sacrificing any of Portola Springs' cool mineral core and impressive, driving acidity, owing to the low-yielding, late-ripening, nearly 40-year-old vines planted on basalt and shale. Complex and rich enough to handle poultry and pork dishes, with refreshing energy to compliment seafood and veggies. Ariana Rolich
The original vineyard planted by Mr. Wiemer himself, this wine is from a parcel farmed biodynamically. Cold spontaneous fermentation takes place over the course of months. 65% of the grapes picked two weeks late allow for this wine's beautiful mellow sweetness. 20% fermented in 1000L Hungarian barrels. This is an extraordinarily pretty wine, with delicate, expressive acidic structure laid over with a number of layers of beautiful fruit. Notes of peach, Meyer lemon, and white flowers all mesh together in harmonious accord. Pair with Peking duck, fresh fruit, or blue cheese. Andrew Farquhar
This is the estate's flagship wine, and perhaps the type species for Finger Lakes Riesling as a whole. All estate fruit from vineyards that have had no herbicides since 2004; spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel takes place over the course of 7+ months. Slightly off-dry, with notes of spring blossoms, a little citrus character, almost a hint of lime. Beautifully structured and with a kind of roundness that is very satisfying. A classic New York Riesling, slightly fuller-bodied than a Mosel Riesling, but still with loads of acidity and just a touch of sweetness make this an easily quaffable wine that pairs with a wide range of foods such as bratwurst, oysters, or mango salsa. Andrew Farquhar