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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. I'm not saying you should sneak this into a movie theatre to make the perfect pairing for popcorn, but I'm also not *not* saying that..Michelle DeWyngaert
The mission at Banshee has always been to create quality, enjoyable wines that don't won't break the bank despite the appellation name. The grapes are gently pressed and then fermented with native yeasts, only going through 75% malolactic to maintain its freshness and keep the butteriness to more of crème fraiche note on the nose. This vintage is a blend of fruit from the Heintz Vineyard and the Bohemian Vineyard. Aged for nine months in 25% new French oak, and the remainder in neutral barrels, for just a kiss of oak flavor on the palate.
This is a Gewürztraminer that might just change a few hearts and minds about the grape. In the wrong hands, Gewürztraminer can become cloying and overpowering with the scent of Grandma's potpourri, but this wine from Kenny Likitprakong shows some serious restraint. Sourced entirely from the Rancho Llegado vineyard in Monterey County, the frequent cool winds of the area maintain the much needed acidity to balance this wine. Banyan was designed by Kenny and his father with their Thai heritage in mind, and as such this Gewürztraminer is the perfect pairing for South-east Asian cuisine or anything with a bit of spice to it. Though it is fermented nearly dry, it maintains a softness with notes of ripe nectarine, a touch of tropical fruit, sage, and bright, fresh gardenia blossoms. Michelle DeWyngaert
Proof that not all Sauvignon Blanc is created alike, this is consistently one of our team's favorite expressions of the grape every year! Created entirely from the biodynamically farmed Le Chenaie Vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills, this Sauvignon Blanc feels singular and unique. The vines are now twenty years-old and the weather in the 2018 vintage was ideal leading to perfectly ripe grapes (picked at the perfect moment, of course) that create a tight-rope balance of fruit and freshness. The nose shows notes of fresh chamomile flowers, dried Meyer lemon peel, stone fruits, sweet basil, and a touch of sea salt. The palate has more weight than you'd expect from an Oregon Sauvignon Blanc but not at all heavy, and because of the ideal ripeness there is no overt "greenness" to the wine; the focus firmly on ripe apricot, Meyer lemon, and salted pink grapefruit. Truly delicious and hard to put down, it's a shame we get so little every year! Michelle DeWyngaert
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 'Giuliano' is the Cameron Winery ode to the great white wines of North-Eastern Italy, which shares many similarities with the terroir of Dundee Hills. This bottling is a blend of Auxerrois, Friuliano, Muscato, Pinot Blanco, and Pinot Grigio from the Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique vineyards. The folks at Cameron tell us this year the wine "expresses notes of white peaches, marzipan, roses, quince, and a hint of earth and sea air. It has luscious, round, rich, viscous mouth filling flavors of lemon pâte de fruit, tangerine zest, and a touch of sea salt. " Can't wait to try it myself!
The 'Marena' bottling is a blend from their younger vines of the Heintz, Teac Mor, and Porter-Bass vineyards, meant to showcase a snapshot of the region and vintage. The wine is fermented and aged in neutral barrels on the lees and goes through full malolactic-fermentation with native yeasts.
Humbly labeled as "Willamette" this wine is actually 100% from the Four Winds Vineyard. At ~800ft elevation on the McMinnville Coast, it is one of the highest and also one of the closest to the coast in the Willamette Valley. In true Crowley style, this wine is subtle, finessed, and perfectly representative of the terroir of this region. Though it is aged in 33% new oak, it is administered with a deft hand. On the nose the oak is barely perceptible. Instead you are enticed with notes of chamomile, lemon zest, and yellow apple skins. This vintage was cooler for Willamette which meant the grapes could be picked later giving the wine lots of brightness on the palate rounded out by the oak treatment and a silkiness that develops as the wine rises in temperature. Drink this with something that won't be too overwhelming to let the delicate flavors shine; like lemon butter-poached halibut, or a creamy primavera. Michelle DeWyngaert
Such a great value from the Willamette Valley! Made to resemble a classic Alsatian edelzwicker, or field blend, it brings together fruit from six different vineyards and five different grapes: Pinot Blanc, Müller-Thurgau, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Muscat. The grapes are pressed and fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts, and then malolactic is blocked to maintain the bright zippiness of the wine before being cold-stabilized and filtered. As the name suggests, this is a tasty, super drinkable blend that will be just as delightful with or without food. Notes of freshly picked nectarine and orange blossom mingle with fresh herbs, almonds and both green and yellow apple. Tastes like springtime! Michelle DeWyngaert
New to the Edmunds St. John lineup, this Riesling is precisely as advertised, BONE DRY. From one of our favorite and most consistent producers, this is a Riesling for those who you who think Riesling is too sweet for you. I can assure you this is crisp, incredibly refreshing, with notes of fresh lime and white grapefruit, soft white flowers, and tart green apple. Enjoy this outside, with farmer's market greens and creamy goat cheese! Michelle DeWyngaert
Edmunds St. John continues to produce some of the most consistentl, high-quality California wine on the market. This tasty white blend of ~55% Vermentino and 45% Grenache Blanc is a testament to that. The fruit is from the Fenaughty Vineyard, previously an orchard, which sits at 2800ft elevation in the Sierra Foothills on the North edge of Carson Ridge. This vintage had a bit of slow start due to a very cold winter and a very wet spring, but in the end the quality of the fruit was great, albeit with lower yields. The juice was fermented in stainless steel and brought to a low temperature to discourage malo in order to maintain its bright acidity.
The wines from Eminence Road get better and better each year, and this year's Lamb's Quarter Chardonnay is no exception. As these wines are made with very little intervention, there is a real sense of rusticity from the barn they're made in, and the limestone and loam soil the vines are grown in show prominently on the palate. For this bottling, the grapes are destemmed and allowed the macerate for two days on the skins before fermenting in stainless steel tanks. The wine spends 22 months on the lees, and then bottled by hand, unfined and unfiltered. On the nose are notes of crisp yellow apple, fresh cider, clean linens, and chalk. The palate is bright, with yellow and green apples, Meyer lemon, and crushed rock on the finish giving it a lovely bit of texture. Michelle DeWyngaert
From the east side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes, this Riesling grown on loam over shale and limestone saw 20% affected by botrytis this vintage. The grapes were crushed and destemmed, then allowed to macerate on the skins for two days. It was then fermented and aged in stainless steel for 11 months on the lees, then racked and bottled without filtration. Light, dry, and just a touch of tannin on the finish.
Enlightenment Wines is a Brooklyn based meadery focused on using all NY state produce and foraged herbs/botanticals and ferments only with native yeasts. 'Night Eyes' is a unique sparkling blend of honey, apples, and cherries fermented together and then infused with sumac and rose hips. It is fermented dry and then goes through a second fermentation in the bottle leaving it fruity, but crisp at 12.5% abv.
For this batch of Floral Terranes still cider, Erik Longabardi and Benford Lepley headed upstate to Livingston Manor and Hillsdale, to collect apples from higher elevations with a mix of wild trees and some from an organically farmed orchard. The juice is fermented and then aged in neutral barrels until bottling. This cider is simutaneously rustic and elegant, like a barn dressed up for a wedding. There's notes of standing in the orchard, fresh leaves and bark, and white flowers and linen. It's lean and crisp on the palate, perfectly dry and with just a bit of grippy tannin on the finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
The creators of Floral Terranes drive through the towns of Long Island and seek out random uncultivated apple trees and grape vines. For the 'Suburban Moraines' cider, 10% of the apples used come from these discovered trees, and the rest of the blend is a mixture of Black Twig and Winesap apples from Breeze Hill Farm, Peconic, Long Island. There's a very pretty herbaceous quality to this cider like fresh sage, lemon balm, and chamomile tea, backed by notes of Pink Lady apple, creating a crisp, dry still cider. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is a stunning Willamette Chardonnay that just gets better and better as it opens up in the glass. The 2019 bottling is a blend of fruit from Keisha's Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills and Sophie's Vineyard in Umpqua Valley. Everything is pressed together and fermented and aged in a mixture of neutral Oregon and French oak barrels. Upon opening were notes of fresh lime blossom and linens, green pear, and fleur de sel. After some time the nose revealed white peach, creme fraîche, and river rock. The palate is lively and refreshing green apple and pear, medium weight with nice creaminess like French yogurt and a finish that speaks to the weather-worn marine and alluvial soils. Michelle DeWyngaert
This new vintage of the Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc is even brighter and fresher than the previous one, while still maintaining the beautifully rounded edges that I love about barrel-aged expressions of this variety. Freedom Hill is situated in the Eola Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley upon an ancient seabed, which lends its seashell minerality to this wine. The grapes are pressed whole cluster into stainless steel for fermentation and then racked into neutral French oak for malolactic fermentation and aged for roughly six months. On the nose is a delicate mix of fresh and candied peach, fresh cream, soft white flowers, and a sprinkle of sea salt. The palate is balance of Meyer lemony acidity and creamy peach puree and farm-fresh salted butter. This made the perfect companion to a goat-cheese and herb-laden pasta dish! Michelle DeWyngaert
This vintage of the La Clarine Viognier is a mixture of fruit from the granitic Cedarville Vineyard, and the volcanic Sumu Kaw Vineyard in the Sierra Foothils. The fruit is fermented together as whole clusters and then aged in tanks.
The grapes for this earthy Albarino come from Matthew Rorick's organically farmed vineyard in Calaveras County. The vines grow on very steep-east facing slopes of limestone topped with schist. The grapes are crushed whole-cluster into where they go through spontaneous primary and malolactic fermentaion and then remain on the lees until bottling for extra creaminess. This wine is has a deep-golden hazy glow in the glass with this very pretty aroma of wildflowers and meyer lemon zest, opening up to reveal a bit of dried hay and crushed rocks; clean, but rustic. The palate shows juicy, salted yellow plums and tangerine, and finishes with the flavor of tart lemonade and a chalky minerality from the limestone soils. Michelle DeWyngaert
Maître de Chai sources this beautiful Chardonnay from the Rorick Vineyard in Calaveras County of the Sierra Foothills AVA. Way up at 2000 ft above sea-level, Matthew Rorick farms these 45-year-old vines on steep slopes of blue limestone and schist. The farming is done organically and the wines are made with native yeasts, fermented in and aged in neutral barrels for 11 months. The 2019 vintage is a little riper and and more fleshed out than the previous vintage but still maintains a core of crisp acidity. On the nose are ripe and baked yellow apples, fresh hay, sweet herbs, and a bit of salty buttermilk. As the oak is neutral it merely acts to soften the edges and brown the orchard fruit notes a bit for a decidedly old-school California Chardonnay. Michelle DeWyngaert
The wines from Maloof are made by two of the nicest people, using some of the finest organically grown fruit in the Willamette Valley, and transforming it into tasty bottles of wine with as little added or taken away as possible. The 'Thistle Block' Pinot Gris comes form the certified organic Haakon/Lenai Vineyard in the Dundee Hills. The grapes are direct-pressed into neutral oak barrels where they ferment and then rest for eleven months on the lees with no stirring. As the Maloof team controls just two blocks of Pinot Gris from here, very little was made, but the site is so distinct that they continue to bottle it on its own. This wine is bursting with flavor; notes of honeysuckle, perfectly ripe peach, green apple, chamomile tea, and kumquat dance together on the palate. This is a joyful wine, to be enjoyed with or without food. Michelle DeWyngaert
A light, summery white blend from winemaker extraordinaire Martha Stoumen! The Post-Flirtation White is a mix of 23% Roussanne, 26% Marsanne, 10% Muscat Blanc, and 33% early-season Colombard fermented dry and clocks in a whopping 9.5% alcohol.The first three come from the First Generation Farmers in Contra Costa who work to inspire the next generation of growers to farm chemical-free and reduce food waste. Their climate is warm and sunny, with cool ocean breezes and sandy soils, bringing ripeness and a touch of sea-salt to this blend. The Columbard comes from the RIcetti Vineyard in Mendocino, planted in 1948 and brings brightness to the mix. Martha describes this wine as, "A beautifully light bodied wine that would complement a variety of foods from Dim Sum to oysters. Take me anywhere!" Michelle DeWyngaert
The Village collection from Matthiasson is a blend of lots that were left out of the more serious cuvées and fruit from some of the younger vines, but all are from organically farmed Napa Valley vineyards. This is a Chardonnay in its purest form; no new oak, no lees stirring or racking, and only two-fifths go through malolactic-fermentation. By picking the grapes at various times throughout the harvest season, they have created a balance of ripeness in the wine. On the nose are notes of lemon balm, sea spray, yellow apple, and white peach. The palate brings Meyer lemon, fresh yogurt, crisp, slightly under-ripe pineapple, and river rocks. I was so pleasantly surprised by the stoniness and freshness of this wine! Michelle DeWyngaert
There's a not a lot of people in California working with Cortese, but Steve Matthiasson has had a lot of success with white, Italian grape varieties so we have high hopes for this one! Because the vines got more rain this season, the wines of 2019 are brighter and more delicate. The fruit comes from the Lost Slough Vineyard on the Sacramento River Delta which is composed of sandy soil and marine-sediment which adds salinity to this wine and cool, breezy nights there lead to lively acidity in the grapes. The wine is fermented and aged in neutral oak barrels and bottled with a minuscule amount of SO2. At 11.7% alcohol, this should be refreshing and dangerously easy to drink!
Every so often I taste a wine that truly tells a story like this Chardonnay from Perkins Harter. The winemakers were inspired by their favorite wines from Chablis and certainly there is a nod to that here, with their use of neutral oak and salty sea-breeze quality, but there is also a unique Johan Vineyard quality to this wine. After allowing this to decant for an hour or so, the nose paints a picture of the farm from which it comes. There are cows grazing on fresh grass in the distance, fruit trees are blossoming, the rain from the previous day can still be sensed. On the palate I imagined a really fresh butter had been made from the milk of the cow who was grazing, mingled with notes of crisp green apple, lemon skin, and peach blossom. There's a really nice tension of acidity and freshness against the weight and stony texture. The lingering finish and balanced structure lead me to believe that this wine will continue to age gracefully for the next 5-10 years. Michelle DeWyngaert
Sourced from the estate's George's Hill vineyard, named in honor of founder George Davis who purchased the land in 1977, this biodynamically farmed vineyard site produces some of the most exciting Chardonnay in the entire Russian River. This wine is big on texture and has great aromatic power, with notes of green apple, almond, and darker mineral, oily, almost saline notes. On the palate this wine has great, peppy acidity, though it is not quite light-bodied. A certain breadth comes through on the palate, with ripe peach character filling out the back end as it slips into a long, softly nuanced finish that cycles between cream, citrus, and hazelnut. Tastes great now, but will continue to improve in the cellar for at least ten years. Andrew Farquhar
The 'Dabinett Spy' is aptly named for it's blend of 25% English Dabinett bittersweet apples, and 50% Northern Spy American sharp apples, with the rest of the blend made from Rhode Island Greening sharp apples. This still cider is dry, floral, and has a bit of tannin for a softly textured finish.
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 '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.
An excellent, well-balanced example of California Sauvignon Blanc blended from three organically farmed vineyards in Mendocino. The fruit here is both fully ripe and surprisingly refreshing with notes of tropical fruit, pink grapefruit, and just a touch of soft, fresh herbs. This is a pleasant wine for drinking on it's own, but would be a great pairing for lighter proteins with a fruit chutney, or a vegetable quiche. Michelle DeWyngaert
Hermann J. Wiemer saw the great potential of the Finger Lakes to create high-quality cool-climate Riesling as they do in his native Mosel, Germany. The winery was founded in the 1979, one of the first in the region, and continues to be a benchmark for excellent Finger Lakes Riesling. Despite the incredibly challenging weather conditions which can lead to disease-pressure, they are committed to sustainable farming by not using herbicides or insecticides, and reducing their need for fungicides by managing the canopies to increase airflow. The 2018 Dry Riesling comes from a blend of three vineyard sites; 65% HJW Vineyard, 23% Josef Vineyard, and 12% Magdalena Vineyard to create a balance of ripeness and vibrant minerality. Grapes are harvested at Spätlese level of ripeness and then fermented dry with just .9%r/s. On the nose luscious peach and a bit of fresh pineapple with notes of almond blossoms and rainwater. The palate has a nice salinity with a bit of fresh herbs and wet stone as it opens up. This wine is crystalline and super refreshing! Michelle DeWyngaert