Here are the Summer Whites, Rosé & Reds…starting with a salute to Sauvignon Blanc season!
California Sauvignon Blanc:
1. Heron Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Mendocino County $22
Wine Enthusiast 88 pts The palate is juicy with tropical mango and papaya flavors which are backed by ample acidity thanks to the cool climates of Hopland in Mendocino county. The finish is a melange of citrus including key line, lemon tart and orange blossom with lip smacking acidity that begs for oysters on the half shell.
2. Stolpmann Sauvignon Blanc, Ballard Canyon $24
It’s all about the Limestone! says Stolpmann. What we say about bourbon is working well for Stolpmann in Ballard Canyon in regards to wine. Notes of citrus and hay give way to lush passion fruit, pear, green apple. 4200 cases total production.
3. Ferrari Carrano Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma $15
The JB glass pour that pleased so many for so long! The Fumé Blanc has bright acidity and crisp freshness from the cool, stainless steel tank fermentation, while the subtle oak character from neutral French oak barrels adds body, complexity and depth.
4. Volker Eisele Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Napa Valley $38
WE 91 pts: Made from an organically grown field blend, which includes 17% Sémillon, this is a steely white wine that offers effusive tones of quince and lemon on the nose. Light and crisp on the palate, it brings flavors of green apple, melon & lemongrass
French Sauvignon Blanc:
1. Domaine Mardon, Quincy "Tres Vielles Vignes" Sauv. Blanc 2017 $24
Wine Spectator 90 pts.
"A focused, brisk style, with a flinty frame around jicama, gooseberry and herb notes. The chiseled finish shows good tension.
2. Dubard "Le Mont" Sauvignon Blanc 2019 $17.50
Wine Salon favorite!: Loire Valley wine of seductive aromas of white flowers, pears, lemons and fresh herbs and is zesty on the palate with a delicate note of spice and a focused and refreshing finish.
3. La Freynelles Bordeaux Blanc $18 Decanter 90 pts. Brilliant straw color. Lovely fruity nose of white peaches, citrus fruits, and beeswax. Elegant, charming palate with good fruit flavors and a smooth buttery finish.
4. La Rame Bordeaux Blanc $20
This is a crisp and clean white Bordeaux that has a lovely mouth-filling texture and pithy fruit character.
Off the Beaten Path White Blends & Indigenous Varietals, but a Path worth Exploring!
1. Broc Cellars “Love White” White Blend 2019-$22
38% Marsanne | 24% Picpoul | 22% Rousanne | 16% Grenache Blanc all the famous French white wine grapes made in California! fresh & zippy! Thumbs up from Helen of Wine Salon for the ‘quintessential zesty summer wine.’
2. Malvira Roero Arneis 2018 $18.50- Malvira, the winery, Roero, a little village in Piedmonte and Arneis the grape: a rich wine laced w/ warm tropical fruit.
3. “Nessa” Albariño (Spain) 2018 $17
Washington Post: Score: *** Stars (Exceptional/Great Value)
Racy with aromas and flavors of kumquat and lime, this lovely, crisp white wine from Galicia in northwestern Spain is ideal for lighter seafood dishes.
Wine Spectator: Green peach, lime and tarragon flavors float across the juicy palate. Bright and refreshing. Drink now. 7,000 cases made, 4,000 cases imported
4. Dme. Les Hautes Noelle Muscadet Sur Lie "Les Granges" 2018 $17
There is a strong sense of the sea throughout this winemaker’s wine and you are right to consider shrimp, mussels, and oysters.
Light by nature, this sur lie aging helps make an often austere white wine rich and glorious. laced with citrus and green pear; bright til the end,
Grape: 100% Melon de Bourgogne
40+ year old vines
A single, very rocky and steep site
Fermented and aged in tank
5. Florent Cosme Vouvray Sec “La Motte” 2018 $29
Wine Spectator 92 points A gorgeous, beautifully integrated white, with a velvety texture coating the palate, while notes of orchard blossom, dandelion, white peach and Asian pear intermix continuously. Picks up a savory mineral detail midpalate, meeting sweet spice accents on the long, inviting finish. Drink now through 2033.
6. Judean Hills White Blend 2018 $38
Organic. A rich, yet balanced blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that ages for 8 months on the lees in French barrique. Creamy texture and ripe white fruit flavors are an excellent accompaniment to fresh or smoked fish and white meats. Kosher for Passover. This January 2020 Wine Salon wine was much adored for its lovely floral/citrus character. Sold out and brought it back!
A couple new bubblies for Summer 2020
1. Contessa Prosecco $17
It is a lively and youthful white sparkling wine that is suitable for all occasions. A brilliant straw yellow colour, a nose that's fruity and intense, and a fresh and well-balanced palate. This wine is the perfect aperitif, and goes well with any appetizers, white meats or fish.
2. Vietti Moscato d’Asti DOCG
A sweet bubbly that could be your light dessert: Pale sunshine yellow color and slight frizzante, this Moscato d’Asti has intense aromas of peaches, rose petals and ginger. On the palate it is delicately sweet and sparkling with modest acidity, goodbalance, good complexity and a finish of fresh apricots.
Perfect accompaniment to Pan-Asian cuisine and lobster as well as pastry, fruit based and creamy desserts and blue cheeses. Also excellent as an aperitif.
Pink & Pretty: Rosé
1. Spinetta 2019 Tuscan “Il Rosé di Casanova” $21
50% Sangiovese, 50% Prugnolo Gentile
Rested on lees for 3 months
a salmon color, petal like with orange reflections. On the nose, aromas of sliced peaches, flowers, stones and chalk. Very complex & textural yet with agile and dynamic intensity. A salty, linear, energetic backbone of acidity, great structure and a lovely finish.
#1 recommended Rose – Wall Street Journal “One of my perennial summer favorites” – Lettie Teague
1 of the top 10 Roses of the year – Coastal Living
1 of the top 20 Roses of the year – USA Today
20 Best Rosé Wines $25 and Under – Vivino (#12) – “Owner and winemaker Giorgio Rivetti has been called “one of the best and most innovative winemakers in Piedmont today,” by Wine Spectator. His Tuscan “Il Rosé” combines Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile delivers high-altitude verve, freshness, and excellent acidity underscored by tangy raspberry, red currants, and cassis notes—this demands a plate of antipasti.”
GOLD MEDAL – The 50 Best Raspberry, strawberry, grapefruit, tart cherry, sour cherry, pomelo, lemon, apple, honeydew rind, soft delicate spice notes, salinity, minerality, fresh
90 Points, Vinous
90 Points, James Suckling
2. La Bernarde Rosé, Provence 2019 $20
• Certified organic
• 46% Cinsault, 27% Grenache, 11% Mourvedre, 9% Rolle, 7% Syrah
• La Bernarde is an historic property considered to be in the area's finest terroir
3. TORREMILANOS Ribera del Duero, ‘Montecastrillo Rosado’ 2019 $15.50
Absolutely quaffable! Appellation: Ribera del Duero. 100% biodynamically-grown Tempranillo from the estate’s younger vines, fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel.
Gendraud-Patrice Petite Chablis 2018 - $24
2018 Chablis presents density, a crystalline purity of fruit, and gorgeously expressive aromatics that are the result of a perfectly clean crop. The wines are bursting with fruit and terroir all the way from the press to the bottle!
The Chard Project Chardonnay, CA 2018 $14.5
What is all this “Project” wine? Its Skurnik, the distributor from whom I buy, using their vast wine contacts to create a label that delivers quality and value. They started it when their reliable inexpensive wine label went away. Sourced from very Good-to-Excellent un-named Sonoma & Monterey vineyards for this label overseen by the Skurnik Brothers. a rich, lovely mouthfeel. Pure Chard aromas and flavors – fresh apples and citrus, and kissed with a touch of oak.
Barraud Macon Chaintre "les Pierres Polies” 2017 $26
Situated on the lower slopes of Chaintré with a clay-sandstone soil, the wine is fruity, supple and pleasant. If you like French Chardonnay, then give this a try! Wine Salon tried & tested!
1. Mocali Morellino di Scansano $20 an H.E. favorite!
'Mocali is the winery; “Morellino di Scansano” the tiny appellation of coastal Tuscany with an ancient but obscure tradition of winemaking; “Morellino" is the local name for the particular variety of Sangiovese.
JS 91 pts. Attractive aromas of tobacco, cherries and hints of dried lavender following through to a medium body. Firm and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. A serious Morellino.appellation in Tuscany. Intense purple with hints of ruby, this wine is loaded with lush black currant and black cherry layered over supple tannins and notes of tobacco and espresso. In an effort to use only traditional Tuscan varietals and no international grapes as permitted by the DOC, the required 85% Sangiovese is blended with 12% Malvasia and 3% Alicante, for extra aromaticity. The wines is aged 10 months in 350-liter tonneaux, of which about 30% are new. Roughly 2000 cases are produced from 14 hectares at 150 meters above sea level.
2. Luigi Voghera Dolcetto “Basarin” 2017 $22
Delightful with soft mouth feel, delicate flavors of fruit, and delicious aftertaste.
3. La Alta Rioja Reserva Especial Vina Ardanza ‘10 $50
This wine may have more points than any in the store, the critics thinks so favorably. La Alta Rioja is known for traditionally, Old World style made Rioja.
4. Gilgal Merlot /Cab (Israel) 2016 $22
This Golan Heights Winery blend features aromatic red and black fruit characters, along with orange blossom and spice notes. This 50-50 blend of Cabernet and Merlot is medium-bodied, complex and flavorful. Kosher.
5. Avaraen Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $24
90 pts. Wine Enthusiast Fruit sourced from six Willamette Valley AVAs and well over a dozen vineyards combines in this sweetly fruity wine. Pretty plum and marionberry flavors are enhanced with a light touch of herbs, putting a frame around the finish.
6. Chateau Surget Lalande de Pomerol Bordeaux Rouge 2015 $32
James Suckling 93 pts. Rich dark and ripe plums with sweetly spiced earthy aromas. The palate has assertive plump fruit presence amid smooth, curvaceous tannins that wrap neat into the finish. Blend: 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
7. Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne $20
93 Tasting Panel; 91 Wine Spectator: Deep garnet color and a luscious blackberry nose; creamy, deep, and juicy with dense berry notes. Long, balanced, and lovely, with flair and amazing value.
8. La Rioja Alta Alberdi-2015 $28
Enjoy good acidity, great freshness & balance & mild, friendly tannins. Aromatic harmony persists through the aftertaste, with notes of red fruit jam, prunes, coffee, vanilla and caramel. Viña Alberdi is characteried by a notable food-pairing versatility. It is an ideal companion to appetisers, snacks and barbecues, perfect with rice, pastas and stews, and great with lightly-grilled meat and fish.