1st bottle red:  2014 The Paring Red

For the wine snob

Cabernet Sauvignon: 50%, Merlot: 20%, Cabernet Franc: 20%, Petit Verdot: 10%.  Utterly fascinating nose mixing lifted black fruit, savory green herbs and dark notes of grilled bread, espresso and anise. Fills the palate with bright red fruit and black plum. A constant play between sweet and savory.  Gentle and dusty tannins lead the way into an incredibly long and precise finish.  Mulberry sweetness and a wonderful tension between tannic structure and bright acidity. Balanced and refined, a study in elegance.

For the rest of us:

This wine is big and bold, and if you read anything about it anywhere, then you will ready about what a great value it is!  This is a super friendly wine.  What is not to like?!  Big fruit and soft dry finish.  This wine was added to the wine list immediately.


1st bottle white:  2018 Slo Jams Sauvignon Blanc

For the wine Snob:

The 2018 vintage of SLO Jams is 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Marsanne from Destiny Ridge Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA of Washington.  SLO Jams opens with aromas of key lime and lemon grass followed by light and fresh flavors of cut pineapple, ripe oroblanco grapefruit and stone fruit. On the mid palate, hints of Kiwi and honey suckle blend seamlessly into the subtle mineral finish. Cue up some old tracks and drink up! We’re sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

For the rest of us:

This is about as relaxed as Sauvignon Blanc gets!  I’d hate to say it, but savor the last bit of summer with this wine before it is too late.  This wine is balanced super well with just a touch of citrus.  Porch Pounder?  Patio Pounder?  Well, whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious.

Enjoy!


2nd bottle red: Château Sainte-Eulalie Minervois La Livinière ‘La Cantilène’

For the wine snob:

Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache, the average age of the vines are 25-40 years old.  This wine comes from the Minervois La Livinière appellation of Languedoc, practicing organic, and the soil is clay and limestone with pebbles and stones on the surface.  Grapes are harvested, then undergo a cool maceration lasting days, natural yeast fermentation in neutral tank, maturing in 25% new oak barriques for 12 months.  Intense garnet color. A dark fruit aromas with toasty notes. Ample palate, full and soft, ripe tannins, layered palate. Ripe, lingering finish. A rich and fleshy wine with an elegant, claret-like balance.

For the rest of us:

Southern France how we love the!  This wine has a medium body with great fruit and in our opinion is the perfect example of being very drinkable.  It is no wonder why grenache and syrah make up some of our favorite all time blends.  Very balanced.   This wine will please any aficionado of French wine, and will also serve as a perfect introductions to French wine.  That is a win-win!


2nd bottle white:  Lang & Reed Chenin Blanc – Mendocino

For the wine snob:

100% Chenin Blanc.  This 2017 Chenin Blanc from Mendocino is the fourth vintage from vineyards located in Mendocino County in Northern California. The inspiration remains the Loire Valley in France, where Chenin Blanc gained its fame. The source for this bottling comes from a region in Mendocino referred to as the ‘Talmage Bench.’ The vineyard, located on the east side of the Russian River in an area that has excelled in growing Chenin Blanc for many years, was planted in 1980 on a gentle, north-facing slope with excellent aspect that allows for great drainage and even ripening without too much heat accumulation.  For this wine, the grapes were whole-cluster pressed, left to settle for a day, and then transferred into 13 barrels, two of which were stainless steel and the balance being seasoned French oak. Half of the barrels were inoculated with selected yeast strains, while the other half were allowed to ferment on the indigenous yeast. The lees
were stirred bi-weekly until two weeks before bottling in early March. The final assemblage proved greater than any of the individual barrels.

For the rest of us:

Mendocino has a white peach flash of aroma that expands to include scents of fresh apple and linden blossom. The flavors are equally expressive, with peach and stone fruit flavors and a healthy hint of honeycomb. The finish is extremely brisk with keen acidity but yet with a lingering texture that bodes well for additional complexity with some cellar time. At this stage this is a perfect wine for spring afternoons and summer evenings, paired with light cheeses and summer fare as well as opened for gatherings of good friends.


1st bottle reserve red:  2017 Ridge Three Valleys

For the wine snob:

73% ZINFANDEL, 15% PETITE SIRAH, 10% CARIGNANE,2% GRENACHE 14.5% ALCOHOL BY VOLUME.

WINEMAKING / Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed;pressed at eight days.  Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (5% new, 37% one years old, 53% three and 5% four years old).  Aging: Eleven months in barrel.  Hand-harvested grapes, destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts followed by a full malolactic on the natural-occurring bacteria; a total of 0.33 grams/liter tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 148ppm over the course of aging); membrane sterile filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

For the rest of us: 

This is Zin based and from Sonoma?!, could have fooled us!  This is definitely no zin fruit bomb.  This wine is about as tasty as it gets, very balanced, and especially for being mostly zin, a nice and very decently dry finish.  This falls in to the category of sharing it with anyone, if you were nice enough to share it!

 


1st bottle reserve white:  2018 Ridge Grenache Blanc

For the wine snob:

75% GRENACHE BLANC, 15% PICPOUL, 10% ROUSSANNE / ADELAIDA VINEYARD PASO ROBLES 14.0% ALCOHOL BY VOLUME.  WINEMAKING / Fermentation: Whole-cluster pressed. Natural primary finished January 2019, and secondary finished by March 2019. 44% Stainless steel tank fermented, 56% barrel fermented. Barrels: 56% aged in 90% air-dried American oak barrels and 10% French oak; (12% were new, 10% four-years-old, and 78% five-years-old.) Aging: Eight months in barrel.  Hand-harvested grapes; whole-cluster pressed; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm initially to barrels, 55 ppm over the course of aging).  Not bad for their first bottling of grenache blanc!

For the rest of us:

This 2018 grenache blanc is super clean and very relaxed.  It doesn’t have too much fruit, not too dry, not too heavy.  If the target is very friendly wine, bullseye!  Pale gold color. Aromas of citrus and green plum, white flowers, complex minerals, and exotic oak spices. Lemon, pear, and tart pineapple fruits on entry, refreshing acidity, and a medium body; Long, citrus zest aftertaste.  If this is your first grenache blanc, thank us later!


2nd bottle reserve red:  2017 Iconic Testa Vineyard

For the wine snob:

Run by 5th generation farmers, Testa Vineyards sits just west of the Russian River at the base of the Redwood Valley AVA in Mendocino.   This wine is a blend of the two oldest and adjacent blocks on the property.  Over85-year-old, bush grown carignan and zinfandel grow on a south east facing slope in Yakayo sandy-loam soil.  These soils consist of deep, well drained soils formed in material weathered from old alluvium from sedimentary rock.  The carignan was lightly foot tread and fermented whole-cluster in open top containers, while the zinfandel was destemmed and ferment in a 1 ton open top wood fermenter, pumped over twice daily until dry.  Wine was aged in a mix of used French and Hungarian barrique for 1 year before blending and bottling.  The combination of concentration from the old vines and whole cluster provide a rich structure and dark, dare we say evil character?  Inspiring our first ever villain to the Iconic collection.

For the rest of us:

This blend from the Testa Vineyard of mostly caringnan is about as cool as it gets!  If you have never tasted a wine that is 100% carigan or at least dominantly carignan like this gem, you are in for a special treat.  This is not a really bold wine, but it is definitely getting there!  Chalky, with nice fruit and a really nice long dry finish.  Please enjoy this while it lasts because we swooped up the last of it in Illinois.