Goldeneye has been quietly crafting excellent pinot noir from the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County since 1996. Utilizing a blend of four different clones, the Ten Degrees has always been an exceptional wine and this vintage is no different. Beautifully balanced between acidity, fruit and oak aging, this offers black cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, a wee bit of white pepper and an even flow throughout the palate. Though aged for 16 months in French oak the fruit shine without being overly dramatic, the lush ripe flavors are very appealing. In short, this is deftly balanced.
Forming a little over 10 years ago, Davis Estates turns out excellent wines based in the Napa Valley. Comprised of 100% merlot, this wine offers rich and concentrated fruit, more compote driven with blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, boysenberry, plum, cocoa powder and a heavy toasting of oak. The oak is a little strong, however it is nonetheless balanced within this wine, having been aged 22 months in 40% new French oak. The results are mild tannins and a rich opulent feel making this extremely enjoyable to drink. 796 cases
A terrific acidity leads into subtle yet definable and lovely flavors of strawberry, guava, honeydew, slight lemon-lime, and a hint of papaya. Beautifully balanced, this is a wonderful expression of how fruit can transcend as a mere single grape – in this case pinot noir - and express itself in a myriad number of ways. The wine was mainly whole cluster pressed with just 15% saignée method, which involves the removal of a proportion of juice from a tank of crushed red grapes.
Sonoma’s Alma de Cattleya wines have steadily proclaimed themselves and year after year, they turn out truly wonderful wines. The 2020 chardonnay is lively, light, delicate, hinting at fruit aroma but not coming right out and saying it. There is a simplicity to this, a subtle beauty. Yes there are the notes of lemon lime, guava, but it is more subdued creating an enjoyable drinking experience because it is not an overwrought wine.
Pinotage has long been a maligned grape. Though South Africa is known for pinotage, there are many South Africans who wish it did not exist. However truly exceptional pinotage can indeed be found. Created as a cross between pinot noir and cinsault in 1911, Barista creates a well-defined iteration. This wine states pinot very clearly yet the underlying notes of earth, mushroom, tropical fruits are nonetheless there, but not in the traditional banana way that many inferior pinotage are known for.
This is made from the Verdejo grape. Green/golden in color, clear and bright. The nose as spice and golden raisins. Full bodies. No fruit, this is about minerals and spice. On the palate, minerals and hay with some spice. Good acidity. Round texture. Long finish. This is good value. Food friendly. It will work nice with lighter pork or chicken dishes. Pork chops would be a nice choice. Drink over the next few years.