In Italy, the history of Carmignano winegrowing dates back to 1716 when Cosimo III de' Medici granted the area special legal protections. In the 1500’s the queen of France sent cuttings of Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux to Carmignano. This wine is made from a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from certified organic vineyards, and fifth-generation winemaker Benedetta Contini Bonacossi crafts a wine that offers subdued fruit of stewed prunes, black cherry, boysenberry, and resin. There is solid acidity and tannic structure to make this workable with a variety of foods.
A native grape to the island of Sicily, this Grillo is light and delicate, with notes of butterscotch, honeysuckle, guava, white peach, lemon-lime, and a hint of grapefruit and summer wildflowers. Like all good Italian wines there is a proper acidity to work with food, which is always the goal. This is a soft wine with a smooth viscosity and its success is that it doesn’t steal the show but enables food to complement the wine, a balancing act that makes for a terrific dining experience. ORIGIN: Sicily, Italy. ALCOHOL: 12%
One of the things that distinguishes Oregon Pinot Noir from much of California is there is an earthiness that California does not possess. This 2020 certainly offers bright and expressive Pinot fruit – strawberry, Bing cherry, red raspberry, along with pomegranate and cola notes, but also an earthiness similar to mild mushroom. The acidity is in check, the fruit and oak nicely balanced, and you’re left with a solid wine that reflects its place of origin.
For 35 years Soliloquy has been the flagship white wine from Flora Springs in Napa. The wine bursts with grapefruit, lemon, lime kefir, lychee, and back notes of resin, white peach, Asian pear and mango. The acidity holds the wine and fruit in check while allowing it to be a companion with a diversity of food. It’s comprised of 73% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Chardonnay and 15% Malvasia and a brief seven months of aging in French oak rounds it out. This is a consistently solid wine and year after year is worth seeking out. 605 cases. ORIGIN: Napa Valley. ALCOHOL: 14.2%
When you think of wine you don’t think of wine from Puget Sound. At least not yet. But this Siegerrebe (widely planted in Germany) is from one of the newest frontiers in American winemaking. It offers excellent acidity and a very slight fizz leads into a wine that is unique, mimicking both chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio, but defining its own style. There is defined lemon verbena and lime notes but they are subtle, supported by apricot, white peach, guava, and lychee. ORIGIN: Puget Sound, Washington. ALCOHOL: 12%
The name Pisoni is well known in the Monterey area and the Lucy label is of part of brothers Jeff and Mark Pisoni’s wide variety of offerings. A blend of 70% pinot gris and 30% pinot blanc, the result is a sum that is far greater than its parts. Wonderfully crisp and flavorful this offers muted notes of lemon-lime, guava, resin, red delicious apple, and nectarine. There’s an ever so slight tartness on the tongue, solid acidity and a uniqueness that just might make this your new go-to white. Native yeast fermentation leads to aging in neutral barrels for a lithe viscosity.
Comprised of an intelligent collection of different clones including Martini, Dijon and Pommard, this beautifully showcases this winery off Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County. Originally known for their sparkling wines, Laetitia is also quite adept at still wines. Earthy and savory, this reserve opens up with lithe notes of black cherry, plum, pomegranate, Bing cherry and back notes of mushroom, cedar, tea leaf and plantain.
100% Aicante Bouschet raised in 300L French oak barrels. Purple in color, garnet at the rim, mostly opaque and bright. The nose is nice with black raspberries, spice and slight earthiness, Firm tannins. Good acidity. On the palate, more like black cherries with underlying char. Depth if tight. Long finish, Some warmth, This needs some cellaring or air but is still delicious, Drink over the next ten to twelve years although the winemaker told me 15 years plus! This would go nicely with Korean BBQ short ribs or other food off the grill,
This is 100% Touriga Nacional. Raised in large barrels for 11 months. Garnet in color with some magenta swirls, mostly clear and bright. The nose is nice with black cherries, violets and slight spice. Full bodied. Light tannins. Creamy texture. On the palate, black cherries, slight cough drop note and anise. Nice finish in which the tannins come out more, Some warmth, This is great on its own but would be nice with roasted duck or chicken. Drink over the next ten to twelve years. Great value.
This is a blend of Antão Vaz 40%, Perrum 20%, Rabo de Ovelha 20%, and Monteudo 20%. Very interesting and good! Golden in color, clear and bright. The nose has lemons, lemon verbena, minerals and summer savory. Velvety texture. Moderate acidity. On the palate, minerals and lemons. Lots of depth and complexity. Semi-tart lemons on the finish. I was told in other vintages this is done as an orange/amber wine. This is very clean, but the complexity is great no matter what color. Great on its own but this should be very food friendly. Seafood is a great choice.