2016 Denner Theresa, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

One of the great white Rhone wines from California.  50% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 10% Vermentino, 10% Picpoul, 10% Marsanne.  Green gold in color.  The nose has slight limes with some citrus and slight wax.  On the palate, this has a wonderful plush texture with great crispness on the wine.  Deep and complex despite its youth, it unwinds in the glass.  Slightly oily.  Long finish.  Works with or without foods.  This will likely age well, but is so good now, I don't think it gets better, just different.  

2012 Maison Bouachon Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Tiare du Pape Blanc, France, Rhone, Wine Review

This is drinking really well right now.  Light golden in color.  The nose is great with minerals, lemons, wax but also plenty of melon and tropical fruit.  On the palate, this has a nice cutting acidity.  Good melon and lemon fruit.  Long finish.  Very food friendly.  While still drinking youthfully, it it open for business.  It will probably start to show more signs of maturity in a few years but is delicious right now.  

2015 Denner Theresa, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

30% Rousanne, 25% Marsanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 15% Picpoul, and 10% Vermentino.  This is one of my favorite (mostly) Rhone white wines from Paso Robles.  Light golden in color.  The nose is really nice with peaches, slight canned peaches, a nice minerals streak, some vanilla candle and some lemon peel.  On the palate, this has a great oily texture.  Slightly viscous.  An excellent crispness.  Depth and complexity.  Do not serve this too cold as the complexity really comes out when the wine starts to get over 60F.  Peaches, lemons, and minerals.  Long finish.  Great with food.  

2014 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Light copper.gold in color.  The nose is gorgeous with almonds, candle wax and minerals.  With air, slight tangerine notes begin to emerge.  This is showing quite open right now.  Will it shut down for a bit?  Experience says yes, but who knows?  This is a bit riper or more open anyway than the 2012 consumed along with it.  More minerality with an interesting menthol/Eucalyptus note on the finish.  Oily texture.  Long finish.  This is young and tightly packed but has a nice complexity.  

2012 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Where to start?  This is one of the great white wines of the world.  Such a fascinating and contemplative wine.  Made from a field blend of 80/20 Marsanne and Roussane.  i was a bit aprhensive about this as Hermitage Blanc at age 6 can often be shut down.  Light/medium gold.  This showed quite well though.  The nose is waxy with some honey and slight white floral notes.  With air, almonds and slight tangerine notes.  Fascinating.  Slightly oily texture.  Full bodied.  Great minerality.  Earthy with almonds and slight citrus.  Long finish.  Warming, not hot on the finish.  Certainly some ups

2015 Denner Theresa

One of my favorite white Rhones from California. Served a bit too cold, this needed to warm up a bit. Then it was great. Green/gold in color. The nose is lemony with a slight waxy note once warmer. Also a nice mineral streak. On the palate, this is crisp and bright. Lots of energy. Lemons with that mineral streak. Long finish. Worked well with food. Its hard to guess on the ageing trajectory of these wines, but it seems very young now and enjoyable. I will hold at least one to age a bit and see.

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Bargetto La Vita and Tahbilk Marsanne

Wines to Go Buy This Week: An "Italian-fusion" California Red by Bargetto and Tahbilk Marsanne, a deliciously rare single varietal white. This past weekend we filmed the latest round of IntoWineTV videos (the first video will be live in about a week, we're moving away from wine reviews to wine discussions. Sort of a wine version of The View if you will). As is typical when we film IntoWineTV, the cast and crew had the luxury of indulging in many fantastic wines. Heck these shoots have almost become an excuse for everyone involved to share their latest wine faves. Over the course of the weekend I discovered two wines that made me do a double take and which are the basis for this week's "Wines to Go Buy This Week": La Vita, Bargetto Family Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2006 - This wine arrived in a recent California Wine Club Signature Series shipment (and kudos to CWC as yet again they delivered a hit. I love the Signature Series.). La Vita is an unusual California red blend in that it is made from the traditionally Italian varietals of Dolcetto, Refosco, and Nebbiolo. Traditionalists may scoff at the notion of a California producer making its version of an Italian red -I'm just waiting for someone to complain that this wine has "no sense of place" - but the end result is a delicious wine that reflects qualities of both California and Italy. If this were a restaurant this wine would be labeled "Italian fusion". No it's not authentic or traditional but it is delicious, unique, and well worth a try (though at $60 a bottle, it's hardly a value buy). Buy Bargetto La Vita

2007 Lionheart Wines "The Angel's Share" Marsanne Roussanne - IntoWineTV Episode 125

In this episode of IntoWineTV, host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent and Loren Sonkin convene among the vines at Crushpad in Napa Valley to taste and discuss the cult wine brands of Crushpad. Theme: Cult Wines of Crushpad Wine: 2007 Lionheart Wines "The Angel's Share" Marsanne Roussanne ($25), Buy this wine Region: Russian River Valley Vineyard : Sara Lee's Vineyard Alcohol: 13.5% Varietals: Marsanne (66%), Roussanne (33%), and Viognier (1%)

America's Best Rhone Style White Wines: 11th Annual Rhone Rangers Tasting Reviewed

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series. Like many lovers of Rhone style wines from America, we have just returned from the 2008 edition of the annual Rhone Rangers tasting event at Fort Mason in San Francisco (March 18). This was the 11th year that the Rhone Rangers , a group of about 200 American producers of wines using 22 varietals traditional to France’s Rhone Valley, have shown off their wines at this public tasting event. This year, about 138 wineries presented approximately 520 wines. During the tasting, we enthusiastically tasted as many wines as we could within the 5 hours (3 public and 2 trade/media) the event was open. We tasted 30 white wines first, and then we tasted 50 reds. We skipped the rosés, not because we don’t love them, but because we didn’t have time. Kudos to Rhone Rangers for providing eco-friendly paper spit cups instead of the plastic cups so common at other tastings. We divided our attention between wines and producers we have known previously, producers new to us, and specific bottlings we didn’t already know. While we found many wines to admire, we are sure we missed other gems.