Based out of Yountville, Stewart Cellars has been producing under-the-radar wines since 2000. Sourced primarily from the Max Vineyard site in Yountville, this wine is fermented using whole berries after harvesting and aged for 22 months in mainly new French oak barrels. Many wineries, not unlike Stewart, suggest decanting their Cabernets, and while this is not always helpful, an hour or so helps harmonize this wine even more.
Martini has been making wine in Turin, Italy since 1862, but has not often made a declared vintage iteration of Prosecco. Less expensive than Champagne, Prosecco offers not only a great alternative, but in many ways a much different expression of a sparkling wine, usually with less yeast and biscuit notes.
Pinot Grigio has long had a reputation of being an afterthought wine; a second cousin twice removed from Chardonnay. It’s usually perceived as a mass-produced innocuous wine with little to no flavor. Certainly there are those examples out there on store shelves, but there are also Pinot Grigio wines that embody the subtle complexity that actually should be in Pinot Grigio, iterations that offer aromatics, minerality and understated flavors.
Adam LaZarre has been making wine a long time, but by his own admission, this Sauvignon Blanc, with grapes from the Santa Ynez Valley, is one of his most satisfying. Indeed stunningly sublime it offers a pure nose of honeysuckle, peach and pear, earthy resin, honeydew melon and sweet almond. This however is merely the beginning of the sensory intrigues of this wine.
Cabernet is king in Napa’s Stag’s Leap District and Shafer is certainly at the forefront of stellar wines in this AVA. Their One Point Five (which references the generation and a half between father and son) is comprised of 95% Cabernet with tiny amounts of Merlot, followed by Malbec and Petit Verdot. The wine rested for 20 months in all new French oak barrels of Allier and Troncais woods. The nose is classic Cabernet; dark berry fruit and sweet oak, a thrill to the senses.
In spite of being the third most widely planted grape in California and being one of the primary grapes in Bordeaux, Merlot still has an uphill climb for respectability. Napa lays claim to a lot of Merlot but Sonoma County also produces wonderful Merlot's that are often under the radar, overshadowed by either Napa or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mom deserves the very best and the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is certainly one of the very best. You may not recall, but 2006 in Montagne de Reims was a hot year, helping to produce stellar fruit. This Rose’ comprised of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay is aged about eight years on the lees, helping to create more complexity and creaminess.
My mom likes Champagne…well most moms do. But rather than the predictable sparkling wine round up for Mother’s Day, it seems that pink is the drink that doesn’t stink – as in a gift, or to just imbibe with mom herself. Frankly, Mom is probably buying a lot of wine herself - in fact a little over 80% of all wine purchases are made by women. Not to mention that rose’ is currently on an upswing seeing a 30% increase in sales worldwide. So IntoWine searched out diverse rose’ wines; ones that are expressive, unique and at price points for everyone. Disable rich-text
Wine geeks love oddball wines and whereas many people seek out the wines they are not familiar with, still many more stick with the traditional. Fortunately, Vietti is not only well known even though their Arneis is not, meaning you can try this wine knowing that this fifth generation producer will deliver. In fact, 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of this wine.
Pinot Noir is one of those wines that truly encapsulates its place of origin better than other red wines. Russian River Valley as a whole reflects this, as does the Hallberg Ranch in Sebastopol. Hallberg, formerly an apple orchard, is entirely dry farmed Pinot Noir grapes, which offers a balance between lush fruit and an earthy darkness given its sandy loam, clay soils and cooler temperatures.