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.
Washington State is the 2nd largest wine producer in America, after California. The wine regions here are making incredible strides and one of the most auspicious places out of the 14 AVAs in the state is Red Mountain, a sub-appellation of Yakima Valley (which is, in turn, a sub-appellation of the Columbia Valley).
Markham is better known for Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, even Chardonnay, but Charbono? You may rightly ask…what is Charbono? It is believed that Italian immigrants came to Napa during the California Gold rush and brought Charbono cuttings with them. In Argentina its called Bondara, but it is assumed the grape is actually native to France, not Italy.
Pinot Noir is the 5th most planted grape in California and produces diverse iterations of Pinot. In 1994 J Vineyards began making Pinot Noir. What’s unique about this wine is that it is constructed from diverse appellations; Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands (70%), Sonoma’s Russian River...
Santa Barbara’s Byron Winery started in 1984 located on the Santa Maria Valley Bench above the erratic Santa Maria River. Using diverse clones, this “cellar blend” as winemaker Jonathan Nagy calls it, utilizes clones 2A, Swan, Pommard, and Benedict Selection to create a vibrant expression of a multi-layered Pinot Noir. All the fruit comes from the Santa Maria Valley and in fact all Byron Pinot Noirs are now single Vineyard designates. This wine introduces plum, black cherry, boysenberry, blackberry and an intriguing rusticity with a subtle but present acidity.
Albariño is one of the those grapes that, in the right hands, presents not only an alternative to the typical Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that is ubiquitous on the market, but takes the best of what you want in a food-oriented white wine, and elevates it in terms of a floral and zesty nose, and comprehensive fruit and acids.