New for Fall
By: George Balling
I know, I know the title sounds more like a column on apparel than wine, but as is true for most wine consumers our preferences change for both apparel and wine once the leaves start to turn. The sweaters come out and the flip flops get put away. The wines we select tend to be fuller bodied and richer, they not only taste better in the cold temperatures but they do better with heartier foods. So, here are some new additions to the shelf that we trust you will enjoy on the cooler evenings.
We couldn’t be happier that the multi-year, best selling white wine in the shop is again back in its rightful place on the shelf. So many of you have enjoyed this wine regardless of the time of year that its return warrants mention. The 2022 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny ($34, Wine Club Price $30.60) is everything we have come to expect from this delicious wine. The usual blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Chardonnay from the Loire Valley in France never sees an oak barrel allowing all the crisp minerality and vibrant fruit to shine through. The Chardonnay component contributes lovely texture to the wine, making for a lovely drink.
Another return to the shelves is the 2021 Chateau de Pizay Beaujolais Blanc ($32, Wine Club Price $28.80). This is the Chardonnay for non-Chardonnay drinkers. It is fermented and briefly aged in concrete, allowing it to have all of the Chardonnay mouth feel and palate weight without the oak. The fruit is lush and apple noted and the wine will shine with rich creamy cheeses.
California Sauvignon Blanc has become a more challenging category for me. Too many are trying to be New Zealand. A whole other segment of the wines is attempting to be Chardonnay. I prefer and have for some years the more traditional California style of “SB” that highlights pink grapefruit aromas and flavors. The 2022 Justin Sauvignon Blanc ($26, Wine Club Price $23.40) hits all the right notes. It has ample aromas and flavors of the aforementioned pink grapefruit and has just a hint of tropical essence that richens the wine making it more appealing as we move into fall. The wine has plenty of acid to pair well with rich foods.
For those of you who prefer their Chardonnay in the full-blown California style we recommend the 2021 Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay ($20, Wine Club Price $18). We first introduced this wine in our weekly wine special the Friday Night Flights, it has been a hit with customers ever since. Classic aromas of oak and vanilla lead to a buttery apple noted palate that is absolutely calling out for a Dungeness crab salad.
While access to the wines from Sonoma County superstar producer Kistler have been lumpy at best we are thrilled to have a small amount of the 2020 Kistler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($95, Wine Club Price $85.50). While the Chardonnay from this winery is perhaps more famous, the Pinot Noir is far harder to come by and in our opinion is among the top 5 domestic Pinots made. Aromas of cherry and earth lead to a lush rich and juicy palate with near perfect acid balance. While the wine is spendy it will be delicious with gamey birds like turkey.
We recently hosted Bookwalter winery for a tasting here at the shop. The 2019 Bookwalter Reader’s Merlot ($30, Wine Club Price $27) was one of the stand outs from the event. Classic Merlot aromatics of chocolate covered cherries lead to a mocha and cherry noted palate. It is one of those well-crafted Merlots that has enough heft to please Cabernet stalwarts and enough elegance to pair great with most meat dishes.
Most of our regular readers know of our fondness and local wine consumers appreciation for the wines from Ehren Jordan and Failla. The 2019 Failla Haynes Vineyard Syrah ($90, Wine Club Price $81) is impressive in every way. The nose shows notes of smoked meat and savory dried herbs. The palate is cherry laden and rich with a silky finish that shows extraordinary length and depth of flavor. Ehren and his winemaking team always manage to get the perfect amount of extraction from the grapes making for a stunning bottle of wine, that will be great with both pork and lamb.
Argentinian Malbec is a category that suffers from a bit of sameness in the wines. We just recently added to the shelf the 2021 Altocedro Malbec from the Uco Valley in Mendoza ($25, Wine Club Price $22.50). The wine is blue fruit focused, specifically blueberry, in both the aromatics and palate flavors. The mouth feel on the wine is generous and the lovely fruit notes continue to develop and evolve throughout the palate to the finish. I don’t know if a better pizza wine has been made!
Be sure and stop by the shop to try all that is new, we will see you when you get here.