New for Spring
By: George Balling
The spring release of wines is upon us and coupled with wines we have found to replace those with interrupted supplies we figured it was a good time for a recommendation column. So, here we go with all that is new for spring.
Many have inquired about the arrival of the 2021 Skylark Pink Belly, which is our most popular and sought-after dry rosé every year. The wine has been bottled and we are expecting it soon and like all of you we are looking forward to trying it. The wine should be priced the same as the last couple of years and we will update everyone as soon as we have an eta.
We recently tried and immediately brought in the Paul Chevalier Brut Blanc de Blanc ($8.50, wine club price $7.65) made in France. The wine is not from Champagne and clearly at this price a mass produced negotiant project. The great news is the wine is really good! Small tight bubbles with a lovely stone fruit flavored palate and a clean finish with ample fruit it is priced for a crowd and a true bargain.
We have been disappointed lately in the direction of California Sauvignon Blanc. It feels to us that winemakers are departing from the traditional California style of SB that highlights lovely crisp pink grapefruit flavors. It seems that the wines are being split between the two styles of trying to be the most green New Zealand version and a richer more tropical noted wine. This past week though we tried and were thrilled with the 2020 Rodney Strong Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc ($15, wine club price $13.50). It is exactly what we look for in SB with the aforementioned pink grapefruit flavors though out.
We recently added the Domaine de Millet Blanc ($15, Wine Club Price $13.50) from the Côtes de Gascogne in France. The wine is 50% Columbard and 50% Ugni Blanc a blend we love for its crisp clean palate that is a combination of citrus and wet stone minerality. It is the perfect pairing for fried or grilled oysters and will be your new favorite summer refresher.
While Duckhorn Vineyards is known for their Sauvignon Blanc the Duckhorn Chardonnay ($46, wine club price $41.40) should not be missed. The wine is classic Napa Valley all the way with lovely flavors of apple and pear and the perfect amount of butter and oak notes for the spot-on interpretation of California Chardonnay.
One of the wines that has organically developed a following with our customers and earned a spot on our shelves is the 2017 Ballard Lane Cabernet ($16, Wine Club Price $14.40) from Paso Robles. The wine is dark, rich and ripe in its presentation of red fruit flavors. It really over delivers on every level for the price.
We are thrilled to again have the 2020 Bonny Doon Vineyards Le Cigare Volant ($20, Wine Club Price $18). This Grenache based Rhone Blend is absolutely delicious! The tannins are there but soft and round making the wine easy drinking. The aromas and palate flavors are both complex and layered with notes of mild earthiness, a savory meaty character and vibrant flavors of ripe cherry. It has been a customer favorite for many years and after one glass you will know why.
At one of our recent wine dinners, we featured the 2018 Brewer Clifton Ex-Post Facto Syrah ($45, Wine Club Price $40.50). This Syrah undergoes extended skin contact during fermentation resulting in a very dark wine with extracted and lengthy flavors that coat the mouth and palate. It shows the “bacon fat” meaty character of the great Syrahs we have ever had with rich fruit from start to finish. After one sip though you will keep going back to the lovely texture and mouth feel of this exceptional Syrah.
One of our great local distributors brought us the 2016 Rodney Strong Symmetry ($65, Wine Club Price $58.50) and we knew we had to add it to the shelf. It is a classic Bordeaux blend that is 70% Cabernet and has all 5 of the main Bordeaux varietals in the mix. The wine is sleek and elegant with a lovely silkiness on the palate and dense concentrated California Cabernet flavors of ripe plum and the darkest of cherries. The tannins are well placed and they lengthen the finish and frame the fruit.
Spring is just starting and the arrivals will continue so stop by the shop to see all the new additions to the collection.