Wines of the Week

Wine We Loved in 2016

2016 in Review....

Here's a compilation of favorite reviewed wines from 2016.  They're generally available, so we hope you can find and enjoy them.

Grgich Hills Estate Merlot Napa Valley 2012 – Medium dark in the glass, there is a definite floral aroma on the nose.  Maybe roses.  For a young wine, it’s very drinkable, with soft tannins, and overtones of strawberries, cherries, and a hint of licorice.  WW 90

Vanderbilt Reserve Merlot Dry Creek Valley 2013 – The opaque and inky color in the glass hints at a full-bodied wine.  There is sweet dark fruit on the nose, but it’s very tight on the palate and needs a lot of time (or really aggressive decanting) to open up.  Attractive flavors of red cherry, a bit of earth, and graphite.  WW 89

Desiderio Cortona DOC Merlot 2014 – This effort from Italy is a bit lighter in color, but still delivers full-bodied aromas of cedar, earthiness, spice, and dark fruit.  The spice pays off on the palate, with cinnamon, clove, and black fruit flavors.  WW 92

Meerlust Merlot Stellenbosch 2008 – This South Africans are at it again with their interpretation of this international varietal.  Even though it’s semi-translucent in the glass, there are plentiful flavors of raspberry, black cherry, tobacco, and leather.  A very Old World interpretation.  We drank the whole bottle.  WW 92-93

Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc California 2014 – Pale yellow in the glass, and on the nose and palate it’s definitely not the typical New Zealand style.  There are aromas of lemony minerality with bright tropical fruit on the palate supported by zingy acidity.  About $13.  WW 88

Stift Skellerei Newstift Abbazia di Novacella Sylvaner 2014 – If you can pronounce it, they should give you a bottle for free.  But this is one of the surprises I mentioned above.  The Sylvaner grape is grown way up north in Italy, right along the German border where the cultures and languages mix freely.  This wine comes from a winery that dates back to the year 1142, with green apple flavors and a strong spine of acidity making this a good pairing with fish and other seafood dishes.  WW 88

Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay Sonoma 2013 – One of those pleasant discoveries.  It’s light gold yellow with a layered nose of oak, lemon, honey and white flowers.  A rich, mouthfilling Chardonnay with oak overtones and a medium finish.  WW 91-92

Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2013 – Another surprise.  Usually, the Pinot Noirs from New Zealand come from the Central Otago region on the south island, but this producer is in Hawke’s Bay, which is on the east coast of the North Island.  The wine is translucent ruby-violet with a definite old world nose of loamy earth and graphite.  But it offers new world flavors of raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, and smoke.  Nice.  WW 90-91

Blair Pinot Noir Arroyo Seco Delfina’s Vineyard 2012 – This version tilts more toward the new world, with lovely flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and cedar.  WW 89

Domaine Gardies Cotes du Roussillon-Villages Les Milleres– Plum, raspberry and plenty of red currant with a firm tannic structure.  Should age well.

Cave de Roquebrun Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Frigoulet 2011 – Don’t let the polysyllabic name scare you off.  This one is powerful and concentrated, with plum, cherry pie, and dark chocolate.  It should be widely available.

M. Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon-Villages Les Vignes de Bila Haut 2010 – Chapoutier is a major quality producer.  This bottling was aWine Spectator Top 100 selection, it costs $13, and they made 35,000 cases.  

Watch for more reviews and recommendations coming soon!