JOLIE LAIDE Rosé of Valdiguié 2017

Jolie Laide Rose 17

Sonoma winery Jolie-Laide sources Valdiguie (known for decades in CA as Napa Gamay) from “Buddha Dharma Vineyard,” City of 10,000 Buddhas outside of Ukiah. Wild strawberry and red plum and peppery spice flavors remind me of Grenache Rosé. The twinge of Amaro-esque bitterness takes it another direction, however. Round, curvy texture on the end comes […]

Le ARTISHASIC Rosé 2017

le Artishasic Rose Wine

This is Napa winemaker/wine consultant Artie Johnson’s tiny Rosé label. It’s all “Shake Ridge Vineyard” Amador/Sierra Foothills fruit. 55% Mourvèdre, 44% Grenache, 1% Syrah.  Purposeful Rosé: whole cluster pressed, fermented and aged in neutral French oak. Get ripe strawberries and red plums, tarragon, green tea, raspberry. On the fuller bodied side of Rose while being graceful. On […]

PERLISS Semillon “The Serpents” Knights Valley 2015

Perliss Semillon

Beeswax, preserved lemon, dried wildflower, fresh pear, clover honey and creamy/briny nose. The taste is equal parts texture and flavor. Get chamomile, lemongrass, white pepper and more of those darn pears and dried aromatic flowers. Waxy/creamy texture, low acidity, very little oak influence (aged in both clay Amphora and neutral oak) and 30 second finish […]

BETWIXT Rosé 2017

Betwixt Rose Wine

The aroma is classic, appealing Grenache Rosé: watermelon, blood orange, strawberry, peppercorn. Taste more of the same, but more constricted and subtle. Acidity and a talc-like savory quality take the lead. Tang, citrus and background red fruits on the finish. Ultimately, this falls into my REAL DRY category. That said, the red fruit flavors peak […]

INIZI Rosé “Hi Jump” 2017

Inizi Rose

Made from Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Barbera and Dolcetto, destemmed and crushed. I really like the wine’s snap of acidity on the palate, followed by a quick burst of wild cherry and red currant fruit. Watermelon, black peppercorns and ruby red grapefruit flavors sneak in there. Tannins tickle the gums on the savory finish. There’s more going […]

MURGO Etna Bianco 2016

Murgo Etna Bianco

Best known for red wines, Sicily’s Etna wine region is capable of making delicious (and great value) white wine as well. This MURGO Bianco is 70% Carricante, 30% Catarratto (both native grapes of the region). This starts with a piercing, citrus zest, spring blossoms, rocky aroma. Tangy, lemon/orange acidity and exotic honeysuckle flavors. Very dry, […]

VILLA RAGAZZI Rosato di Sangiovese 2017

Villa Ragazzi Rosato di Sangiovese

“Purposeful” Rosato: Sangiovese picked early, pressed off. High acid, low alcohol. Real crisp…lemons, citron, tart cherry, ruby grapefruit. Undertones of thyme and white pepper. Every sip makes me smile from the brilliant acidity. This is really well done for the crispest style of Rosé wine. The Rodeno Family, owners and winemakers of Villa Ragazzi, take […]

Y ROUSSEAU “Son of a Butcher” 2016

Y Rousseau Son of a Butcher

Blend of 45% Tannat, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc. Get ripe, dark blackberries and blueberries, cocoa, allspice, roast coffee beans, black licorice and black pepper. Medium acidity, low tannins, ripe but not overly so, rich and super-easy to like. If you’re familiar with Tannat you might expect high tannins. Not the […]

HOGWASH Rosé 2017

Hogwash Rose

Made with all Grenache from Sacremento Delta and Lodi vineyards. Grenache’s strawberry, watermelon and light spice nose is here in spades. Same fruit flavors with a suggestion of cotton candy and Jolly Rancher (without the sugar sensation-this is dry). The finish is quick and pleasant in its lightness (could use a little more finish, to […]

PIBARNON Bandol 2014

Pibarnon Bandol 2014

90% Mourvedre, 10% Grenache from Pibarnon’s Estate vineyard looking down on The Mediterranean. Deep, dark fruits go hand in hand with dark chocolate, smoked game and meat locker. Very structured and built to last – as good as it is now, I suspect this will shed its primary fruit and add layers of complexity in […]

STRALA Proprietor’s Blend, Napa Valley 2015

Strala Red Wine

This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Malbec comes from a handful of Napa vineyards. A “Modern Red Blend” style for sure, this is low-acid, jammy, super-ripe and big-flavored. Toasty, seductive oak, black cherry liqueur and cocoa starts in the aroma and continues on in the flavor. Rich, spicy and chewy on […]

Rocca di MONTEGROSSI Chianti Classico 2015

Rocca Montegrossi Chianti

This is a fleshy, fruity, pure Chianti Classico that is sure to please all fans of the region and of Sangiovese. The wine sports a ripe, wild red cherry, red currant and raspberry nose with classic spice/floral/earth sensations of white pepper, violets, thyme and black tea. Friendly and fruity enough to drink sans food, but […]

KEEP Rose “Kahn Vineyard” 2017

Keep Rose

85% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre whole cluster pressed (which suggests a more complex and delicate Rosé than the open-the-red-grape-juice spigot method, aka saignée). Sports a dark orange color (a la Provence Rosé but a darker hue), and smells and flavors of raspberry/strawberry, black olive, crushed thyme, blood orange, peach pit and lavender. Aggressive in flavor – […]

KALE Rose “Kick Ranch” 2017

Kale Rose Kick Ranch

Made from 100% Grenache from hillside vineyards outside of Santa Rosa. Fresh aromas of strawberries, watermelon and pink roses. More fruit in the taste: red berries, melons again plus blood orange with a pinch of white pepper and cilantro. A jolt of acidity elevates the fruity flavors and extends them into the bright, 10 second […]

Guillaume Durdilly Chenas Grands Rouvres 16

Guillaume Durdilly Chenas 16

Pretty, bright red raspberries and wild cherries laced with red and pink roses, pink peppercorns and coriander. Ample, friendly, bright berry and dark citrus flavors, dances on the tongue, fine tannins along the gums. Overall this is super-friendly Beaujolais with character and good guts. For around $20, this is just about perfect for what it […]

SARRAZIN Rully “Sans Nom” 2015

Sarrazin Rully Sans Nom

Sarrazin’s “Sans Nom” comes from two estate vineyards that give different qualities to the wine. First impression is ripe and fleshy, too much for some tastes. Melons, citrus custard and pineapple with medium acidity. On the back palate and finish the wine “freshens up” with more fresh, tangy citrus, green applesauce and a mineral kick. […]

DUREUIL-JANTHIAL Rully “En Guesnes” 15

Dureuil Janthial Rully Guesnes

Deep, rich Burgundy-red color. Smell and taste kirsch & framboise, fresh violets, warm buttered toast, pomegranate juice. Texturally, this is powerful, offering structure, fine tannins, delicious fruit and underpinnings of soil and Burgundy spice. This is a winner. Can’t wait to try some of his 1er Cru Red Burgs. More Information Rully appellation, Cote Chalonnaise, […]

GAVIGNET Hautes Cotes de Nuits “Dames Huguettes” 2015

Gavignet Hautes Cotes

A deep red, wild cherry nose with freshly-turned earth, allspice berries and black tea moves to a strong red berry/cherry flavor with savory spice and soil support. Good structure, fine and firm tannins, bright/bold fruit and a definitive character of Burgundy make this a screaming-good value in this category. Buy this while you can and […]

BETTON Crozes Hermitage “Caprice” 2016

Betton Crozes Caprice

Perfumed, energetic aromas of blueberries, wild strawberries, new leather, lavender, black pepper and black olive (real Northern Rhone Syrah classic smells). The taste leads with the fruit with the spice and soil coming in strong from behind. I really like the balance of ripe, friendly fruit and Northern Rhone Syrah pronounced spice. Fleshy, structured and […]

MURGO Spumante Brut Rose

Murgo Brut Rose

A delicious Methode Traditonelle (Metodo Classico means the same thing in Italian – bubbles made in the bottle, 2nd fermentation) from Sicily. 100% Nerello Mascalese. Etna Rosso wines have had a surge of popularity in the U.S. the last 10 years. Now it’s time for Spumante Brut Rose to have its turn. Made in a […]

ARNYCA Rosé 2017

100% Pinot Noir from the heart of Russian River Valley used for this microscopic 46 case production Rosé. Deep watermelon and wild red cherry nose with a little talc and fresh red rose sneaking in there too. In the mouth, a jolt of acidity hits the palate with more melon/red berry fruit, white pepper and […]

TERRE SECRÈTES Crèmant de Bourgogne Rosé

Terres Secretes Cremant

80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay from the Mâconnais. This is one of the most friendly, fuller-bodied, fruit-driven Crèmants I’ve had. The fruit and richness could be explained by the high amount of Pinot Noir as well as the 10% Reserve wine added to the cuvée. Friendly, forward fruit quality. Cherry and cranberry as expected + […]

AGNES PAQUET Bourgogne/Pinot Noir 2016

Paquet Burgundy

A juicy red cherry and plum nose with a smidge of fresh red rose and talc. The taste is all reds with thumbs-up acidity for Bourgogne and a veil of tannins on the gums at the end. 2016 is a good Red Burgundy vintage overall, especially for “lowly” Bourgogne Rouge. Ripe, but not too much […]

TONI JOST Spatburgunder 2010

Toni Jost Spatburgunder

Toni Jost, a well-known Mittelrhein Riesling producer, makes Rheingau Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) too. It’s warmer on the Rheingau overall, making Spat more successful. Light color, and full of spice, dry herbs and earth. That said, this wine also delivers the fruit: maraschino cherry, plum sauce and cranberry sauce (I’m guessing it took a few years […]