Begins with a dark berry, cocoa powder, black licorice, tobacco and roasting lamb leg aroma. Taste, too, is rich, spicy and earthy with loads of deep berry fruitiness. Light oak, adding a subtle note of vanilla toast. With fine tannins and healthy acidity, the Parador Tempranillo 2016 is drinking fantastic these days and will be great until at least 2026. Parador Owner/Winemaker Steve Ventrello planted one acre of Tempranillo at the base of Atlas Peak using cuttings from Ribera del Duero. The rocky, hillside site and natural acidity of Tempranillo explains why this wine needs 3 1/2 – 4 years […]
Napa winery Olivia Brion stretches out by acquiring Tempranillo from the outstanding “Shake Ridge Ranch” near Sutter Creek in Gold Country, Sierra Foothills. Smells great, like red cherry compote, dark pomegranate, dried red rose petals and cracked black peppercorns. Medium-bodied, loads of fruit yet not overly fruity because of the floral/spicy/earthy flavors going on. Its fine tannins make the wine stand tall. Really lovely…full-flavored yet with a graceful restraint. Fantastic food wine. Pair as you would a structured, complex Napa Valley Merlot. More Information With a history focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from “Heron Lake Vineyard” in Wild Horse […]
Here’s a tasty, dry, no-oak Sauvignon Blanc-alternative white wine to check out. From the hills east of Lodi where Spanish varietals, like Albariño, have established a strong foothold. Smell and taste lemon verbena, grapefruit, fresh sliced peaches and a whisper of chalk dust. Medium acidity. Orange wedges and citrus blossoms on the finish. Have with whitefish ceviche or French Fries & mayo. More Information Ragbag Wines is a new label owned and made by Steven Mirassou, owner/maker of Steven Kent Winery in Livermore Valley. This Albariño is indicative of the Ragbag mission: tasty, pure and pretty weekday wines, well-priced and meant […]
The Spanish grape Albariño has found if not a home then a vacation getaway in California. Napa producer Ferdinand acquires Albariño from Lodi’s “Vista Luna Vineyard” to make this crisp, aromatic, texturally pleasing white. I love its fresh floral, citrus basket and Granny Smith apple smells and flavors plus the crunchy-ness and mouth-watering acidity. Still, the tang is pulled back just enough with barrel fermentation (neutral barrel) and full malo. Think of it as sanding the sharp edges of a table. I’ve had my fair share of California Albariños, and the Ferdinand is one of the best. And for $20, […]
From a tiny plot of Albariño in “Hudson Vineyard” planted specifically for Kongsgaard. Orange zest, mineral and citrus blossom nose. Then take a sip: tangy! Almost, but not quite, tart. First sip grabs you with acidity, then the palate adjusts and it’s a joy. Lemonheads, yellow grapefruit, Macintosh apple, lemongrass flavors come to mind. Lees-stirring supplies body and texture. This rare white is only available at certain restaurants (no retail purchase, not even from the winery).
Lemony/orange-y citrus, chalky, grapefruit, tangy nose stays pleasantly, startlingly tart in the mouth. This wine is all about yellow citrus flavors, both the juice and the zest. A chalky note, along with a smidge of bread crust from lees-aging, describes the wine’s complexity. “Liveliness and aromatic zest” is how owner/winemaker Michael Havens describes it. Indeedy do. This is an ideal high-acid Sauvignon Blanc alternative. More Information Napa winemaker/winery owner veteran Michael Havens launched Cave Dog with his 2014 red wine. There are 3 Cave Dog wines: this Albariño, a Godello (another white wine of Spanish origin) and the red, a […]