October 23, 2018
Ferdinand Albarino 2016

FERDINAND Albarino 2016

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, […]
August 31, 2018
Kongsgaard Albarino 2017

KONGSGAARD Albarino Napa Valley 2017

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).
August 20, 2018
Raimbault Sancerre

RAIMBAULT Sancerre Apud Sariacum 2017

Always a classic, mineral-driven, zippy wine, the Philippe Raimbault Sancerre 2017 is relatively fleshy and fruit-driven. In this vintage, the fresh green applesauce, juicy pears and lemon custard take on the chalky/seashell flavors, expected of Sancerre, in a fight for dominance. It’s up to the taster as to who wins. It’s close, and relative. If this were a California SB, it would be called “very Sancerre-like.”
August 7, 2018
Y Rousseau Colombard

Y ROUSSEAU Colombard 2017

Napa Valley Winery Y Rousseau ventured up to Ukiah, Mendocino County to procure these Colombard grapes. Why Colombard, see my next paragraph. Drink as you would a Sauvignon Blanc – bright acid, no barrel flavor, citrus and orchard fruit-heavy and pleasing green notes. The Y Rousseau Colombard is similar yet different to Sauv Blanc: lemon & lime zest, jasmine, fresh celery and green banana on the nose at first. As it warms a little, ripe pear, mango and kiwi come out as well as a round, pleasing mouth feel. You can just drink and drink and drink this crisp white […]
July 28, 2018
Massican Gemina

MASSICAN Gemina White Wine 2017

¾ Pinot Grigio, ¼ Greco (Wine geeks, think Greco di Tufo white wine from Campania, Italy). Massican Gemina is an intense wine, full of palate-tickling acidity and all parts of the lemon (zest, juice, seed, and don’t forget the lemon blossoms!). It’s bright acidity/nervy energy and food-friendly mineral edge is what we’ve come to expect and want from Massican wines. More Information Owner/winemaker Dan Petroski launched Massican with the 2009 vintage (and I’m proud to say I was one of the first retailers to carry it when I owned Back Room Wines). The wines, all white, are made in the […]
June 26, 2018
Trinafour French Colombard

TRINAFOUR French Colombard 2017

This grape of Gascony, France origin is sporadically planted in Northern California. These vines are REALLY spread out (see note below) in Mendocino’s Redwood Valley. The Trinafour French Colombard is very high natural acidity (very tangy…some would say tart) is softened by neutral barrel fermentation and weekly lees-stirring before bottling. Smell and taste tart green apples, lemon/lime, grapefruit, fresh herbs, fresh pears. The leesy character comes out on the finish, giving the slightest fresh bread crust pleasure. Have this with raw oysters, ceviche, steamed shrimp with a citrus vinaigrette and young goat or sheep cheeses. More Information I have to […]
June 24, 2018
Pievalta Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi

PIEVALTA Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi 2016

This is a delicious, light, crisp white wine from the Le Marche region in central Italy, Adriatic Coast on its east side. It’s a go-to fish wine of the area, and for Italian white drinkers everywhere. Smell and taste lemon zest, orange blossoms, tangy green apple skins & flesh, kiwi and nectarine. Bright for sure, but not to the level of cooler-climate wines like Loire and Mosel. This wine’s fleshiness makes for a nicely versatile wine to pair with most chicken, pork and fish dishes. For $17/bottle I will happily drink this anytime!
March 28, 2018
Vadiaperti Fiano

VADIAPERTI Fiano di Avellino 2016

Zesty, zippy, “electric” white wine with an unmistakable “minerality” weaving through. Smell and taste lemon zest, citrus blossoms, Granny Smith apple (skin-on), crunchy pear and crushed chalky rocks. The best Fianos (like this) marry tangy with creamy a la bright Chardonnay (think Chablis) and dry Riesling. Similar, but different. The Vadiaperti is spot-on delicious and invariably a great introduction to crisp, southern Italian white wine for someone in your wine-loving clan.   Fiano is grown is a small region in Campania, near Naples and the Mediterranean, south of Rome (it’s the SHIN of Italy). While Fiano has a long-storied history […]