March 21, 2019
Mardon Quincy

MARDON Quincy “Tres Vieilles Vignes” 2017

Look to Quincy for delicious, mineral-driven, Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. And in Quincy, buy Domaine Mardon. Quincy is 50 miles west of Sancerre along the Cher River. 50-80 year old vines, growing in river sand and gravel, make high-toned, zippy, pure Sauvignon Blanc. Quick attack of green apple skins, grapefruit, lemon/lime and river rocks. Ripe, crisp citrus and stone fruits quickly emerge on the palate. Mouth-watering acidity, perfect balance of fruit, soil and acid. Killer white here for $20.
March 15, 2019
Cailbourdin Pouilly Fume Les Cris

Domaine Alain Cailbourdin Pouilly Fume “Les Cris” 2017

Knowing this wine from multiple prior vintages, I pay the 2017 the best compliments I can give, which are classic and typical. You don’t want too much in an outstanding Loire Valley Sauv Blanc. Rather, you want brightness, intensity and the flavor of the rocky soils from which it comes. And here it is: citrus zest (especially lemon), spring flowers and rocky pebbles. Smells great, tastes great, finishes long and vibrant. I love wines like this to no end.
September 1, 2018
AVA Napa Valley White

Crocker & Starr AVA Napa Valley White 2017

“White Blend of Sauvignon Blanc” states the front label. The blend is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon. Smell and taste fresh white peaches, lemon/lime, honeydew melon, salty sea air and kaffir lime leaf. Medium/high acidity, no barrel flavor, texturally pleasing (from the Semillon and, I imagine, some lees-stirring. A DDWA Awesome Value (and member of my “Best of the Best” list) if there ever was one. Expect to see this by the glass in many quality restaurants in the Bay Area and beyond. More Information Winemaker/winery owner Pam Starr utilizes her “AVA Napa Valley” brand to purchase barrels/tanks of wine, […]
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.”
March 4, 2018
Bos Ode to Fume

BOS “Ode to Fume” Napa Valley White Wine 2015

100% Sauvignon Blanc from organic or biodynamic vineyards at the base of Atlas Peak and Calistoga. Showing zippy acidity and loads of citrus (lime, grapefruit and lemon in that order), lemongrass and Macintosh apple smells and flavors. Particularly mouth-filling for a pure, not oaky Sauvignon Blanc…the high quality grapes provide the body. Going on three years after harvest, the acidity is well integrated into the wine now. I find this to be an excellent no-food sipper, but really blossoms with salty proteins (bacon wrapped shrimp, teriyaki chicken).   Owner Dave Bos is a biodynamic vineyard manager for small vineyards in […]
February 15, 2018
Somm Blanc 2015

SOMM BLANC “Old Vines” 2015

Somm Blanc is 80% Sauvignon Blanc from “Lolonis Vineyard” Redwood Valley (organic, very old vines) and 20% Semillon from “Yount Mill Vineyard” Yountville, Napa Valley (also organic and old vine). Half oak barrel, half steel barrel ferment, light skin contact, lees-stirred. It’s “Bordeaux-Style” winemaking. This is fantastic – fruit flavors of grapefruit, pear skins and Meyer lemons with a long savory finish that reminds me of a salted pretzel. High acidity starts the wine, then bread, dried flowers and blanched almonds finish it off. At $24 this is an unbelievable wine.   About Somm Blanc Somm Blanc is owned and […]
September 28, 2017

SHARED NOTES lecons des maitres 15

Blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon. Whole grape cluster pressed (brings out fruit flavor and texture), small French oak barrel aged. to emulate the best White Bordeaux wines. The name translates to “the lessons of the masters,” the great winemakers of Bordeaux.This is loaded with lemon custard, sweet cream, grapefruit concentrate, lemongrass and whole grain wheat toast smells and flavors. Creamy texture and 40 second finish of toast, citrus and stone fruit and tea with milk. It’s tricky to make such a wine “work.” Takes an excellent fruit source, talented farming and talented winemaking. Check, check and check. Shared […]