Bodega Quo “Plumia” Dry Moscatel
Here’s an odd duck from the Aragon region of Spain. The Muscat grape is traditionally made into a sweet fortified wine, but it’s fermented until dry. As a result, it’s both remarkable and unique. Aromas of white flowers and peach pit merge with hibiscus-scented pear on the palate. A bit of honey and lush fruit, but the palate remains dry, and the acidity remains crisp and clear.
A blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley that over-performs. I always question white wines that are produced in Napa. So often, the effort for the winemaker and the expense of the final product is not worth it.
This is one of the rare exceptions. This is a label from the Napa Wine Company and is a joint venture with Drew Neiman (the former winemaker of Kongsgaard). Neiman’s hand is evident in this wine: the artful balance of exotic fruit, fresh garden herbs, and white flowers is tremendous. A delightful and unique wine.
Domaine Des Hauts Chassis “Les Galets” Crozes Hermitage
This is an exceptional wine; the finest northern rhone Syrah under $30. Classic beefy notes with pipe tobacco and granite on a clear frame of bright cherry. Will age well for 4-5 years.
Tenuta di Castiglioni Red
Here’s a modern style of Italian wine that drinks amazingly well. Its uber-oak fleshes out deep black fruit. A nice bit of sweet tarragon and anise on the finish, too.
Stag’s Leap Winery Petite Sirah
The winery that put Petite Sirah on the map in the mid-nineties. SLW has been the standard-bearer ever since. Cassis, lavender, and licorice on the nose, with a remarkably balanced palate of wet clay, dense blackberry, white pepper, and striated tannins. Drink this puppy with a grass-fed rib eye.
Vezer La Salette
15 miles from Napa, Suisun Valley is one of the few undiscovered wine regions left in California. This bottle is a great introduction to these wines. A Petite Sirah with about 35 percent Zinfandel added to the mix is a gentle but deep force, kind of like Giovanni Ribisi. Syrup-like red fruit slathers over dense white pepper and milk chocolate and bundles up with a velvet texture. Opulent and delicious.