This month of Halloween unveiled a plethora of tasty treats, here are my favorites:
Clouds Rest 2009 Chardonnay, North Coast: Expressive aromas of sauteed apple slices accented with spice titillate the senses and draw you into the glass with joy. On the rich, mouth filling palate, delicious layers of citrus flecked fresh apple, juicy pear, minerality and a dash of skillfully integrated oak marry perfectly with vibrant acidity, creating an elegantly balanced, stunning Chardonnay with a lingering finish.
St. Amant 2009 Mohr Fry Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi: Blackberry jam aromas lead to generous blackberry, raspberry and boysenberry flavors highlighted by vanilla bean and a touch of brown spice generously filling the mouth. Rich and juicy with a velvety texture, this lush Zinfandel comes from 67 year old Mohr Fry Ranch Vineyard – a simply yummy Zinfandel.
Lange Twins 2010 Musque Clone Sauvignon Blanc, Lodi: Fragrant melon and citrus notes dazzle the nose and remain bright and persistent on the palate. This all stainless steel Sauvignon Blanc captures the essence of this clone beautifully with its melon and kiwi fruit flavors. The juicy fruit is offset attractively by lively acidity; fresh and clean with an uplifting finish.
Miller Vineyards 2008 Petite Sirah, Fairplay: This tightly woven Petite Sirah is dense and powerful. Opening with fresh herb notes alongside nicely ripened (not over-ripe) fruit, it is deep and full bodied with the earthy, blackberry and blueberry flavors at the core joined by bittersweet chocolate mid palate. The tannins are firm and plentiful; a very good candidate for cellar aging, a bit restrained now but you can count on it continuing to open up beautifully over the years.
Palmina 2008 Honea Vineyard Arneis, Santa Ynez Valley: Brimming full of floral and citrus aromas, this dry white wine (that is most known from its origins in Piedmont Italy) bursts with flavor on the palate. Crisp pear and lime peel come to the forefront, with underlying herbs peeking through on mid palate. A nice food pairing wine with its bright acidity and good depth.
Portola Vineyards 2008 Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Clara Valley: Alluring scents of cherries, herbs and fresh pomegranate seeds fill the nose with this brilliantly hued Pinot Noir. It broadens nicely on the palate with herbal, earthy notes and licorice accents playing off the bright cherry fruit taking center stage. Smoothly textured with velvety tannins, and finishes with a pretty touch of cherry cola that tops off the impressive package.
Anthony Road 2008 Riesling, Finger Lakes: Inviting aromas of apple and crushed river rock encourage you into the glass, and there is plenty to enjoy here. Crisp green apple, tons of minerality and tropical melon all meld together with a nice lime zest accent. Bracing acidity holds throughout; pure and refreshing from start to lingering finish, leaves you wanting more!
Kosta Browne 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: Here is an intensely aromatic Pinot Noir, with red and black cherry fruit and spicy aromas wafting from the glass. Dive in and find dense, concentrated cherry and red raspberry fruit with an overlay of provocative spices, nicely integrated oak and a dash of black tea accents offset by lively acidity. Well defined and textured, and truly showcases the Russian River Valley terroir.