Gems in My Glass . . . October 2012

Gems in MY Glass . . .


McCay Cellars 2010 Zinfandel, Lodi, CA:   This rich, jammy, concentrated elixir shouts ZIN before the glass reaches your lips!   Gobs of ripe berries, plums, and sweet spices coat the palate with a dense, velvety, texture and plenty of gusto.  The finish holds firm and offers up a nice touch of vanilla bean capping off the beautifully crafted package.  SRP:  $64


Charles Krug Winery 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, CA: scents of sun-ripened nectarine and fresh squeezed lime are vivid and mouthwateringly pleasing.  The palate bursts forward on impact, unraveling deliciously with nectarine, guava, white grapefruit and fresh herbs shimmering along with racy acidity; fresh, balanced and simply terrific.  SRP:  $18


Charles Krug Winery 2009 Generations, Napa Valley CA:  An exotic blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc that opens with aromas of fresh black fruits and spice.  Quite youthful with structured chalky tannins, yet approachable with its dark berry, black currant center surrounded by tobacco, spice box and sandalwood accents on mid palate. Rich and complex with a persistent finish, certainly cellar worthy.  SRP:  $50

Roederer Estate 2003 L’Ermitage Brut, Anderson Valley, CA:   A striking, elegant Chardonnay/Pinot Noir sparkling wine.    Expressive aromas of brioche and spice welcome you into the glass.  The bursting flavors of apple, honeysuckle, spice and freshly baked pie crust pop grandly like an explosion of fireworks on the palate – wow.  Complex and deep with yeasty, minerally notes that hold firm through the memorable finish.  SRP:  $47


Taft Street Winery 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley, CA:   The enticing citrus and herbal aromas draw you straight into the glass and splendid flavors explode from first sip.  Pretty guava and pink grapefruit dotted with lemon verbena expand gloriously on the palate and the brilliant acidity simply shines through the lifted finish.    SRP $17


St. Amant Winery 2010 Souzao, Lodi, CA:   The opaque, purple-black hue of this delicious Souzao quickly grabs your attention.  If you are not otherwise familiar, this is full bodied variety most known in Portugal.   Dense, dark plums, blackberries and anise spice unfold around a firm backbone of tannins.   This delicious example is expansive and powerful, yet feels soft and round with its velvety texture and balance, and the purity is nicely showcased through the alluring finish.  SRP:  $18 (This vintage is sold out; seek out the next vintage in the spring of 2013).


St. Amant Winery 2011 Marion’s Vineyard Zinfandel, Lodi, CA:  A ripe, juicy Zinfandel that wows from the expressive red and black fruited aromas to the dense and jammy boysenberry and olallieberry flavors drenching the palate.   The zesty acidity makes a fine companion to the deep, concentrated fruit with allspice and cocoa highlights, and the flavors surge to a finish that lingers memorably.     SRP:  $24


Fetzer Vineyards 2010 Moscato, California:  Fragrant honeysuckle and white flowers on the nose join succulent peach, apricot, a squeeze of clementine and blanched almond accents that fill the mouth with juicy goodness.  This wine (made of 100% Muscat grapes) is delightfully sweet at 3.5% residual sugar yet not a bit cloying, and offers a moderate level of alcohol (8%).  An impressive new world Moscato at a bargain price, and that will likely boost your experience to even greater heights.  SRP:  $7


Helwig Vineyards & Winery 2010 Cooper Ranch Barbera, Amador County, CA: Here’s a dense, dark and dreamy Barbera.  Chock full of nicely ripened blackberry, blueberry and wild berry fruit at the core; this impeccably balanced wine captivates the nose and the palate exquisitely.   Pure, fresh and full bodied with well integrated oak nuances and a subtle hint of vanilla caramel on the very satisfying finish.  SRP:  $18