Gems in My Glass . . . March 2013

Gems in MY Glass . . ., Tasting Notes

The 2013 Monterey Wine Competition held in King City this month brought forth a dazzling assortment of Platinum, Double Gold and Gold worthy wines.  Among my favorites at this year’s competition include:

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards 2001 Carneros Cuvee (Tete de Cuvee) Sparkling Wine; Carneros, California: A magnificent tiny bead delivers an incredible blast of tree fruit, minerality, and yeasty, spicy notes to the nose. This exquisite dry sparkling wine is deep and complex with brioche, white peach, nectarine, clementine and a dash of multi-colored fresh cracked peppercorns entwining with stony minerality, gloriously filling the palate.  The precise balance, elegant structure and commanding layers of flavors lead to a memorable, persistent finish; a masterfully crafted, ageworthy wine. Platinum, Wine of the Year, SRP:  $60

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards 2004 Royal Cuvee Sparkling Wine; Carneros, California:  Enticing yeasty aromas draw you in and keep you captivated all the way through the delicious finish.   Juicy pears and nectarines collide gracefully with lemon curd and fresh baked bread creating quite a tasty display on the palate.  Balanced and texturally pleasing with hints of caramel peeking through on the finish.  This Royal Cuvee is fit for a queen or king indeed.  Platinum, SRP:  $32

Swedish Hill Vineyard NV Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine; Finger Lakes, New York:  This semi-dry sparkling wine crafted of Cayuga White and Riesling displays a bouquet of spring flowers at the forefront, shouting out celebration.   The florality joins lemon zest, herbs, sautéed apples and a touch of stone fruit through the yummy palate.  Nicely balanced with its pleasing level of sweetness offset by lively acidity.  Gold, SRP:  $14.99

Dry Creek Vineyard 2012 Fume Blanc; Sonoma County, California:  Gorgeous grapefruit, summer melon, citrus blossom and pleasing herbaceous notes meld seamlessly, delivering a striking brightness and purity to the nose and palate; irresistible!  The bracing acidity and minerality from the mid palate through the lingering finish add further charm.  A beautifully structured and refreshing wine that will pair wonderfully with shellfish.  Double Gold, SRP:  $14

Baileyana Winery 2010 Chardonnay Grand Firepeak Cuvee; Edna Valley, California:    Enticing tropical aromas draw you in and delectable flavors of pear, pineapple and citrus glide deliciously across the palate.  Here is an elegant, mineral enhanced Chardonnay with a satiny texture and meticulous balance.  Further endearing qualities include the skillfully integrated French oak subtly displayed in the background, and the finish which is lifted and long.   Platinum, Best of Show White Wine, SRP:  $28

Scheid Vineyards 2007 Reserve Claret Estate; Monterey, California:  This exquisite Bordeaux Blend is comprised of 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 16% Malbec, and 11% Cabernet Franc.  Wow; aromas of deep, dark black fruit mesmerize the senses and continue to broaden throughout.  Cassis, plum and blackberry join savory spice, fresh earth and caramelized nuts weaving through the palate lusciously.  Stunning purity and balance, and the firm tannins suggest its age worthiness, too.    Platinum, SRP:  $60

Tangent Winery 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Paragon Vineyard; Edna Valley, California:   Resplendent scents of citrus, kiwi and underlying herbs greet the nose and interlace harmoniously with vibrant flavors of crisp Asian pear, melon, lemon verbena and a thread of minerality delighting the palate.  Brisk acidity brings it all into balance, and the lifted finish simply soars.   Double Gold, SRP: $13

Lake Chelan Winery 2009 Merlot; Columbia Valley, Washington:  Juicy cherry and berry aromas rise from the glass.    Black cherry, blueberry and raspberry fruits with a dash of cocoa and pie spice accents expand richly on the palate.  Medium bodied with silky tannins framing the pretty fruit, and hint of vanilla peeking through on the finish.   Gold, $28

Goose Watch 2011 Traminette; Finger Lakes, New York:   Mouth-watering spicy, floral aromas sprout from the glass and the entry is very engaging.  The spiciness persists through the mouth along with juicy pear, citrus highlights and bright, well-honed acidity.  Here is a perfect wine for Asian or Indian cuisine; the touch of sweetness will pair well with spicy food.   Double Gold, SRP:  $13

Echo Bay 2012 Sauvignon Blanc; Marlborough New Zealand:   Talk about expression of terroir, this example is terrific.  You know right away from the expressive aromas you’re in New Zealand territory.  Gooseberry, grapefruit, lime juice and fresh herb aromas flavors join minerally notes all the way through the lingering aftertaste.  Well balanced with zesty acidity and plenty of vigor.   Platinum, SRP:  $13

Goose Watch NV Classic Cream Sherry; Finger Lakes, New York:  The gorgeous golden hue captures the eye, and the incredibly seductive aromas beckon you into the glass.   Crafted in the solera method of blending, this compelling wine is deep and complex.  Layers of caramelized nuts, orange zest, toffee and hints of coconut unravel slowly, coating the mouth fully and lingering with a heavenly finish.  Double Gold, SRP:  $16 (375ml)