Lavender Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2012 Rolle, Sierra Foothills, California: Citrus blossom aromas delightfully arouse the senses with this crisp Rolle (a dry white wine also known as Vermentino). Enticing flavors of star fruit, lime-scented pears, a touch of herbs and a distinct thread of minerality grace the palate. The texture is smooth and mouth-filling and the memorable finish is bright and lifted; a brilliantly expressive Rolle.
Lavender Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2009 Grenache Rose Sparkling Wine, Sierra Foothills, California: Beautifully fragrant with floral, yeasty aromas captivating the senses and drawing you into the glass. Fresh sun-sweetened raspberries, cranberries, minerality and a sprinkling of spice broaden on the palate, tickling the taste buds. Elegant and balanced with racy acidity and a lively stream of tiny bubbles persisting from start to satisfying finish.
Lavender Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2012 Grenache Blanc, Sierra Foothills, California: Fully engaging aroma of white flowers and lemon zest lead to a juicy blast of Asian pear and citrus-flecked nectarine flavors gliding across the palate. The texture is velvety smooth and the structure well built. This is a plush and vibrant Grenache Blanc with a beautiful sense of pureness.
Lavender Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2011 Cotes du Calaveras, Sierra Foothills, California: This red blend crafted of Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Petite Sirah is full of expressive tart cherries, fresh raspberries and wild berries all colliding deliciously on the palate. Lean, invigorating and tightly wound with spice notes and a hint of oak adding further dimension.
ZD Wines 2011 Chardonnay, Napa/Sonoma, California: This delightful, well balanced Chard presents mouthwatering tropical fruit aromas and a touch of vanilla to the nose. Upon entry the wine is bright and focused with green apple, fresh melon, pineapple, caramel and fresh coconut flavors broadening on the palate. Offsetting lively acidity keeps it finely tuned and immensely quaffable.
Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2011 Gruner Veltliner, Finger Lakes, New York: The floral aromas will knock your socks off; here is a delicious, varietally correct Gruner. White pepper, garden fresh lettuces, melon, and compelling wet stone notes mingle seamlessly on the palate. Precise and balanced with a steely leanness from start to lively finish.
Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2012 Dry Riesling, Keuka Lake, Finger Lakes, New York: As stunning as a Riesling can be, wow, exquisitely crafted. Notes of shale and white peach scents open to minerally, citrus infused stone fruit and fresh peeled clementine flavors dazzling the palate. Brisk acidity keeps it fresh and strikingly balanced and the lengthy finish is divine.
Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars Celebre methode champenoise sparkling wine, Finger Lakes, New York: Enticing aromas of stone fruit and a touch of yeast starts your mouth watering. A persistent tiny bead delivers wildly expressive flavors of peach schnapps, pineapple, sautéed pears and ginger spice gliding across the palate. Creamy and savory with fresh baked bread nuances chiming in mid palate and the finish offers wonderful lift.
Shafer Vineyards 2010 One Point Five Stags Leap District, Napa Valley: Cassis and subtle hints of eucalyptus greet the nose with this deeply structured and complex Cabernet Sauvignon enhanced with a touch of Petite Verdot. Dark berry and black cherry fruit join black currant and tobacco spice on the richly textured palate. Well-proportioned toasty oak and firm tannins add further dimension. Full bodied with power and finesse, this Cab carries off an elegance about it through the memorable finish.
Milagro Vineyards & Winery 2007 Chardonnay New Mexico, This nicely crafted Chardonnay (that I reviewed years ago) is still showing beautifully with pretty fruit and pleasing minerally notes on the nose. Spice accented fresh baked pears accented with caramel notes, take center stage on the palate framed by precisely integrated French oak. A silky texture, impressive balance and lingering finish add to the enchanting package.