Gems in My Glass . . . April 2014

Gems in MY Glass . . ., Tasting Notes (1 Comment)

Monterey Wine Competition 2014

The Monterey Wine Competition just celebrated its 21st year, and continues to showcase wines of beautiful merit from a variety of wine regions near and far.  Favorites from my panel at this year’s lively competition include:

Zocker 2012 Paragon Vineyard Grüner Veltliner; Edna Valley, California:   The initial introduction of this exuberant Gruner is the wildly expressive nose, wow.  It is equally engaging on the palate with energizing flavors of summer melon and white grapefruit dancing with minerality and a trace of white pepper weaving through the elegant layering of fruit.  The streamlined acidity keeps it fresh through the pleasing, lifted finish.  SRP:  $20

Flipflop 2013 Pinot Grigio; California:  This lively Pinot Grigio really hits the spot.  Expressive and refreshing juicy pear and subtle stone fruit with vibrant citrus highlights gear you up for the warm and sunny presence of spring and summer. Well balanced with lively acidity and an aftertaste that is upbeat and clean.  SRP:  $12

Eberle Winery 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; Paso Robles, California:  Here is a luscious, satisfying Cabernet Sauvignon that is bright and deliciously satisfying from start to finish.   Delectable tastes of black cherries, chocolate covered raspberries and a hint of vanilla saturate the palate, and the lush fruit is smartly offset by lively acidity.  Boasting a velvety smooth texture with soft tannins, here is an ideal accompaniment to ribs, grilled sirloin or juicy burgers.  SRP:  $34

Sierra Vista Winery 2013 Grenache Rose; El Dorado, California:    The rosy pink hue and aromas of fresh, sweet strawberries wow the senses. This vibrant dry rose is sleek and smooth upon entry, and continues to build on the palate with pink grapefruit and raspberry notes chiming in delightfully.  A nicely balanced wine from start to elegant finish.  SRP:  $19

Bella Sera Wines 2012 Pinot Grigio; Veneto, Italy:  This aromatic Pinot Grigio is nicely textured and full-flavored with the essence of tree ripened green apple, creamy pear and a kick of lemon-lime soda enlightening the palate.  Finishes clean and bright with a touch of lemon verbena.  SRP:  $8.99

Villa Bellezza Winery & Vineyards 2012 Cotes du Pepin Red; Upper Mississippi River Valley, Wisconsin:  This delightful dry red wine opens with berry aromas and fills the palate with a rich mouthful of black plum and wild berry flavors accented with brown spices.  Round and dense with nice purity of fruit, here’s a perfect sipper for an outdoor barbecue gathering.  SRP:  $25

Penguin Bay Winery NV Maroon Four; Finger Lakes, New York:  This appealing dry red blend of 60% Noiret, 20% Marachel Foch and 20% Cab Franc clearly identifies the Noiret content with its lovely black pepper component.  Multiple layers of red and black fruit and a touch of earth join the savory black pepper thread weaving throughout.   Delicious and distinctive with good balance and firm tannins. SRP:  $14

Easley Winery 2012 Chambourcin; Indiana:  This darkly hued dry red wine offers up aromas of fresh flowers and black fruit.  Tickling the taste buds is a medley of black raspberries, black cherries, a sprinkling of fresh ground peppercorns and chopped herbs.  Nicely weighted and balanced, this is a generously fruited, easy to quaff wine.  SRP:  $10

Niner Wine Estates 2010 Bootjack Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon; Paso Robles, California: This highly aromatic Cab quickly draws you into the glass.  Flavors of freshly ground roasted coffee beans, cassis, and concentrated black cherries entwine seamlessly on the palate. Impressively balanced with refined tannins through the memorable finish.    SRP:  $35

La Rusticana d’Orsa 2011 Cinque; Santa Cruz Mountains, California:  This fashionable Bordeaux blend is lush, balanced and deeply structured, capturing both Old World and New World characteristics with panache. The earthy, leather components mesh seamlessly with the rich currant, plum, blackberry fruit and savory spice.  Eucalyptus nuances peek through on the persistent finish.  Cinque is a bold yet elegant wine with plenty of verve that drinks well now and promises ageworthiness too.  SRP:  $45

Cholame Vineyard 2012 Summer Shade; Monterey County, California:  This vivid Grenache Blanc is compelling with floral and green apple aromas rising from the glass.  Broadening on the palate are dazzling layers of crisp apple, white peach, nectarine, zesty tangerine and mineral notes all framed by an elegant structure and racy acidity.  This delightfully dry white wine remains crisp and vibrant long after the last sip is savored.  SRP:  $24