Basic info:Gros Ventre, Vermentino, El Dorado, CA – 2017
Price estimate: $24 (from winery)
Look: very pale yellow with a slight green tinge.
Smell: lemon grass, apricot, and a bit of honey
Taste: Citrus, melon, tart but still smooth. White peach in the middle and a mineral/melon finish.
Conclusions: Very good. Perfect summer sipping wine. Lots of interest and great flavors that change as the wine warms a little. Very citrus tasting when ice cold, but the melon really shines when it has sat for about ten to fifteen minutes.
Other notes: Last year this was the wine that made me rethink whites. I went back and looked at my notes and the 2016 had more apple flavors and just wowed me. This one is different, we really liked it, but it didn’t have that “oh wow” moment and while we really enjoyed the bottle, it just wasn’t the same. A few weeks later we opened a second bottle of this and it was the 2016 all over again. Apple, peach, melon, mineral and a touch of saline. It was perfect and that same “oh wow” that our first bottle this year lacked.
From the bottle: From the winery, “Our 2017 Vermentino is perfect for warm weather drinking. It’s bright and approachable, with notes of white flowers, lemon zest, and touch of briny-ness that screams for oysters. It was co-fermented with a splash of Picpoul Blanc that adds freshness and minerality to the finished wine.” 12.4% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Desire Lines Wine Company “Cole Ranch” Riesling – Mendocino, CA, 2016
Price estimate: $22 (from winery)
Look: Translucent yellow. Some legs when it warms.
Smell: Lemon, honey, melon, granite and lemon balm
Taste: Soft and round with notes of lemon, melon, lime, petrol and a touch of honey. The finish is long – very long for a refrigerator cold white wine – with more melon, honey and a bit of lime.
Conclusions: Oh my goodness this was good. Not just good, but downright fantastic. Both Bob and I took a sip and just stopped, then went back for a second sip because we could not believe it was that good. Yep. This one knocked my socks off.
Other notes: This is a pretty new winery: new as in I believe this is their first public release. I got lucky and found them because I follow Bedrock Wine Company on Instagram and they posted about it and I thought, sure let’s try it. Oh my goodness I am so glad we did. This Riesling is the best of what I like in a riesling combined with the best of what Bob likes in a Riesling with a surprise or two thrown in. Dry and mineral for me, a touch of sweetness for Bob and a round, soft wine for us both. My first thought, after the initial “oh wow” was malolactic fermentation and I didn’t think Riesling did that. But it did and oh it was incredible.
From the bottle: No bottle notes and no review notes. 13% alcohol by volume.
Look: Translucent very pale yellow with a slight green tint
Smell: Lemon flower, green apple and granite
Taste: Green apple, lemon, lime, mineral undertone. Crisp and tart. Medium finish and very pleasant mouthfeel – light but not thin.
Conclusions: Good, solid wine. Great flavor and interesting enough but not a home run. It is easy to drink and very enjoyable, but it isn’t one I would remember and search out six months from now.
Other notes: I liked this wine, but I didn’t love it. I wanted to really love it because I like the varietal, but it was just very good. It is the A-/B+ of the wine – really good and very hard to criticize, but it wasn’t perfect and didn’t blow me away.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from SommSelect, “In the glass, the 2016 “Ludwig” is a pale straw-gold with hints of green at the rim, with exceedingly bright and expressive aromas of green and yellow apple, white grapefruit, white peach, lime blossom, cucumber peel, daikon radish, white pepper, and wet stones. The wine is a joyful push-pull of fruit and mineral sensations, with surprising depth and palate persistence and perfect tension.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.
Look: light to medium yellow, translucent with only some legs
Smell: Lovely aromas of lemon and honey
Taste: Apricot, citrus, maybe a little mango. White grape and a little mineral note in the middle. Finish is medium length with some honey, but not sweet.
Conclusions: Fantastic! Really beautiful wine. Easy to drink, but a lot of character and no two sips are exactly alike.
Other notes: When I first read the description of this, I decided I had to pick up a bottle or two. “Bone dry Riesling” was the basic description and I thought that would be great on a warm spring day. I expected a pretty good wine, but I didn’t expect one that would just totally blow me away. From the first sip to the last, I savored this wine – I kept trying to figure out why I liked it so much, but never came to a firm conclusion. Bob thought it was just as good – amazingly well crafted and a lot of interest. I was so glad I picked up two bottles of this and slightly sad that I didn’t get more.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Somm Select: “Pale straw-colored with green highlights at the rim, with aromas of kaffir lime, white peach, green apple, white flowers, exotic spice, wet stones, and a hint of white mushroom. Medium bodied and textured . . . delivers great freshness and mineralogy.” 13.1% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Gustave Lorentz, Riesling Reserve, Alsace, France – 2015
Price estimate: $17 (from Weekly Tasting)
Look: Pale yellow, translucent with minimal legs when cold.
Smell: Stone fruit, granite and lemon
Taste: Apple, white peach, lemon flower. Tart wine with a really good acidity. Almost no sweetness, but not harsh. Long lingering finish with notes of honey on the end.
Conclusions: This was an excellent wine and probably one of my favorite Rieslings. It has a lot of complexity, yet was easy to drink and fairly elegant. The wine was crisp and clean.
Other notes: The first two days I had this wine I absolutely loved it, but when I had it again a few days later (I know, I should never save wine for a week – see previous post about the constant coming and going illness) it just fell flat. It wasn’t bad, but all the tartness went out of the wine and it just was not as enjoyable. The lesson to be learned here is to always finish the bottle within two days.
From the bottle: “Delicately fruity and racy, this wine is showing aromas of papaya, green apples, peach and lemon. The palate is light with nice tropical and mineral tones fairly crisp with some citrus on the finish.” 12.5 % alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Michael Poznan “Annabella” Chardonnay, Napa, CA – 2014
Price estimate: $13 (local wine store)
Look: Light straw colored with good legs after it warmed a little.
Smell: Apple, pear, lemon flower
Taste: Lemon, lime, vanilla and a little jasmine. Good acid with a medium finish. Tart, but pleasant.
Conclusions: I like this wine, especially for a Chardonnay. It has a soft texture and a silky mouthfeel, but it isn’t oily or oaky. It went well with the Thai peanut sauce I made with dinner. Is it a memorable wine? Probably not, but it is very drinkable.
Other notes: Ever since Kate brought over the 2009 Cakebread Chardonnay, I’ve been trying to try more chardonnay. It isn’t a varietal I gravitate to as I associate it with heavy, okay oily wines. We tasted the Annabella a few months ago and really liked it so when I needed a nice, clean white for dinner this was the one I went to open.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from the winery, “The Annabella 2014 Napa Valley Chardonnay is a bright, light straw color in the glass. Youthful but sophisticated, the wine entices with aromas of honeydew melon, juicy tangerine, and a slight hint of butterscotch. In the mouth, the wine strikes an impossible balance between voluptuous and delicate – with a silky, weighty mouth feel playing counterpoint to fine-spun flavors of citrus blossom and a hint of cinnamon. The slight structure provided by oak frames the wine’s delicacy perfectly, providing length and depth to its elegance.” 14.5% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Tesoro Della Regina, Prosecco, Italy, No Vintage
Type: White bubbly – Prosecco
Price estimate: $5 – split bottle from Total Wine
Look: Very pale yellow, almost clear in color with fine bubbles
Smell: yeast, apple and a little candied pineapple
Taste: Crisp, bubbly, tart. green apple and pear with a little sweet note on the back end.
Conclusions: I really liked this one. It had just a touch of sweetness to offset the tartness, but it wasn’t a sweet wine at all. It was lovely to drink by itself, but it would also make a great mimosa.
Other notes: I picked this up on a whim at Total wine. I’ve had wine from this producer before and I’ve generally liked them, so when I saw the small bottle, I decided to go for it. I intended to hold off on any sparkling wines until I could do a full comparison – Champaign, American sparkling, Cava, Prosecco and Lambrusco – but am having a hard time finding the Lambrusco. Now that the weather is cooler, I might try the old internet order for this, but for now, I’ll go with this bottle. It was the perfect size to celebrate something (passing my state exam in this case) on a weekday.