Look: Pale yellow that is almost clear at the edges. No noticeable legs.
Smell: Pineapple and apricot
Taste: Round. good acidity but soft in the mouth with flavors of melon, pineapple, white peach, white cherry and granite. Medium finish with apple and more mineral.
Conclusions: I was really surprised with this wine. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but the description sounded good and I decided to try it. I am really glad I did. It was a great wine to have with dinner and it went well with food (can’t remember what I paired it with) but it was equally as good sitting on the couch watching tv later in the evening. I just wish I had picked up more than one bottle of this.
Other notes: I almost didn’t get this wine. There was an issue with the case of various wines that I ordered (I won’t go into details). I was frustrated and ready to cross Somm Select off my list of places to order wine from. But I was contacted by the company and not only did Connor understand why I was frustrated, he did everything he could to make it right. I can not tell you how much I appreciated the phone call – an actual phone call, not an email or text – to explain what happened and everything he did in the name of customer service. He went well above and beyond what I would have expected so rather than cross Somm Select off my list of places to order wine from, it’s gotten bumped up on the “go to” list. It also helps that the wines are generally fantastic, and this one is no different. This is one of those wines that makes you remember why you drink wine for the pure enjoyment of the experience.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Somm Select, ” Alluring aromas of quince, yellow apple skin, white peach, preserved lemon, citrus blossoms, and pineapple core shine through, followed by notes of crushed chalk, wet stone, hazelnut, slight cream, and delicately-woven baking spices. The medium-bodied palate is soft and elegant – near crisp in style – but with rich layers. Nervy stone mineralogy and fresh waves of acid sit in perfect harmony with a delicate core of just-ripe, and finely textured fruits.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Sutter Homes Winery, Fre Alcohol Removed Chardonnay, California – No Vintage
Price estimate: $8 (grocery store)
Look: Very pale yellow with a tint of green
Smell: Apple juice and white grapes (Bob’s comment was that it was just hard.)
Taste: Soured apple juice, sour grape, maybe a little pear if I’m being generous. Very sweet finish.
Conclusions: I won’t say this was undrinkable, but it was pretty much not wine. If you told me it was apple juice I’d have thought it was bad. Give it to me as a glass of wine and I’m holding on to it all night and not drinking more than a sip every now and then. If you just want something sweet to drink, there are way better options. I’m not even sure I would cook with this and I certainly didn’t finish the glass.
Other notes: Yes, I realize this is not wine and it is almost blasphemous to post it here, but I did. I like wine. I really like wine, but I don’t always like drinking alcohol and I was looking for non-alcoholic options for when I want a glass or two, but don’t want to drink. You know, something to sip on while sitting on the couch watching whatever superhero show Bob has on. I’ve had some sparking non-alcoholic wines before that were actually pretty good – no they won’t pass for Champaign but they were perfectly enjoyable. I was really hoping to find an option in still wine that would be the same, but oh, this just was not.
From the bottle: (Their marketing department did a fantastic job with the bottle notes … just saying.) “The sophisticated alternative. With its deep golden hue, and lively tropical fruit flavors that waft from the glass, our alcohol-removed Chardonnay makes any occasion special. Rich, creamy apple flavors mingle with crisp citrus notes on your palate, concluding with an enjoyable tart finish.” 24% juice, <0.5% alcohol.
Basic info: Longboard Vineyards North Coast Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma, CA – 2017
Price estimate: $24
Look: Very, very pale. Almost no color, but a little green tint in the right light
Smell: Pine, pineapple, thyme, rosemary
Taste: Round wine with tastes of pineapple, coconut, fresh herbs, a touch of vanilla and oak (but not much – really a hint), grapefruit, lemon and orange flower. Very long finish.
Conclusions: This is an Oh My Goodness wine. It is probably the best Sauvignon Blanc I’ve ever had. I don’t tend to drink Sauvignon Blanc but this wine is making me rethink that, especially for summer. Super smooth and totally enjoyable this is a great wine for sipping. I may need to get more of this.
Other notes: Both Bob and I were super excited to try this one after I heard the wine maker on a podcast I listen to and while I expected it to be good, I didn’t expect it to be this good. This was not the sharp, acidic grapefruit-y Sauvignon Blanc that you might expect. It’s soft and flavorful and just so good. We both had a second glass (Bob actually went with the wine instead of beer after he tasted it so that tells you something right there) and lingered over it. I kept smelling and tasting the wine because every time I did I just smiled.
From the bottle: “Wine, Waves and Soul” 13.5% alcohol by volume.
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.