Tag: california wine

Savannah-Chanelle 2016 Tondre’s Grapefield Chardonnay

This is a wine that is quite special to me. I’m lucky enough to have winemakers send me their wines, invite me to visit, experience their vineyards. And I’ve discovered some beautiful — and very special — wines this way. But there is a special cubby hole in my heart and in my head I save for those wines I discover alongside my partner on a random excursion into wine country. Savannah-Chanelle had the added benefit of being close to our first home together, which was closer to San Francisco’s South Bay wine country — where the terroir and, thus, the varietal expressions are wholly different.

On Saturday nights we celebrate date night, when, if we have nothing else to toast, we toast each other. So cin-cin and cheers to us…

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Flora Springs 2015 Merlot

Here’s the thing about Flora Springs — they are utterly reliable. Whether you’re looking for something big and bold (say hello to the Trilogy blend) or something light and crips (you must taste their Sauvignon Blanc) or something right in the middle (I’ve got a Chardonnay that’s right up that alley — review to come) — they’ve got something suited to every flavor profile and they do it well. I’d have to say that having tasted much of their portfolio, producing bold reds that are approachable now but can also age for decades is kind of their “thing.” Case and point, this 100% Merlot harvested from their very own estate vineyards along Napa’s valley floor.

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Ana Diogo-Draper 2016 Verdelho

I was excited to see this wine come in my delivery from NakedWines.com. Not regularly exposed to Spanish or Portuguese wines, my main experience with Verdelho has been with those from California. And I have to say Lodi is the up-and-coming region to watch when it comes to these (as of now) “lesser known” grape varieties. So, when I learned the grapes were harvested from Lodi, and the winemaker cut her teeth on Napa wines — great experience plus great fruit has to equal phenomenal wine, right?

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Flora Springs 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

I love where Sauvignon Blanc is going. I love that winemakers are now working with various clones, implementing various aging techniques, and finding ways to finesse the Sauvignon Blanc expression while simultaneously maintaining the integrity of the fruit.

I have a theory that everything Flora Springs produces is absolutely reliable. In fact, when I pulled this from the cellar last Friday night my partner, who’s more of a Sauv Blanc skeptic than I said, “Ok, but as long as it’s not too Sauv Blanc-y.” And all I had to say in reassurance: “Don’t worry, it’s Flora Springs.” True story. Here’s the rest of it…

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J. Cage Cellars 2016 Schmidt Home Vineyard Chardonnay

I’ve been having a hard time with Chardonnay lately. I’ve been finding them too overworked: either over-oaked or incorporating too much malolactic fermentation — in the worst cases both. I don’t like to start off a post with a negative, but you have to understand where I’m coming from. The Chardonnay’s of late have left me wondering — what does Chardonnay actually taste like? What is its entity? What is its innate nature? Ok, I’ll go there…where is its soul?

I found it. Here. With this wine. This is the Chardonnay I’ve been looking for. This is the pretty much the Chardonnay I want to always be in my cellar.

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