Want to know what’s been in my glass and around the top of my wine bottles the last few weeks? Then look no further than here! Below is a roundup of a few my favorites sips, as well as this cool wine accessory that a company sent to me to try. (Disclaimer: I am a wine club member at both Passaggio Wines and Domaine Carneros.)
MacLaren Wine Company Atoosa’s Vineyard Syrah 2011, $40 from MacLaren
This wine is one that’s deserving of its Wine and Spirits‘ 95 score and 2014 top 100 wine ranking. It’s simply gorgeous, with complex layers of black fruit and peppery spice. The tannins are integrated and the alcohol is lower, which makes for an elegantly-balanced Syrah. This was a gift from friends. (my vivino review)
Passaggio Unmarked Mendocino County Repeat Offender Sangiovese 2012, $35 at Passaggio
2012 Unmarked Repeat Offender Sangiovese is a delightful play of cherry, cranberry, and raspberry laced with caramel, spice, and strawberry acidity. This wine is easy to sip and will pair with most foods. (my social media review)
Orogeny Redding Ranch Marin County Pinot Noir 2008, price unknown
What a beautiful Pinot Noir: juicy red berry, ample spice, medium tannin, and nice acidity, even after almost seven years. This was a birthday present from friends. (my vivino review)
Hardball Cellars Chardonnay 2013, $28 from Hardball Cellars
This Chardonnay was a gift from Hardball Cellars. It’s fermented and aged in neutral oak, so the oak imparts mouthfeel and texture more than flavor. It’s very fruit forward, with aromas and flavors of tart apple, lemon, and a kiss of vanilla, and finishes with bright acidity. I enjoyed this wine with seasoned scallops and stir fried Brussels sprouts. (my social media review)
Passaggio Unmarked Warnecke Ranch Sonoma County Code Seven Pinot Noir 2013, $46 from Passaggio
This is a light-bodied, pale ruby Pinot Noir. It sees 11 months in neutral oak, so the result is fruit-forward, terroir-driven Pinot. The wine begs for food, with dominant notes of cranberry, spice, and nice acidity. Drink now or hold it for a year or two. (my vivino review)
Domaine Carneros Blanc de Noir NV, $35 from Domaine Carneros
Come to mama! Domaine Carneros Winery Blanc de Noir NV is palate cleansing and refreshing, with aromas and flavors of toast and lime. Key lime pie in a glass, except very dry, with good acidity. Pair with salty and savory foods. 100% Pinot Noir. (my vivino review)
Passaggio Unmarked Coplan Vineyards Sonoma County Most Wanted Merlot 2012, $46 from Passaggio
This single-vineyard, Sonoma County Merlot made by Passaggio Wines is exactly what Merlot should be: fruit-forward with a textured mouthfeel thanks to all neutral oak. It’s juicy and luscious, with ripe red and dark berries, spice, integrated tannins, and nice acidity on the finish. Limited availability. Get it while you can. (my vivino review)
Old York Cellars Oaked Chardonnay 2012, $18 from Old York Cellars
This oaked Chardonnay is very much New World in style. The grapes are estate grown in New Jersey and sourced from other vineyards. The wine spends six months in American oak, medium toast. It’s both rich in color and style, gold, with sweet tropical and cooked fruit flavors, like golden delicious apple and pineapple, as well as vanilla and creamy, butter-like flavors from full malolactic fermentation. I paired this wine with grits, breakfast for dinner. Sample provided by Old York Cellars.
Old York Cellars Merlot 2013, $18 from Old York Cellars
This Merlot is what I would call a substantial, Cabernet lover’s Merlot. It has both red and dark berry flavors, distinct tannins, a smoky quality, and a bit of spice on the finish. Because it’s very young and has 15.5% alcohol, it would benefit from decanting or some bottle age. I paired this wine with pork chops. Sample provided by Old York Cellars.
DripTeez Drip Stoppers, $6.99-$8.99 from DripTeez
The social media representative for DripTeez reached out to me and asked if I would like to try some samples and I said yes. The premise is to stop wine from dripping and running down the bottle, which I know happens to all of us from time to time. I was pleased to discover that not only do they work, they are also handmade in the United States. They can be custom made with your favorite bling or logos. Wine is meant to be fun and DripTeez is a practical, playful way to stop drips and dress up your wine bottle.