Yes, I know it’s June already, but these are some of the wines I tasted last month. Oh, and if you have a better title for my occasional collection of wine reviews, please post it in the comments. I could use some help with blog post titles.
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Estate Reserve Napa Valley California Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (employee allocation, $75.00 at the winery; Robert Parker 93-95 points)
This wine is super young, but oh, so delectable. The mouthfeel is incredible and the succulent, black fruit aromas and flavors leap from the glass. I just hope I can hold a bottle or two for later. This is going to develop quite nicely.
Passaggio Wines Pinot Grigio 2014 (tasting room sample, $25.00 at the winery)
This Pinot Grigio, whose grapes are sourced from Lodi’s Manna Vineyards, is fermented in all stainless steel. It has floral aromatics on the nose, a mélange of tropical and tree fruits on the palate, and finishes with good acidity.
Cuvaison Estate Napa Valley Carneros Syrah 2012 ($38.00 at the winery)
I promised myself I wasn’t going to write tasting notes about this wine, but I couldn’t help myself. The 2012 Cuvaison Syrah expresses concentrated dark berry flavors right out of the gate. This wine is textured and lush on the palate. The fruit lingers on the finish, the curtain call being a burst of peppery spice.
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2011 ($50.00 at the winery)
Bottle Shock aside, I love this Chardonnay. Fresh apples and citrus explode on the palate, accompanied by a juicy mouthfeel and a hint of smokiness from the oak. The finish is long, with lively, lingering acidity.
Thirsty Owl Wine Company Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2014 (sample, $14.95 at the winery)
If you’ve never tasted an example of Finger Lakes Riesling, this is a great one to try. It’s pale yellow, crisp, and dry, barely a hint of sweetness, with loads of juicy citrus flavors, and vibrant Finger Lakes acidity.
Red Newt Cellars Finger Lakes Gewürztraminer 2013 (sample, $15.00 at the winery)
This wine is floral, dense, spicy, with a round mouthfeel, sumptuous aromas and flavors of honey, lemon, and orange. It packs a lot of punch for the price point. My go-to pairing with Gewürztraminer is a spicy, Asian dish like Kung Pao Chicken.
Knapp Finger Lakes Dry Rosé 2014 (sample, $15.99 at the winery)
This rosé comprised of 85% Cabernet Franc, 15% Pinot Noir, is bone dry. The grapes for this wine were cold-soaked for 16 hours to give it a light salmon color. It displays aromas and flavors of grapefruit, melon, and strawberry, then finishes with ample, food-friendly acidity.
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Finger Lakes T23 Cabernet Franc 2013 (sample, $19.99 at the winery; 90 points, Wine Enthusiast)
This 2013 Lamoreaux Landing unoaked Cabernet Franc is lighter in color and body, but big on aroma and flavor. Think floral aromatics, with baked cherry and cinnamon on the palate. Even my friend who doesn’t typically like red wines likes this one. T23 in the name is the abbreviation for the stainless steel tank in which it was fermented, Stainless Steel Tank #23.
Old York Cellars Pinot Gris 2013 (sample, $18.00 at the winery; Gold Medal – San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition)
This Pinot Gris from New Jersey is a pale lemon-green color and refreshing on the palate, with flavors of tropical fruits, melon, orange, tangerine, and a bright acid finish. As it warms to room temperature, the fruit flavors become sweeter, more like candied fruit.
Old York Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (sample, $21.00 at the winery; Silver Medal – San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition)
This New Jersey produced Cabernet Sauvignon has bright, red berry aromas, black fruit and spice flavors, and a tannin structure that will allow this wine to age a few more years in the bottle, although with some decanting, is drinkable now. Enjoy this with creamy, pungent cheeses or a steak.
*The two Old York Cellars’ wines can be purchased as a package with a 20% discount at this link.*
Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($53.00 at the winery)
This 2010 Cabernet far exceeded my expectations for a larger production wine. The black fruits, baking spices, and mocha/chocolate flavors are welcoming and persistent throughout the palate, yet the wine finishes with bright, red fruit acidity. I wish I’d purchased more upon release.
Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern Rauenthaler Baiken Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2008 (gift from a friend, $31.99, currently on sale for $18.99 at select PLCB stores)
Thank you to the friend who gave me this 2008 Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern Rauenthaler Baiken Riesling Spätlese Trocken, Rheingau, Germany! We don’t have too many German Rieslings in Napa. This wine bursts with golden delicious apples on the front of the palate, tropical fruits mid-palate, then finishes with blazing acidity. Or as he would say, “This Is f*cking good Riesling!” I paired this with red chile chicken enchiladas.