My July Sips

My July Sips
My July Sips

This has been an interesting month for me. I’ve been struggling with off-and-on, low-grade headaches for weeks, so those have caused me to cut back on my wine sipping. I’m still trying to determine a cause, which is probably a combination of eye strain, neck strain, and stress. At any rate, I did manage to sip occasionally, so here are my wine gems for the month of July.

2013 Galer Estate Albariño
2013 Galer Estate Albariño

2013 Galer Estate Albariño, Chester County, PA, $35
It’s been nearly a year since I first tasted this wine, Labor Day weekend 2014, but I immediately remembered why I loved this Albariño as soon as it coated my palate. It’s pale straw in color and crisp, screaming summer all the way from the tip to the back of my tongue. I’m almost afraid my words won’t do it justice, but there’s an immediate impact of stone fruits, lemon, and salty minerality that crash together on the palate like ocean waves at high tide. It was this salty minerality that immediately made me think, “I am drinking the fruit and soil of the Galer Home Vineyard in Chester County, PA.” It’s this soil – the Manor Loam and Glenelg Silt Loam Series – along with gift of former winemaker, Catrina North, that makes this a stellar example of Chester County, Pennsylvania wine. This was a gift from owners Brad and Lele Galer. Only 76 cases produced. International Eastern Wine Competition Bronze Medal.

2013 Anderson's Conn Valley Sauvignon Blanc
2013 Anderson’s Conn Valley Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, $40
The grapes for this wine now hail from the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley instead of Lake County, which in my opinion, adds to its depth and complexity. It exhibits layers of ripe tropical fruits, bright citrus, and melon, coupled with smokiness and a rich mouthfeel due to barrel fermentation and aging. The finish lingers for a while. This is a lovely fumé blanc style Sauvignon Blanc. Only a few hundred cases produced. This bottle was part of my employee allocation.

2013 J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Valdiguié
2013 J. Lohr Estates Wines Valdiguié

2013 J. Lohr Estates Valdiguié (Gros Auxerrois), Monterey, CA, $12
Light bodied, yet rich in color, a very purple-magenta, I didn’t think this wine was like Gamay at all, as said the bottle. I would call this is an easy, patio-sipping red, dominated by floral and berry aromatics, juicy flavors of blackberry, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, and pomegranate, and mild tannins and acidity. This wine would also work as a base for a dessert sauce or paired with Thanksgiving dinner. Serve slightly chilled. I purchased this bottle at A Taste of Monterey-Wine Market & Bistro in Monterey. This vintage is sold out, but the 2014 vintage is available here. This was my first Valdiguié, so I can cross that grape variety off my list.

Summer is flying by and August is already upon us, so seize the season and try these wines, if available to you. August 12-16, I am headed to New York for the 2015 Wine Bloggers’ Conference in the Finger Lakes, with a quick detour to the Albany area to visit Hudson-Chatham Winery, so stay tuned for some posts from that trip. Until next month, I wish you happy, sunny, warm-weather sipping!



  1. Honestly, I was not as enthralled with the Galer Albariño when I visited a couple of weekends ago. It was hot as stink out and we were riding bikes, so that might have played a role. And when you throw a $35 price tag on it, well, I am just not so sure. I did run into Brad briefly, and there were some stellar wines as usual, but no Cab Franc, sadly….

    1. I had it in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment and I enjoyed it. I am not sure if that made a difference or not. 😉 To each his own palate, yes? As to the price, they gave me this bottle last year when I was there and I didn’t know how much it was until I was doing my research. I suspect it’s more expensive because it’s single vineyard, small production (76 cases). A visit to the website seems to indicate that they focus more on whites, with a few red blends and a Cab Franc icewine.

    2. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was certainly well made, but just not my style. As for the price, if they can get it, more power to them! I just think that for most non-traditional wine regions, they have to compete not only on quality (which Galer has in spades), but also on price (why buy a $50 Merlot from Long Island when you can have a Grand Cru St. Emillion for far less?). Until they do both, in my opinion, you will rarely see the wines outside their own region. Just an opinion….

  2. I understand, Jeff. And, I agree about the price as well. I bought a Chesebro Albariño a few weeks ago in Monterey for $18 and I know there are Spanish ones that are less. Even Bonny Doon is $18 (I did some price research.) 🙂

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