As one of the new features of this site, I’m planning on publishing month-end roundups of wines that I’ve tasted over the previous few weeks that, for whatever reason, just didn’t fit into other posts. Think of them less as stragglers or misfits, and more as wines that were just too good to leave out!
This month, I’m heavy on Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, though there are several other options thrown in as well. The Sauv Blancs have piled up over the last few months, and I’m glad to be able to offer them just as Spring is beginning to show signs of life. And the Cabs will keep you toasty through these still-chilly nights. Cheers!
Adler Fels 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley ($14). Nice complexity at this price point, with appealing integration of juicy, aromatic grapefruit, tropical citrus, lime zest and light touches of gooseberry, fresh herbs and mineral. Crisp, bright acidity through the finish. Enjoyed every drop with a simple meal of roasted wild salmon and creamed spinach. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Goldwater 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley ($18). A pretty example of classic NZ Sauv Blanc – at a nice price. Offering juicy green apple and gooseberry notes, with pretty lime zest accents that build through the finish. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Tangent 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Edna Valley ($13). Nicely balanced, with fresh juicy citrus playing off pretty herbal notes. With a fresh, crisp finish. Nice price, too! Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Rodney Strong 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Northern Sonoma Charlotte’s Home ($14). Nice value on a juicy, everyday Sauv Blanc. With bright grapefruit and crisp melon, and light lemon-lime and floral accents and a kick of spice. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Mercer 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley ($15). Juicy and appealing, with lemony snap to the bright apple character, picking up touches of cream and fresh herbs through the pretty finish. Easy to like and a nice value. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Guy Saget 2008 Pouilly-Fumé Le Domaine Saget ($34). This is a vintage or two back, but if you can find a bottle of this 08, you’ll be rewarded with some appealing development — fleshy white peach is generously supported with an array of concentrated citrus peel and a sleek slate note through the finish. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Marchesi di Barolo 2009 Gavi ($20). Nice acidity here, with straw and mineral accents to the mouthwatering lemon zest, lemon flesh and ripe, smooth apple fruit. More mineral on the clean finish. Very food-friendly. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Mercer 2009 Chardonnay Columbia Valley ($15). A lot of wine for the money, with smoky oak aromas introducing vibrant apple and citrus flavors. Picks up caramel and cream through the finish, staying bright and appealing all the way. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
St. Francis 2008 Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vines ($22). Concentrated and rich, with dried black cherry and raisiny aromas and flavors and an alcoholic wallop that made me like this tasty, if somewhat Port-like, Zinfandel better with chocolate than my main course. Long, ripe finish picks up licorice, brown spice and toasty oak along the way. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Concannon 2009 Red Blend Livermore Valley Conservancy Crimson & Clover ($15). I’m not usually a fan of bargain-priced reds — particularly Zinfandel blends. I just don’t think Zin plays well with others as a blending grape. But this one is really good! Concentrated and full-bodied, with loads of black currant, blackberry and deep plum fruit accented with appealing peppery spice and finishing with a burst of bright acidity. Well done. And great deal! Perfect with barbecue or roasted chicken, or burgers, or whatever. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Rodney Strong 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Alexander’s Crown ($75). Stout, strong, rich, powerful, alcoholic — these are just a few of the words that came to mind with this big Cabernet. With deep, ripe blackberry and cassis character and layers of cream, licorice, toast, sweet tobacco and vanilla, and a long, strong finish. Not for the feint of heart — and not for the cellar. Enjoy over the next couple of years. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Justin 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles ($25). I’m hit-and-miss with Bordeaux varietal wines out of Paso Robles, but this one hit me just right. With blackberry and black cherry character that is ripe and full, but not overly so. Layers of spice and heady vanilla extract notes emerge through the generous finish. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Mercer 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley ($24). Has an appealing mineral/earthy edge to it, on the nose and palate. Offering ripe blackberry and red cherry fruit, some good structure, and an elegant finish. Ready to drink now and over the next 3-4 years. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Alta Luna 2009 Pinot Noir Dolomiti High Moon ($14). Good value for this clean, pretty, violet- and mineral-laced Pinot. With delicate raspberry and red cherry aromas and flavors that pick up smoke and dried herbs through the medium-bodied finish. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Mercer 2008 Merlot Columbia Valley ($24). This is just a pretty, well-made Merlot. With waves of savory spices and espresso notes accenting juicy red cherry and berry flavors, with a polished, smooth finish. Ready to drink now and over the next 3-4 years. Locate this wine online or in your area.