I’ve got a rather upscale roundup for you this month — anyone in the mood for some really good wine? (And yes, I wish I could include some wine labels for you, but my server is suckerrific today, and I give up.)
Daniel Chotard 2010 Sancerre ($26). I could drink this everyday, I think. With a tangy minerality and bright acidity, crisp green apple, fresh cut herbal notes, and a moderate finish. So easy to like and super food friendly. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Nicolas Emereau 2010 Sancerre Cuvee Signee ($27). Sleek and tangy, with apricot, apricot skin, tropical citrus, stony minerality and a long, clean finish. Loved it paired with an earthy lentil salad flecked with avocado and fresh herbs. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Freemark Abbey 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($40). Solid Cabernet here, with loads of ripe blackberry and cherry flavors, pretty vanilla and toasty oak, and light sage accents. Nice palate weight, tannins and finish. Ready to drink now and over the next couple of years. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Rutherford Ranch 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve ($48). This one was an interesting surprise — much more structured and firm than expected. With tightly wound blackberry and black currant fruit, generous doses of smoky tobacco, cedar and herbal notes, and a tannic finish. Opened up after some time (hours) in the glass to reveal a bit more plush character. Needs food, and some time in the cellar wouldn’t hurt. Drink from 2014-2019. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Rutherford Ranch 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($19). Well done — and at a great price! With ripe blackberry and black cherry flavors that build through a rich finish, picking up coffee, toast, mint and vanilla along the way. Would be a terrific choice for an everyday Cabernet. Ready to drink now and over the next couple of years. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Robert Craig 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Howell Mountain ($80). Elegant white pepper, Herbes de Provence, and mineral accents lace rich blackberry, boysenberry and deep cherry fruit that stays focused and intense through the lush, fine-grained finish. Picks up mocha and black peppercorn notes along the way. Lovely now and should age very well — a decade or more. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Calera 2008 Pinot Noir Mt. Harlan Mills Vineyard ($45). Ripe and lush, with silky black cherry and black raspberry fruit layered with clove, lavender, sage and cigar box notes. With a long, structured finish. Youthful and intense now, but should also age nicely. Drink over the next 6-7 years. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Calera 2008 Pinot Noir Mt. Harlan Jensen Vineyard ($70). It seems to me that Calera’s Pinot Noirs have gotten noticeably riper and bigger, and less mineral-driven in the past couple of vintages, and that applies here, too. Ripe, jammy red plum and raspberry fruit is laced with exotic spice notes and smooth oak notes. Very nice, but just a baby now — should age nicely over the next 4-6 years. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Calera 2010 Viognier Doux Central Coast ($24, 375ml). Do yourself a favor — do what you have to do to get your hands on a bottle of this delectable dessert wine. So, so, lovely, silky, smooth, mouthwatering, rich, I could go on. Full of intense apricot, citrus marmalade, and peach notes, with touches of spice through the full finish. Fantastic acidity balances the honeyed sweetness. A dessert unto itself. Ready to drink now and over the next 8+ years. Locate this wine online or in your area.