As promised, I’m continuing to work through some of the higher-end, interesting, or special occasion samples that I’ve had the opportunity to taste. Today it’s a concentration of sample wines from California.
2019 Sonoma Cutrer Grand Brut Rosé – This blend of 70 percent Pinot Noir and 30 percent Chardonnay was a great sparkling. It had floral notes with cherry, citrus, melon, and brioche with a great minerality. I really enjoyed this one and you won’t find it on a grocery store shelf. It’s a winemaker’s special wine.
2020 Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc – those of you who have read my column, know I am a big fan of these wines. Swirl the glass and you release a burst of floral on the nose. When you taste, you get notes of peaches, melons, and citrus with a creaminess that keeps you coming back for more.
2018 Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Chardonnay – Gary Farrell has been making wine a long time and is considered one of industry pioneers. He makes a great Chardonnay. This one is créme brulee in a glass – think vanilla and graham cracker. Add in stone fruit and citrus and you have a delicious Chardonnay.
2019 Signorello Hope’s Cuvée Chardonnay – fruit from the winery’s oldest estate block makes up this rich Chardonnay. You can taste orange blossoms, citrus, white flowers, honeysuckle, apricots, pineapple and toast.
2018 Brick & Mortar Pinot Noir – This wine had notes of black and red fruit, oolong tea, spice and terroir. It has nice acidity and balance.
2020 Merry Edwards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – The wine continues to express the uniqueness of the land that is a part of Santa Rosa. I tasted plums, ripe pomegranates, raspberry, herbs, mint, and rose.
2020 Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – this wine draws you in with notes of Asian spice, blackberry, cherry, spice, cedar, and nice acidity. It’s a great expression of Russian River Pinot Noir.
2018 Beringer Knights Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – This wine was delicious, and from the reviews, it looks like most critics agreed. Knights Valley is known for rocky soils that are meant for balanced, ageable wines. I tasted currant, cherry, tobacco, blueberry, chocolate, black tea, and herbs.
2018 Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Napa Valley Reserve Red Wine – a blend of five Bordeaux varieties that have notes of blackberry, cassis, roses, spice, chocolate, and anise. A standout built for aging.
2018 Flora Springs Trilogy – this is Flora Springs’ flagship wine. One that is made from the top wine lots from the estate vineyards. It is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, and 9% Petit Verdot from the Komes Ranch. I tasted blackberry, mocha, black cherry, flowers, espresso, chocolate, and oak. It’s decadent.
2019 Signorello Estate Padrone Cabernet Sauvignon – This wine was a tribute to Ray Signorello, Sr. using the top grapes on the blocks the estate. It was elegant and rich. I tasted black and red fruits, licorice, mint, lavender, tobacco and dark chocolate. This is another one that will continue to get better with age, but it’s exceptional now.