Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ten California Wines That Celebrate Spring

2007 Preston of Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley; $22.99
JUICY: Grassy, melon, herbal, crisp, lean
Preston of Dry Creek is an organic family farm that subscribes to organic farming and minimalist winemaking, preferring purity of flavor and product while sustaining the environment. Sauvignon Blanc is their signature white.

2007 Wolf Family Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley; $34.99
JUICY: Fruity, tropical, honey, fresh
Karen Culler, winemaker, has led the wine program on the estate since the first vintage in 1997. The Sauvignon Blanc comes from the long, narrow sloping vineyard that spans the Wolf Family property.

2007 Tablas Creek Vineyard Cotes de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles; $22.99
ELEGANT: Crisp, clean, peach, apricot, great texture
Tablas Creek Vineyard was founded by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, longtime importer and founder of Vineyard Brands. They chose the hilly Las Tablas district of west Paso Robles for its similarities to Châteauneuf du Pape: limestone soils, a favorable climate, and rugged terrain.

2006 10 Knots Passage White Wine Paso Robles; $33.99
JUICY: Tropical, pineapple, orange, rich, nice finish
There were only 98 cases made of this blend of 40% Viognier, 16% Roussanne, 16% Sauvignon Blanc, 16% Chardonnay, and 12% Marsanne. The wine was aged in both French and Hungarian Oak.

2007 La Sirena Moscato Azul Napa Valley; $35.99
JUICY: Tropical, crisp, clean, great as aperitif or with fish
The name "La Sirena" means "the Mermaid " in Spanish and Italian. Winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett chose it because she was looking for something fun and magical (like wine) and because she is a scuba diver as well as a winemaker. This is a dry style Muscat Canelli from Calistoga and only about 600 cases are produced.

2004 Schramsberg Brut Rose Cuvee de Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine; $36.99
Elegant: Clean, frothy, creamy, fresh cherry & strawberry
The origins of Schramsberg Vineyards began in 1862, when immigrant Jacob Schram bought some acreage on a hillside in Napa Valley. Jack and Jamie Davies brought the property in 1965 with the ambition to produce world class sparkling wines. Their youngest son Hugh carries on the tradition today.

2007 Halter Ranch GSM Rosé Paso Robles; $16.99
JUICY: Strawberry, tangerine, fun & fruity, refreshing acidity
Halter Ranch is a new winery with a rich history. Located on Adelaida Road, on the west side of Paso Robles, the property dates to the 1880s. The vines are planted on steep, south-facing slopes reaching 1800 feet in elevation; only 385 cases of this wine were produced in 2007.

2006 A.P. Vin Clos Pepe Pinot Noir Monterey; $54.99 ON SALE FOR $35.74!
BOLD: Ripe berry fruit, lush style, excellent acid balance
This incredible vineyard sits in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills and is meticulously cared for. Part of the land is planted with harvested olive trees while the other twenty-four acres of this 28 acre vineyard are planted with some of the most prized Pinot Noir fruit in California.

2006 Monticelli Brothers Mario Sangiovese Atlas Peak; $25.99
ELEGANT: Black cherries, silky smooth, sweet spices, earth
In the tradition of the owner's Tuscan heritage, they set out to make a Sangiovese that would have made their Nonno proud. The Mario Sangiovese is bright and fruity, like an Italian Chianti should be. As is with most Italian varietals, Sangiovese's delicate flavor makes it a wonderful accompaniment to food, especially pizzas and pastas.

2005 Ampelos Cellars Syrache Proprietary Red Santa Barbara County; $32.99
JUICY: Cherry, earth, silk, nice acidity
Ampelos is a Greek word meaning "vine" and Ampelos Cellars cares for their vines by promoting biodynamic farming and environmentally responsible practices in the vineyard. This wine is 27% Grenache and 73% Syrah with only 538 cases produced.

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