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April Wines

 

Red Wines


Bouchard Pere et Fils

Bourgogne, France

Why I chose this wine for you:
Due to external market factors, Burgundy has taken significant price increases over the last 15 years. Some of the medium size negociant producers such as Bouchard however are still making very nice appellation level wines like this Bourgogne at reasonable prices.

Location:
Sourced from vineyards and negociants throughout the Burgundy region, Bouchard focuses on warmer growing sites for this regional wine. In years where the harvest is plentiful, the wine can even include grapes from classified sites.

Winemaking:
Purchases of musts and young wines are made through contracts with vine growers, who make a commitment to respecting Bouchard Père & Fils strict quality criteria. The wine is then aged in vats—some in small oak and others in stainless steel—for 8 to 12 months before bottling.

Tasting:
Elegant red fruit flavors of strawberry and fresh cherries dominate this wine on the nose. On the palate, the pleasantly balanced wine reveals a harmonious blend of fruit, earth and spice. This wine drinks well now but will gracefully age 2-3 years as the tannins integrate into the wine.

Food Paring:
Because of the hints of earthiness of this wine, it can pair better with heavier dishes than most Pinot Noirs. Try it with braised pork chops or blue cheeses like the Roaring 40 Bleu Cheese.

Lava Cap

Zinfandel, Eldorado County, California

Why I chose this wine for you:
A double gold winner at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Tasting, Lava Cap continues to deliver outstanding El Dorado County Zinfandel at modest prices.

Location:
Sourced from three different sites off the Lava Cap vineyard in El Dorado County, the Zinfandel is specifically planted in high elevation areas of the vineyard to reduce alcohol level and over-ripeness. Three different canopy structures are also employed to create additional complexity of fruit at the vineyard site.

Winemaking:
The wine is fermented at elevated temperatures to extract flavor and tannin. After the wine is sent through malolactic fermentation, it is aged for 20 months in twice-used American and French Oak barrels to integrate flavors and tannins in the wine.

Tasting:
Forward and powerful, this wine has aromas and flavors of bright raspberry, blueberry, spices and white pepper. The finish is long and smooth with ripe tannins and a touch of oak.

Food Paring:
Zinfandel is the ultimate BBQ wine and this is no exception. Consider smoked meats or grilled pork as a perfect combination with this wine.

Dry Creek

Heritage Vine Zinfandel, Dry Creek, California

Why I chose this wine for you:
Dry Creek Valley produces a softer, more aromatic style Zinfandel than other regions in California. This Dry Creek Zinfandel is especially elegant and very pleasing to drink with food.

Location:
This wine is sourced from a number of locations in the Dry Creek Valley. Some of the grape sourcing is from vines with original plant material that goes back 110 years. The vineyard sites are all carefully farmed with many yielding less than 4 tons per acre. This leads to small berries with plenty of flavor, but also plenty of tannins to help balance the wine.

Winemaking:
The wine is fermented at temperatures between 82 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit to extract color and flavor. The Zinfandel is also pumped over twice daily to extract the appropriate amount of tannins. After the wine is sent through malolactic fermentation, it is aged for 14 months in American, French and Hungarian Oak (24% new) to mellow the tannins and also add hints of baking spice and vanilla to the blend.

Tasting:
The Dry Creek Zinfandel presents enticing aromatics of black cherry, boysenberry and plum with a hint of toast and white pepper. On the palate, brambly flavors of black raspberry and dark chocolate come forward. The wine is complex, with bright acidity complimented by notes of berry jam and a touch of ginger.

Food Paring:
As a more elegant style of Zinfandel, this wine pairs best with roasted pork or chicken. It can also be a great pairing for a pepperoni or salami pizza.

Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged

Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Why I chose this wine for you:
Good quality Cabernet Sauvignon from California can be hard to find at moderate prices, but the winemaking team at Delicato has access to a number of great sources that they used to make the Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged

Location:
This wine is sourced from a number of Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyards on the California Coast. Each vineyard site is farmed sustainably with a focus on systems that naturally contain pests. These systems include utilizing owl boxes for rodent control, cover crop for natural nitrogen fixation in the soil and aerial drone analysis to prevent overwatering.

Winemaking:
The grapes are picked in the cool of the morning and slowly warmed to fermentation temperatures.  Early extraction with multiple pump-overs promotes great color and deep, smooth tannins. The wine then completes malolactic fermentation before blending. Complimentary oak styles are chosen to enhance the wine’s aroma, flavor and texture.

Tasting:
Z. Alexander Brown Cabernet Sauvignon unfolds with rich aromas of black cherry, mocha and sweet toasted oak notes. Bold tannins frame a powerful mid-palate layered with mouth-filling flavors of black cherry and milk chocolate. Smooth and balanced, an elegant finesse defines the long and lingering finish.

Food Paring:
This Cabernet Sauvignon is a great pairing with a steak braised on a cast iron grill in a rosemary butter sauce.

 

White Wines


Pieropan

Garganega 70%, Tebbiano 30% – Soave Classico, Italy

Why I chose this wine for you:
Soave has recently gained popularity as a wine that is subtle and elegant like Pinot Grigio, but with a touch more flavor and sense of place. The Pieropan is one of the star producers of the region making some impressively aromatic wines.

Location:
The Calvarino vineyard is in the heart of the Soave Classico zone and represents the core of the ancient family estate, bought at the beginning of 1900. The soil dates back to the tertiary era and is rich in clay and tufaceous basalt which gives the wine an attractive, savory, mineral quality.

Winemaking:
The grapes are gently pressed to not extract tannins from the skins. The wine was then fermented at moderate temperatures in glass line cement tanks to prevent oxidation and retain freshness.

Tasting:
The aroma is fresh with aromas of elderflower, lemon and cherry. The palate is dry, well balanced and elegant, with tremendous length and finesse.

Food Paring:
This Soave makes an excellent aperitif and partners a wide range of dishes, especially vegetable quiches, delicately-flavored fish, shellfish and cheese soufflés.

Luli

Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highland, California

Why I chose this wine for you:
A cooperative effort between the Pisoni Family and Sara Floyd, MS, this Chardonnay offers one of the best price to value offerings in California today.

Location:
The Luli Chardonnay was sourced entirely from the Santa Lucia Highlands. It is a blend from two sustainably-farmed vineyards. The well-trained vineyards carry low yields and are planted to a variety of different clones—which, combined with the fog and cool winds of the Santa Lucia Highlands provide ideal growing conditions for Chardonnay.

Winemaking:
The Luli Chardonnay was made from hand-picked fruit and whole cluster pressed grapes. The juice and wine are not settled so it goes to barrel and ages with original lees that contribute complexity to the wine. Fermentation was carried out in 100% neutral oak barrels. These neutral barrels give the wine great focused aromatics while bringing texture and mineral notes. Minimal stirring keeps the wine exceptionally pure. Malolactic fermentation was prevented to preserve the bright aromatics.

Tasting:
Luli Chardonnay possesses fresh aromatics and a focused mouthfeel. Weather conditions and stressed vines allowed for harvesting of lower brix, which in turn provides a vibrant, uplifting quality. Floral aromas are matched with undertones of blood orange and stone fruit. A juicy, slightly weighted mid-palate from the neutral oak barrels transitions seamlessly to minerality and mouthwatering acidity.

Food Paring:
This wine is great to enjoy on its own but will also pair well with cow’s milk cheeses or chicken prepared with a butter garlic herb sauce.

J Vineyards

Pinot Gris – California

Why I chose this wine for you:
Pinot Gris is gaining popularity because of its ease of pairing with food. The J is one of the best examples of high quality Pinot Gris being made in California.

Location:
J Pinot Gris is sourced from a number of locations on the North Coast and Central Coast with the majority of the grapes being sourced from Sonoma County. All of the sites are cool climate so that the Pinot Gris retains its acidity.

Winemaking:
Following hand-harvesting, whole clusters are pressed using gentle cycles to minimize extraction of harsh components from the skins and seeds. Wines from each appellation are divided into lots and fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks. To preserve the freshness of the fruit and floral aromas, the wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation.

Tasting:
This wine shows delightful aromatics of honeysuckle, Meyer lemon, tangerine and mint leaf. The palate is subtle and smooth with just a slight hint of sweetness.

Food Paring:
This wine pairs great with lighter fish dishes like ceviche or grilled prawns.

Simonnet Fevre

Brut, Cremant de Bourgogne – Burgundy, France

Why I chose this wine for you:
Champagne Rose can be very expensive, but this Cremant is 1/3 the price and has many of the same aromas and palate complexity of bottle fermented sparkling wine.

Location:
Sourced from Pinot Noir on the north side of Burgundy, the vineyard sourcing is specifically dedicated to sparkling wine production.

Winemaking:
The grapes are fermented in temperature control vats to keep the wine fresh and aromatic. The secondary fermentation is completed in the bottle as required by law and the wine is aged from approximately 12 months on the lees. It is then disgorged, where a dosage of 7 g/l residual sugar is added before re-corking.

Tasting:
Fresh and vivacious, this wine shows powerful aromas of red fruit (raspberry, red currant), with fine bubbles and a nice rosé color.

Food Paring:
Ideally paired with an aperitif, it will also match perfectly with desserts made with red fruits and chocolate.

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