Skip to Content

June Wines

 

Red Wines


Cinnabar Mercury Rising

Red Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel), California

Why I chose this wine for you:
One of the original red blends, the team at Cinnabar Winery has produced this iconic blend for many years. Even after all of these years, it continues to be one of the most sought after red blends by wine aficionados.

Location:
The wine is made from a blend of warm and cool climate grapes, sourced from high-quality vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey, Lodi, Sonoma and Lake County.

Winemaking:
Before fermentation begins, the wines are cold-soaked for 3-5 days. The lots are then fermented separately in small, open-top fermenters for 7-14 days. After completion, the wine is then aged in small oak barrels (30% new) for 18 months.

Tasting:
Mercury Rising is a great example of why blends have become so popular. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc bring structure and blue fruits to the aroma while the Merlot and Zinfandel elevate red fruit aromas. The Syrah brings hints of herbs and meatiness to the mix. The finish is plush and forward with a touch of tannins on the front palate owing to the use of oak barrel aging.

Food Paring:
This is the perfect wine for BBQ dishes because of the complexity of aromas and the hint of earthiness from the Syrah.

Sharecropper’s

Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington

Why I chose this wine for you:
In 2001, during the economic recession, Owen Roe Winery set up a unique model to help the winery and growers stay in business. The winery worked with the grape farmers to share in the profit of the winery. The result is an amazing set of quality wines built on cooperation between the farmers and winemakers in the Yakima Valley.

Location:
This wine is sourced from a number of important and historic vineyards in Washington, including Red Willow, Union Gap, Outlook and Elerding. Each vineyard is own-rooted due to the lack of phylloxera in Washington. This leads to lower vineyard costs, and therefore lower wine production cost which can be passed along to the consumer.

Winemaking:
The grapes are picked in the cool of the morning and slowly warmed to fermentation temperatures. A warm fermentation follows with two pump-overs a day to create moderate extraction. The wine then completes malolactic fermentation before blending. Complementary oak styles are chosen to enhance the wine’s aroma, flavor and texture.

Tasting:
Bright aromas of blackberry, candied fruit, vanilla and brown sugar lead to a more savory palate of pomegranate, green pepper and oil-cured olives. This Cabernet finishes with bright acidity and lingering tannins.

Food Paring:
This Cabernet Sauvignon is a great pairing for foods like lamb chops with rosemary or grapes.

Predator

Zinfandel, Lodi, California

Why I chose this wine for you:
A clever reference to the good vineyard “predator”—the lady bug—this winery celebrates the use of old vine Zinfandel and sustainable agriculture.

Location:
Lodi is ideally situated between the Sierra Foothills and the San Francisco Bay Delta, benefits from cool afternoon and evening breezes, and produces world-renowned Zinfandel. The mature vineyards, from which this wine is sourced, create wines with density and complexity yet also finesse and elegance.

Winemaking:
Intense sorting takes place before fermentation to remove raisinated fruit. The wine is fermented at elevated temperatures to extract flavors and tannins. After the wine is sent through malolactic fermentation, it is aged for 18 months in used American and French Oak barrels in order to integrate flavors and tannins in the wine.

Tasting:
An intense, full-bodied wine with dark fruits, cherry and spice. The supple tannins and generous structure allow for a long, smoky finish. Aromatically, the wine shows dark cherry, blackberry, earthy nutmeg, cardamom and smoky oak.

Food Paring:
Zinfandel typically does best paired with meat-based dishes. For this wine, a meat lover’s pizza would be a good option.

Wines by Joe

Pinot Noir, Oregon

Why I chose this wine for you:
Dobbes Family Winery has been producing high quality Pinot Noir in Oregon since 2002. Because they have a large 214-acre estate, they are able to put some great grapes into their more affordable label, Wines by Joe.

Location:
The sourcing of this wine is from various vineyards throughout Oregon. The base of the wine comes from the estate Pinot Noir Vineyard in Dundee, which provides the elegant red fruit. The warmer Umpqua Valley and sections of Eola and Amity give the wine its herbal component.

Winemaking:
The wine is fermented at temperatures between 82 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit to extract color and flavor in open top fermenters. Each lot is kept separate so that specific flavors can be isolated for the final blend. The wine is then aged in mostly used French oak barrels for 12 months before bottling.

Tasting:
Abundant fresh, red fruit aromas of floral hibiscus, strawberry and pomegranate are accented by flavors of ripe Bing cherry and brambly, herbal undertones.

Food Paring:
This is a relatively bold Pinot Noir that can hold its own against dishes like tagliatelle with roast duck.

 

White Wines


Langmeil Spring Fever

Chardonnay – Eden Valley, Australia

Why I chose this wine for you:
Finding high-quality Chardonnay with minerality and finesse for a reasonable price can be a challenge. Luckily, the new Australian movement towards less oak and inhibited malolactic fermentation has changed the equation. Langmeil’s Spring Fever Chardonnay is a perfect example of this trend.”

Location:
Eden Valley is one of the premier winemaking regions in South Australia. Known for Shiraz and Riesling, the cool climate is also suited for production of Chardonnay due to its higher elevation than neighboring Barossa Valley.

Winemaking:
The grapes are gently pressed so as to not extract tannins from the skins. The wine is then fermented in stainless steel and oak tanks where malolactic fermentation is inhibited. Aging is completed partially in oak and stainless steel for 10 months before release.

Tasting:
The classic Chardonnay aromas of yellow apple, pear and citrus are obvious in this wine. They are impressively balanced against the nerve and tension on the palate with a slightly saline finish.

Food Paring:
The acidity in this wine makes it a great pairing with a triple crème cheese like brie. It can also serve as a complement to chicken dishes that utilize lemon or citrus as ingredients.

Alma de Cattleya

Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County

Why I chose this wine for you:
Bibiana Gonzalez Rave is an up-and-coming female winemaker in Sonoma County, making stunning cool climate wines from the region.

Location:
Alma de Cattleya Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from five vineyards throughout Sonoma County.
These include a number of vineyards near the coast—to give the wine its refreshing acidity—as well as a couple more inland vineyards toward Alexander Valley to enhance the tropical aromas in the wine.

Winemaking:
The grapes are picked, crushed and settled overnight to remove the juice from the heavy lees. The wine is then fermented in small oak barrels in a cold room. Bibiana uses specific Sauvignon Blanc yeast strains during fermentation to enhance aromatics. The wine is then settled in barrels for 4 months where malolactic fermentation is inhibited before bottling.

Tasting:
Zesty and bright, the aromas of lemon zest, grapefruit and citrus blossoms jump out of the glass. On the palate, the mouthfeel is centered around acidity, finishing pleasantly with a touch of tropical fruit notes.

Food Paring:
This Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect pairing with light fish dishes like halibut or cod finished with lemon.

Villa Varda

Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy

Why I chose this wine for you:
A number of producers in Italy have been focusing on producing high quality Pinot Grigio in North Eastern Italy. Villa Varda, an estate that has existed since the 1600s, is producing some of the most impressive wines from the region.

Location:
Friuli is located in the Northeastern most corner of Italy adjacent to Slovania. The estate vineyards for Villa Varda, which are in the sub region of Grave, are planted on clay-limestone rich soils, with a top soil of gravel. This soil structure is typical of the region and creates wines with nerve and tension.

Winemaking:
The grapes are hand-harvested in the morning hours to keep them cool during picking. The must is a cold maceration for 72 hours as a way of extracting aromatics from the skins without extracting tannin or color. Fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, the wine is then left on fine lees during a six-month aging before bottling.

Tasting:
The wine showcases aromas of green apple, wildflowers and citrus zest. The palate is juicy and lively, with a core of citrus and white fruits.

Food Paring:
This wine pairs great with grilled fish or shellfish and could also pair well with spring vegetables.

Zuccolo Prosecco

Glera – Prosecco, Italy

Why I chose this wine for you:
For more than three generations, the Fantinel family of Azienda Agricola Zuccolo have championed Glera on its native soil and cultivated vines in estate-owned mountain vineyards that are harvested exclusively by hand. This Prosecco is a serious interpretation of that style at a very reasonable price.

Location:
Estate vineyards planted for the Glera varietals are located in the foothills of the Dolomite in the Friuli Grave, the regions with the most mineral and stony terroir.

Winemaking:
The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled vats to keep the wine fresh and aromatic. The secondary fermentation is completed in small 50-100 hectoliter tanks, and the wine is then aged for nine months on the lees. Before bottling, a dosage of 12 g/l residual sugar is added.

Tasting:
The A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris offers beautiful floral aromas reminiscent of jasmine, elderflower and white roses along with complex fruit notes of nectarine, melon, pear, yellow plums, yellow apples, lemon, lime, grapefruit zest, a touch of guava, clover honey and handmade marshmallow. The wine is lush and layered on the palate, structured with moderate acidity and alcohol.

Food Paring:
Enjoyed ideally for an apéritif, this sparkling wine will also match well with fruit or cheeses like Taleggio.