A Whole Lot Of Goodies

Forgive for the time between installment here, but there's just been so much great wine to examine, assess, and consume with glutenous abandon that I've neglected to return to chronicle the debauchery.  With that an an apology, there are some terrific and unusual discoveries in store for you today.  From a palomino-dominated domestic blend (no, not the horse!) to an amazingly honest bragain French grenach, there's something for everyone in this batch.  But we'll start with a remembrance and celebration of life.  Enjoy!

2017 Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley $24
Koerner Rombauer, who founded this winery in the pioneering days of Napa Valley, passed away earlier this month.  A pilot with a love of wine, his was a full, adventurous life.  What better way to honor his legacy than cracking open a bottle of this joyful, fresh wine on the porch this summer?  Energy bursts from the glass in abundance, signalling a permission for spontaneity and serendipity that tends to thrive in warmer weather.  Very high-quality while remaining true to the Northern California sauvignon blanc style - fresh cut grass, salivary-gland-inducing Granny Smith, and bracing acidity. This wine makes me so happy!

2013 Lopez de Haro Rioja Reserva $17
Old school honesty meets new world racy. Everything you want in a Rioja - clean, round tempranillo fruit shining through bright, food-friendly acids, and a juicy squirt of vibrancy to plumb it all out. Best part? Mercifully lacking in the oak-bludgeoning regimen and high alcohol now typical in this region. Most enjoyable Rioja I’ve had in a long, long time.  Amazing value, too!

2016 Le Paradou Grenache France $9
I know nothing about the background of this wine - where in France it's from, its lineage, how it was farmed or harvested, etc.  Yet that doesn't interfere one iota with my enjoyment of it. Here's a simple wine that  actually tastes like grenache, over-delivering at this price point by a country mile. Straightforward, but with a nice acidic crunch that finishes clean and beckons you back for more. Available from Marketview Liquor online.

2016 Farmhouse Red California $11
I saw a big stack of these wines at a local grocery store recently and was pleased to find them in such prominent distribution, no doubt due to this venture being propelled by well established Cline Cellars. The concept of this particular brand is natural wind me again. The back label suggests that biodynamics are at the forefront of their vineyard practices - an admirable endeavor that absolutely has an impact in the bottled result   The red is rich and inky as it splashes into the glass, settling into a deep garnet. Initial aromatics suggest fresh, young black and red fruits. The palate offers more of the same, plus a generous dose of sweet vanilla oak and even a dollop of tannic structure. Good for summer holiday barbecue fare and pleasing a crowd of neighbors

2017 Farmhouse White California $11
Almost watery in appearance, but don't be fooled. Generous on the nose with sweet, ripe white flowers that continue into the mid palate where a surprisingly taut acidity awaits. Drier than the nose channels with notes of (riesling?) subtle petrol characteristics. Cerebral, but accessible. Tastes a bit like a kitchen sink blend you might find in Alsace. A little something for everyone here - especially the price. Turns out it's the 44% palomino that's channeling that interest (just 1% reisling.) Bravo.