Published on April 24th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
20 Interesting Wine-Related Discoveries For April 2021
Spring 2021 is now underway with the the warmer months of 2021 in effect. While 2021 has already proven to be another difficult year for many, it has produced plenty of interesting new wines and wine-industry developments. In turn, below are 20 product recommendations and/or interesting vineyard-related news items that are keeping things interesting for wine enthusiasts.
Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley 2018 Fumé Blanc — suggested retail price of $23.00 — is a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. This rich white wine continues to express the varietal’s characteristic brightness, with flavors of green apple, juicy peach and fresh melon featured. You can pair this wine with pan fried salmon and fresh asparagus.
Meanwhile, the Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley 2018 Chardonnay — suggested retail price of $24.00 — carries flavors of sun-ripened pineapple and lemon crème, as layered by guava, Asian pear and zesty grapefruit. The integrated flavors and complexity of the wine result in a mouthwatering, yet richly-textured Chardonnay. you can serve it a chilled glass alongside a fresh Caesar salad with grilled chicken, homemade croutons and fresh juicy tomatoes.
DETAILS Wines by Sinegal Estate is a new wine label founded by David Sinegal of Napa’s Sinegal Estate. While Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon may be better known among mainstream audiences, DETAILS Wines Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon — which carries a suggested retail price of $40.00 — brings something special and nuanced to the California Cabernet Conversation and not to mention, provides a higher quality-to-price ratio.
The 2019 DETAILS Cabernet Sauvignon is intended to be savored, shared, and appreciated. The wine is a varietal blend that includes Merlot, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from select sites in Sonoma Valley, Knights Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek and Chalk Hill. Its nose is immediately-greeted with sensual aromas of ripe raspberry, plum, and blueberry, with more subtle oak aromas of cedar and allspice. Suggested pairings for this offering include grilled artichokes with a lemon aioli, BBQ pork ribs with Asian slaw, and a ribeye steak with garlic roasted broccolini.
With JUSTIFICATION, the Old World meets the New with this blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. This offering expresses the spirit of a few right-bank French Bordeaux producers who highlight Cabernet Franc with its complex expression of herbs, red fruit and elegant structure, only with a Paso Robles twist of full, mature fruit. Suggested retail price: $60.00.
A stunning expression of what is said to be Aperture Cellars’ most complex Bordeaux blend. This red blend is composed of one-third Cabernet Sauvignon, one-third Merlot, and expertly-balanced by the remaining blend of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Its nose offers vibrant berry scents with accents of charcuterie, mint chocolate, cigar wrapper, violets and pencil shavings aromas, while its the palate is powerful yet featherweight, silky and fresh with a very long, layered finish.
The Wine Party Co. offers top-notch organic, small farm wines from all over the world, as deliverable to an address of your choosing each month, yet it is not your typical wine club. The Wine Party Co. stands out from the rest because a sommelier curates a 4-pack of wine specially chosen for each month. Thus, if you want a sommelier to walk you and your partner or friends through why she chose these 4 wines for that month, what you should be tasting, what to drink them with, and where they are all from, this wine club is for you.
Furthermore, The Wine Party Co. she offers a 6-week online tasting course, virtual conversations with the winemakers and the sommelier herself, and a book & wine club. In turn, The Wine Party Co. has created a wine party experience that brings the wine culture to your home.
This Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc is intended to be fun, fruity and fresh. Its nose is full and intense with aromas of granadilla, summer melons and a hint of lime. Its palate is light and smooth yet with a zippy acidity to lift the tropical flavours of pineapple, pear and guava. Meanwhile, a fresh brightness rounds off a delicious and refreshing sparkling wine, making it an ideal drink for a hot summer’s day.
Harvested from a truly-landmark vineyard, as located on the coveted Westside Road in the Russian River Valley, this unique bottle from Landmark Vineyards also features the iconic and historical stone hop kilns which the California Heritage Society have named a historical landmark. Moderate plus bodied — with black cherry, ripe strawberry and toasted oak on entry — its mid-palate shows savory cola and leather elements with nicely-balanced acidity and tannins, as leading to a lingering finish showing black and red cherry with baking spice notes. Suggested retail price: $40.00.
Also recommended from Landmark Vineyards is its 2018 Overlook Pinot Noir, a great blend from some of California’s best cool climate growing regions in Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties. The palate on this red is medium to full bodied with ripe red fruit of strawberry, raspberry and black cherry fruit with balanced spice and earth mixed with leather, dusty tobacco leaf and subtle oak on the mid-palate.
This offering was sourced from Cedar Lane Vineyard in Monterey County, where in 2018 growing temperatures and overnight fog ensured even development with little variation throughout vineyard blocks. Early October of that year brought small amounts of rain and had no effect on quality or harvest progress. All these factors culminated in optimum phenolic ripening producing wines with naturally-balanced acidity, leading to wonderful aromatics of green apple, tropical fruits and lemongrass. Its palate features tropical notes of citrus, melon and gooseberry, as transitioning to subtle hints of lemon blossom and lime zest.
With the Silver Spur Sauvignon Blanc 2019 offering, you can expect a wine that is aromatic with refreshing acidity. It features lively citrus, crisp apple, vibrant stone and tropical fruit notes, as its dry minerality leads to a clean and refreshing finish. It pairs well with green salads, seafood, pultry and moderately-spicy dishes alike. Suggested retail price: $17.99.
Based in Napa Valley, Bread & Butter produces classically-styled California wines, as made to be easy-going and approachable. Its Sauvignon Blanc shines with bright aromas of lemon zest and a hint of tropical fruit. Lively flavors of fresh citrus lead to a rich texture that is complemented with enticing minerality and a clean, refreshing finish. It is intended to pair well with prosciutto-wrapped peaches, goat cheese arugula salad and/or a nice staycation.
Owned and farmed by the Niven family, the Paragon Vineyard in the Edna Valley of California provides the grapes for this wine. Originally planted in 1973, these are most likely the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines south of the North Coast. With the Pacific Ocean lying only 5 miles to the west, its influence creates one of the longest-growing seasons in the state. As in the cool climates of both France and New Zealand, the grapes leisurely-ripen, creating fruit of structured minerality and good acid backbone. In turn, its winemaking team harvests at different levels of ripeness in order to achieve the ideal finished wine.
Per the grapes chosen for this varietal, one portion was picked a bit early — the higher acid and lower sugar in the berries bring a crisp citrus and slight herbal character while the middle portion was harvested at balanced ripeness and the third was picked a little later in the season. The fruit in this last batch provides tropical notes and a round mouthfeel. Clusters are picked from different vineyard blocks at each of the 3 stages, and fermented separately. Stainless steel tanks provide for an ideal environment, and the juice is kept very cool during fermentation, usually lasting 5 to 8 weeks. There is no oak influence or malolactic fermentation within the overall process from Tangent.
Founded in 1972, Oliver Winery is now among the country’s 30 largest wineries, according to Wine Business Monthly. With its accelerated growth, the Indiana-based winery was also named to Shanken’s Market Watch‘s “2019 Impact HOT Brand Awards.” Ranked by Travel + Leisure among the top 25 wineries to visit in the U.S., Oliver continues to stay true to its roots “doing things differently” with forward-thinking wines.
Last month, Oliver Winery released a Lemon Moscato. The latest addition in the award-winning Vine Series collection, beside Cherry Moscato, Blueberry Moscato and original Moscato, this offering is sourced from a unique blend of Muscat Canelli and Muscat Alexander, as infused with real fruit juices and extracts, and a touch of bubble for a spritzy finish. Retailing at $12.00 a bottle, Lemon Moscato is available in stores across the Midwest, at the Oliver Winery tasting room and online, with availability in 40 states by the end of 2021.
Great on its own, for an aperitif or as an accompaniment to a seafood dish, the >Barton & Guestier Bistro Sauvignon Blanc is full of fruits on the palate, with a nice freshnessand a lemony aftertaste. You can expect a beautiful pale yellow coloring to it and an intense nose with strong pink grapefruit and exotics fruit aromas part of the equation. Regular customers of B&G wines ought to benefit from signing up for the label’s MyB&G program, which offers gifts and rewards as part of its “private benefits.”
As proper wine needs time to breathe in order to bring out luscious flavors and aromas that make every sip more enjoyable, WINEWISK offers a solution that cuts the time down and brings out your wine’s full potential in 3 quick steps. All you have to do is swirl your wine, make bubbles, and release your wine’s full potential — it is really that simple. The newest aerator on the market also doubles as a wine charm, ensuring everyone can keep track of their own glass. Currently-priced at a low $14.99 via Amazon.
Biltmore Winery is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina on George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate; its fruit is sourced from wine growing partners in California and vinified at the winery in Asheville. Founded on a love of the land and a passion for entertaining, the Vanderbilt legacy lives on in shades of red, white, and rosé. Biltmore Estate’s Sauvignon Blanc is reportedly the second highest-priced wine produced from Sauvignon Blanc in North Carolina, and the winner of honors from the San Francisco International Wine Competition Gold and the International Women’s Wine Competition. Currently priced as low as $12.00 per bottle through select online retailers.
Balletto Vineyards is one of the few family-owned estate wineries in the Russian River Valley wine region of Sonoma County. I have previously written about the vineyard’s Balletto Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019, which I recall being delicate and delicious. Its 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is understated and elegant, carrying a driving acidity. Its aromas are graceful with a combination of limy citrus and a touch of classic Sauvignon blanc earthiness. Altogether, it is bright and savory, tart and surprisingly-lush all at once.
Family-owned and operated since 1985, Ferrari-Carano is a leading producer of world-class, nationally acclaimed wines. From a small, 30-acre plot of grapes to the present 20 estate vineyards, Don and Rhonda Carano’s success is based on their commitment to quality as well as the dedication of the vineyard and winemaking teams to make the finest wines, vintage after vintage. Ferrari-Carano owns vineyards in 6 appellations: Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Napa/Carneros, Anderson Valley and Mendocino Ridge.
This particular offering — which I recently experienced as part of a virtual tasting led by Rebecka Deike — features delicious aromas and flavors of lemon, lychee, orange blossom, kiwi, nectarine, white peaches, green apple and mangos with a touch of minerality. Full-bodied and bright, this Russian River Valley-helmed wine’s aromas, flavors and refreshing acidity linger to the finish. Ideal cuisine pairings include seafood salad, pan-seared scallops, oysters on the half shell, and spice-oriented, Asian-flavored entrees.
Founded nearly 4 decades ago, the Chalk Hill Estate’s spectacular 1,300-acre property features 300 acres of vineyards, wilderness areas, winery, hospitality center, culinary garden, residence, stables, equestrian pavilion, sports fields, fishing and swimming ponds, and guest houses. However, more than two-thirds of the Chalk Hill Estate remains uncultivated. The higher-elevations offer stunning views of the Russian River Valley to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east.
This wine — as experienced via Michael Beaulac within a recent virtual tasting event — features hints of baking spices and warm apple pie, which meld together to meet the nose. The fruit manifests rich textural body with extended notes of toasted hazelnut, vanilla custard and crème brulee, reining in an excellent balance of acidity and minerality.
The Banshee Winery is known to craft wines of uncommon purity from Sonoma and Napa California. In turn, it specializes in Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. Banshee also has a special red blend on the market it calls “Mordecai.”
As presented to me and other media representatives within a recent virtual tasting by Alicia Sylvester, the Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2018 is an exciting yet friendly wine, bursting at the seams with aromas of macerated wild berries and an elegant, soft earth undertone. Its flavors combine both sweet and tart, as reminiscent of Santa Rosa plums and wild blackberries that grow so commonly in SonomaWine Country. The wine’s finish is bright, slightly-herbal and savory, making both drinkable on its own and complementary to a variety of food offerings.
The Roth Estate was founded in 2001 simply as a tribute to the founder’s family name and a desire to produce bold, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley with the truest and best expression of the local land. Since then it has developed a reputation for developing luxurious Bordeaux varietals from Sonoma County’s best grapes. Notably, the Roth Estate is part of the Foley Family Wines umbrella
Its 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon — which I experienced via Michael Beaulac as part of a recent virtual tasting event — is bold, full-bodied and rich. Dark in color, it displays mighty aromas of intense dark fruit, cassis and cocoa powder alike. Its palate displays exceptional balance with rich and layered flavors of black cherry, plum, mocha, toasted and a subtle minerality. Firm tannins gain power as the wine moves across the palate, leading to a lingering structured finish.
Founded in 1904 by Samuele Sebastiani, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery has been a Sonoma winemaking tradition. The winery is located in the heart of downtown Sonoma and offers a historic winery with a hospitality center, barrel room with stunning antique redwood tanks, a grand event space and daily tours and tastings. Proprietor Bill Foley purchased Sebastiani in 2008 and honors the traditions of Sebastiani while embracing the future. In turn, Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery continues to create consistent, highly-acclaimed wines crafted by winemaker David Nakaji.
As recently-presented to me and other writers as part of a virtual event by Mark Beaman, the Sebastiani Vineyards Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 is a wine of great complexity, intricacy and sophistication. In the glass, the wine is deep purple with ruby highlights, and offers intense, concentrated aromas of blackberry, vanilla and baking spices. Waves of rich black fruit wash over the palate, with complex layers of cedar and tobacco. Its finish is framed by full soft tannins and lingering notes of herbs and spice.
Established in 1981, The Wine Group is reportedly the world’s second-largest wine producer by volume. TWG is a privately-held, management-owned company with a portfolio of leading brands, including Cupcake, Franzia, Chloe, Benziger, Imagery, Seven Deadly Zins and 101 North. 101 North itself is a collaboration with Anheuser-Busch, which remains home to some of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois.
The new 101 North collection — as developed by Winemaker Todd Jenkins — swas made to explore with rousing blends of richness and bold fruit flavors in every varietal. At launch, 101 North Wines are available in the following varities: Cabernet Sauvignon (featuring smooth notes of red cherry and rich blackberry), Chardonnay (with notes of green apple and sweet peach), Pinot Grigio (with notes of bright citrus, ripe pear and lemon zest) and Moscato (featuring sweet aromas of white peach, pear and hints of citrus). 101 North Wines are available in standard 750ml bottles and 500ml Tetra Paks in the varietals Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio only.