Château Respide-Medeville, Graves, Bordeaux, France 2013
Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, North Coast, CA 2011
In 1965, Jack and Jamie Davies established Schramsberg on property originally owned by Jacob Schram, setting out to make world class sparkling wine to match the prestige and quality of French Champagne. To this day, Schramsberg stands unrivaled in California, with a fine example of a Pinot Noir-dominated wine, showing classic creamy, round, yet gentle fruit notes exhibited by the varietal. The Chardonnay flashes a little bit of "zing" to match the full-body mouthfeel
Simon Bize, Chardonnay "Les Perrières", Bourgogne AOC, France 2011
For over 20 years, this Savigny-lès-Beaune estate was led by Patrick Bize until his sudden passing in 2013. His legacy of consistent winemaking continued through his wife, Chisa Bize, and she retained the use of organic and biodynamic practices throughout their wines. These methods impart an aromatic, elegant, medium-bodied wine, showcasing limestone, citrus zest, white flowers, and a hint of oaky spice on the palate
An old German estate, Mönchhof has vineyard holdings dating back to the 12th century, when monks owned this land. The "Ürziger Würzgarten", or Spice Garden, vineyard's name is well earned, as it is mainly comprised of iron-rich red slate, giving the wine a minerality unlike any other along the Mosel River. Ripe aromas of exotic fruit, white peach, and pineapple are coupled with notes of cinnamon and clove. Density and richness on the palate makes this off-dry Riesling an absolute pleasure to sip with sushi, Asian plates, or completely on its own!
En Route, Pinot Noir, "Les Pommiers" Russian River Valley, CA 2014
In the 1980's, the partners at Far Niente began experimenting with Pinot Noir. 30 years later, EnRoute was born out of one of the smallest appellations in Sonoma, the Green Valley, lying in the southwestern edge of the region. Vineyards have been planted in what was once an abandoned apple orchard, for which the wine is appropriately named. Dense cherry notes float out of the glass immediately, along with rich dark fruit and fall spice. The mouthfeel is round and rich, yet balanced with great structure, making the wine approachable even in its youth.
Monte dos Cabaços, Vihno Tinto, Alentejano, Portugal 2010
Often overlooked because of its neighbor to the East, Portugal is not just the land of world-class Port wine. Make no mistake, this Tinto is an Old World gem. A blend of indigenous grapes, mostly Touriga Nacional, this small producer makes a wine of ripe dark fruit, raisins, and dried black fig, complete with an earthy edge and plenty of bottle age, which softens the tannins and makes this food wine absolutely delicious with roasted and braised meats
Castell'in Villa, Super Tuscan Blend "Santacroce" Tuscana, Italy 2008
The small community of Castell'in Villa dates back to the 12th century, with a stone tower that is still standing today. Fittingly, this property is run by actual royalty. Since the 70s, Princess Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa has been at the head of this winery, which boasts striking wines. "Santacroce" is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. Herbaceous notes abound, with great fruit depth, all wrapped in cedar and leather. A master class in Tuscan wine, in its truest form.
Alpine, "Duet" IPA Alpine, CA
Fall, "Plenty for All" Pilsner, San Diego, CA
Ballast Point, "Grapefruit Sculpin" IPA San Diego, CA
Mother Earth, BooKoo IPA Vista, CA
North Coast,"Old Rasputin", Imperial Stout, Fort Bragg, CA
Mammoth, Double Nut Brown, Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sudwerk, Hefeweizen, Davis, CA
Ommegang, "Hennepin", Saison, Cooperstown, NY
Oskar Blues, "Mama's Little Yella Pils", Pilsner, Boulder, CO