Now that the 2005 Bordeaux craze is probably slowing down a bit we can get back to basics: California Wines. The first growths of California (Caymus, Montelena, Silver Oak, Dominus, etc...) could almost be called bargains in comparison. My only hope is that the producers in California don’t get any ideas. The only wine I will mention this month is one I tasted a few days ago, the 2002 Mount Eden “Cuvee Saratoga” Santa Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.99). For the money, this wine can’t be beat! The wine is elegant, fresh and loaded with complex mineral flavors and aromas that are balanced by ripe cassis and currant fruit. This is a wine to enjoy with food and is a steal at this price! —Trey Beffa Introducing Deerfield Ranch: After PJ Rex gave her husband a wine-making kit some 30 years ago, Robert Rex quickly began to unleash his talent and passion on the world. And what a wonderful treat it was to discover this underappreciated, biodynamic, handmade, small-lot producer, Deerfield Ranch Winery. The 2002 Deerfield Syrah, Ladi’s Vineyard, Sonoma County ($34.99) sent me soaring into another galaxy. After one sip, within seconds there was global peace, no acne, no off-putting in-laws and no bad meals. Make all your dreams come true. Drink this wine and be forever full of ravishing bliss! Enjoy responsibly. The 2001 Deerfield Super T-Rex ($27.99) is a Meritage style wine that pays homage to Italian Super Tuscans. It’s a blend of 73% sangiovese from Sonoma county, 14% cabernet franc from Napa, 8% cabernet sauvignon from Sonoma and 5% dolcetto from Sonoma, all aged in French and American oak for one year. It shows gorgeous and graceful fruit with layered complexity, friendly tannins and a solid back bone. —Keelyn Healy
2004 Gramona Gessami ($11.99) 90 points Robert Parker: “A terrific buy... an intriguing blend of 60% muscat de alexandria, 30% sauvignon blanc and 10% muscat de fontignac that comes across like Spain’s version of a white Hermitage, although it is lighter-bodied. Exotic waxy notes intermixed with notions of rose water, acacia flowers, and minerals jump from the glass of this medium-bodied white. It possesses a fruity, dry, intense, pure, spicy personality.” 2005 Tres Ojos Rosado, Calatayud ($6.99) This rosé made from old-vine grenache is a fantastic wine for the dog days of summer. Packed with plenty of ripe berry fruit and spice, the Tres Ojos is very dry and substantial enough to go with grilled fish with a spicy rub! 2004 Yasa Garnacha, Calatayud ($7.99) This 100% old-vine grenache has loads of blackberry fruit and a long perppery finish. The wine is full on the palate and has plenty of acidity and backbone. I love this red with smoked pork shoulder or grilled chops! 2003 Bodegas Castano Solanera, Yecla ($11.99) 91 points Robert Parker: “... a beautiful blend of 75% Mourvedre and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by a smoky, scorched earth-scented nose displaying notions of black cherry jam, licorice, and truffles. Ripe and medium to full-bodied, with wonderful sweetness... it possesses purity, suppleness, and balance. It is another example of why Spain is beating virtually every other viticultural area in the world when it comes to high quality wines that sell for a song. Enjoy it over the next 2-3 years.” 2001 Quinta de Roriz Reserva, Portugal ($16.99) 91 points Wine Spectator: “Full-bodied, deep-colored and rich with lip-smacking flavors of dark plum, blackberry jam, cocoa and a hint of French roast as well. Tannins build on the finish, but with an appealing silkiness and dark chocolate notes that go on and on.” Buen Provecho! —Anne Pickett, email@example.com
Please join us this summer for Thursday evening wine tastings. Education never tasted so good! July 6th – Matanzas Creek Vineyards and Hartford Sonoma Vineyards. July 13th – Vintage 59. An importer of fine French wines July 20th – Domaine Serene and Ponzi Vineyards July 27th – Tin Barn August 3 – Kathryn Kennedy
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