Bow & Arrow Melon Johan Vineyard Willamette Valley 2015
Country: USA / Region: OREGON / Appellation: WILLAMETTE VALLEY / Varietal(s): MELON DE BOURGOGNE --- Do you love Loire Valley wines? So do we! And so do Dana and Scott Frank, makers of Bow & Arrow; that's the inspiration for their wines, using exclusively Loire Valley varietals. Many have noted the similarities in climate and latitude between the Willamette Valley and the Loire Valley (as well as Burgundy). The melon here is better known in France as Melon de Bourgogne, the grape responsible for oyster lovers' favorite drinking buddy: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. A cool, composed nose of crushed stone, dried white flowers, and lemon zest yields to sweet-tart citrus on the palate, with bright dried lemon and lime accents, and stony minerality on the finish. Oregon melon typically has a bigger mouthfeel than its Loire cousins, but still maintains unmistakable varietal character. A match made in oyster-eating heaven, but also delectable with goat cheese and arugula salad.
Forlorn Hope St. Laurent Carneros "Ost-Intrigen" 2013 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: CARNEROS / Varietal(s): ST. LAURENT --- Named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of its Winemakers to Watch a few years ago, Matthew Rorick is standout even among his peers. A man of seemingly tireless energy, Rorick is a supreme experimenter. Rorick worries little about exactly how the wines will turn out, focusing more on the process, and allowing the wines to reveal their individual personalities along the way. The St. Laurent grape is far better known (and widely planted) in Austria and the Czech Republic; currently Rorick makes the only 100% St. Laurent in California. The grapes for this delight come from the Ricci Vineyard, owned by Dale Ricci, and originally planted as something of an experiment. Whole cluster fermented with 10 months in (old) barrels, it immediately seduces with an exotic nose – delicate, almost pinot-like, but more savory, intriguing, harder to pin down. Lighter and leaner than many Austrian incarnations, it displays beguiling aromas of sour cherry, red flowers, citrus peel, thyme, lavender, sage, and earthy peat moss. Low alcohol (11.45%) keeps this light and lively on the palate, but a velvety texture and incredibly complex notes of bright red fruit, spicy flowers, dried herbs, and orange zest reveal personality to spare. Vibrant acidity ushers in a long finish, with deepening flavors of darker red fruit, blackberry seed, saffron, smoke, and mandarin orange. Flinty minerality on a zingy, zesty finish makes this a sassy companion to dishes like lamb meatballs – but beware: it's frighteningly easy to drink!
Pavi Wines Dolcetto Napa Valley 2008 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NAPA VALLEY / Varietal(s): DOLCETTO --- The dolcetto grape is native to the Piemonte region of northern Italy, where it is a favorite for everyday drinking. Lesser known here in the US, the Pelissa family propagated this old Torino clone atthe University of California, Davis in 1981. All 9 total acres of dolcetto planted in Napa are managed by Pavi. Pavi proprietor and winemaker, Rob Lawson, strives to integrate Napa Valley's climate and growing techniques with classic Italian grape varietals. This 100% dolcetto is a tasty, medium-bodied wine from grapes that are whole berry processed, and then barrel aged for 3-4 years in French oak barrels, 10% of which is new oak. Lush in texture, and redolent with bright raspberry and cherry aromas, it offers intense flavors of spiced cherry, balanced acidity and gentle tannins, just lovely for spaghetti Bolognese, stews, or pizza.
Nelms Road Merlot Washington State 2014
Country: USA / Region: WASHINGTON STATE / Appellation: WASHINGTON STATE / Varietal(s): MERLOT+CABERNET SAUVIGNON+SYRAH --- In 1998, Woodward Canyon Winery began producing wines under a second label, Nelms Road. Nelms Road offers merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Walla Walla Valley and Washington State grapes, with the aim of producing tasty, affordable reds from younger vineyards and surplus lots of Woodward Canyon Winery production. The 2014 Nelms Road merlot (85% merlot, with tiny touches of cabernet sauvignon and syrah), is a delicious example of what that approach can offer. Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard is the main vineyard for this merlot, augmented by some absolutely phenomenal press wine from some of the oldest, most renowned vineyards in Washington State. A warm 2014 yielded beautifully ripe fruit that still maintains a good sense of balance with deep black cherry flavors and hints of baking spice and herbs. Complex aromas of roasted meat, black olive, and tobacco add a subtle savory influence, resolving in a generous finish. Quite enjoyable to drink now, this may also be cellared for several years. But if you can't wait that long, try it with smoked brisket or wild mushroom risotto!