10 picks, five of our own plus five from the staff at MVL.
First up, we've got our five picks:
Handcraft Chardonnay 2011 - Fresh, Fruity and Tasty
A fabulous, inexpensive Chardonnay for summer! It begins with pleasant aromas of lemon, green apple, pear, peach and a little honeysuckle along with a hint of nutty note. Tasting reveals a fresh, fruity and refreshing medium-bodied wine full of citrus and pear plus secondary notes of toasty oak and vanilla cream. It ends with the return of those honeysuckle notes from nose plus long lasting zesty citrus. Highly recommended.
Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Fumé Blanc 2010 - Sauvignon Blanc With A Fancy French Name
The name Fumé Blanc was created by Robert Mondavi in the late 1960s in an effort to differentiate his new style of dry Sauvignon Blanc from the sweet version that was popular at the time. Today; however, it's just another name for Sauvignon Blanc. Whatever you call it, it's plenty good! Lemongrass, tropical fruit (guava and pineapple primarily), orange zest and lime are wrapped up in a very smooth texture. The wine has a wonderful racy acidity and even has a bit of earthy minerality on the long finish.
Swedish Hill Dry Riesling 2012 - World Class Riesling From New York?
We're big fans of Riesling from the Finger Lakes and this one comes from of the largest and most award winning wineries in the region. Aromas of pear, green apple and lots of lovely floral notes lead into more delicious green apple and pear flavors when tasting as well as lime and a touch of tropical fruit. It's just sweet enough with plenty of fruit, a nice lively texture and good acidity. This one should pair quite easily with lots of different foods. If you haven't yet tried Riesling from this region, now's your chance!
Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir 2011 - Like Liquid Velvet
The Russian River Valley with its cool weather, abundant morning fog and long growing season is perfect for growing and ripening excellent Pinot Noir grapes full of flavor and complexity and it's one of our favorite spots when we're looking to splurge. This one begins with beautiful and complex aromas of black cherry and spice along with secondary notes of citrus, a little cedar and some nice floral notes. The wine tastes excellent with a very smooth, velvety mouthfeel full of blackberry, black cherry and cola along with a bit of an earthy note. Lovely oaky spice, cedar and black pepper lead into the long, dry finish of this wonderfully balanced wine. Fantastic! Saturday splurge.
Noble Vines 1 Red Blend 2011 - You've Got Nothing To Fear From These Clones
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel from Lodi, California that makes a great match for burgers and pizza. The name Noble Vines comes from the wineries use of famous clones of grape varietals that they feel will work best in their vineyards. (Clones are genetically identical vines that have nonetheless adapted to specific growing conditions to produce beneficial qualities.) Whatever they are doing it seems to be working because we're big fans of their wines. This one features silky smooth tannins, a nice spicy streak, hints of oak and vanilla and good acidity. I'd say this is a definite step up from something like an Apothic Red. Highly recommended.
And now five favorites from the staff at MVL:
2006 Fattoria Grignano Poggio Gualtieri Chianti Rufina Reserva
From MVL: Made on the site of a 15th century villa, this wine comes from the esteemed Rufina area of the greater Chianti region. It is a traditional Chianti, based predominantly on Sangiovese. Good deep red. High-toned aromas of plum, mocha, licorice and exotic herbs. Plump, lush and sweet, with harmonious acidity framing the redcurrant and tobacco flavors. Finishes with substantial ripe, building tannins and lingering creaminess.
2012 Rinaldi "Bug Juice" Moscato d'Asti
From MVL: The Rinaldi family has been making wine in Italy Piedmont region for over 40 years. Along with some powerhouse reds, they also make this stunning Moscato d’Asti. One of the best on the market, this is one of the few Moscatos that proves that sweeter wines can still be elegant, well made, and serious.
2011 Ca' de Calle Red Wine
From MVL: An elegant blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. Dark purple color. Forward nose of toasty plums, black cherry, and lilac flowers. On the palate the wine is rich and full, with layers of berry flavors and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Finishes soft with balancing acidity.
2011 Pendulum Red Wine
From MVL: Coming out of Washington State’s Columbia Valley, this is an elegant blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Tempranillo. Combining Rhone, Bordeaux, and Spanish varietals in an attempt to create a refined red blend indicative of Washington.
2010 Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico
From MVL: Borgo Scopeto is located in the Classico zone of the greater Chianti region, considered the greatest of all of the Chianti sub regions. This 2010 is a brooding, elegant, and traditional Chianti Classico.