TONS of good ones around the $20 range this month! We’ll start with a bubbly, as you always should, and then get into lots of great whites.
- Montinore Vivace – This is a sparkling blend of Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Riesling. That’s a lot of flavor, but it blends together harmoniously and is a fun organic bubbly. $25
- Gradis’Ciutta Friulano: Not sure there’s a more perfect aperitif wine than Friulano. $18
- Cantina Tramin Pinot Bianco: Love a light Pinot Bianco on a humid summer day more than anything. This one had awesome notes of lemon froth, kiwi seeds, and grapefruit pith which all make it fantastic with food. $17
- Wapisa Sauvignon Blanc: This will turn you on to Patagonia wine – not only is is incredibly elegant but they’re the only winery in Argentina to age wines under the sea. May have detected a hint of salinity, and definitely detected that it was a refreshing Sauv Blanc with white florals and such light citrus. $14.99
- Marlborough Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc: Still good grapefruit, but nicely restrained for New Zealand Sauv Blanc. $16
- Hahn Estate Chardonnay: This was a really lovely Chardonnay from the Arroyo Seco AVA in Monterey, which I always find does a cooler, lighter style of California Chardonnay. $20
- Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve: Very complex and with layers of warm cinnamon yet still refreshing. $24
Now a few reds — admittedly, don’t drink as many in summer but these were very good:
- Wapisa Pinot Noir: This may have been my killer find of the month. A Pinot from Patagonia that was incredibly silky, light and elegant. Seriously, no way you’d think it was $21.99.
- Salentin Malbec Reserve: All blackberries and violets, great with grilled meat. $21
And now some splurges, because we all need to keep celebrating:
- Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir: This was by far my favorite of the month. Possibly because I hadn’t had a New Zealand Pinot Noir in a while and this was a perfect example – just delicious herbal, stemmy black cherry. $50
- Derby Fifteen 10 Red: Love Rhône-style Paso blends. This one is 46% Mourvedre, 21% Counoise, 16% Syrah, 13% Grenache and Cinsault and has subtle black berries. $34
- Signorello Hope’s Cuvée Chardonnay: BIG splurge, but this was luscious with apricot jam, plenty of baking spice, and rich lemon curd for acidic balance. $95
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