Wine Reviews: Summer Sippers

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 07-21-2018

It’s the middle of summer, so this week I’m highlighting a range of white and rosés, and an amber (or orange) wine to keep things cool.

The pink wave of American obsession with rosé is still going strong, and it seems each year I see more rosé wine than the last year. Especially during summertime, we love to drink pink wine. Sure there is plenty of boring pink out there, but I’ve received a handful of rosé wines since I covered my first batch a few months ago, and found quite a few goodies.

These wines were received as samples and tasted sighted.

White Wines

2017 Trefethen Riesling DryUSA, California, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll
SRP: $26
Very pale straw color. Aromas burst out of the glass with lemons, limes, chalk dust, cut flower stems, baby’s breath. Crisp and so zesty, dry and bracing but plenty of vibrant fruit (lime, peach, guava). Complex elements of chalk dust, limestone, mountain stream, honeysuckle. Add in some cucumber slices and a hint of tennis ball, with lots of minerals on the finish. A lovely dry California Riesling that I’d love to re-taste in four or five years. Sourced from Main Ranch Vineyard. (91 points)

2017 Chateau Montelena RieslingUSA, California, North Coast, Potter Valley
SRP: $27
Pale lemon color. A rich and plump aromatic display (orange, white peach, pineapple) along with yellow flowers, honeycomb, white tea, a stony-minty element as well. Plump and juicy fruit, this is richer and more tropical than I remember previous vintages, but it’s tropical and delicious (white peaches, cantaloupe, pineapple) with some drizzled lime on there. White flowers, chalky, spritely and fresh with some mineral and nettle notes and a honeyed finish. So surprised, year after year, at this wine. (91 points)

2017 Gamble Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Gamble VineyardUSA, California, Napa Valley, Yountville
SRP: $25
Light yellow color. The nose boasts bright white and yellow flowers, with green apples and yellow pears, a hint of sea salt. Creamy texture on the palate, this is fresh and crisp with a tangy, salty hint. Green apples and pears, lemon curd, the fruit mixes with honeysuckle, chalk dust, mineral and a hint of lemon verbena. Bright but textured, almost velvety, loving the depth and freshness combo here. Fermented mostly in old French oak, with a bit of new, and some stainless steel. (90 points)

2017 Sanctuary Vineyards Albariño PearlUSA, North Carolina, Outer Banks
SRP: $25
Light yellow color. Aromas of guava, peach, honey and floral tones, with sea salt notes. Rich and peachy with apricots and lemon, this is plumper, richer style but well done, interesting interpretation of this grape. Waxy, honeyed notes to the apricot and peach, but there’s still plenty of flowers and sea salt. Nice effort from North Carolina! (85 points)

Amber and Rosé

2017 Troon Vineyard Riesling Whole Grape FermentUSA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Applegate Valley
SRP: $20
Pale gold/amber color. Nose bursts with yellow flowers, honey, candle wax, almond, sea salt, topped on top of bright limes and apricot. Bright and crisp on the palate but the textural richness is awesome, and there are these chalky, dusty elements that I love. Flavors of limes and candied orange peel, mixed with almond, ginger, dried honey, wax. Complex, elegant, deliciousness. 11.6% alcohol, almost bone dry, this is an exciting and delicious orange wine. (92 points)

N.V. Amelia Crémant de Bordeaux Rosé BrutFrance, Bordeaux, Crémant de Bordeaux
SRP: $20
Pale copper color. Subtle aromas of white flowers, tangy strawberries and white cherries. Crisp and bright on the palate with high acid and a light, tangy appeal. White cherries, red apple peel flavors. Steely and light, budget and picnic-friendly. Made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. (85 points)

2017 Tasca D’Almerita Sicilia Le Rose di RegalealiItaly, Sicily, Sicilia
SRP: $15
Deep copper color. Nose of nectarines, peaches, apricots, lots of blossoms and spiced white tea, a sea salt note. Punchy and juicy but tangy on the palate with crisp, salty, oceanic influences throughout. Juicy nectarines, blood orange, yellow plums, along with notes of roses and spiced tea. This is delicious rose of Nerello Mascalese, and a total steal at this price. (89 points)

2017 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble RoséUSA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
SRP: $25
Deep copper color. Aromas of roses, lilies, sweet melon, nectarine, with hints of sea spray and chalk dust. Crisp and lip-smacking acidity, so lively, with a nice streak of mineral, chalk and saline throughout. Tart red apple with juicy white peaches and cantaloupe. Tangy, spicy, with floral complexity that lingers on the finish. Delightful Pinot Noir rose. (89 points)

2017 Cambria Pinot Noir Rosé Julia’s VineyardUSA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
SRP: $18
Bright pink color. Nose boasts peaches, spicy wild strawberries, watermelon and some white pepper. Plump, richly-textured, and juicy on the palate with medium acidity. Lots of watermelon, strawberry and red apple fruit. Fruit-forward style with notes of roses, cherry blossoms. All Pinot Noir. (87 points)

2017 Sidebar Cellars RoséUSA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
SRP: $21
Deep copper/light raspberry color. Ripe peaches, juicy strawberries, some spiced cranberry relish, along with white flowers and white pepper note. Bold texture with plenty of fruit (white peaches, mango, strawberry) yet bright acidity. The fruit is so juicy and pretty but I love these white pepper and rhubarb elements as well. Delicious stuff. 100% Syrah. (89 points)

2017 WillaKenzie Estate RoséUSA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
SRP: $21
Pale copper color. Super floral on the nose with cut stems, orange blossoms, lilies, nettle, along with peaches galore. Precise acidity from start to finish, dry and tangy, minerality throughout. White cherries, juicy peaches and nectarine topped in rose hips and orange blossoms. Floral, fresh, lovely balance and depth, this is very pretty stuff. Pinot Noir with 3% Pinot Meunier and 2% Pinot Blanc. (90 points)

2017 Veritas Vineyard RoséUSA, Virginia, Central Virginia, Monticello
SRP: $20
Medium watermelon color. Aromas of strawberries and white cherries, rose hips and roses, orange blossoms, honeysuckle. Medium-bodied on the palate with a plush and fruity appeal, raspberries and orange blossoms, honeysuckle. Floral and fruity, spicy and herbal, so fresh and lively but it sports significant depth. Lovely Virginia pink from Veritas. (88 points)

<85 points

2017 Concha y Toro Shiraz Rosé Casillero del DiabloChile
SRP: $8
Pale copper color. Aromas of strawberries and white cherries, along with roses, nettle, lemon meringue, crushed sweet tart candies. Light and bright with high acid, tart lemon and watermelon rind fruit. Notes of rose hips, rhubarb, sliced cucumber. Light and simple, a blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Carmenere.

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