Red 1- 2015 Mourre du Tendre ‘Plan de Dieu’ Côte du Rhone Villages, France
This is the first vintage made in Mourre du Tendre's new Côtes-du-Rhône Villages vineyard Plan de Dieu - “God’s Plain" - but the vines are between 70 and 90 years old. A blend of primarily Grenache with Mourvedre and Cinsault. While Plan de Dieu is not widely known outside of the southern Rhône, this terroir is getting more and more attention due to its resemblance to many of the famed lieu dits located in southern portion of Châteauneuf-du-Pape – a terroir of red clay and galets over sand. Located next to Vacqueyras, this wine has a similar concentration and fruity core as their better known neighbors.
Whole cluster, semi-carbonic maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts, 30-day maceration. Aged 24 months in tank and six months in bottle before release. This wine has aromas and flavors of dark strawberry jam, cracked black peppercorns, licorice and black cherries. It’s a mouthful while maintaining balance and dimension. Compares favorably to Chateauneufs that cost twice the price.
Food pairing: Grilled or oven roasted dishes cooked with Mediterranean herbs - thyme, rosemary, savory, bay leaf, garlic.
Red 2- 2019 Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Australia
As treacherous as it is beautiful, Western Australia’s rugged southwest coastline is littered with shipwrecks – the wreck of the Ringbolt being one of them. Sunk in the late 1800s in what is now known as Ringbolt Bay, located on the southern tip of the Margaret River wine region, adjacent to Cape Leeuwin. Defined by the oceans, the Margaret River region enjoys a temperate, maritime climate with high winter rainfall and pristine, robust sea breezes to cool the precious fruit – wonderful conditions for growing superior Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winemaker Heather Fraser crafts this wine is varying degrees of American and French oak. The nose has rich aromas of violets, black cherries and mulberries with hints of cassis and forest floor characters. The wine opens with the pretty floral characters of the nose and a rich blackberry edge before progressing to the mocha oak mid palate and finishing with succulent tannins that continue the experience long after the wine has left your mouth.
Food Pairing: Angus beef fillet topped with char-grilled kale with brown rice and onions.
White 1- 2019 Ramey Sidebar Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley
Sidebar by David Ramey is exactly like it sounds - a side project where the winemaking team can play and have some fun. Apart from the dedication to deliciousness and quality, Sidebar remains distinct from Ramey in its varietals and tempo, to be considered under a different set of values. This Sauvignon Blanc is classically styled and aged to perfection – brightness is key. It balances citrus and floral notes and is beautifully textured with a crisp, bright finish. Best consumed young.
“The nose of the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is gregarious with gooseberries, white peaches, fresh herbs and lychee. The palate is light-bodied, bright and crisp with fresh fruit flavors and lifted acidity, finishing clean.” – Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 90 Points.
Food Pairing: Greek salad, or anything with feta or goat cheeses.
White 2- 2018 Francesco Brigatti 'Mottobello' Colline Novaresi Bianco, Piedmont, Italy
Colline Novaresi is located in Italy's northwestern Piedmont region, and was granted DOC status in 1994. It is based on the hills around the town of Novara, around 20 miles west of Milan. The bianco is made entirely from Erbaluce, which makes a crisp, light bodied wine.
Francesco Brigatti is an exemplary small wine grower located on the southern end of Lago Maggiore. His ‘Mottobello’ is pale straw in color, with greenish glints; aroma and flavor of peaches, herbs, flowers; slightly chewy texture with very good fresh acidity; complex, distinctive white wine.
Food Pairing: Seafood and risotto.
Red 1- Derby Estates ‘Implico’ Red Blend, Paso Robles
Ray and Pam Derby moved to the Central Coast area in the early 1990’s with the intention of retiring. In 1998, they purchased their first vineyard property, now known as Derbyshire Vineyard and their thoughts of retirement were replaced by the inspiration of being a part of the wine world. Starting out as grape growers, they now produce their own wine from 20 hand-selected acres being used to provide fruit for their own brand, the remainder are sold to some of the finest wine producers in California.
Implico is Latin for ‘intimately connected’ and is comprised of fruit from both east and west Paso Robles. The 2015 Bordeaux style blend is 33% Cabernet Franc, 27% Malbec, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot. On the nose, this blend opens with notes of dark fruits, graphite, anise and cedar. The palate is seamless and plush with balanced flavors of raspberry, earth, cassis, and tobacco.
Food Pairing: Grill up some Santa Maria tri-tip or try it with pulled pork sandwiches.
Red 2- 2016 Ehlers Estate ‘Portrait’ Red Blend, Napa Valley
This wine represents the estate as a perfect picture of the vineyards and soil diversity. That is why it is called it Portrait. 2016 was considered, for many, a near-perfect vintage in Napa. Weather conditions throughout the year were perfect to achieve beautiful vine growth, proper ripeness, and development of flavors and tannins in the grapes.
This blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Cabernet Franc and 28% Merlot is medium to full body. It delivers concentrated aromas of ripe red fruit, raspberries, cherries, cassis, and smoky notes. Aged in 40% new French oak, the fruit really shines in the blend. Nice structured acidity; the mouth is dense with vibrant and complex flavors of red berries, smoky spices, and dried herbs. This wine has a long finish with dense silky tannins.
Food pairing: Lamb, meats, stews and roasts.
White- 2019 Hoopes Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Hoopes Vineyard is a small, family-owned winegrower and producer with deep roots in Napa Valley. Lindsay Hoopes, second generation winemaker, continues to live and work on the farm with revered dedication to her family heritage in dogged pursuit of perfect wines.
Sourced from the valley floor and from high on Atlas Peak, the 2019 Hoopes Napa Chardonnay shows gorgeous and ripe pear, golden apple, and pineapple, all braced with the Meyer lemon citrus and vivacity that can only be achieved in cooler climes. The result, after a modest time in French oak, is a pure Napa Valley Chardonnay that shows off a Puligny-Montrachet-like verve.
Food pairing: Crab cakes, grilled salmon and butter basted roast chicken.
Pinot 1- 2018 Windrun Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills
‘Wind run’ is a meteorological term used to categorize or determine the total distance wind travels over a period of time. The winery chose the name for the cooling winds that pass through a vineyard that are important for proper balance in grape varieties, especially their flagship Pinot Noir.
The 2018 edition of Windrun’s limited-production bottling is a blend of grapes from one Sta. Rita Hills vineyard. It displays some of the best Pinot Noir available from this widely known appellation, showing off a great balance of characteristics. Has savory scents of brandied cherries, plum, blue fruit, orange rind, sweet herb, floral-violets, anise, hint of forest floor, touch of baking spice, smoke, and clove. Has linear acidity with plush, rich tannins. It has been aged 11 months in French oak barrels.
Food pairing: Herb crusted leg of lamb or Portobello mushrooms with caramelized onion & goat cheese.
Pinot 2- 2014 Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Pinot Noir, Malibu
This local, family owned winery was founded in 2003. Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard consists of 10 planted acres on a 37-acre plot. Grown at 2,000 feet, the steep hillsides allow for exceptional drainage and sun exposure, the Mediterranean microclimate results in perfect growing and ripening conditions. Hand picked and meticulously maintained by the same team of professionals since conception, the vineyard has become one of the most recognized and awarded in the region.
This is a medium bodied Pinot Noir from an exceptional vintage. Aromas of cherry pie, pomegranate and cinnamon. On the palate, a hint of anise and clove with strawberry, red plum and red apple. A lovely layered Pinot with a long lingering finish.
Food pairings: Grilled meats and barbecued salmon.
Red 1- 2019 Domaine Val d’Argan ‘La Gazelle’ Noire de Mogador, Morocco
Charles Mélia, winemaker at Château de la Font de Loup in Chateauneuf-du-Pape since 1977, created a new vineyard in 1994 in Essaouira, Morocco in keeping with the pioneering spirit of his Algerian ancestors. Domiane du Val d’Argan is the first and only Moroccan vineyard exclusively dedicated to grape varieties of the Rhone Valley.
La Gazelle Noire is a blend of Syrah and Muscat Noir and is Certified Organic. Aromas of blackberry, black cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, red apple and dark chocolate. This wine is soft on the palate with smooth tannins and a bright finish.
Food pairing: Try this with an authentic Moroccan tagine.
White- 2019 Cinncinnato Castore Bellone, Lazio, Italy
A sophisticated, elegant 100% Bellone wine that embodies its terroir. It is named after one of the mythical Dioscuri, venerated in the ancient Temple of Castor and Pollux, whose imposing ruins are among Cori’s archaeological treasures. Wine of refined elegance, obtained entirely from the Bellone grapes, an ancient grape variety also known as “bread grape” soft and delicate skin. Low yields per hectare and an accurate vinification make this a fragrant and delicately fruity wine.
Aromas of yellow peach and hawthorn with a harmonic, fragrant and fresh palate.
Food pairing: Delicate pasta dishes, fish and vegetables.
NP SOMM CLUB
Red 1- 2014 SassodiSole Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany, Italy
SassodiSole is an organic estate winery in north-east Montalcino. The vineyards mostly face southwest, catching copious Tuscan sun, and they’re surrounded by olive orchards and wild forest preserved by the family to promote biodiversity and soil retention. This 100% Sangiovese is made with indigenous yeasts and fermented slowly in the cellar before racking into steel tanks for malolactic fermentation. Aged in large Slavonian oak barrels.
“Underbrush, red berry and leather aromas emerge from the glass. The juicy palate delivers raspberry jam, Marasca cherry and tobacco alongside polished tannins and fresh acidity. Drink through 2025.”
– Wine Enthusiast, 91 Points
Food pairing: Roast leg of lamb with rosemary, or the try the famous Tuscan-style steak ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina.’
Red 1- 2015 Negretti Mirau Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy
Born from an incomparable vineyard which gives extraordinary grapes thanks to its microclimate, soil composition and richness of microelements. This Barolo doesn’t accept any compromise, wearing an exotic dress and speaking a different language. Incense, turmeric, sandal and black licorice are mixed with faraway spices and are confirmed during the tasting where black berries and gooseberry interchange with Indian curry. A tannic complexity puts everything together surrounding mystic notes of incense.
“Fresh mint, red berry and underbrush aromas emerge from the glass. The full-bodied palate delivers raspberry jam, licorice and clove alongside fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity.”
– Wine Enthusiast, 91 Points
Food pairing: Lamb, steak, game dishes or anything with truffles.
White- 2018 I Capitani ‘Faius’ Bianco, Irpinia, Campania, Italy
The Faius de I Capitani is a project that aims at excellence. The maximum expression of the of indigenous white grapes from the volcanic soils of ancient Mt Vesuvius, this wine is 50% Fiano, 25% Falanghina and 25% Greco. A wine with great power, structure, typicality, minerality and freshness, capable of evolving over time. The aging in small oak barrels for 6-8 months adds balance and personality. A unique wine.
Food pairing: Ideal with soups and grilled fish, white meats, soft cheeses and vegetarian dishes.