Red 1 – 2020 DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
In the golden, oak-studded hills of Paso Robles' fabled west side, gracefully perched atop a stunning promontory at 2,200 feet, the DAOU Spanish Colonial style winery sits a top 100 percent calcareous soil on this 100-acre estate.
The latest vintage of their “Discovery Series’ Cabernet Sauvignon received 92 points from Jeb Dunnuck while still in the barrel. Winemaker Notes: “This wine has a rich and compelling nose of blackberry, cassis, smoky leather and dried herbs enhanced with layers of plum and cherry, cocoa and sandalwood. Bold and full bodied, this wine is structured firmly around a solid core of boysenberry and cherry fruit. Supple, ripe tannins provide ample backbone on the palate while retaining balance and finesse, it finishes long and clean with lingering notes of plum and blackberry.”
Food pairings: Beef or lamb stews, shepherds pie and burgers
Red 2 – 2016 Nue Wilde Cabernet Franc, Dunnsden Vineyard, Chalk Hill, Sonoma
A tiny production wine from indie winemaker Ben Herod who embraces the ethos that a wine is ‘grown’ not ‘made’. Partnering with like minded grape growers, this Cabernet Franc is sourced from the Dunnsden Vineyard, a steep, gravelly hillside vineyard located on the edge of the Russian River Valley in Chalk Hill.
This wine pays homage to the greats of Chinon and Saumur-Champigny, the ancestral home of Cabernet Franc in France's Loire Valley. It’s old world style is evident in it’s elegance. Medium bodied with a balance of fruit and earth tones, hints of herbs and pepper with a high acidity and medium tannins.
Food pairings: Eggplant parmesan, ratatouille, pizzas and tomato based dishes
White 1 – 2019 DAOU Reserve Chardonnay, Paso Robles
Winemaker Notes: “This gorgeous Chardonnay displays straw with shimmering gold highlights. The wine coats the glass when swirled and rolls about the bowl with a silky, satin texture. The nose bears tropical notes with a full profile of ripe ruby red grapefruit, white peach and a dash of apricot. The French oak stands dutifully in the background allowing the fruit to elevate to perfection. On the palate there is a distinct richness that makes the fruit and oak balance become even more evident. The lush qualities of this wine envision many excellent pairings with a variety of cuisines. This Chardonnay can be enjoyed now, but will have a long and gracious life in the bottle.”
Food Pairing: Fish and seafood, roast chicken, sauces with cream and butter
White 2 – 2017 Derby Wine Estates Picpoul Blanc, Paso Robles
100% Piquepoul Blanc
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. In the years following, Ray next acquired the historic Laura’s Vineyard (in east Paso) and then the Westside property, now called the Derby Vineyard. Needless to say, their plans of retirement never came to fruition.
This is a unique wine, one of the many white Rhone varietals used for blends. Picpoul (spelled Piquepoul in France) is used to boost acidity to the wine. As a single varietal, it has a layered bouquet of spiced quince jelly and fresh granny smith apple supported by a subtle minerality and it's signature fresh pucker of acidity.
Food Pairing: Seafood, shellfish, traditional Salt Cod croquettes, many styles of cheese and - surprisingly - chocolates
Red 1 – 2019 DAOU Sequentis Reserve Merlot, Paso Robles
Aged 20 months in 50% new French oak. Winemaker Notes: “The 2019 DAOU Sequentis presents a fragrant nose redolent of black cherry, plum, boysenberry and dark chocolate with hints of cassis and black olive. Suggestions of spicy currant, dried herb, crushed gravel and vanilla reveal layers of complexity that are further elevated by trailing impressions of incense, cedar and cranberry. A bold and assertive palate delivers prodigious flavors of plum and cherry with traces of black raspberry and blueberry. Notes of toasty oak, dark roast espresso and lavender potpourri complement the bright fruit character. Balanced, structured and brimming with focused intensity, this wine concludes with firm tannins that drive a clean finish and exceptional length—all promising outstanding age worthiness.”
Food pairing: Filet mignon with crumbled blue cheese and port wine reduction
Red 2 – 2018 Andis Petite Sirah, Sierra Foothills
The stunning modern winery in Plymouth, California was designed by Andy Friedlander and Janis Akuna (“Andis”) as a forward thinking winery with a focus on sustainability. The grapes of this region have a heritage dating back to the California Gold Rush, when Europeans brought their root stock with them to make their own wine while they hoped to strike it rich.
The 2016 Andis Petite Sirah receive 93 Points from Wine Enthusiast. Robust in flavor, appropriately laced with firm tannins. It has a deep color and a rustic appeal with moderately spicy blackberry aromas, and a firm mouthfeel. Blackberry and subtle blueberry flavors push through on the finish.
Food pairing: Just begging for a dry-aged T-Bone steak
White – 2020 DAOU Bodyguard Chardonnay
The newest addition to the DAOU family. Winemaker notes: “The Bodyguard Chardonnay embodies the quintessential style of a California chardonnay - ripe fruit, vanilla-laced oak notes and an all around rich and buttery mouthfeel. The warmer climate of California provides a deeper golden color, aromas of vanilla, cinnamon and coconut, and the flavors can range from mango and banana to butter and cream. The Chardonnay grape truly reflects where it is grown and as such the terroir expresses itself very accurately in the glass. The Bodyguard Chardonnay uses grapes from the famous Santa Barbara appellation that benefits from the proximity of Pacific Ocean. Cold fermentations are performed to maintain the aromatic precursors with a combination of French and American oak to deliver a creamy and buttery mouthfeel.”
Food pairing: Roast chicken, halibut in a lemon cream sauce or fish and chips
Pinot 1 – 2018 Richmond Plains Pinot Noir, New Zealand
Richmond Plains is an organic wine-making pioneer producing New Zealand’s first Certified Organic Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, making organic wine since its inception in 1991 and is Certified Organic by Asure Quality, New Zealand. The soil and vines are fed with biological brews and compost teas. Disease is managed with natural beneficial organisms.
This Pinot Noir is made in an elegant appealing style which can be enjoyed when young but will also benefit from a little cellaring allowing it to develop more complex characters. Fragrant floral red cherry, strawberry, and raspberry notes lead to a complex nose of earthy savory, and spicy characters. French oak gives a subtle structure to this fruity Pinot Noir with a lovely lingering finish. Organic & Vegan friendly.
Food pairing: Salmon, roast chicken or New Zealand lamb
Pinot 2 – 2018 Olivia Brion Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Olivia Brion is riding a bike on this label as a tribute to Annie Londonderry’s story; a Latvian immigrant to the United States who in 1894 became the first woman to bicycle around the world. She was a revolutionary for her time, an entrepreneur, a voracious traveler, and a mother to three.
This wine showcases the expansive nature of the Russian River Valley without giving the whole of the wine over to power and alcohol. The grapes were de-stemmed and fermented in small lots using natural yeast and naturally occurring malolactic bacteria. Aged in 80% neutral / 20% new French oak barrels for 26 months. Aromas of deep black cherry and raspberry compote. The rich berries blend on the palate with a hint of bay leaf, ground cardamom and a delicate bouquet of violets.
Food pairing: Duck confit with a cherry glaze or dark coffee chocolate truffles
Our three Organic selections this month are from new winemakers and Playa del Rey locals Alison and Quinn Hobbs. They have set out to bring the enjoyable and unique style of Australian natural winemaking (Alison a native of Margaret River, Australia) to California, featuring organically grown grapes from sustainably sourced vineyards of the Central Coast. Their core focus is to create exceptional wines that have a minimal impact on the environment, which means using lighter glass and never using chemicals like Round-Up. The labels are modern and hint at Quinn's passion for surfing.
Red 1 – 2020 Hollow Wines Backdoor Dreams Cabernet Franc, Paicines AVA
Harvested from the Siletto Family Vineyard in Paicines AVA, off Hwy 25 just south of Hollister, California. These beautiful Cabernet Franc grapes were planted on their original St. George rootstock in 1974. Aged on the skins for 21 days and pressed into neutral French oak for 8 months before bottling.
Red 2 – 2020 Hollow Wines Pinot Noir, Tres Pinos
From the Siletto Family Vineyard in Tres Pinos, off Hwy 25 just south of Hollister, California. These Pommard clone grapes were farmed using organic practices. After being picked and destemmed these fermented on skins for 21 days before being pressed into 20% new French oak puncheon, 80% 1-year-old French oak barrels. Rich with elegant tannins this Pinot is developed while maintaining beautiful acidity.
White – 2020 Hollow Wines Chardonnay, Cienega Valley
Harvested from the Eden Rift Vineyard in Cienega Valley, the grapes were hand sorted and pressed into concrete tanks where completed primary fermentation with native yeasts. After 30 days the wine was filtered and transferred into stainless steel. At bottling, 30ppm of sulfites were added to stop malolactic fermentation.
Bubbles 1 – Sidónio de Sousa Branco Brut Nature, Bairrada, Portugal
40% Bical, 35% Maria Gomes and 25% Arinto
During the phylloxera epidemic in France in the 19th century, many Champagne houses sent personnel to the Bairrada region of Portugal to produce sparkling wine, and when they returned to France in the early 20th century, they left behind the knowledge and equipment to make these wines. Today, Sidonio de Sousa is devoted to treating their vines with care and skill to produce some of the most elegant wines of the Bairrada region.
The Branco Brut Nature is bone dry, fresh and aromatic with flavors of pear, lemon and fresh herbs. Smooth, delicate bubbles flow across the palate, lifted by a refreshing acidity and lively concentration of flavor. The finish is sublime, layered and complex.
Food pairing: Enjoy on its own or pair with light seafood dishes
Bubbles 2 – 2020 Catch & Release ‘All Night’ Pinot Gris Pét Nat, Anderson Valley
Skin contact Pét Nat of Pinot Gris
This Pet-Nat is the second release from Catch & Release, based off of Pinot Gris from Filigreen Farm. The dark ruby grapefruit color is the result of extended skin contact, providing bitterness and texture. Watermelon jolly rancher, citrus pith, white nectarine, peach rings, and and lip smacking acidity. Big creamy bubbles are balanced out by striking acidity and lively effervescence.
Food pairing: Fun and versitile, great for afternoon sipping
Bubbles 3 – 2020 Fattoria Amo ‘Revolta’ Frizzante, Maremma, Tuscany, Italy
100% Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Fattoria Amo is located in an ancient place that has remained untouched for a thousand years: uncontaminated hills covered with vineyards, olive trees and centuries-old oaks, a stone’s throw from the medieval city of San Gimignano. The constant presence of breezes blowing from the sea, keeps the grapes healthy and moderates the high summer temperatures. Fermentation started with indigenous yeasts (pied de cuve) and stopped by cooling the tank. Bottled without tirage and re-fermented without disgorging. Maturation occurs over 5 months in stainless steel tank, with lees ageing in the bottle.
This is a light-bodied sparkling wine, bright, citrusy and crisp.
Food pairing: Ideal with cheese or shellfish
NP SOMM CLUB
Red 1 – 2016 Skouras Grand Cuvee Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece
Argolida Valley in Peloponnesos is world-famous for its citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, tangerines), its olive oil and olives, and fast becoming synonymous with wine. George Skouras, proprietor and winemaker studied oenology at the University of Dijon. He went to work for a number of wineries in France, Italy and Greece before setting up his own in the Argolida Valley 1987.
This dry wine has aromas of red fruits, sour cherries, blueberries and red cherries, along with some spice, aromatic herbs and a touch of minerality. On the palate it is medium to full bodied with noticeable tannins. The flavors follow the aromas with hints of tobacco, cinnamon and nutmeg on the long complex evolving finish.
Food pairing: Lamb and other roasted meats, tomato based sauces or Indian cuisine
Red 2 – 2018 Bodegas Pinea ‘17’ Ribera del Duero, Spain
The local name for the Tempranillo clone grown in Ribera del Duero is Tinto Fino. It adapted to the region’s frigid, snowy winters and dry, hot summers, which gives the grapes thicker skins, deeper color, and more tannic structure than its cousin in Rioja. Winemakers here rarely blend Tempranillo with other varietals in the appellation because of its robust character and knockout structure that can be enjoyed young or aged and most definitely pairs well with food.
This is a full bodied and creamy red aged in both French and American oak. Aromas of strawberries, blackberry, ripe black plum and blueberry. These are joined by the subtle and elegant aromas of new oak, with hints of spices, vanilla, chocolate and toast. On the palate, the wine comes together in a daring and powerful profile, with noticeable, silky tannins. The finish is long and persistent. Decanting for 15-30 minutes is recommended.
Food pairing: Aged cheeses, pork sausage, steak, venison stew, lamb chops and beef goulash
White – 2020 Domaine Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko, Aegean Islands, Greece
The remains of an ancient volcano that erupted around 1600 BC, Santorini is one of the southern Cyclades islands and is most recognized for its white wines made from the fruity and mineral-rich, Assyrtiko. On the fairly barren, windswept island, vines must be cultivated in low baskets, pinned to the ground. The shape serves to preserve moisture and protect the growing grapes in its interior. Domaine Sigalas was founded in 1991 by Paris Sigalas, Christos Markozane and Yiannis Toundas. Sigalas has been a pioneer in the organic viticulture and has participated in a government organic farming methods program since 1994.
Subtle nose of citrus fruit. Excellent structure with a depth of flavor and an acidity which brings the flavors to the fore and adds freshness, with a lasting after-taste. The characteristic mineral taste is evident, typical of the variety and the soil of Santorini at it's very best. 91 Pts – Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Food pairing: Grilled fish, octopus or Greek salad with tomatoes and feta