Here are the wines and two spirits I have reviewed this month. December is the busiest month of the year on so many levels: I completed my annual top 100 wines which takes more than what one might expect.
Top 100 Wines of 2020 – James Melendez
Blackbird Dissonance Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Pale, pale straw color; 14.X% ABV, SRP: $20
Nose: bright citrus tones, white stone fruit, moistened minerals, and white flowers.
Palate: Meyer lemon citrus zest, hint of fennel and oyster shell
An appreciable Sauvignon Blanc that will be optimum for seafood, white pizza and white sauce pasta cheese, and rotisserie chicken
Esporão Alentejo Reserva Red Wine 2016 93 Points
This wine is a blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet; ABV is 14.5%; the SRP is $24.99. The wine is aged 12 months in American 60% and American and 40% French oak. Dark ruby colour.
Notes: red cherry, suedey/leathery notes; fresh crushed spices and violets
Palate: rich red cherry, pepper, allspice and crushed dried red rose petal
I served this with pork loin and this wine completed the dish and neither losing their robust and rich flavours.
Aerena North Coast Chardonnay 2019
I like the art work is by artist Tony Hernandez this is title “Conversations in Yellow.”
This wine is produced by Blackbird. Nose of apple, Comice pear, honeysuckle, and nutmeg and a palate of green apple, spice, and moist stones.
Raeburn Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2019 92
14.5% ABV, SRP: $19.99; 150,000 case produced, winemaker: Joe Tapparo
Nose: Comice pear, autumnal fruit, orchard, moist stones and ground nutmeg
Palate of autumnal fruit – Comice pear/green apple, sea shell, flowers and nutmeg
Raeburn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2019
14.5% ABV, SRP: $24.99; 20,000 case produced, winemaker: Joe Tapparo
Wine is aged 11 months French oak barrels, 25% new.
Nose: blackberry, pepper, wood pile and violets
Palate: cassis, pepper, graphite and rose petals.
Battuello Vineyards St. Helena Napa Valley Valdiguié 2018
Light-medium bodied wine; mid garnet coloration,
Nose: Black cherry, dense forest, underbrush, spice rack and violets.
Palate: boysenberry, pomegranite, pepper, clove and Cardamom
Battuello Vineyards St. Helena Napa Valley Valdiguié Rosé 2019
Pale salmon color, slight frizzante.
Nose: Lemon peel, strawberry, crushed minerals and flower bunch
Palate: crushed red candy, cherry, almond, and flower
Il Bastardo IGT Sangiovese 89 Points
SRP: $8.99; 13% ABV, 100% Sangiovese, Dark garnet color.
Nose: red currant, spice, red floral and pepper
Palate: black cherry, fennel, pepper and cardamom.
Lost Eden Red Blend 2018 90 Points
This is a blend of Saperavi and other grapes from Georgia. It had been quite sometime since I have tasted a Georgian wine. Vitreous ruby red colour.
Nose: bright red cherry, spice, winter forest, violets.
Palate: fresh red cherry, strawberry, dried red flowers, and simmering spice notes.
Domaine Bousquet Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Mendoza Brut NV 91 Points
Sparkling wine from organic grapes. 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay; Dosage 12 g/L, 12% ABV. SRP: $13
Nose of strawberry, citrus zest, and flowers.
Palate: mountain strawberry, almond and moistened minerals.
I hope you had a wonderful wine and spirits month!
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