Balletto Pinot Noir 2018, Russian River Valley$25.00
Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018 exhibits everything you would expect from a serious pinot. It combines full and captivating aromatics with a delicate texture that defines the Balletto style of Pinot Noir. The wine itself is full of contradictory forces: it’s weighty with a luscious mid-palate, but also surrounded by notable tannins and acidity that keep it focused, balanced and taut. It has plenty of dark fruit, but it’s also layered with savory earth and spices that offset it. The overall impact is complex, impressive and delicious. The 2018 Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was grown on seven different estate pinot vineyards. The sites range from quiet rolling hills to steep and cold hillside plantings. This diverse combination adds distinct elements from each site and creates a complex wine with structure and grace.
Balletto Rose of Pinot Noir 2020$21.00
So fun and lively. Savory guava, watermelon and lime combine with a light, delicate texture to make this pretty and delicious wine. The balance is heavenly with just enough acidity and weight to make you crave the next taste.
The Balletto Rosé is made exclusively from estate-grown Pinot Noir, a grape known for delicacy, light color and good acidity. It was cold fermented to complete dryness in 100 percent stainless steel to enhance its focus and harvested early to maintain acidity and lightness.
93 Points & Top 25 Best Rosé Wines of 2021, VinePair May 2021
97 Points & Double Gold, Sunset International Wine Competition June 2021
Banshee “Mordecai” Red Blend 2018$28.00
All of the elements of this wine are made with the house philosophy (think: bright flavors, focus, energy, good with food), with the overreaching mandate that it is absolutely delicious. The very rough and unscientific formula is this: about a third Bordeaux varieties, about a third Rhone varieties, and about a third other varieties dominated by Zinfandel with a bit of of this or that peppered in to add interesting accent notes. Carignan sourced from a 45-year-old, organically farmed vineyard in Redwood Valley continues to expand its influence in Mordecai, acting as a bridge between the Rhone and Bordeaux lots. The 2016 Mordecai has an enticing nose of pepper, violets, cigar and cassis. On the palate it is a mouthwatering mélange of red berry and plum flavors backed by earthy tones of herb roasted meat and fresh black trumpet giving way to a spice-laden finish.
Banshee Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Napa Valley$50.00
Dark plum, cocoa, blackberry and sage aromas with powerful, well delineated flavors of dark chocolate covered cherry, macerated strawberry, wild herbs, mineral and touch of caramel. Well balanced with fine tannins, this wine is deep and multi-dimensional. 96% Cabernet Sauvignon – Calistoga, Rutherford, & Howell Mountain 4% Cabernet Franc – Howell Mountain. Will play well for 15-20 years.
Banshee Chardonnay 2019$24.00
This vintage was sourced from a variety of vineyards in the Sonoma Coast including both of the single vineyard sites, Heintz and Bohemian. These vineyards tended to deliver fully developed flavors at relatively high natural acidities, giving them remarkable length and verve. These vineyards tended to deliver fully developed flavors at relatively high natural acidity, giving remarkable length and verve. This wine leans towards orchard fruit showing both apple and pear but also hints of tropical fruits and vanilla bean. In the mouth the wine is moderate weight but packs extraordinary depth of flavor, echoing the aroma with fuji apple, meyer lemon, sage and vanilla panna cotta. The finish is all energy with mouthwatering citrus notes.
Banshee Pinot Noir 2018$35.00
This is the most important wine in the Banshee lineup, and they treat it as such. The 2018 edition is an exciting, yet friendly wine, bursting at the seams with aromas of macerated wild berries and an elegant, soft earth undertone. The flavors combine both sweet and tart, reminiscent of Santa Rosa plums and wild blackberries that grow so commonly in Sonoma Wine Country. The finish is bright, slightly herbal, and savory making this an excellent food wine, as well as a charming drinking experience by itself.
Banshee Rose 2019$25.00
The McDowell Valley Vineyards are located to the southeast of Hopland in Mendocino County. These vineyards are nestled in the rugged Mayacamas Mountains and are perched on sloped bench land at elevations as high as 1,000 feet.The Rhône varietals grown here produce Rosé that is fresh and vibrant with quintessential coastal climate traits.
The 2019 Banshee Rosé is a lovely shade of pale salmon with aromas of rose water, salinity and fresh picked strawberries. Bright flavors of juicy cantaloupe and honeydew melon are highlighted by a touch of Meyer lemon. Racy acidity and elegance are balanced perfectly in this dry, crisp Rosé.
Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel 2018$32.00
“I am incredibly proud of this wine. I have said it here before but it bears repeating—even though this is one of the least expensive wines we make, in many ways it is the most important. First, it is the one Bedrock wine that trickles out to most markets, so if someone gets introduced to our wines, there is a good chance it is this one. As such, it has to be reflective of the style we place value on. Second, this is the wine that allows us to rehab old vineyards by giving us a place to put the fruit while we upgrade farming, pruning, and soil health; at an average of 80 years of age, these lovely old vines appreciate the attention. Third, we now farm over 50% of the fruit that goes into this bottling, which allows us to make the hard farming decisions (dropping fruit, picking in multiple passes, etc.) to ensure we get the quality we need. Fourth, it is a statewide blend of vines, which means we can flex towards the strengths of a vintage. In 2018 we were able to put extra focus on the great quality in Contra Costa County (27%), Dry Creek (12%), Sonoma Valley (17%), Alexander Valley (11%), and Lodi (10%) to create a delicious, balanced and juicy wine. Fifth, we want this wine to spread the gospel of Zinfandel from California, and as such this sees fruit from great sites such as Evangelho, Bedrock, Nervo Ranch, Teldeschi Ranch, Sodini and Pato Vineyard. The 2018 is a blend of 85% Zinfandel filled out with Mataro, Grenache, Alicante Bouschet, Carignan, Petite Sirah and scant amounts of the many other varieties that can be found in California’s older, multifarious vineyards. Drink 2019-2030.” -Morgan Twain-Peterson. Rich and supple, this is an explosion of pure, decadent fruit. Floral huckleberry and Chinese five-spice powder aromas open to layered blackberry, dark chocolate and licorice flavors that linger.
Belle Glos Pinot Noir 2019, Los Alturas Vineyards, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA$59.00
Probably better known for their wildly popular Meiomi Pinot Noir, Belle Glos makes a wonderful single vineyard Pinot from the Los Alturas Vineyard in the Santa Lucia appellation. Located in one of the highest-plantable sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, this pristine bench offers the Las Alturas Vineyard cool, coastal days with consistent sunshine and a foundation of Gloria sandy loam soil. When planting this 15-acre vineyard, they matched various Pinot Noir clones to individual slopes and soil attributes of the land. Yields are deliberately kept low in order to preserve the fruit intensity these clonal choices provide. The Belle Glos Pinot Noir 2019, Los Alturas Vineyard starts off with a deep ruby red color and intriguing aromas of sun-warmed blackberries, ripe plums, with hints of black licorice. A complexity of dark berry fruits unfold on the palate; blackberries and bing cherries along with dark chocolate flavors. Vanilla and cedar oak undertones on the mid-palate further enhance the wine. The overall impression is rich with refined tannins, firm acidity and explosive layers of ripe fruit.
Beresini Pinot Noir 2014, Black Dog Ranch, Carneros$42.00
The delicious 2014 Pinot Noir Carneros, Napa Valley is made from 3 clones of Pinot Noir – the Swann clone, the Calera clone and the Martini clone. The Beresini 2014 Pinot Noir shows classic Carneros Pinot notes of red cherry, earth and cranberry. This wine is medium weight with crisp acidity and bright red fruits followed by earthy/mint tones.
Bokisch Garnacha Blanc 2017, Vista Luna Vineyard$19.00
Although Markus Bokisch was raised in California, he spent his childhood summers in Spain with his family. In the Spanish tradition, he was given wine with water at meals.Little did Markus know, his tastebuds from then on were programmed towards Spanish wines. Using their Spanish connections Markus and Liz Bokisch began importing budwood and in 1999 they planted the Las Cerezas Vineyard, known as their “motherblock,” of Tempranillo, Albariño and Graciano. Garnacha Blanca, known as Grenache Blanc in France is the white berried form of Garnacha which originated in Spain’s northeast corner. It is medium bodied and aged in a small percentage of neutral white oak barrels. It is a perfect balance of fresh fruity characters such as white peaches, orange blossom and thyme combined with smooth creamy flavors of melon and apple cider. This drought friendly grape grows fabulously in California! Garnacha Blanca: Perfect summer wine. Soft & silvery on the tongue. A lovely minerality that lingers on the palate in the very best way. Enjoy with grilled scallops and asparagus and say hello to heaven! 260 cases produced.
Bonny Doon Cigare du Volant 2017$55.00
Starting in late 1954 people throughout France began reporting UFO sightings. The sightings were popularized by heavy media attention, and became a concern for the citizens of France. The most common shape of the crafts reported were cigar shaped, called “Cigare Volant.” The people of Chateauneuf du Pape were so concerned by the sightings and the effects the UFOs may have on their wine, that the mayor banned the UFOs from landing in their vineyards. Tipping his hat to this story and the famous wine, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards named his Chateauneuf style wine Le Cigare Volant. The 30th Anniversary release of this, their flagship wine. A beautiful wine—dark and mulberry in color as in nose. One scents cool loamy earth with suggestions of raspberries and Damson plums. I do so love the largely Grenache vintages of Cigare; there’s an unmistakable spiciness to them—orange peel, cinnamon and black pepper. Grenache is not just about fragrance however; any synesthete worth his/her Maldon salt will know that the scent of Grenache is in part highly textural—soft and velveteen. And sure enough, on the palate the wine is also an essence of velours. “Exceptional” – Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences | “The classic Rhone-ish expression of Randall Grahm's fascination with wines of personality, the blend here is 55% grenache, 25% syrah, 16% mourvèdre, 4% cinsault. I have tasted many older versions of this wine and this one is set up to age a long time.” 93 Points – Wine Enthusiast.