Archive | 11:58 pm

A Rosé By Any Other Name

4 Sep

Sanford 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills, Lompoc, CA. 13.5% ABV, MSRP $30/bottle. Sample Provided by Terlato Wines.

Delicate salmon pink in color. Nose of fresh strawberries and honeysuckle. On the palate, young strawberries and searing acidity are a lovely match: the delicate but clean crisp and fresh flavors wash the back and palate leaving a hint of sweet strawberry and dried cranberries on the top palate while the mouth is left taut & thirsting for the next sip of wine or bite of food. Secondary notes include just a touch of heat, clay, limestone and sodium minerality with a steely focus and driven red fruit. Oh yum. This has the upfront, direct SMACK in the face of both flavor and acid that so many of the Provence rosés lack. What a lovely wine this is, and I’m also frustrated because my top three rosé wines have just had changed lineup. Dammit. Slide into home, Sanford. Nicely done.

Sanford Pinot GLass - 1

This is a spectacular rosé, and no wonder Steve Fennell hasn’t had time to warn me about this wine- he’s too busy making this estate grown baby, which is an offshoot from Sanford’s classic pinot noir grapes, while he’s making the dozen or so other wines to fill the demands of the wine club clientele.

Yum, and darn. There are so many great food pairing options for this wine, it’s easier to say “think pink!” than to start to list them. But I’ll try: appetizers, fish, salads, shellfish, pesto- and herb-based pastas, white meats, ratatouille, cheese, greek food…I could go on and on, and even my WIFE loves this wine. My real problem is: how do I sneak a case into my house without her seeing it?

Rose bottle - 1

à votre santé!


Inaspettato Piacere Da Un Bel Vino Italiano

4 Sep

Inaspettato Piacere Da Un Bel Vino Italiano


“Unexpected pleasure from a lovely Italian Wine”

Terlato Pinot Grigio 2015 Friuli Colli Orientali DOC, Italy. 13% ABV, MSRP $24.99, currently $17.49 on UnCorked.Com;  Sample provided by Terlato Wines

Color is medium straw/pale sunlight with good clarity, while the nose offers delicate peach, honey and grass. Flavors of citrus, bosc pear, and white peach show on the front palate and pair with lovely, medium plus acidity on the top palate. A warm afterglow rises in the back palate with a moderate finish that offers hints of oak barreling and a series of strong mineral notes: marl, sandstone, and slate.

This wine pairs easily with lighter fare: a baked phyllo and cheese, brie and goat cheese on sesame crackers, and vegetable crudite with hummus and a yogurt & chive dip. It offers enough fruit and acidity to pair easily with any delicate flavors, and enough savory body to pair with sweeter elements like yellow pepper and cherry tomato, fish, or poultry.

For those who cringe at the words, “pinot grigio”, please, be strong and have heart. This is NOT the entry-level table wine peddled in restaurants for $8/glass and $8/bottle in the wine store  that offers you a “meh” experience. Instead, this is a delightful, qualified, historic and beautifully-made pinot grigio that will make you beg for more.

Terlano PinotGrigio2015

After opening and tasting this bottle (and being impressed with the flavors, balance and quality) I then served it blind to a group of wine-loving friends at a mixed tasting of white wines from Italy, Spain, and France. This was the hands-down popular favorite of the six wines poured that evening, and when I exposed that the wine was pinot grigio, each person showed a similar surprise. “It’s WHAT? Wow, this is a really great wine.”

In the end, isn’t that all we are really looking for?

à votre santé!


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