The summers in Ojai are hot and, therefore, a perfect location to grow and drink dry Riesling. Unlike their semisweet cousin, this wine is similar to Rieslings from Austria and Germany which are suprisingly food friendly and versatile.
The grapes come from a small vineyard just west of the town of Los Alamos, California; the area is particularly well-suited for Riesling and produces a wine that is dry and strikingly unlike other California Riesling with it's beguiling lemon peel aroma and fresh, crisp minerally flavors. A perfect pairing would be fish tacos, pad thai or goat cheese and crackers. $24
This Verdicchio di Matelica is made of grapes grown on vineyards that have a Jurassic period raised sea bed, near salt water springs called "le salse" (from "sale" which means salt). The raised and unique North-South mountain valley blocks off tempering coastal winds to cause extreme diurnal temperature differences resulting in this racy, mineral driven wine. Notes of tangerine and green apple. $15.99
Ryan Deovlet is a winemaker to watch. His Santa Barbara County Chardonnay is burgundian in style, opulent yet pretty. It is soft, round and rich, the Chardonnay grapes in this wine come from Soloman Hills, Zotovich & Sanford and Benedict Vineyards. Nose of lemon meringue pie, stone fruit and pear with a hint of spice, and sublte notes of buttered popcorn. Only four barrels (95 cases ) with 15% new French oak were made! Pairs with creamy risotto or roasted chicken dishes. $39.99
"I continue to be deeply impressed by Ryan Deovlet. His wines, which emerge from some of the top sites in Santa Barbara, are impeccable, pure and wonderfully transparent to site. The 2010s are a bit broader in style, while the 2011s are more energetic and vibrant. It's pretty hard to go wrong with any of these current and upcoming releases. "
- Antonio Galloni, August 2013
The grapes used in the Butternut Chardonnay were harvested from various sites in California including Napa, Sonoma, Sierra Foothills, and Monterey. The grapes were picked at optimum time and fermented in stainless steel. The wine was later aged on French oak.
Aromas of peach, hazelnut and spiced candied apple. Round, creamy notes of fig, butterscotch and sweet oak. Butternut Chardonnay pairs well with Asian dishes, grilled fish and pork sausages. $18.99
The Secateurs Chenin Blanc comes from a vineyard located on the northern side of Paardeberg Mountain. The vines were planted in the 1950s and 1960s and are currently dry-farmed as biologically as possible. The wine spends 7 months on its gross lees in concrete tanks with occasional stirring to add body and richness. The aromas consist of flint and honey, orange blossom and white stone fruit. The incredible texture holds its own next to dishes with cream and butter sauces, perfect pairings may include shrimp scampi or goat cheese ravioli. $15.99
Showcased by the glass at many destination restaurants, both at home and abroad, this wine is a bridge between the leaner California Chardonnays of the '70’s and those being made today. A blend of complimentary sites with tough, stony creekbed soil in Carneros, Dry Creek and Alexander Valley. Fermented in 100% stainless steel (no oak) using wild yeasts. Aged sur-lie with no battonage. Ideal pairings would be crab cakes, fish & chips or a lobster roll. $26 bottle
The name Textbook Fin de Journée 2011 Napa Chardonnay came about because the winemakers, Jonathan and Susan Pey, believe it is a "textbook" example of a great California Chardonnay. We agree! Classic winemaking, whole-cluster press, new French oak barrels, and lees-stirring resulted in a creamy texture with great acidity. Notes of golden delicious apples and toasted hazelnuts are confirmed by a palate of pear and butterscotch. Thanks to the cool 2011 growing season, the resulting wine is complex and balanced. A lovely compliment to grilled chicken in a light cream sauce, a ceasar salad with shrimp or a warm summer night. $24.99
Marlborough is the region that put the distinctive summery grassiness of the New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc on the world map. Marlborough is Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc is Jules Taylor's obsession. She likes the unique expression of the region. She likes its vibrancy. She likes drinking it. And she loves making it. The Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc won the Champion Sauvignon Blanc trophy at the Air New Zealand wine awards in 2007, and again, in 2010.
The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc opens with a burst of bright citrus and the unmistakable aroma of capsicum. Elderflower and currant aromas are also present. It has a radiant light yellow hue, tinged with green and the dominant flavours are fresh and herbal layered over ripe tropical fruit & citrus notes. A fine line of acid ensures the flavours are focussed and leads to a delicate yet persistent finish with underlying mineral tones. $16.00
Corvidae is the Latin name for the family of birds that includes the Crow, Raven, Jay and Magpie. These "dark" birds are everywhere in the vineyards of Eastern Washington. Their reputation as crafty, adaptable, and somewhat dubious characters is a fitting icon for the suspiciously terrific value wines from this region. The geology and climate here yields rich, complex fruit, with luscious fragrance and bright acidity.
Mirth Chardonnay is 100% stainless steel fermented and is a clean, vibrant Chardonnay. Flavors of golden delicious apples, Meyer lemon and just a hint of ripe tropical fruit marry together beautifully while a balanced acidity gives it a bright clean finish.
Pair this refreshing Chardonnay with a chanterelle herb frittata, lemon roasted chicken, or a mango avocado and smoked salmon salad (yum!). $12.99
In the village of Saint-Père, along a little creek to the southeast of Vézelay in Burgundy, a quiet, peaceful revolution is taking place. This part of Burgundy has been producing wines for centuries. Domaine de la Cadette now produces from thirteen hectares of land today, and has been farming organically since 1999, receiving their certification in 2002.
In this cooler climate, their vines enjoy great sun exposure, lending a balance between generous fruit and deep mineral structure.
"Their wines are a refreshing antithesis to a world of oaky, over-the-top, sloppy Chardonnays. The purity and finesse of a Vézelay Blanc provides a wine drinking experience that never gets old." - Kermit Lynch, Wine Importer