2015 #Wines of Thanks
From everyday drinkin' to special occasion bottles and experiences, here's our Top 20 Wines of Thanks! Glasses up to all of our winelovers. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving - Cheers!
#20 - The 2014 Viognier by Amplify Wines was one of the most unique of the year. We loved this bright wine made by the super talented Cameron Porter.
#19 - The 2014 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc by Galerie was our favorite find of the year. Galerie is an ultra-premium boutique brand created specifically for international winemaker Laura Diaz-Munoz. From the gorgeous labels (blown watercolor) to the wine itself, this $30 is an unbelievable deal and one of the most impressive expressions of Sauvignon Blanc.
#18 - The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon by Kongsaard is a wine to celebrate. You won't find this wine widely available, and with it's price tag, it's a once in a lifetime experience.
#17 - The 2014 Bieler Pere & Fils Rosé was a perfect summer time sipper at $11.99 a bottle. We kept cool with this Provencial wine!
#16 - The gorgeous 2011 Stephens Vineyard Pinot Noir from Ten Acre was one of our favorite Pinots from winemaker Mike Zardo. Mike started his winemaking career at Pinot-famous Pisoni, and made his way to the Russian River Valley. Don't miss the tour and tasting at sister winery, Bella Vineyards, in Healdsberg for some of the best Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Old Vine Zins the area has to offer.
#15 - The 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon by Adler Deutsch Vineyards was recommended by Sommelier Scott Brenner of PRESS Napa Valley. Paired with perfectly prepared filets, we enjoyed this stunner by Aaron Pott. An unforgettable wine paired with an unforgettable meal.
#14 - The knockout 2007 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon needs no introduction. We were fortunate to taste a splash of this Mount Veeder gem at the 2015 Napa Valley Auction.
#13 - The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon by Lake County's Obsidian Ridge Vineyard was the perfect discovery thanks to our friends at Uncorked in Hermosa Beach. When you're craving a big Cab without a hefty price tag, you can't beat it at 24 bucks.
#12 - The 2012 David Moret Rully was the perfect wine when feeling French. Greg at San Francisco's Wine Merchant tricked us with this beaut, and we're thankful he did!
#11 - The Emeritus duo, 2011 Hallberg Ranch and 2011 William Wiley Pinots. Many of the award winning wines in the area are sourced from Emeritus' pristine Hallberg Vineyard. A special treat was the side by side tasting of their very limited production - and last vintage - of the William Wiley. Two stunning Pinots you can't miss.
#10 - The 2012 El Libre Rose of Malbec delivers. This wine is juicy in flavor and price at $9/bottle. Pair with paella and have yourself a feast!
#9 - The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon by The Vineyard House is a wine with rich Napa history. Tucked behind Far Niente, between BOND Winery and Harlan Estate, is The Vineyard House owned by Jeremy Nickel, son of Gil Nickel. Jeremy carries on the Nickel legacy with TVH, and writes his own piece of history with his impressive wines.
#8 - The 1999 Dynamite Hill Petite Syrah by Ridge Vineyards was a pleasant surprise. We assumed this 16-year old wine was past it's prime, but boy were we wrong! Known for it's powerful Zinfandels, Ridge blew us away by this balanced, beautiful effort of Petite Syrah!
#8 - The 2011 Estate Grown Rio Vista Vineyard Pinot Noir by Thorne out of Sta. Rita Hills was a gorgeous wine we discovered at Pinot Days in Los Angeles. At $36/bottle, you'll want to get this wine in your glass ASAP, as many of their wines sell out quickly. Run!
#6 - The 2012 La Carriere Chardonnay by Peter Michael was, simply put, one of the best wines we've ever had. If you're a Chard lover, this is a must drink regardless of it's $119 price tag.
#5 - The 2011 Palmaz Vineyards and 2011 4088 are two BIG hitters enjoyed at trendy steakhouse, 5A5, in San Francisco. Prime cuts of beef, including wagyu, deserve exceptional bottles of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at its' side. A hefty set back worth every penny, at least once! Don't pass the opportunity to tour the impressive, memorable Palmaz Estate in the newly recognized Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley. And if you can get your hands on a limited production bottle of 4088, do yourself the favor! They also produced a gorgeous Merlot by famous winemaker Robert Foley.
#4 - If you find yourselves in the Sebastapol area, please do yourselves the favor and visit Ryan and Katie Kunde at DRNK Wines. Everything they do, from their Vin Gris to their Caver's Cuvee, is a crowd pleaser. Their $20 Sauv Blanc, sourced from the Kunde Family Vineyards, is versatile with foods or enjoyed on its own for any and every occasion. Escape the hot weather by hanging out in the cave, sippin' on some of the best from Russian River while Ryan tells you about his latest projects which may or may not involve drones.
#3 - We discovered ONX at Family Winemakers in 2014. Their entire line up was standout, but the 2014 Field Day, a white blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, and Viognier was made to drink solo! The crips, clean flavors of this Paso Robles wine is vitalizing on a hot day.
#2 - A couple of producers - Robert Sinskey (Napa Valley) and UNTI (Headlsburg) - had our palates desiring more and more rosé, which was all too often in 2015. The 2013 Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir and the 2014 UNTI rosé of Grenache/Mourvedre are conversation starters. Start any day or night festivities with these knockouts!
#1 - We had been sitting on this beauty for several years, and finally found an occasion to pop the cork! In typical Quintessa style, the 2005 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon drank beautifully and was one of the most memorable to date.