Alamos 2015 Mendoza Malbec ($9.99)

Alamos Mendoza Malbec

Very dark reddish-purple, all but opaque, with glints of ruby against the light.. Luscious red cherries join more subtle brown spices on the nose, leading into a juicy, tart red-cherry and plum flavor framed by crisp acidity, with a touch of freshly ground black pepper joining in. A noticeable buzz of tannic astringency builds in on the side of your tongue as the wine crosses your palate, and a bit of zippy citrus joins cherries, plums and a tannic buzz in a long finish. Mostly Malbec with a small but undisclosed percentage of Syrah and Bonarda in the blend; 13.5% alcohol.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and check prices for Alamos Mendoza Malbec on Wine-Searcher.com. Read article.

La Burgondie Crémant du Bourgogne Rosé Brut ($11.99)

La Burgondie Crémant du Bourgogne

A traditional Burgundy blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay, this is a pretty, light salmon color sparkling wine that foams up in the glass with a frothy mousse that quickly falls back to a prickly carbonation without a lot of obvious bubbles. Pleasant red-berry fruit on the nose and palate is backed by a subtle but distinctive hint of cocoa that often appears in Pinot-based sparklers. Crisp, tart acidity builds a firm body, with touches of rising bread and mouth-watering citrus in a long finish. 12% alcohol.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
This specific bottling at this price is available only from Trader Joe’s stores in the U.S.

If a TJ’s is not convenient to you, you can find vendors and compare prices for its sparkling white sibling, Bailly-Lapierre La Burgondie Crémant du Bourgogne Brut, on Wine-Searcher.com.

Click here for an extensive selection of other Crémant du Bourgogne offerings on Wine-Searcher.com. Read article.

Willamette Valley Vineyards 2016 “Whole Cluster” Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir ($16.99)

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Clear, vibrant pink, with good aromas of strawberries and a hint of fresh green herbs. Red berries on the palate, too, plus a distinct touch of honeydew melon, framed with 13.4% alcohol and zippy, mouth-watering acidity that adds a touch of citrus as it lingers in a medium-long finish.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and compare prices for Willamette Valley Vineyards “Whole Cluster” Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir on Wine-Searcher.com.
Read article.

Spritz your wine?

Spritzer

Today we’re taking on another of those topics that separates those of us who have a sense of humor about wine from those who don’t find wine a laughing matter.
Here’s the question: When summer clamps down on us like a hot, wet sponge – or even when it doesn’t – have you ever considered spritzing your wine with a shot of sparkling water, and maybe dropping a couple of ice cubes in?

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Sokol-Blosser 2016 Dundee Hills Estate Cuvée Rosé of Pinot Noir ($19.99)

Sokol-Blosser

Pretty, clear light rosy pink color. Red berry and subtle wildflower scent, fresh, a touch of strawberries on the palate, perhaps the one clear signal of its Pinot Noir provenance. The winery claims a small amount of residual sugar, but it appears bone-dry and faintly prickly, with 12% alcohol; an intriguing hint of “rainwater” minerality in the background. Crisp and tart, red berries and subtle lemon-lime in a very long finish.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Compare prices and fine vendors for Sokol-Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Cuvée Rosé of Pinot Noir on Wine-Searcher.com.

Buy this wine from the winery for $22/bottle. Read article.

Au Bon Climat 2016 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($25.99)

Au Bon Climat

Dark ruby red with scarlet glints against the light. Red berries, a hint of plum and a whiff of fennel carry over intact on the palate in a full-bodied, red-berry flavor that’s ripe but bone-dry and tart, mouth-watering and palate-cleansing. Alcohol at 13.5% is sufficient to fill it out but not so high-octane as to bring the heat. Soft, palatable tannins in a nicely balanced Pinot Noir that’s distinctly California yet reaches across the Atlantic to bring in a touch of Burgundy. Excellent wine.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE: Check prices and find vendors for Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir on Wine-Searcher.com.

You can also buy the 2016 vintage direct from the winery for $24 at this link. Read article.