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Wine Pick

Sips & Picks: Recently reviewed wines

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Etude Pinot Noir, Grace Benoist Ranch

Etude Pinot Noir, Grace Benoist Ranch

Here are some recently reviewed wines, roughly in order of preference:

--Etude 2018 Pinot Noir, Grace Benoit Ranch, Carneros, Ca., $47. Cherry and pencil on the nose. Cherry, brambles, pencil, tea and spice on the palate. Good structure, nicely balanced, with a lingering finish. Very good.

--Kellerei Meran 2020 Pinot Bianco Weissburgunder Riserva “Tyrol,” Sudtirol, Alto Adige, Italy, $39. Lemon, wild herbs, mineral on the nose. Apple, pear, lemon, touch of oak, with a clean and refreshing yet juicy and rich palate. Very good.

--Austin Hope 2018 Grenache, Paso Robles, Ca., $55. Black cherry and earth on the nose. Rich and earthy on the palate, with dark chocolate and a touch of licorice, coming in at 15% alcohol. Good plus.

--Las Moradas de San Martin 2013 Initio, Spain, $16. Cherry and pepper aromas. More cherry and pepper on the palate, with some earthiness and a lingering finish. Good plus.

--Chalk Hill 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County, Ca., $38. Grassy, lemon, lime and grapefruit. Nicely structured, well-balanced. Good plus.

--West + Wilder White, Wash., $19.99 for 3 250-ml cans. Peach aromas. Apple and lemons on the clean palate. Good plus.

--Gentleman Farmer 2019 Red, Napa Valley, Ca., $67. This blend of 93% merlot with some cabernet sauvignon features red currant aromas. On the palate, there is cherry, cola and a bit of dusty herbs and earth. Good plus.

--Rivesales Hors de Age Vin Doux Naturel, France, $22. Aromas of apricots. Apricots and almonds on the palate of this sweet wine from the Roussillon. Good plus.

--Andre Lurton Chateau Bonnet 2020 Rose, Bordeaux, France, $18. Made with 55% cabernet sauvignon, 38% merlot and 7% semillon, this rose more closely resembles a white wine in the glass. It has melon, strawberry and citrus on the nose, with similar, light flavor – particularly grapefruit - on the palate. A bit floral, a bit briny and waxy – with the semillon taking a prominent position despite its small percentage in the mix. A different, interesting rose. Good.

--Clean Slate 2020 Riesling, Mosel, Germany, $12. Grapefruit and lime aromas, with a touch of kerosene. More grapefruit and lime with a bit of peach on the palate. Good.

--West + Wilder Rose, Wash., $19.99 for 3 250-ml cans. Red berries, watermelon, mineral. Good.

--West + Wilder Sparkling Rose, Wash., $19.99 for 3 250-ml cans. Strawberries, citrus. Fresh and crisp. Good.

--West + Wilder Red, Wash., $19.99 for 3 250-ml cans. Blackberry, cranberry and plum in a light- to medium bodied easy drinking wine with soft tannins. A blend of mourvedre, syrah, malbec and cabernet sauvignon. Could be served slightly chilled. Good.

--Mascota Unanime Brut, Arg., $20. Yeasty bread aromas, apple on the palate, good acidity and mouth-filling texture with a lemony finish. Good.

--Sandy Giovese Rosato, Italy, $30 to 34 for a 3-liter box. A blend of sangiovese, merlot and lacrima, this has strawberry aromas, with strawberries, cherries and a touch of herbs on the crisp, dry palate. Good.

--Montes 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Valle de Leyda, Chile, $15. Grassy, lemon aromas and flavors. A tad thin on the palate. Medium acidity. OK.

--Gancia Prosecco Rose, Italy, $14. Touch of strawberry and raspberry, plenty of citrus. Dry, fruity and light. OK.

--West + Wilder Sparkling White, Wash., $19.99 for 3 250-ml cans. Crisp, with apples and minerals on the palate. OK.

--Smith Devereux La Fleur Rose, Ca., $25. Cherry, watermelon. OK.

--Fat Bastard 2020 Pinot Noir, France, $13. Cherry, plum, strawberry raspberry aromas and flavors, with a bit of earth and spice. A touch of sweetness. OK.

--Sandy Giovese Rosso, Italy, $30 to 34 for a 3-liter box. A light- to -medium-bodied red – the box suggests serving it chilled – this has good acidity, moderate alcohol and cherry fruit and herbs. Made from 85% sangiovese and 15% trebbiano. OK.

Michael Hastings


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