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Wine Pick

Sips & Tips: Recently reviewed wines

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Gary Farrell Chardonnay

Gary Farrell Chardonnay

Recently reviewed wines, roughly in order of preference:

--Gary Farrell 2019 Russian River Selection Chardonnay, Sonoma County, Ca., $35. Ripe apple, peach, lemon aromas. Bright lemon/lime and apple; light touches of butterscotch and yeast. A bit briny, with a lot of minerality. Juicy and rich with a refreshing finish. Very good.

--Lion Tamer 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Ca., $65. Blackberry, cedar, cocoa and vanilla, with a touch of tobacco. Rich and ripe, a full-bodied New World cab. Very good.

--Gehricke 2014 Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, Ca., $49. Smoky, earthly, brambly aromas. Blackberry, brambles, plum and spice on the smooth palate with a touch of vanilla on the long finish. Very good.

--Primus 2018 The Blend, Apalta, Colchagua, Chile, $19. This blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon with carmenere, petit verdot, syrah and cabernet franc has an earthy nose with blackberry, cedar, tobacco, pepper and licorice on the palate. Good plus.

--Yamhill Valley 2016 Pinot Noir, McMinnville, Ore., $26. Cherry, pencil, earth and spice with a lingering finish. Good plus.

--Mack & Schule Fete des Fleurs 2020 Rose, Cotes de Provence, France, $19. A balanced typical Provencal rose hitting all the right notes of fresh red berries and citrus, with a lingering finish. Good plus.

--Praepositus 2019 Kerner, Alto Adige, Italy, $28. Touch of mango on the nose. Apple, citrus and mineral on the palate. Nicely balanced, with rounded mouthfeel and good acidity. Good plus.

--TerraNoble 2018 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile, $20. Smoke and red fruit on the nose. Cherry, plum, smoke, pepper and chocolate on the palate. Good plus.

--Ancient Peaks 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Paso Robles, Ca., $18. Grapefruit, tropical aromas. Grapefruit, guava, pear and mineral on the clean, crisp palate. Good plus.

--Wairau River 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, $20. Tropical and citrus aromas. Grapefruit, guava and grass on the palate. Nice balance, clean finish. Good plus.

--Donnachiara 2020 Greco do Tufo D.OC.G., Italy, $20. Tropical aromas, with pineapple as well as peach and apricot. Clean and refreshing with apple and minerals on the palate, and lemon on the persistent finish. Good plus.

--Fort Ross Sea Slopes 2019 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, Ca., $30. Apple and butterscotch on the nose. Apple and lemon with more butterscotch on the palate. Slight bitter edge to the oak spice but still enjoyable, with zesty acidity. Good.

--Harney Lane 2020 Albarino, Lodi, Ca., $24. Lemon and mineral, clean with balanced acidity. Good.

--H&B 2019 Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Languedoc, France, $17. Blackberry, red berries, earth and pepper. Good.

--Cameron Hughes Lot 841 Reggiano Lambrusco Dulce, Italy, $15. A sweet red with 8.5% alcohol, meant to be served chilled, with cherry and cranberry fruit. Good for the patio or poolside.

--Josh Cellars 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ca., $17. Black fruit, toasty spice but not too much, medium tannins, fairly dry. Simple and straightforward. Good.

--OG de Negoce 2019 N. 23 Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley, $16. Tropical aromas. Apple, citrus, butterscotch and vanilla on the palate. Good.

--Yellow Tail Rose NV, South Eastern Australia, $7. Cherries, strawberries, citrus, a touch of peach. Fruity but reasonably dry. Good for the price.

–Piattelli 2020 Torrontes, Argentina, $15. Floral, perfumey and tropical aromas with a bright citrusy palate. Good.

--Cakebread Cellars 2019 Two Creeks Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Ca., $45. Cherry, roses and spice aromas. More of the same on the palate, with a bit of minerality. Good.

--Robert Hall 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, Ca., $20. Black and red berries and spice on the nose. Black cherry, plum, cedar and spice with some stony/chalky mineral on the palate. Good.

--Cakebread Cellars 2020 Two Creeks Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Ca., $45. Cherry, pencil, earth and spice on the nose and the palate. Good.

--CK Mondavi NV Moscato, Ca., $7. Floral, tropical and peach aromas. Predominantly peach on the palate, with a touch of bitter lemon the back end. Sweet but not cloying, at just 11% alcohol. Good for a pool party.

--CK Mondavi 2021 Buttery Chardonnay, Ca., $7. Tropical aromas. Apple, butter and vanilla on the palate with a lingering finish. Good.

--Willamette Valley Vineyards 2020 Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Ore., $18. Cherry and strawberry aromas. Red berries and citrus on the palate, with a lingering fresh finish. Good.

--Cono Sur 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Chile, $11. Made with organic grapes. Grassy aromas, citrus and mineral flavors. OK.

--French Blue Bordeaux 2021 Rose, France, $15. Strawberry and watermelon aromas. Citrus, red berry on the palate. OK.

--Flat Top Hills 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ca., $16. Ripe blackberry, cherry, strawberry, brambles and tobacco, with a big dose of vanilla on the back end. A ripe, easy-drinking style. OK.

--CK Mondavi 2021 Pinot Grigio, Ca., $7. Restrained nose of flowers, pears. Good acidity. Mild tropical and citrus flavors on the palate. OK.

-- CK Mondavi 2021 Dark Cabernet Sauvignon, Ca., $7. Ripe blackberry, bramble aromas. Blackberry, mocha, coffee grounds, vanilla on the dusty palate. OK.

-- CK Mondavi 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ca., $7. Black cherry, earthy/funky aromas. Smooth and silky texture but short on flavor. OK.

--CK Mondavi 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, Ca., $7. Only slight citrus/herb aromas. Lemony on the palate, not too herbaceous, crisp and fairly clean, but a little thin. OK.

Michael Hastings


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