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Some Wines You May Want to Try

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The Chalone American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Monterey County shares some geographic similarities found in France’s Burgundy The Chalone American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Monterey County shares some geographic similarities found in France’s Burgundy

TASTE News Service, October 20, 2020 – We’ve probably neglected our wine reviews of late. 

We’d complain that we’re overworked—just too darned busy to keep up—but everybody uses that excuse. All we can say is that we’ll try to do better and maybe we’ll eventually get back to our “Wine Pick of the Week” comments every seven days. Meanwhile, here are some observations on a few wines we’ve tried lately. We list in order; the winery, vintage and variety, area of the grape source, alcohol content and, finally, the suggested retail price (though wines frequently can be found at lower prices).

 

Sebastiani

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

Alexander Valley

Alcohol: 14.9%

Suggested Retail: $40

“Famous label of family long-associated with Sonoma County vineyards and wines, Sebastiani is now part of the Foley Family Wines portfolio. This Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and shows aspects of blackberry, plum and Bing cherries. ‘Plush’ feeling in the mouth. Some vanilla from the oak barrel aging is apparent and provides an appealing finish. A ‘big’ wine, but not too big. There’s no excessive heat that’s sometimes found in wines this high in alcohol (14.9%).  Overall, we find this a very appealing Cabernet. Would be a fitting accompaniment to a prime rib roast served with horseradish mashed potatoes.”

 

Acrobat

2018 Pinot Gris

Oregon

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $15

”Pinot Gris is a variety that Oregon does particularly well. From the same wine grape as those labeled Pinot Grigio when produced in Italy and in some parts of the ‘New World,’ Oregon defines it with the name of its northeastern France analog and, at least to our taste, produces it much more in that Gallic style than those Pinot Grigio coming from northeastern Italy. The Acrobat Pinot Gris is a worthy alternative to Chardonnay at similar price points.

“We found the Acrobat Pinot Gris exhibited clean flavors and, even though toward the higher-end of the alcohol scale at 14.5%, think it would be a good food pairer. A good choice with poached salmon or any variation on the Dungeness crab theme.”

 

Chalone

2018 Chardonnay

Chalone appellation

Alcohol: 14.3%

Suggested Retail: $30

“A splendid Chardonnay from the Gavilan Benchland of Monterey County.  About a two-and-a-half-hour drive south of San Francisco, the Chalone appellation is a part of California which shares some of the limestone soil characteristics of vineyards in Burgundy. The 2018 Chalone is a fine example of top-drawer California Chardonnay. Toasty apple tart. Rich. Creamy. Whispers of toasted blanched almonds. Deserves to accompany something special at your table—veal with morels? Roast pheasant?”

 

Banshee

2018 Pinot Noir

Sonoma County

Alcohol: 13.9%

Suggested Retail: $28

“All the requisite aromas and flavors for a good Pinot Noir and fairly-priced at $28. However, it lacks those subtleties and nuances that would elevate it to great Pinot Noir status. Would match up well with range of dishes from boldly spiced roast chicken or duck to grilled lamb chops.”

 

Editor’s note:  Wines reviewed at TASTE Publications are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries. They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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