Markham Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, founded in 1874 by French immigrant, Jean Laurent.
The 2015 vintage in Napa was another drought year in wine country that produced a small crop but good quality wines.
2015 Markham Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley:Clear medium red with a purple rim, nice perfume of earthy raspberries and violets. dusty, chewy, crushed black fruit ending with moderate tannins and acids, nice balance.
This wine is from Washington State and is a Rhone blend of 52% Syrah, 26% Mourvedre and 22% Grenache.
Washington State is the second largest producer of premium wines in the United State with over 1,000 wineries with most in the Eastern part of the State. This is the first time I’ve drank something from this producer.
2015 Andrew Rich Glacial GSM: Opaque dark red with a purple rim, crushed stone, cigar smoke and ripe raspberry on the nose, dense black fruit with crushed blueberry and toast notes on the finish with moderate tannins and mouth watering acids. After the bottle has been opened overnight, I got roast meat notes on the nose.
Beringer is an historic vineyard that has been producing wines in Napa Valley since 1869 and maintains a large portfolio of wines. This is a single vineyard Chardonnay from their “Distinction Series” of wines.
2016 Chardonnay “Luminus” Oak Knoll District: Dark gold in color, ripe melon and pineapple on the nose, not as juicy as it looks, tight lemon/lime notes on the fruit with coconut and glycerin on the finish .
Juggernaut Wine Company is a division of Bogle Vineyards which is a family owned and operated winery that produces drinkable budget friendly wines. Their Juggernaut brand focuses on small production wines.
I’ve never had a wine from this brand before and even before tasting the wine I was impressed by the cool label and hefty bottle.
2016 Juggernaut Pinot Noir Russian River Valley: Clear, medium to light red in color, cola, cinnamon, red licorice and some earth notes on the nose, juicy red fruit with moderate to low tannins. Easy drinking. Going back to the bottle the next day I was getting pencil shavings on the nose.
Buehler Vineyards is a 4th generation run vineyard perched on a mountain East of Saint Helena in Napa Valley.
This is their entry level Cabernet Sauvignon and is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.
2016 Buehler Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon: Opaque dark red, red leather, red licorice and roast meat on the nose, silky dark red fruit of crushed rocks with crunchy tannins and green herb notes on the moderate to long finish.
The Frescobaldi family have been involved in the political and social life of Tuscany for over 700 years. They’ve been making wine as well.
They produce wine from their six estates in Tuscany as well as producing famous wines such as Ornellaia from outside the region.
This wine is a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantitia) that comes from Rufina which is the smallest of the seven sub-zones of the Chianti region. As a Riserva it’s aged a minimum of 24 months in oak before release.
2015 Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva:Opaque medium brick, perfume of camphor, black olives and roast meat, moderate fruit with big, silky tannins on the finish.
Beringer vineyards has been producing wine in the Napa Valley since 1876. Their tasting room is a Napa Valley landmark.
They produce a wide range of wines from budget bottlings to their flagship Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon along with several bottlings of hard to get single vineyard wines.
Their Quantum bottle is a red blend of the Bordeaux varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot with some Petit Sirah.
2015 Beringer Quantum Red Blend: Opaque dark red, violets, anise and crushed black fruit on the nose, juicy and jimmy with black licorice and slate on the moderate to long finish, good grip, some heat.
The Allegrini family has been making wine in the Veneto region of Italy since the 16th century. The most famous red wines from that area are Valpolicella and Amarone, both red blends made from indigenous grape varietals.
Allegrini produces both Valpolicella and Amarone as well as single vineyard and proprietary wines. Their Palazzo della Torre wine is stylistically somewhat in the middle of those two wines. It’s made in the “ripasso” method in which some of the grapes are set aside to partially dry out and then blended with the finished wine to undergo a second fermentation. This adds body to the wine.
Everyone likes a good glass of Pinot Noir. Unfortunately the Premier Crus and Grand Crus of Burgundy are really not priced for everyday drinking, or at least for people in my financial reality. The conventional wisdom is that cheap Pinot Noir is not worth drinking which is often true. It was great to find and drink a budget friendly Pinot Noir that was interesting enough to make for a good glass of wine.
A to Z winery sources the fruit for their wine from across Oregan. They share a tasting room with Rex Hills Winery in Newberg in the Willamette Valley and was one of the wineries I visited during my Willamette Valley wine tour a couple of years back
2016 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir: Clear medium red, red licorice on the nose, medium juicy red fruit with some herb notes on the balanced finish. Nothing too serious but very drinkable.