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2018 Vina Leyda Pinot Noir Rose' - Leyda Valley, Chile SRP $18 Stellar Bottles Price $11
I visited here years ago, been a loyal fan ever since. The vineyards are located near the coast. The cold nearby Humboldt Current leads to an extended growing season. Harvest happens in early March. Whole cluster pressed to avoid phenolic bitterness. It's then fermented 100% in stainless steel at cool temps to maintain the freshness and purity of the primary fruit. A variety of fermentation yeasts are used to help build up the complexity. Truth be told, it's not family-operation, it's owned by one of the larger wine producing companies in Chile, but eco-friendly practices and a drive for quality are cornerstones.
- hand harvested, certified sustainable vineyard
- drink well-chilled, but not ice cold
- drink it fresh, can keep for day two, it faded very little
- Great with herb crusted chicken
2017 Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc - Mendocino, CA SRP $22 Stellar Bottles Price $14.
I find that Mendocino consistently produces some of the best Sauvignon Blanc from CA. This one is sourced from two different organic vineyards. It's Loire-like in style, subtle, yet expressive and interesting with a mouthwatering acidity that keeps you coming back for more. 100% from stainless steel tanks, cool temp fermentation to maintain the vitality of the wine. The winery has been around for more than twenty years, with a home base in Rutherford, having contracts with small scale growers in both Sonoma and Mendocino. The owners are husband and wife team, Spencer Graham and Elizabeth Pressler.
- hand harvested, made from organic grapes
- drinks great from the moment it's opened, but it also held together well into day two
- chill it down well and drink up, it's meant to be drunk young
- I had it with mussels and pasta with preserved lemons, that worked well
2017 Bodegas Noemia A Lisa Malbec - Patagonia, Argentina SRP $23, Stellar Bottles Price $17
There's not much wine coming from Patagonia and that will likely not change. That said, this one punches well beyond its weight for a sub $20 price. If you look down at the core of a poured glass, it's deep and dense. The color extends to the rim of the glass. It's full, ripe, and packed with aromas and flavors without being heavy or clumsy. There's also volume on the palate with ripe tannins. The estate is an old property that was in a neglected state, restored by Countess Noemi Marone Cinzano and Danish winemaker, Hans Vinding-Diers nearly twenty years ago.