quick sips


2012 – Balletto Vineyards & Winery – Sexton Hill – Chardonnay – Russian River Valley

More charm than you get from most Chardonnays, and I’m biased, I’ll concede.  I love Balletto, and all my experiences there have been resounding and inspiring as a wine writer.  But this Chardonnay, just considered objectively, says something different.  Not just about the winery, or even Chardonnay, or even as a standalone wine, but something to enjoy in life.  A story and voice that provides Zen, your needed peace.  There’s a charm and engagement in this ’12 Sexton Hill that’s absent in other RRV Chard interpretations.  Atmospheric fruit, not too much of an acidic roar; just a musical equilibrium that accompanies you from the sip’s start to last chapter, page.  It’s memorable and universal, with its own depth and sovereign direction.  Just what I hope to have in anything I sip.  (MM92)

img_10742012 – Stonestreet Estate Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon – Bear Point Vineyard

Cabernet.  What do you want?  The atypical Bordeaux bull or something a little more poised and passionate, more poetic and artfully crafted, representative of place, where the fruit’s birthed?  This Cabernet is far-reaching, to all Cab audiences.  Smoky and gritty, focused texture flavor arrangement boasts its confidence and syncopated ardor; lovely personality in principal, and after an hour or two (in preference two) of oxygen assimilation, you’ll be sung-to and caught by more taste-instrumented galaxies; black berries and dark chocolate, rich leather and espresso echoes design its own illustration.  The more romantic edge of this Cab, from Stonestreet, one of my loved tasting rooms on Healdsburg’s Square, comes with the fleshly floral ides in the nose.  Empirically relentless in its charm, its steps down your senses’ street.  (MM94)