1st Bottle Red: Bernabeleva 2020 'Navaherreros' Garnacha, Vinos de Madrid DO

For the wine snob: Bernabeleva Navaherreros is the essence of San Martín Garnacha. It is a selection of the best fruit from the estates vineyards. San Martín de Valdeiglesias lies at the northwestern corner of the Viños de Madrid appellation in the Sierra de Gredos mountain range. The high elevation, deep soils of sand and granite, and old vines (50-90 years) produce Garnacha wines unlike anywhere else in Spain.The vineyards are worked manually. The soil is tilled with contributions of manure produced by Bernabeleva’s own cows. The only treatments used (only when absolutely necessary) are a dust of copper and sulfur. Pruning is done following the lunar cycle, particularly in plots which are destined to become single vineyard wines.

For the rest of us: 100% Garnacha. This wine has a very attractive nose of red berries and wild herbs, a vibrant palate with very fine tannins and the sparkling sensation of the granularity from the granite soils where the vines grow

1st Bottle White: Brooks, Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley

For the wine snob: Rain events at the beginning of bloom diminished yields, and a dry summer was punctuated with unprecedented heat waves. The timing worked in our favor since the heat happened pre-veraison, and the vines handled it well. Harvest started in early September, but lower temperatures across the state allowed for a long and measured harvest season, with harvest extending into mid-October. No disease, high sugars, balanced acids, and great flavors. 2021 will undoubtedly rank as one of the top Oregon vintages.

For the rest of us: This wine is an absolutely stunning summer sipper with bright acidity and layers of tropical, citrus, and stone fruits with a saline sand dollar finish.

2nd Bottle Red: Jean-Paul Dubost 2020 Beaujolais-Lantignie, France

For the wine snob: Domaine Dubost is a 4th generation domaine which has been in the hands of Jean-Paul Dubost since the mid-1990s. They farm about 21 hectares now. 9 are from the village appellation and the rest is split between Brouilly, Moulin à Vent, Morgon, Fleurie, and a little Regnié. He has been transitioning his vineyards to biodynamics since 2005 and ferments all of the wines with natural yeasts. The crus are made without sulfur or other additions. Jean-Paul is currently training his two sons, Jeoffrey and Corentin, about natural wine and hopes that one day they will take over the family estate.

For the rest of us: 100% Gamay. Reveals beautiful aromas of red fruits on the nose accompanied by light touches of wildflowers. On the palate, the attack is greedy, defined by red fruits such as cherry and strawberry. There is a nice balance between the fleshy texture and the freshness of this wine, which makes it delicate and drinkable.

2nd Bottle White: Bodegas Hermanos Pecina Rioja Blanco

For the wine snob: The Viura for this wine comes from two different vineyards in the San Vicente zone of Rioja Alta. Both vineyards combined have less than 2 hectares of Viura planted. Finca Iscorta has vines with an average age of 60 years. El Codo, the second vineyard, has vines with an average age of 30 years. The vineyards are worked in a very natural way. All pruning and harvest is done by hand. The Finca Iscorta Vineyard is all bush pruned and at an elevation of 500 meters. El Codo is a very steep vineyard and is trellised in cordon system. Grapes are destemmed but not crushed before being put in stainless steel tanks to macerate for 24 hours to gain structure and complexity. After being softly pressed, the juice undergoes spontaneous and slow fermentation with wild yeast. The wine ages in tank on the lees with rackings every 3 months for at least a year. The wine then ages in bottle, and depending on the vintage that aging could be 1 year or more. The wine is not fined or filtered.

For  the rest of us: 100% Viura. The winery focuses on red wines, but does have a small amount of white vines. This limited production white is superb with notes of apples and peaches on the nose and great intensity of fruit on the palate. Enjoy a long, savory finish.

1st Reserve Bottle Red: Green & Red 2017 Estate Zinfandel, Chiles Mill Vineyard, Napa

For the wine snob: Situated at 900-1,200 feet elevation, the vineyard overlooks Chiles Canyon and remnant walls of the grist mill built by pioneer Joseph Ballinger Chiles. The vineyard includes heritage Zinfandel cuttings of Pacini, Picchetti, Geyserville, Hambrecht. Rootstocks are 110R and St. George. The grapes were destemmed onto a shaker table and berry sorted into open top stainless steel tanks. A 3-day cold soak was followed by an approximately 10-day fermentation. Chiles Mill Vineyard Zinfandel aged for 14 months in 70% American oak and 30% French oak barrels, 20% of which was new oak.

For the rest of us: Green & Red have been growing fruit in Chiles Valley since the early 1970s, and have become Zin aficionados. The 2017 is round and rich, full of crunchy fruit aromas of blueberry, mulberry, and black cherry, and blackberry. The fruit is framed by coffee beans, vanilla, and cracked black pepper on the nose, followed by a dusty palate. Balanced, structured, and generous, this is classic Zinfandel.

1st Reserve Bottle White: Thomas Fogarty, Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains

For the wine snob: This Chardonnay hails from the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is defined by a mountainous, maritime climate. The vineyards that produced this 2018 vintage were farmed using organic and biodynamic methods. In the winery, Fogarty has a minimalist approach to ensure the maximum expression of his vineyards. The grapes are whole cluster pressed into barrels for barrel fermentation using native yeast. Malolactic fermentation occurs spontaneously. The wine ages for 11 months in French oak, 20% new and an additional 7 months in tank. Basically the “ingredients” list for this delicious Chardonnay reads as: grapes and as little sulfites as possible.

For the rest of us: 100% Chardonnay. The Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Chardonnay showcases orchard fruits and brioche-scented aromas and flavors. It’s rounded, nicely textured, and balanced.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: Time Place, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

For the wine snob: The grapes are sourced from all over Napa Valley with the main portion coming from Yountville. 2019 was a stellar year and the last where Napa got a measurable amount of rain that benefited the vines. Short, concentrated yields coupled with a mild summer and longer growing season. Harvest days were October 19-24th. 66% new French oak aging.

For the rest of us: Time Place Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon has a big nose full of dark, black plum and cassis. The luxurious palate shows brambly blackberry and cigar box with hints of ripe plum. It finishes long with chewy but supple tannins.

2nd Reserve Bottle White: Big Table Farm 2020 'Wild Bee' Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

For the wine snob: This is a true Willamette Valley blend of all 7 chardonnay sites we work with, our largest bottling, from south of Salem, van Duzer, Eola Amity, Dundee and Yamhill-Carlton. Floral and stone fruit, mouth filling yet crisp – this wine is complex but also easy to love – with a delicious finish that lingers and persuades another sip or bite. Barrel fermented in French oak, mostly used but some new.  Fermented with whatever yeast blows in the door, minimal sulphur added and the wine basically goes from barrels to bottle with only a short stay (2-3 days) in a blending tank.  Filtration, fining and other nonesuch are completely left out of the program.

 For the Rest of us: Truffled popcorn leaps from a glass of this refreshing, unfiltered gem. Warm vanilla and lavender-chamomile notes follow, along with kisses of caramel and butterscotch. Yuzu zest and freshly cut papaya add an energetic lift while expressions of ground hazelnut and raw honey provide texture and weight. Wild Bee is a rustic Chardonnay perfect for any weather, rain or shine.