1st Bottle Red: Sierra Cantabria Crianza 2016, Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain

For the wine snob: The 2016 Crianza is pure Tempranillo from a year they consider spectacular because of the health and ripeness that the grapes achieved very slowly. The destemmed grapes fermented in stainless steel, and the wine matured in French and American oak barrels for 14 months. Bodegas Sierra Cantabria was founded by Guillermo Eguren, a self-made bodeguero, who was, in the family tradition, a viticulturist. His family, native to San Vicente de La Sonsierra, one of the most sought-after terroirs in Rioja, had grown grapes in Rioja Alta and Alavesa since the 1870’s. For decades the family sold their grapes to local producers, but Guillermo recognized the potential that his family’s vineyards had to create great wine and founded Bodegas Sierra Cantabria in 1957. Today, the fourth generation of the Eguren family directs all aspects of the winemaking process, with Marcos Eguren as the winemaker and director of operations and his brother Miguel Angel Eguren as the general manager.

For the rest of us: 100% Tempranillo. Smooth, ripe black fruit aromas are earthy and a touch of spicy notes, medium to full bodied. Smooth and broad on the palate, offering cherry and black raspberry flavors that slowly firm up and turn sweeter through the mid palate. Dry and mildly tannic on the finish.

1st Bottle White: Terredora di Paolo Greco di Tufo Loggia della Serra 2019

For the wine snob: Terredora Di Paolo is Campania’s largest wine producer and vineyard owner, with a worldwide reputation for the quality of its wines. Their commitment to excellence was proven in 1994 when they decided to vinify their own grapes. This decision was prompted by their belief that great wine comes from the balance of natural resources: terrain, varieties used, climate and man’s ability to work with nature. Terredora di Paolo has been on the forefront of the wine renaissance in Campania since 1978. This is a region that was famous for producing the best wines of the Roman Empire and Terredora Di Paolo is committed to re-establishing it to its former glory.

For  the rest of us: 100% Greco grape. Pale medium gold color. Rich and powerfully aromatic nose of apricot, green pear, meyer lemon, white flowers, medium to full body, a creamy texture and licorice and aniseed undertones. It’s long and very flavorful with freshness with excellent acidity.

2nd Bottle Red: Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva 2017

For the wine snob: Has been producing Salice since 1954, made of Negroamaro 90% and Malvasia Nera 10%. The grapes after a soft pressure and the separation of grape-stalk are submitted to particular maceration at checked temperature (20 – 22° C) for a period of 8-12 days. After the fermentation the wine is put to sharpen in oak barrels of 30 hls for about 12 months. It becomes “Reserve” after 2 years from the date of harvest .

For the rest of us Wine of an intense red color with garnet-colored hints, made of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera. To the nose fruity sensations of blackberry and black cherry, notes of basil and sweet spices due to the refinement in oak barrels. In the mouth it is smooth and balanced with a strong but never intrusive tannin. Long last finish.

2nd Bottle White: Domaine Moreux "Les Bouffants" Sancerre 2019

For the wine snob:  100% Sauvignon Blanc, out of the Loire Valley. Sancerre “Les Bouffants” vineyard. Comes from a parcel of limestone soil covered with rocks, or “caillottes.” This extremely steep, stony vineyard yields an aromatic wine of great minerality. It is located beside Les Monts Damnés, the “Grand Cru” site of Chavignol. The grapes are pressed and the juice allowed to settle prior to fermentation, which then takes place in stainless steel vats.  The wine remains here for 6-8 months, then is lightly filtered and bottled.

For the rest of us: Pale golden color with tints of green. Delicate, fresh nose with hints of citrus, melon, fig and floral notes. Round on the palate, full and lively. The finish is crisp and invigorating, with notes of citrus, very refreshing. Enjoy with oysters, white fish in a delicate beurre blanc sauce.

Reserve Bottle Red: Tuck Beckstoffer Wines 2018 Mad Hatter Napa Valley Red

For the wine snob: Since the beginning of Mad Hatter the goal has been to craft an elegant Bordeaux blend using grapes grown throughout the Napa Valley. The Beckstoffer family arrived in the Napa Valley in 1975 and the young son of a future pioneer spent his days in the vineyards throughout every growing season, cultivating deep roots. Brought up to respect the land and its fruit, Tuck naturally sought out the practice of viticulture, learning from the masters around him. Much like his father before him, he is a farmer first. It was only after he mastered the art of first craft that he turned his attention to a second craft—winemaking. Over three decades after he first set foot in the valley, Tuck bottled his first wine. For him, it was not a whim or passion project, but the culmination of a life lived on the land, among the vines. Today, Tuck is one of the few Napa stewards who is both a grower and a winemaker. It is this pedigree that makes his approach different: the process begins with the land itself and culminates with a reverence for the winemaking traditions of the past.

For the rest of us: The 2018 vintage continues with a sophisticated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Petite Sirah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. The 2018 Mad Hatter expresses aromas of black plum, wild hyacinth, and clove. On the palette, it evolves into flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, and baking spice, enhanced by velvety tannins and a long finish.

Reserve Bottle White: Lail Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc 2019

For the wine snob: Robin Daniel Lail’s heritage began in 1879 with the founding of Inglenook Vineyards by her great -granduncle, the iconic Captain Gustave Niebaum. By the early 1890s, this brilliant man’s obsession for achieving the pinnacle of excellence earned Inglenook wines the status of being considered by many as the finest produced in the country. The determination to achieve excellence was carried forward through the decades following Niebaum’s death in 1908, with a crescendo in the thirty years following the repeal of Prohibition under the meticulous, passionate stewardship of John Daniel, Jr., Robin’s father. The collection of Cabernets coming from his years of ownership is still celebrated today as some of the finest red wines on earth.

For the rest of us: The 2019 Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc 100% has lovely aromas of lemon zest, orange blossom, pear and grapefruit. Adding further intrigue and complexity are flavors of nectarine, honeydew melon and vanilla. Exhibiting classic varietal vibrancy and zing, this is a beautiful expression of the varietal in a ripe and generous style. This white is fermented in French oak barrels, 30% of them new, and then aged in stainless steel—offering the best of both worlds. Quenching flavors of stone fruit highlight a rounded, rich palate.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Vatan Tinta de Toro 2017

For the wine snob: Vatan is the pure representation of the oldest clone of Tempranillo in Spain, from some of the oldest ungrafted vines in the country, located in the only Spanish D.O. that completely resisted the phylloxera plague. During the Middle Ages, Toro was Spain’s most famous winemaking region. Mentioned in literature by Alfonso IX (King of León, 12th c.), Juan Ruiz the Archpriest of Hita, Quevedo, Luis de Góngora, and Miguel de Cervantes. In 14th Century Sevilla, the sale of any foreign wine was prohibited, save the wines of Toro. These wines accompanied Spanish explorers to the New World. D.O. Toro was rediscovered in the 1990’s by the Numanthia project, masterminded by Jorge Ordóñez and the Eguren family. Jorge Ordóñez is Toro’s most important modern pioneer. When Jorge first traveled to Toro in 1991 he discovered no more than five cooperative wineries. He also found acres of incredible pre-phylloxera vineyards, planted on their original rootstock.

For the rest of us: 100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo), practicing organic in the region D.O. Toro. Opaque violet, powerful black and blue fruit preserve, candied licorice and floral scents, along with hints of vanilla and espresso. Appealing sweetness and concentrated on the palate, offering primary blackberry and cherry liqueur flavors intensified by a smoky minerality. Densely packed and a little young that has chewy tannins that lend shape and solid grip.

2nd Reserve Bottle White: Talley Vineyards, Chardonnay Estate Bottled Arroyo Grande Valley
(2018)

For the wine snob: For three generations the Talley family has farmed in Coastal San Luis Obispo County, a tradition that began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. In short order, Oliver came to be recognized for the exceptional quality of the vegetables he grew, especially bell peppers. After witnessing the success of wine growing in the neighboring Edna Valley, Oliver’s son, Don Talley, became convinced of the potential for growing high-quality wine grapes on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms. He planted a small test plot in 1982 on the west hillside of the Rincon Vineyard. Four years later, in 1986, Don and his wife, Rosemary, founded Talley Vineyards with the vision to produce estate bottled wines with the same reputation for quality as their vegetables; wines that captured the unique character of their land and exemplified their expertise as farmers.

For the rest of us: Vivid straw-yellow. Fresh pear, lemon curd and melon aromas are complemented by hints of jasmine and salted butter. Silky and energetic in the mouth, offering juicy Meyer lemon, Anjou pear and buttered toast flavors and a spicy note of candied ginger. Finishes with subtle grip.