It’s Monday and I’m already planning next weekend’s wines.
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Summation Red Wine Blend California 2009, $17: This blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot with dabs of other red varietals is indeed the sum of its parts: ripe berries and spice from Zinfandel, cherries and a subtle earthiness from the Syrah, and ripe plums and brown cooking spices from the Merlot. Nice body, smooth tannins, and lovely fruit flavors add up to a versatile wine to pour with dinner.
Gallo Signature Series Chardonnay Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2010, $30. Gina Gallo, third-generation family winemaker, has the genes, the talent and the drive to keep lifting the family brand upward. What started out as fine and affordable table wines back in the day are now ultra-premium luxury wines in this new series by Gina. The Chardonnay, off the family’s Laguna Ranch Vineyard in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, is rich, creamy and packed with juicy green apple fruit woven with smoky oak. It’s like perfume to inhale the aromas. In the mouth, the wine is like a nectar of apples, papaya, mango, melon, citrus and white petal flowers. It has a creamy texture, without being overly buttery. It’s so pretty, it’s almost a sin to pour it with food.
Talbott Vineyards Kali Hart Monterey Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2010, $21: Named for Rob Talbott’s daughter, the Kali Hart is affordable, fine Pinot with layers of flavor — cherries, ripe plums, red currants, chocolate and spice. In the mouth, the fruit is sweet, the tannins supple, the oak nicely integrated. From a top Pinot Noir grower, the Kali Hart gives you a picture window into the depth and serious flavors Talbott delivers.