Bacchic Reflections

              Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather
                       and a little music out of doors.
                                                                                   John Keats, 1819


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Reds worth cellaring...Cabs, Pinots, Other
                            B.E.'s Cellar Notes

Special Aged Wines:   B.E.'s Discoveries

Virginia/North Carolina:   B.E.'s Discoveries

Interesting Links:   see  Other Interests

Wine Books for Wine Lovers
             see B.E.'s Wine Tips

Articles by B.E.   see  B.E. in print
      Starting a Wine Cellar:   B.E.'s  Wine Tips
       Wines for aging:  see B.E. Cellar Notes
B.E. on organic and biodynamic wines                  see  article

Follow-Up:   Recently I focused on Sangiacomo Vineyards, which produces some of the most prized chardonnay and pinot noir in California. I just had the chance to taste a noble rendition in Chappellet's 2017 Grower Collection Chardonnay, Sangiacomo Vineyard, a beautiful wine, elegantly balanced, with delectable traces of pear, lychee, butterscotch and citrus in appealing harmony--perfect with Dungeness Crab if you happen to be on the west coast and can snare a bottle ($45 at Chappellet -- worth a visit to this grand structure atop Pritchard Hill in Napa Valley. Likely to provide a more exalted experience with 3 to 5 years aging, as only fine Chardonnays and Burgundies can.

Wine Buy(s) of the Week

Dry Creek Vineyard 2017 Dry Chenin Blanc    Clarksburg, CA  $15***   A seasonal favorite, consistently delightful, well-balanced and crisp, with appealing notes of lychee, pear, melon, a touch of citrus, a hint of floral. A bright and charming aperitif, summer sipper.

Upshot 2018, Rodney Strong Vyds   Sonoma/Mendocino/Monterey  $18-24**+ This appealing white blend--mostly chardonnay and grenache blanc--makes a great summer quaff. With its floral scent and tropical fruit flavors, it's a delightful aperitif, as well as a fine accompaniment to summer fare such as pan-broiled white fish, pasta primavera, chicken salad.

Dry Creek Zinfandel Heritage Vines 2017  $18-24**+  Dry Creek's most widely available Zin--meaty with spicy berry flavors, well-balanced, a few rustic accents; good value. (Note: the 2016 is drinking especially well!)
Dry Creek Old Vine Zinfandel 2016, Dry Creek Valley***  $35
  Average age of the vines that produced this wine:  95 years. This is Dry Creek Vineyard's signature Zin—and their best, in my view, among several very good ones. Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma is noted for Zinfandel with distinctive wild berry flavors (often called "brambly") and accents of black pepper.

Reds To Drink Now

Chapoutier 2017 Belleruche Red    Rhône Valley    $17-18**+  
Berry-ripe, with a smack of tannic structure, but smooth and very drinkable now. Perfect for grilled chicken or sausages, smoked meat salads, sausage-and-mushroom pizza.
Cahors Clos La Courtale 2016   France   $16**+   Here is the original Malbec, produced in the Cahors region of southwest France for hundreds of years. Dark and rich, with black cherry flavors, full-bodied, well-balanced. Tasty now because of forward fruit but structure will take it a good 5 to 7 years.  A wine for roast meats, spring lamb stew, savory cheeses.
Saumur 2016 Les Pouches    Loire Valley   $12.99*+    100 percent cabernet franc from the Loire Valley--good value for an everyday red:  meaty but not heavy, black fruit accents; a slosh in a carafe will aerate and open up its aroma and flavor.
Louis Martini 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon   Sonoma   $13-14**+   Consistently solid Cab with fruit upfront and just enough tannin to give it a pleasing grip--appealing blackberry flavors with a hint of spice; balanced and versatile with burgers to grilled dark chicken, lamb chops, beef short ribs.
Regis Bouvier 2017 Bourgogne Rouge   Burgundy  $24**+   An excellent buy in young red Burgundy--spicy Pinot Noir aromas, solid cherry-berry fruit. Good choice for pork loin, chops or roast ham. 
Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Rouge 2017    Languedoc   $14-15**+   Excellent value from the Languedoc region of southern France, from an excellent producer. Generous black fruit flavors, round and smooth, this versatile quaff is a great casual red for the coming season, so stock up!


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                                                                                                                             ©Barbara Ensrud