Uncorked: Week of December 24

This week I highlight some of the delicious wines from Israel, Oregon, California, Argentina and France. Find a new favorite and happy New Year!

2014 Psagot Merlot, Israel 

Unique aromas and flavors of forest floor, plums, blackberries and dark cherries.  Finishes medium-long with coffee and chocolate notes. Pair with any grilled meat dish.  Rating: 90 | $26

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Rued Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California 

Vibrant yet restrained, this Russian River Chardonnay has citrus, Meyer lemon, quince, stone fruit and Asian pear notes that lead to a lovely, steely finish. Pair with crab cakes. 649 case production. Rating: 89 | $55

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Emerald Ridge Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California 

A provocative Pinot with sweet, ripe red berry aromas and flavors that lead to a medium-long, dark blackberry finish. Tannins are chewy yet soft and vivacious.  602 case production. Rating: 92 | $62

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Fox Den Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California

Raspberry and cherry flavors play center stage with undertones of dusty, earthy notes. It’s an alluring and charming Pinot that would pair amazingly with a mushroom strudel. 490 case production. Rating: 92 | $62

2015 Dutton-Goldfield Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California 

A delicious Pinot with layers of cherries, black pepper, boysenberry and spice. It’s nicely balanced with good acidity, making it a perfect food wine—grilled pork with a fig and port sauce comes to mind.   Exquisite! 317 case production. Rating: 94 | $72

2014 Dutton-Goldfield Cherry Ridge Vineyard Syrah, Russian River Valley, California 

Dark and mysterious with layers of blackberries, dark sour cherries and violets. It has lively acidity and gripping tannins. Pair with your favorite grilled meat—delightful!  607 case production. Rating: 92 | $50

2015 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Red, Tupungato, Argentina

This is a blend of 50% Malbec, 45% Syrah, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon with lively black fruit notes that finish long and strong. It’s well-balanced, spicy and round, with good acidity and tannins. Smoked meats are a pairing perfection! Rating: 89 | $20

2016 Domaine Bousquet Gaia White, Tupungato, Argentina

This is a 50% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot gris, and 15% Sauvignon blanc that is medium-bodied with delicate green apple, and white peach flavors.  Slightly oxidized flavors. Rating: 83 | $18

2014 Cornerstone Cellars Benchlands Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California

A wondrous Cabernet that is dusty and earthy, with layers of tobacco, blueberries, blackberries, herbs and vanilla. Wonderful structure and acidity with excellent firmness and texture.  Rating: 93 | $65

2014 Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga, California

Ripe and brooding, with boysenberry and currant notes that are juxtaposed with herbs, chocolate and earth. Wonderfully balanced with grippy tannins. Rating: 94 | $75

2016 Ledger David Sauvignon Blanc, Rogue Valley, Oregon 

Tropical and refreshing with notes of peach, grapefruit, apricot and pear. It has good acidify and pairs well with roasted chicken, delicate fish, and dishes with a little spice. 144 case production. Rating: 90 | $23

2015 Ledger David Tempranillo, Rogue Valley, Oregon 

A soft and delicate wine with red berries, dark plum and herb notes. It finishes with a tinge of espresso and chocolate. This went perfectly with eggplant parmesan. 155 case production. Rating: 89 | $35

2014 Domaine Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes, Rhone, France

A vivacious Syrah with a myriad of red fruits, violet, and licorice, finishing with layers of chocolate, pepper, mineral, and graphite. Pair with lamb chops and steaks. Rating: 92 | $69

2014 M. Chapoutier St. Joseph Blanc Les Granits, Rhone, France

A simply beautiful Marsanne with layers of robust apple, honeysuckle, and anise flavors that finish firmly with mineral and lemon zest. Divinely delicious, especially when paired with coconut Thai shrimp. Rating: 94 | $72

2014 Domaine Amido Lirac, Rhone, France

This blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, and 20% Syrah is dusty and ripe, with layers of red fruits, tobacco and clove. Good acidity and an excellent value for the price. Pair with stewed or braised beef, pork and veal. Rating: 89 | $16

2015 Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats, Rhone, France

Distinctively enticing with red fruits, earth and plum. It finishes round and spicy, with balanced acidity and tannins. Pairs heavenly with lamb shanks and rabbit. Rating: 88 | $24


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of Enobytes.com, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.

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