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The 2020 Caryn Renae Sauvignon Blanc invokes summer on the nearest horizon, full stop. Its brilliant lemon hue sparkles beckoningly at the meniscus. Aromatics of gooseberry, lemongrass, and nascent orange blossoms flourish from the glass, and usher you to a relaxed state of mind, wherever you may find yourself. The palate ranges from lemon curd to candied lemon peel and green papaya, with a soupcon of creaminess and bright minerality— all coalescing in a crescendo of great focus and great intensity. The perfect entrée into an evening, with a nimble ability to pair with myriad seaside and garden fare, in spades!
The 2018 Brothers Blend is an apt entrée into the Ellman line-up of wines. Approachable, and then some, it offers a deep, opaque violet cast, billowing with intense aromas of crème de cassis, blackberries, espresso and cigar box. On the palate, complexity abounds with lush red and black fruits, from cranberry and raspberry to black cherries and plums, giving way to notes of cacao, as well as hints of herbal and floral notes such as rosemary and violet. Incredibly soft and polished, it packs excellent density without a rough edge in sight. With mouth-coating tannins giving way to a fresh finish, it pairs instantly with your favorites on the grill from a nice boerewors or Presa Iberico, to the garden’s bounty, like summer squash and zucchini.
Focusing solely on the Ellman Estate vineyard, the perennial elegance of Jemma reigns supreme in the 2018 vintage. With a deep ruby hue, the 2018 Jemma gives way to a commingling of sweet and savory notes. Copious aromatics of freshly picked violets, cassis and black cherries emanate from the glass, with a soupçon of espresso, sassafras and dry-aged salumi. Effusive on the palate, it has a lush profile of a myriad of bramble fruits, like a billowing whiff from jostling a crate of blackberries, coupled with hints of cardamom, allspice and cacao. Muscular and weighty, the dark fruit character is precisely framed with focused yet velvety tannins and an enduring, lengthy finish. Aptly paired with a classic Beef Wellington or maitakes on the grill
The 2017 Flanagan Cabernet has classic Cabernet notes of cedar, violets, and Christmas spices. The palate has Red and Black Current, Bay Leaf, and Tobacco. As always, the wine has a surprising amount of tannin structure for New World Cabernet. All of the Cabernet comes from hillside sites and the small berries produced from the steep, volcanic sites give the wine great color and concentration. This is a Cabernet that has the structure and secondary notes of a top Left Bank wine. Great farming, top vineyard sites, and restraint in the winemaking result in a balanced, age-worthy Cabernet.
The 2017 Ritchie Chardonnay has a very expressive nose of jasmine. honeysuckle, and orange blossom. The palate is dominated by stone fruits like apricot and fresh peach and has a gorgeous minerality that carries the wine. This is a stunning wine, from one of Sonoma County’s most coveted sites for Chardonnay and will evolve in the bottle for many years to come.
The 2018 Flanagan Merlot Bennett Valley has compelling aromatic notes of Bay Leaf, Pepper, Cedar, and Saffron. The palate has Red Currant, Black Cherry, Bergomot, and Black Tea with a very elegant tannin structure. The acidity provides great balance. The small berries produced from the steep, volcanic hillside site give the wine great color and concentration. This is an elegant, age worthy, world class Merlot.
The nose shows notes of Rangpur lime, jasmine, and a hint of vanilla. On the palate, the wine has Bosc pear and toasted almond. The wine has bright acidity and an elegant minerality. The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels, using Atelier Centre France and Boutes cooperage for 11 months with 50% new barrels.
This is a stunning example of an AVA wine made from the top vineyards in Sonoma County.
The 2019 Flanagan Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast offers an expressive nose cherry blossom and clove spice. On the palate the wine has very fine tannins, great acidity, and displays flavors of Rainier cherry and orange peel. The Sonoma Coast cuvee has very nice fruit purity.
The nose displays white peach and citrus blossoms. On the palate there are notes of ripe lemon, fresh pear, and almost ripe peach. This is a clean, bright style of Viognier and a perfect first course wine.
This wine is another pillar in the argument that Bennett Valley should focus on Rhone varieties. This is a quintessential Viognier and a lovely example of what the grape can do in California when it is well farmed, not over-ripe, and made in a balanced way.
This wine consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Petite Verdot blend. The dense, powerful fruit of the Cabernet is seamlessly balanced with the spice and earth tones from the Malbec and Petite Verdot, which is held together by the roundness of the Merlot. Aromas: blackberry, wildberry, tea, cinnamon and mocha Flavors: brambly huckleberry, black currant, blueberry, graphite, and vanilla. Pairing Suggestions: New York Strip loin and roasted rack of lamb with rosemary pair especially well with this wine.