Schug Winery - Chardonnay, Carneros, Sonoma County 2019
Schug Carneros Estate Winery celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first vintage, made when a passion for Burgundy wines led patriarch Walter Schug to establish his own label and eventually leave Joseph Phelps, where he was the founding winemaker crafting wines that put Napa Valley on the map.
The Tasting Panel - 92 Points - "Aged sur-lie for eight months in 20% French oak, the iconic flavor profile shows a world-class Chardonnay profile. Creamy and toasty, the richness is reined in by its bright acidity. Kiwi, pineapple, and gardenia effortlessly show a tropical character, with Key lime and vanilla on the finish."
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Schug Winery lies on the far western edge of Carneros, five miles south of the town of Sonoma on a hilltop with sweeping views of the Sonoma Valley. The family’s 42-acre Estate vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with an additional 150 acres grown under contract by respected and experienced growers throughout Carneros, the Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Coast. The Carneros District lies at the cool southern end of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. An area of low hills and flatlands, the region is profoundly affected by cool marine air from the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean.
During the summer a ceiling of fog hovers over the vineyards in the morning, clearing as the day warms. On the Schug Estate, the fog is replaced in the afternoon by summertime winds that come rushing through the Petaluma Gap, which funnels cold air from the Pacific Ocean. The cooler late afternoon temperature protects the acidity in the grapes, while strong winds slow down photosynthesis resulting in riper flavors at lower sugar levels. The wind also results in smaller berries with thicker skins, giving the wines a unique savory and spicy character that is signature of the Estate’s unique terroir.
Le Vigne di Zamò - Pinot Grigio, Friuli Colli Orientali, Italy 2020
Le Vigne di Zamò is a family owned winery located in Manzano, one of the most renewed winegrowing areas in Friuli Venezia Giulia.. This stunning terroir is known for producing some of the finest Pinot Grigio in the world. The 2020 Friuli Colli Orientali pours a subtle pale salmon presenting elevated flavors of Friuli Pinot. Aromas of honeycrisp apple, toasted almond, fresh peach, acacia, and wet minerals. The palate is dry, crisp, and refreshing presenting clean notes of orchard fruit, white flowers, and salinity laced tropical nuance. Extended skin contact adds a wonderful tea-like structure and mouthfeel. The winemaking here is flawless, this is an old-school Friuli with exceptional quality.
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Chad - Pinot Noir - Willamette Valley - 2019
We loved the Chad Napa Cabernet, now we're blown away again with their Willamette Pinot Noir! What's not to love about the Chad philosophy, proprietor Chad Alexander sources extra juice from the regions premium producers and sells it for well over half of what you would pay at the winery. This Pinot is an excellent example of Willamette expression for a fraction of the price, we're all about it.
In the glass, this is a beautifully crafted wine with sturdy structure and finesse. Pours a brilliant ruby color with aromas of wild strawberry, crunchy pomegranate, dried roses, and a subtle herbaceous spice. On the palate, it's energetic with bright acidity, juicy red fruit, clean minerals, and a lasting finish. A wonderful balance between new and old world Pinot, exactly what I'm looking for out of Willamette, worth every drop under $20.
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Alexander Knechel - Certified Sommelier
Wine Sales Manager - Plucky Wines