John Paul Kaminga
Keeping Summer Going
Updated: Feb 25, 2022
Four wines to check out: a couple old faves and a couple newbs.
One of our favorite wine estates in Tuscany, Corzano e Paterno is a small certified organic farm in Chianti, making wine, olive oil, and cheese. You guys have been all about their pink wine this summer, and we understand you completely, as it's fabulous, and quite serious. Perhaps even more serious, their white wine is the kind of blend that another Tuscan producer might raise in expensive French oak barrels and charge $30+ per bottle. A blend of Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Manseng and Semillon, it is not a traditional white wine for the area, but celebrating the new vintage of this wine has become a tradition at Craft and Cru. Today the 2019 vintage is tense and fresh, with aromas of lemon, pineapple, green pear, melon, mint and wet stones developing with air. On the palate it is zippy and citrusy, with lots of mineral nuance. It will be worth saving a few bottles for the spring, when its contours will have softened, and become more full and fruity.
Corzano e Paterno 'Il Corzanello' Toscana IGT Bianco 2019 - $15
The wines of Robert Sinskey are among the most elegant in all of California. Made to be versatile at the table, the winery never pushes ripeness or new oak, instead looking to highlight the natural crisp fruit flavors that come from healthy grapes, the kinds of flavors that make a wine refreshing. Their Vin Gris of Pinot Noir is a bit of a legend, and if you're into pink wine, you owe it to yourself to try a bottle. Lifted aromas of red berries, stone fruits, flowers and herbs precede a tart and vivacious palate, with subtle silkiness and pure fruit flavors. This will be worth saving for a few years.
Robert Sinskey Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Los Carneros 2019 - $33
We were thrilled to find a new liter bottle to get behind, as a lot of stuff in big bottles is not so fun. This Barbera from Ercole is a blast. There are magnificent oak-aged Barbera wines, but that is not the point here; fermented in concrete and aged in stainless steel, this wine is all about fresh grapes. Red and black fruits are backed by hints of licorice, flowers and spice, it is juicy upfront and dry on the finish. Purity and freshness are its way, this wine may be straightforward, but its heart is in the right place.
Ercole Barbera del Monferrato 2019 - $14 1L bottle
All we've had to say is that this wine is supposed to be $40, but now it's $25, and you guys all want to try it. What we should also say is that Day Wines is a winery to know if you like authentic terroir driven wine. Brienne Day stopped buying fruit from the Silvershot Vineyard, so she offered our local distributor a fabulous deal on the rest of her 2016 Silvershot Pinot Noir. A fabulously interesting vineyard, Silvershot was planted in 1998 to ungrafted own-rooted vines, a brave bid to grow European vines without American rootstocks, this is a huge risk that almost no grower is willing to take. It seems to have paid off with this 2016, which is a resounding success. Aromas of red and black fruits, autumn leaves, wilted flowers, a bit of caramelized root veggies, roasted meat and tobacco. Earth and fruit are in balance on the palate, with tart acids and supple tannins carrying flavors long. This is open and delicious right now, but in a good cellar, it will evolve positively for 10 years or so, maybe longer. There's so much freshness and substance, it's not going to fade soon.
Day Wines Pinot Noir Silvershot Vineyard 2016 - $25 (was $40)