Stags’ Leap Winery 2019 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley) – Appealing perfumes of spearmint, chervil and green melon. Medium-bodied, this has good acidity, and a round, clean finish. This is a crowd-pleasing style of Sauvignon Blanc that is very refreshing and offers excellent balance; this can accompany foods ranging from a simple chicken salad to bay scallops with a lime or orange sauce. Drink over the next 2-3 years. Excellent (90)
Stags’ Leap Winery Chardonnay 2019 (Napa Valley) – Light yellow with aromas of lemon peel, golden apple and a hint of lily. Medium-bodied, this is round and has pleasant Chardonnay fruit, with subdued wood notes and a dry, slightly tart finish. Nicely styled, though lacking complexity. Drink over the next 1-3 years. Very Good (88)
Pfendler Vineyards (Santa Rosa, CA) – Pfendler Vineyards is situated in the cool Petaluma Gap in western Sonoma County. Their first vineyards were planted in 1992; the current proprietor is Kimberly Pfendler, while the winemaker is Erica Stancliff.
Pfendler Chardonnay 2019 (Petaluma Gap, Sonoma County) – Bright yellow; aromas of pineapple, vanilla and mango. Medium-full with very good concentration. Very good acidity, good persistence and complexity, ample wood notes and a fruit-driven finish with sweet fruit. The oak notes are much too dominant and the tropical fruit flavors are strong; this is not for me but other may like it much better. Enjoy over the next 2-5 years. Very Good (88)
Pfendler Pinot Noir 2019 (Petaluma Gap, Sonoma County) – Deep young garnet; aromas of black cherry, black peony and cardamon. Medium-full and very ripe, this displays notable Pinot Noir character, and is backed by good acidity and a rich finish with distinct black spice notes, but the oak notes are a bit strong. Give this another year or two to settle down, with peak in 5-7 years. I’d recommend steak with this Pinot Noir. Excellent (90)
Miner Family Vineyards Wild Chardonnay 2018 (Napa Valley) – Light yellow; rich aromas of lemon peel, almond and apricot. Medium-full with excellent concntration. Rich mid-palate, layered flavors, excellent persistence and complexity. Long finish, rich, beautifully styled Chardonnay. Enjoy over the next 3-5 years, perhaps longer. One of the best vintages of this wine I have tasted in years. Outstanding (95)
Miner Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard, 2018 (Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County) – Garys’ Vineyard (yes, there are two men named Gary who own this vineyard, hence the apostrophe after the “s,”, is the source of Pinot Noir for several producers in California including Miner Family Winery in Napa Valley. Pale young garnet color; aromas of red currant, wild strawberry and turmeric. Medium-full with excellent depth of fruit, very good acidity, medium-weight tannins and nicely managed wood notes. There are distinct brown spice (oregano, allspice) sensations in the lengthy finish. Offering excellent complexity and richness, this needs one to two years to round out, with peak drinking in 7-10 years. If you must enjoy it now, pair with duck breast with cherry sauce. Outstanding (94)