An interesting wine that belies its price. Rich blackberry flavors ride side-by-side with earthy, herbal notes of dark coffee and tobacco. A good percentage of new French oak shows up, especially in the vanilla and toast accents of the aroma. This full-bodied, bone-dry wine has a lot of richness.
This ripe Cabernet is a textbook example of the varietal in California. It oozes rich flavors of blackberries and cassis and sweet green olives, and is framed in oak. It’s soft and velvety in the mouth.
There’s a streak of tart green apple running through this Chard that gives it a sweet and sour tang. Minerals, too, with a suggestion of lemony gunmetal or flint; you can almost taste chalk. This is a very good price for a dry, Chablis-style wine of real style and elegance.
A second label from the folks at Laetitia Winery, which grows about 200 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes in the Central Coast. It’s graceful, light in body, and serves up a pleasing blend of cherry, smoke, toast, blackberry, spice and herb flavors.
Avila is a new line from Laetitia and Barnwood wineries, and one that fills the important niche of affordable varietal wines. This lean Chard brims with bright flavors of lemons and grapefruits, but an overlay of oak adds richness. Intense acidity makes the wine’s finish clean and zesty.
There’s a heavy overlay of toasty oak on this mid-weight wine’s modest fruit. Still, its black plum-cedar aromas and flavors have real appeal, as does the round, supple mouthfeel. Finishes in similar style, quite dark, with some lemony notes. Best Buy.