A clean, spicy Chardonnay, with classic flavors of oranges, green apples, pears and spices. The oak influence is minimal, allowing the fruit and acidity to star. This shows an elegance that places it at the forefront of Chardonnays in this price range.
A small Napa producer without cult status-lucky for us, or the price would be double. It has soft plum aromas, with round, juicy, plummy flavors. Well-balanced and deliciously appealing for drinking through 2004.
One of the more surprising aspects of the glut is the quantity and quality of inexpensive Napa Valley wines. Michael Pozzan, whose forebears began growing grapes in California in the 1800s, has his own 50,000-case winery in Oakville. The Reserve line represents value across several varieties. This dry, stylish Sauvignon is citrusy and figgy, with great elegance…
Pozzan is an Oakville-based brand, a négociant, really, that frequently offers value. This single-vineyard wine is rich and dry in citrus, apricot and fig flavors, with a refreshing minerality leading to a tartly clean finish. It shows why Lake County has a reputation for Sauvignon Blanc. The wine has a modest 12.5 percent of alcohol, and is one-quarter Sémillon.
Pozzan turns his attention to Zinfandel, with good results. The wine shows crisp acidity, rich tannins and brambly flavors of blackberries, cherries, milk chocolate, pepper, cloves and vanilla. So ripe, it tastes sweet, but this Zin is fundamentally dry.