This small winery specializes in Italian varietals and it does them pretty well. Here is a good impersonation of Chianti, with just enough mint, herb and oak aromatics and extracted plummy fruit to qualify as pure Cal-Ital. A big wine at 14.5%, it’s got a nice black-cherry core and it stands up solidly to garlic-laden foods.
A gorgeous Mendocino County example of Sangiovese, this is fine in its tight baseline of acidity and core flavor of dark dried cherry. Pair this juicy and easy-to-drink selection with pizza, pasta, a burger or cured meats.
Honeyed, spicy and late harvesty. Very atypical; delicious, too. Rich, ripe apricot and tangerine-like fruit, with decent acidity to match. Dessert-like, would be fine with foie gras or fruit and cheese. Well liked by our panel, but do not expect a crisp, dry white.
This is real Barbera, and this vintage, under the careful guidance of winemaker Greg Graziano, has yielded a Barbera that is very old world in style: earthy smelling, with a rustic taste, yet decidedly Californian (read: fruity and clean). The pomegranate flavor is racy in the mouth. It is a wine that has a crisp impact and a dry finish. Like most great wines, it…
Greg Graziano has been producing Sangiovese for a long time in California and has managed to coax its thick tannins into a swirl of herby, dark plum and dried black-cherry flavors that are rich, ripe and full, ready for grilled Italian-inspired foods.
A medium-bodied, middle-of-the-road Pinot Grigio, this has lemon-tinged acidity and a bit of barrel weight in its texture. It’s floral, with almond and pear notes on the palate. This is a simple, worthy alternative to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
A liquid tribute to old Mendocino, this wine is a blend of mostly Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, with smaller proportions of Sangiovese, Carignane, Negromaro, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Syrah. Medium bodied with spicy black pepper, leather and stewed plum flavors, it would go perfectly well with burgers or pizza.
Nice fruit, suggesting almonds and lemons and white peaches, and good acidity makes it bracing and clean. This is a likeable, everyday sort of wine that goes down easy. It’s sweeter than most examples of this varietal, with a clover honey taste. —S.H.