If you are a wine enthusiast (eh-hem Steven) and you are on Instagram, you will be very familiar with #wiyg. It stands for “what’s in your glass” which is frequently posited on that social media platform along with your post of a glass or bottle of wine. Hopefully, your “peeps” will respond, and your Instagram engagement goes through the roof.
So what’s in my glass? I am so glad you asked.
Luna Vineyards in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
Luna Vineyards was one of the wineries that Gary and I visited when we were in Napa last May. It was a last minute visit that should not have happened because it was so late in the day. James, the Estate Educator, and our host pulled out all the stops to make sure we had a great experience. And yes, a mixed case of their wines was shipped home after the tasting.
Luna Vineyards 2016 Estate Pinot Grigio
While we were big fans of several of the Luna wines, this Pinot Grigio was hands down my favorite. And I have to admit, that surprised me because up to this point I had not tasted a Pinot Grigio that was enough” for me. Generally, for my palate, they are too light and kinda just one note. If you like that style, that is great. There are lots of Pinot Grigio wines on the market that you will love.
But this Reserve Estate Pinot Grigio from Luna tosses the one-note style right out the window. This wine has a creamy texture yet it is still fresh and bright. On the palate, I get notes of Red Delicious Apple with a light dusting of Sweet Tart candy. I know that sounds silly, but that is what I tasted. Fortunately, we bought several bottles of this wine so we can continue to enjoy.
This wine is only sold directly from the winery. Regular retail price is $32.00 per bottle but we joined their member’s club so we got it with a 25% discount of just $24.00 a bottle.
As a result, I have done some research. I found that Pinot Gris (Grigio) from Alsace ( France) as well as in Germany, the wine has more heft similar to this wine. Italian and Oregon Pinot Gris tend to be the lighter style of wine.
Another Side Note:
Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the same grape just named differently based on the country of production. Pinot Gris is the French name, and Pinot Grigio is the Italian. Gris is French for gray as is Grigio in Italian. Gray, you say? Yes, this is a white wine. But the grapes are technically in the red family. Upon ripening the grapes can be anything from pinkish-gray to blue-gray to pinkish-brown.
Rombauer Vineyards, St. Helena, Napa Valley
Rombauer Vineyards was founded in 1980 by Koerner Rombauer making it one of the legendary wineries in the valley. You may recognize the label if you are a California Chardonnay drinker, as Rombauer has created a classic, rich and creamy, Napa-style Chard for decades. You know just how many folks love their wines by walking into the tasting room and seeing tasters everywhere. If you want to visit, it is by appointment only to make sure you can get a seat.
When it comes to white wine, Rombauer focuses on what it does best, Chardonnay. That is, until now…
2017 Rombauer Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a new wine for Rombauer. It is only their fourth vintage. But they have tackled this wine like they do their entire portfolio by making it in the classic Sauv. Blanc style.
It is a bright and refreshing wine that is perfect for summer. On the nose, you will get aromas of lime and tropical fruits. On your first sip, you catch the crispness that a lively acidity brings to this wine. Then come the citrus and tropical fruit notes that fill your mouth. Like many Sauvignon Blanc wines, you will taste grapefruit. While this is not a flavor that I prefer, it is not overpowering and all-consuming. It actually fits in nicely. This my friends can be #wiyg tonight.
The fruit for this wine came from four Napa Valley vineyards from more than one district. You know this because the district is not printed on the label. Does that matter? No. I am just pointing this out as “label reading” education.
This wine is sold nationally at Total Wine, Whole Foods and on restaurant menus around the country. Can’t find it? You can always order direct from the winery. It sells for $24.00 a bottle. This wine was provided to me as a sample. You can read my sample policy here.
François Chidaine Le Chenin d’Ailleurs 2016
A few years ago, I first tried a sparkling wine from Chidaine. It was out of this world, and I became a big fan. Soon after I bought this Chenin and fell in love. I had no idea what I was missing by not drinking many white wines and specifically, Chenin Blanc.
Took this bottle over to neighbor Natalie’s house when we had cocktails recently. She served a white bean dip with roasted corn and fresh tomatoes with basil and chives and it paired perfectly. It has a medium body and a generous mouthfeel. (or as I like to say its a tongue hugger). This is a result of being “aged sur lie” (see glossary) for 9 months.
You may find this wine to show layers of minerality and earth as well as various citrus flavors. This is a delicious French Chenin Blanc.
Side Note: The reason why you do not see any appellation information on the label is that the wine was made in one region but the fruit was sourced from another. There are strict labeling guidelines that prohibit this. In this case, the fruit was sourced from friends in southern France. Once the grapes were pressed, the juice was then cold shipped to the Chidaine winery in Montlouis-sur-Loire.
I bought this wine at Edmunds Oast Exchange for $25.00 #wiyg
Nanclares y Prieto, Dandelion Albariño 2016 Rías Baixas, Spain
As I have told you before, I only started drinking white wine in 2015. These last three years have been an amazing journey as I find more and more white varieties that I enjoy drinking. The wine blogger conference that I attended in the fall of 2017 introduced me to the Rías Baixas (pronounced – Ree-us Bay-shūhs) region in northwest Spain that ends at the Atlantic coast.
The color of this wine is very pale to almost clear as Albariños tend to be. The nose is very clean with aromas of wet slate and salty air. On the first sip, there is a bit of tingly zest on your tongue. It is crisp and clean which is also important characteristics for Albariño. Digging deeper you may taste tangelo or mandarin orange. It is ticking all the boxes. This is a great wine to enjoy with seafood.
I also bought this wine at Edmunds Oast Exchange. It is in the Spanish section and easy to find. It sells for $23.00 a bottle. #wiyg
Domaine Allemand Le Théüsien Rouge 2016
This bottle of wine is from what used to be the Paris Wine Club. It was a great wine club that sourced small batch wines from throughout France that normally would never get distribution in the USA. We loved this club because we got to enjoy some truly incredible French wines. Many were organically and/or biodynamically produced. Every wine e have tried was stellar.
Sadly the club folded due to increased shipping fees, including duties and tariffs getting the wines to the US as well as shipping the wines from the warehouse to the customer. After finishing this bottle, we are even sadder because this wine was so delicious.
Last night was pizza night, so we wanted a red wine to pair with it. Not too big. Not too fruity. So we pulled this vin rouge hoping it would fit the bill and it was perfect.
I know French wine with pizza… what was I thinking?
This is Domaine Allemand Le Théüsien Rouge 2016 from the mountainous Haute-Alps region of France. It is made from old vine Mollard fruit, and it was just what we had hoped.
It is a beautiful opaque ruby color. The nose is big, big red fruit which we hoped did not follow to the palate.
On the first sip, all I got was the light body and then the tannins which were fine because they are smooth and a tad silky. On second sip the red fruit flavors did come through but were much more restrained than I got on the nose. Overall the fruit flavor components blend nicely with the acid and tannins. Overall, it was just what we wanted and the perfect pizza wine.
So #WIYG? Leave me a comment and tell me what you are drinking this weekend.
That is enough wine for one day.