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California produces an average of 90 percent of total U.S. wine production. The state’s two main varietals are without a doubt Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Sonoma County has 15 unique AVAs and more than 50 grape varieties are planted here. Chardonnay, America’s most popular white wine is also the county’s leading variety with an impressive 16,000 acres. Sauvignon Blanc is a distant second among white varieties, at 2,500 acres. For red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon heads the roster with 12,000 acres, followed by Pinot Noir, 10,000, Merlot, 7,500 and Zinfandel, with 5,000 acres. Interesting.
2012 Chloe Chardonnay, Sonoma County
LIST PRICE 15.00; OUR PRICE 11.99
This wine is crafted from grapes grown primarily in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. Chloe winemaker Georgetta Dane has highlighted the structure and depth of this fruit by using new and used oak as a secondary presence, rather than the focus, to showcase ripe, clean flavors of fresh citrus, apple and pear with notes of creamy butter and a hint of vanilla. The resulting wine is very well-balanced, shows a creamy mid-palate and has a long finish.
2011 Provocative Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley
LIST PRICE 20.00; OUR PRICE 18.99
With its cooler climate, the conditions are ideal for Chardonnay in the Sonoma Valley. The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks. Fifty percent of the wine was aged in French Oak barrels, and the other fifty perfect of the wine was aged in small stainless steel barrels. Both of the wines were then blended together.The wine is medium bodied, crisp, with great fruit character, and light oak nuances.
2012 Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
LIST PRICE 26.00; OUR PRICE 28.50
Meyer lemon, quince and honeydew aromas are enlivened by a zesty white pepper nuance. Dry on the palate, it offers tangy citrus fruit and ginger flavors and a touch of quinine. The wine closes taut and dry, with lingering citrus and bitter herb qualities.
2012 Masterpiece Vineyards Cabernet, Russian River
LIST PRICE 11.99; OUR PRICE 9.99
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has great texture and structure with a medium mouth-feel. There are aromas of dark plum, cherry, cassis, warm barrel spice, vanilla and dark chocolate. In the glass there are concentrated flavors of cherry, cassis, blackberry, plum, spice, cedar and chocolate.
2012 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
LIST PRICE 19.00; OUR PRICE 12.99
Always one of the best buys in Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Merlot and 4% Zinfandel) offers a deep ruby/plum color, classic black cherry and blackcurrant fruit intermixed with background spice, and soft, supple tannins. This medium-bodied, easygoing, attractive, savory Cabernet should drink well for 5-7 years.
2010 Summers Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley
LIST PRICE 40.00; OUR PRICE 36.99
Knights Valley lies at the base of Mount St. Helena, situated between the Napa and Alexander Valleys. Beautiful weather and rolling hills of alluvial and volcanic soils allow for the grapes to produce this wine. It displays balance, massive structure, length, and elegance with fruit aromas of black cherry and blackberry, and spicy notes of clover.