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Bargains abound and we are here to pour them for your consideration. Join us Saturday for a sampling of recent discounted pricing of some fine California wines. My favorites among these, and among all California wines in general, are the reds from Limerick Lane of Sonoma County. A couple of value wines from Esser Vineyards of Napa will be offered as will a Syrah from Halstead Vineyards of Morgon Hill and a rosé from Waterstone Vintners of Napa.
2005 Esser Vineyards Chardonnay, California
Regular price 8.95; Our price 6.99
After 30 years in the international wine business, Manfred Esser introduced his own wine label in 2002. The final blend offers soft inviting aromas of sweet citrus, tropical fruit, and crème brulee oak. The palate is round and accessible, with apple and pear notes. Wine Enthusiast gave this wine an 85-point rating: “Manfred Esser ran Cuvaison, so he knows Chardonnay. This wine is mainly from Clarksburg, and shows good ripeness, but is balanced by firm acidity. Barrel fermented and aged sur lie, it’s crisp and fruity, with freshly picked apple, pineapple, peach, mango and vanilla flavors that finish dry and spicy. The acidity really is racy.”
2005 Waterstone Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
Regular price 13.50; Our price 9.99
Waterstone Vintners is a collaboration between veteran winemaker Philip Zorn and longtime wine executive Brent Shortridge. It was formed in 2000 and its primary focus has been deep, full flavored reds. This wine was “Very Highly Recommended” by California Grapevine, December 2008/January 2009: “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, cedary, plumy, cassis and black cherry fruit aroma with a hint of cocoa; full body; forward, rich, textured, layered, slightly herbaceous, dark currant and ripe berry flavors with notes of green olive and sweet oak; velvety mouthfeel; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Good Value.”
2005 Esser Vineyards Zinfandel, California
Regular price 8.95; Our price 6.99
This forthcoming and delicious Zin has a slightly smoky nose of dark plum, berry, white pepper and hints of dry rose. It is smooth and rich on the palate, where black and white peppercorn, red plum and ripe cherry join some boysenberry hints and savory notes of smoke and vanilla through its lingering finish. Fun all by itself, it will be even better with pizza or barbecued ribs. Winemaker notes: A flavorful, dense zinfandel with loads of raspberry and cherry fruit, bolstered by typical leather and peppery tones, along with sweet oak accents. Delicious with poultry, and grilled red meats, semi-soft and soft-ripened cheeses
2004 Limerick Lane Zinfandel, Collins Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Regular price 23.50; Our price 19.99
In 1977, Michael Collins, his brother Tom and friend Ted Markoczy, purchased 30 acres on Limerick Lane, south of Healdsburg. After years of selling grapes, from vines dating back to 1910, to such wineries as De Loach, Chateau Souverain, Ravenswood, Davis Bynum and Gary Farrell, they built a winery on the property and crushed their first vintage in 1993. The estate produced Zinfandel began receiving awards and accolades and quickly became well known as an exemplar of the finest California Zinfandel. Food and Wine Magazine’s Wine Guide gave the wine 4 out of 4 stars and ranked it in the Top Five Best of the Best, describing it as: “Superbly balanced wine, full of cherry and raspberry flavors. This Zinfandel is lusher than most claret, but has the same sort of elegance.”
2002 Halstead Vineyards Syrah, Central Coast
Regular price 13.50; Our price 7.99
This Morgan Hill bottling reflects California’s Central Coast maritime influence wherein long cool growing seasons produce wines reflecting full flavor development balanced by age-worthy acids. The berry character of the wine is set in tandem with spice elements and continues through to the long dry finish.
2005 Limerick Lane Syrah, Collins Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Regular price 25.00; Our price 14.99
The wine has a bouquet that is floral, herbal, cedary, youthful, spicy and plumy. It is somewhat jammy and ripe with black cherry and notes of vanilla and black pepper. It is full bodied; tight, somewhat tart, herbal and peppery. Medium-full to full tannins make the wine slightly tart on the finish; but the lingering aftertaste of rich fruit and spice is purely lovely.