Wines We’ve Loved!

Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks


As we start the transition from winter to spring we’re enjoying wines that are a bit lighter, more white wines are creeping into the mix, and tannin is being replaced by acid as the driving force behind many of these wines. Next month's line-up is certain to be quite different but the slow slide into spring makes this an exciting time for wine!

Having said all that, we’ve got a round up of primarily red wines this month from our favorite wine writers, and skewed rather distinctly towards Burgundy at that! it’s been quite the month for our wine lovers out there. How about for you? What was your favorite wine of the past month? Leave a comment and let us know!

Madeline Puckette

Favorite wine of the past month: 
Washington makes great Syrah and Merlot, but their Chardonnay never meets the bar. Well, at least not until I tasted the new Chardonnay label Ashan (meaning 'smoke' in Arabic) by winemaker Chris Gorman.  They are bold and rich, like eating a pineapple upsidedown cake, but still maintain excellent acidity.  I think what sets them apart from the usual is that he is using a wild yeast fermentation so they have all these other nuanced flavors of spice and lemon curd.  In short, they taste much more expensive than their $45 release price.   Also, he prints incredible geeky facts about the wine on the back label such as vine spacing, oak barrels used and terroir. 
Madeline Puckett 


Bob Fyke

Here is an excellent example of the complexity and beauty that can develop in a Vin Nobile that has had time in the bottle. The nose starts with solid dark fruit, blackberry and dark cherry, with pretty dried herbs, tobacco, and some mint coffee notes. The palate is soft textured and complex with dusty black cherry skins, eucalyptus, pine, underbrush, organic Earth, and a touch of milk chocolate. Clean and fresh in character, with a long finish of mouth coating fine tannins and tobacco. 90% Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese) 10% Merlot.
Bob Fyke


Dezel Quillen

Over the past month, I’ve had a number of delicious red, white, and sparkling wines, but this beautiful amber colored bottle of Höpler 2009 Pinot Noir Eiswein (SRP $69 / 375ml) gets my vote. Following a wine tasting and dinner with friends, this Austrian sweet-treat was the star of the show. In the glass, this wine offers enticing aromas and flavors of dried apricot, figs, tangerine peel, candied brown sugar, and honeycomb. The palate is unctuously textured with good depth of fruit, flavor intensity, and length. Fine supporting acidity provides plenty of balance to the richness and lifts the finish. Save the cake or pie for another day -- this lip-smacking, mouth-filling sipper is a dessert within and of itself that I believe you will enjoy! Region: Burgenland, Austria. (Other info: ABV 11.5%, vinified in stainless steel tanks, cork enclosure.)

Dezel Quillen

Mary Cressler

Favorite wine of the past month
My favorite wine from the past month isn’t one that you’re likely to find at your local wine shop. It was one I bought on my honeymoon in Burgundy several years ago – a 2004 Guillaume Roy, Aux Fourneaux, Savigny-lès-Beaune Premier Cru, purchased from a small producer located in the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges.
The wine initially revealed some funky earth, spice, and anise aromas.  But after it started opening up it got rich and minerally and became more beautiful with every sniff.  As it continued to open in the glass it had an amazing savoriness along with deep fruit aromas, dusty earth, and was remarkably fresh and balanced.  It was downright mouthwateringly delicious.
This is the kind of wine that makes you understand why folks swoon over good Burgundy.  The wine went through an incredible journey to get from France to my home (including being lost for a full month). I share that story, and also what made me cry over Dijon mustard in this piece:
Mary Cressler

Jameson Fink

Favorite wine of the past month
This is some really insufferable bragging but on a recent Burgundy trip I got to drink a 2002 DRC Romanee-St-Vivant Marey-Monge. It met and exceeded my lofty, unreasonable expectations. For a more realistic bottle of Burgundy with a DRC connection, I thoroughly enjoyed a lovely Domaine A et P Villaine from the Cote Chalonnaise.
Jameson Fink


Richard Jennings

My favorite wine of this year’s La Paulée de San Francisco Burgundy event in March was 2006 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays. It was poured at what’s called the Vertical Tasting, where top Burgundy producers offer three vintages each of one of their signature wines. Winemaker Thierry Brouin poured the 2010, 2006 and 2003. All three were delicious, possessing long finishes one expects from a Burgundy grand cru. The 2006, however, was particularly elegant.  
Here’s the note: Light red color with pale meniscus; aromatic, dried roses, cranberry, very tart cherry nose; delicious, elegant, tart cherry, tart raspberry, mineral, roses palate; long finish 95+ points
Richard Jennings

Clifford Brown

Favorite wine of the past month
The wine is a deep, dark, opaque purple color.  The nose is absolutely stunning on this wine, it's full of brambly berries, warm baking spices, licorice, minerals, roasted herbs, dried wild flowers, plums, well worn leather and freshly cracked black peppercorns.  This has a full body, moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this is balanced, dense, rich and full of layers that slowly fade so the next one can take over.  The flavor profile is loaded on this wine with a very nice mixture of fruit and savory elements.  The finish is very long and again full of flavor.  There are absolutely no rough edges or over powering elements on this wine.  It is drinking wonderfully today and will continue to do so for a few more years.  Stunning!  (95 pts)
Cliff Brown

Susannah Gold

This wine from Benanti, Pietramarina Sup. D.O.C. 2009 from Mount Etna (Sicily) is made from vineyards located at 950 meters above sea level. The climate in this area is mixed with considerable rain and humidity and temperature changes throughout the day. The soil is a combination of sand and volcanic rock, rich in minerals. The grape variety used to make this wine is Carricante 100%. The vines are bush trained. They plant at high density with 9,000 vines per hectare. Fermentation takes places in steel tanks at a temperature of 18-20°Celsius. This was a beautiful wine with a rich bouquet of flowers and fruits. On the palate it showed great acidity, minerality and the same aromas that were in evidence on the nose. It also had notes of bitter almond. 
Susannah Gold
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  • It is hard to choose just one, but if you like dessert wine and you have never had a bottle of Dolce, do yourself a favor and plop down the $50-75 bucks and buy a bottle. This is one of the few wines I have had that rival the great Sauternes (not including Yquem--let's not fall too far into hyperbole). Near perfect balance--great acidity, fruit and just the right amount of sweetness. Outstanding.

    Apr 09, 2014 at 1:54 PM

  • Have you ever done a review on Red Mare Wine? Their Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc are amazing. I haven't tried their Chardonnay yet.

    Apr 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM

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