2015 Wakefield Estate Pinot Gris, Clare Valley, Australia

In the glass, a pale straw hue. The perfumed nose evokes memories of orchards in the Fall, laden with ripe apples and pears ready for the market or press. Crystalline minerality adds a note of complexity. The fruit flavors follow through on the palate, showing a juicy acidity with just a hint of fleshy melon to plump out the body. Bright and light, this white will pair well with Cobb salads and chicken entrees.
MSRP: $16.99 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 88

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2015 Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Clare Valley, Australia

This red presents as an opaque dark purple, with crimson hues at the rim. Eucalyptus-tinged aromas lead to scents of tobacco and tomato leaf, black berries, minerality, and milk chocolate. Good acidity stimulates the palate, and classic cassis and wood spice carry through to the finish. There, youthful, fine-grained tannins poke through. While ready to enjoy now, this wine will continue to provide drinking pleasure for seven more years. Pair it with all manner of red meats, from grilled sirloin to lamb shank.
MSRP: $16.99 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 89

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2015 Wakefield Estate Merlot, Clare Valley, Australia

The wine is an intense opaque crimson/purple in the glass. Lifted scents of red raspberry and red cherry Kool-Aid join whiffs of violets, savory herbs, vanilla, and oak spice. Noticeable medium-grained tannins and cocoa powder dominate the palate, finishing with a pleasant juicy acidity. This is a great party red, perfect for your next barbecue or mixer.
MSRP: $16.99 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 86

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2014 La Crema Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

In the glass, a shimmering, translucent ruby red color. Scents of clove spice, roast coffee, and perfumed dark flowers intermingle with fleshy plum, sharp pomegranate, and red berry fruit. It is supple upon first sip, showing youthful, earthy tannins at mid-palate. A natural juicy acidity stimulates the mouth and begs for the next sip.
A warm growing season in 2014 produced grapes fully sweet and ripe. This bottling was sourced from eight separate renowned vineyards in the Willamette Valley, leading to a fruit-laden yet complex palate presence that typifies Oregon Pinot Noir.
MSRP: $30 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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Wakefield Estate Takes the Worry Out of Serving Wine

By Glen Frederiksen

Wakefield Estates back label

Wakefield Estates back label

Those of us in the world of wine know that many factors can influence the taste and appreciation of a fine Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon. Are the grapes picked early or late? Is there residual sugar left in the finished wine? Did the wine undergo a secondary fermentation? Was it barrel aged? Is the wine flawed?

These, and many other factors, are addressed in the vineyard and in the process of vinifying grapes into wine by the winemaker.

Once it arrives in the marketplace, additional factors can affect the way a wine smells and tastes. Food pairings bring out and/or emphasize different aromas and flavors in wine. The glassware used to serve that wine can alter our perception of it.

Lastly, the temperature a wine is served at can make a big difference. Too cold, and wines close down the fruit components and over-emphasize wood treatments and natural acidity. Too warm, and a wine can become “blowsy,” with the alcohol in the wine becoming too prominent.

So, what is the right temperature? Restaurants would have you believe that all whites and sparkling wine bottles should be doused in a bucket of ice water, while all reds should be served at room temperature.

It really isn’t that easy. Buttery, oaked Chardonnays need more warmth than Champagne or steel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc. Rosés could use a bit of a chill. And full-bodied reds tend to be best at a cool room temperature of around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit – try finding that in a restaurant in America.

So, what is the answer? Wakefield Estate winery of Clare Valley in Australia has devised a full-proof way of knowing when a wine is at its peak temperature for serving. Besides prominently displaying a tag listing the correct temperature on each bottle (many wineries do this), they have gone the extra mile and included a temperature-sensitive strip that shows when a bottle of wine has reached its optimal temperature for serving. It is on the back of every bottle they now produce, and is a handy way of knowing when to pop the cork (or unscrew the cap) and pour a glass.

Wakefield Estate wines are available in the wine marketplace world-wide. To see our reviews of the latest bottlings, click the link here.

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2015 Wakefield Estate Shiraz, Clare Valley

A deep purple/crimson in the glass. Initial scents of menthol and eucalyptus lead to deeper aromas and flavors of blackberries, pectin, earth, fleshy black plum, black licorice, and a note of cocoa powder. Medium-full in body, with sweet, dusty tannins and a supple mouthfeel. This is a solid, everyday red, well-suited to lamb chops on the barbecue. A value vino.
MSRP: $16.99 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 88

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2014 Carmel Road Unoaked Chardonnay, Monterey

Medium straw color in the glass. While Chardonnay is still the white wine of choice in restaurants and the marketplace, not everyone wants a glassful of butter, spice and cream every time. Unoaked Chardonnays let the fruit shine through. In this offering, scents of tropical fruits and citrus lead to juicy fruit flavors with a note of chalky minerality. This white is medium-bodied, with some juiciness at the finish. Try it with bistro fare, like a warm chicken salad.
MSRP: $22 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 87

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2015 Barrymore by Carmel Road Pinot Grigio, California

Pinot Grigio – it’s not just from Italy anymore. Movie star Drew Barrymore is a fan of this crisp white wine, and has partnered with Carmel Road winery to produce a delicious rendition. A mélange of aromas and flavors delight the senses – perfumed honeydew, lemon curd, banana, and apple fruit join together with a thin thread of minerality and juicy acidity that make this a delightful bistro wine or poolside sipper. True to its California origin, there is more upfront fruit and palate presence than is usually found in its weaker Italian sisters. Enjoy this at your next soiree, and watch the crowd come alive.
MSRP: $18 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 89

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2014 La Crema Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

The wine sparkles with a deep, golden straw color in the glass. Lush scents of buttered, spiced apple, citrus, and fleshy tropical fruits provide a pleasant preamble for the palate-pleasing flavors unleashed upon first sip. Juicy and mouth-watering layers of butter, baking spices, cream, oak, ripe apple, pear, mango, Meyer lemon, and jack fruit follow through to the lip-smacking finish.
Winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas has elevated the Russian River Valley bottling to the next level. It easily holds its own against the much more expensive RRV renderings found in the marketplace.
MSRP: $30 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 92

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2014 MacPhail Chardonnay, Pratt Vineyard, Vine Hill Road, Russian River Valley

There is a sense of depth to the deep straw color in the glass. Enticing aromas of butter-tinged vanilla, lemon curd, and peach waft from the glass, already knitting together nicely. Wisps of smoke and fennel poke through with a bit more aeration. This is a mouth-filling white, sporting an oily viscosity, yet the juicy acidity keeps it all in a neat balance. The juiciness, and buttery fruit lingers at the end. This is a very refined rendering of Chardonnay, showing a more balanced approach than the usual butter bombs. Utterly delicious.
MSRP: $45 (September 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 93

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