2015 La Crema Pinot Gris, Monterey

La Crema winery has been on a tear as of late. The 2013 and 2014 vintages were uniformly outstanding. It looks like the 2015 vintage will continue their hot streak.
This wine shows a brilliant pale straw color in the glass. The alluring nose seduces, with perfumed scents of honeysuckle, ripe nectarine, green melon, and citrus. It’s fresh and juicy in the mouth, showing a lemony acidity that stimulates the salivary glands. Like a cool breeze in July, the fresh fruit finish delivers plenty of pleasure. This is the perfect summer sipper/aperitif/party wine. Outstanding value.
MSRP: $20 (July 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2013 Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Opaque dark crimson color. At first swirl and sniff, aromas of black fruits, a pinch of green herbs, and earthy woodspice lead to a mouthful of black berry fruit. Medium-full in body, the tannins are fine-grained and unobtrusive. The finish is fruit-driven, with after notes of chocolate and black licorice.
MSRP: $15 (July 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 87

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2013 Murphy-Goode Merlot, California

Nearly opaque dark garnet hue. The bright nose shows ample fresh blueberry and blackberry fruit, with shadings of oak spice and vanilla. It sports a medium body. After mid-palate, drying tannins pop up that lead to a juicy finish. This is a simple, everyday red, well-suited for bistro fare or hamburgers on the grill.
MSRP: $15 (July 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 85

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2013 Murphy-Goode ‘Liar’s Dice’ Zinfandel, Sonoma County

Nearly opaque ruby color. Jammy scents of apple pectin, raspberry and blackberry fruit, a dash of black pepper, and oak spice notes are pleasant and inviting. This red is full and thick in the mouth, with no sign of heat despite the 15.4% alcohol listed on the label. Smooth all the way through to the juicy berry and fruit finish. A classic pairing for the baby back ribs slathered with sweet barbecue sauce everyone will be slow grilling this summer.
MSRP: $21 (July 2016)
Wine lines rating: 89

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2013 Edmeades Petite Sirah, Mendocino County

A dense, pitch-black color in the glass. Smoke-tinged scents evoking charred oak, tobacco, and burnt chocolate lead to ample blueberry and blackberry fruit. Youthful, fine-grained tannins coat the palate but are not drying. This is a solid example of the powerful Petite Sirahs that come from Mendocino County. Pair with strong cheeses and rustic meats.
MSRP: $35 (June 2016)
Wine lines rating: 89

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2013 Edmeades Folly, Mendocino County

This red blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, and Petite Sirah has the moniker ‘Folly,’ a nod to winery founder Dr. Edmeades. When he first planted vines in the Anderson Valley in 1963, people thought he was crazy – so he dubbed his first vineyard “Edmeade’s Folly.” This field-style blend is a tribute to his legacy.
It is nearly opaque in the glass, with a reddish-purple color. Ample aromas of black and blue fruits, Christmas spice, minerals, soapy mesquite and tar lead to similar flavors. Juicy in the mouth, it seems to have a lighter body than the stated 15.5% alcohol would suggest. A dusting of cocoa powder at the end completes the flavor profile. Enjoy now with game meats and lamb.
MSRP: $26 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 87

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2013 Dry Creek Vineyard ‘Endeavor’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley

Primarily known for producing delicious, immediately accessible reds and whites, Dry Creek Vineyard’s special Cabernet Sauvignon bottling is crafted to rival the best Bordeaux varietal reds hailing from California’s North Coast.
One glance at this glass-staining, opaque, purple-black elixir and you know this is going to be a wine of great concentration. The seductive nose continues the promise of the deep color, delivering rich scents crammed full with layered black cherry and plum Christmas fruits, all cloaked with spicy cedar and boot polish notes from French oak. In the mouth, opulent black and blue fruits fulfill the promise. This is still a youthful wine, with furry, fine-grained tannins that coat the palate and suggest a long life ahead. You can enjoy this now, splash decanted an hour ahead and paired paired with a fine steak. Better yet, cellar this red several years to savor more mature, claret-like expressions of the grape.
MSRP: $70 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 92

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2015 Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc, Sonoma County

For over four decades, Dry Creek Vineyard has produced a Fumé Blanc bottling – one of only a handful of California wineries that can claim such a long track record with the Sauvignon Blanc varietal. The use of the term Fumé, first coined in America by Mondavi in 1968, is a nod to the style of Sauvignon Blanc produced in the Loire Valley of France. Crisper, less ripe and alcoholic, it is a perfect foil for fresh oysters on the half shell.
Light straw in color, this white offers up a mélange of lime, tangerine, lemon, banana apple, peach, crystal minerality, and a light dusting of marshmallow. There is an initial sense of creaminess upon first sip, followed by an explosion of salivating juiciness spreads across the palate.
This humble, inexpensive white is a textbook example of the Fumé Blanc style, ready to serve as an aperitif or paired with freshly shucked oysters. A Value Vino.
MSRP: $14 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 89

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2014 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Musque, Taylor’s Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

Brilliant light straw color. Initial scents of varietal pea pod, grass and herbs lead to sweet floral impressions, followed by white pepper, tangerine, and peach. The Musque Clone is a type of Sauvignon Blanc, and here it has undergone 100% stainless steel fermentation to preserve the delicate, complex aromatics. Despite this, it has a pleasing plumpness in the mouth and a juicy acidity. Delightful as a sipper, or pair with lighter summer fare and white meat dishes.
MSRP: $28 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2014 Dry Creek Vineyard Block 10 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

In the glass, a brilliant, deep straw color. With a swirl and a sniff, the nose transports the taster to a time 25 years in the past – a happy time, when winemakers delivered pleasing Chardonnays full of baked apple pie aromas (complete with buttery crust). Full, long, and palate-coating, this wine finishes with a big, wet kiss of buttered apples and baking spices. This is the archetypal profile of Chardonnay that made California famous, and with good reason.
MSRP: $30 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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