Sizzling Summer Selections

August 2018
Written By: 
James Ginley

Enjoy these 90+ point wines in the 90+ degree weather

Gruet Blanc de Noirs American Sparkling Wine N/V
Albuquerque, New Mexico $19

A French Champagne house since 1952, Gruet came to California and produced its first vintage in 1989. Pale salmon in color with varied aromas and flavors of raspberry, pear and cherry with a hint of toasted vanilla. Balanced palate with crisp acidity and lasting finish. Perfect for cheeses, lighter dishes and desserts. A blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. Rated 90 points, a Best Buy and a Top 100 by Wine Spectator.

Sauvion Sancerre 2016
Loire Valley, France $23

Many wine drinkers feel Sancerre is the epitome of the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Not as pronounced as New Zealand or Napa versions, but a wine with concentrated fruit and finesse. This one is full of juicy lemon and grapefruit notes on the nose and in the mouth. Finish is long and zesty. This pairs well with almost all seafood. Rated 92 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Charles Krug Carneros Chardonnay 2015
St. Helena, California $16

This winery was founded in 1861, with C. K. Mondavi taking control in 1943. A delightful example of a carefully vinted California Chardonnay, with peach and other stone fruit aromas. Mouthfeel is zesty but rich. Medium to full-bodied, with tropical fruit notes and flowers. Fans will enjoy this intense Chard with seasoned and saucy chicken and fish dishes. Drinks like a $30 bottle and rated 90 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Duboeuf Fleurie Beaujolais 2015
Beaujolais, France $16

One of the 10 Cru Beaujolais, Fleurie is meant to be enjoyed with lighter fare and will complement apps, salads and pastas. It brims with aromas of blackberries, scented flowers and a bit of earthiness for a unique bouquet. Medium to full-bodied, silky tannins add to the long finish. This wine was rated 93 points by James Suckling, former writer for Wine Spectator.

The Prisoner Wine Company Thorn Merlot 2013
Napa Valley, California $38

You can enjoy a slightly-chilled Merlot this summer, which is not as heavy as a Cab. But this one is a full-blown fruit bomb offering a ripe and rich blend of black currant, cocoa aromas and cherry and chocolate flavor notes, creating a complex profile with balanced tannins. Grilled beef will pair just right with Thorn for a memorable meal. Rated 91 points by Wine Spectator.