Monday, January 1, 2024

3 California Wines To Consider

     A built-in-the-round wine cellar was one of our first projects when we moved to San Diego

In 2009 when we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego County we moved >2,000 bottles of wine down in a large, refrigerated truck.  Today our cellar has about 50% of what we transported to San Diego, and our wine purchases have slowed to a drip as we add more birthdays.  Five years ago my husband and I went on a moratorium for wine buying….my husband thought this meant “more” wine, however, after a serious talk regarding our ages we agreed that our serious wine buying days were over.   Today we rarely buy cases of wine, however, this article discusses three stellar case exceptions that were added to our cellar in 2023.

      Santa Rita Hills are the only east to west hills in Cali, thus allow the cooling influence of the sea


Santa Barbara County is making some great wines, however, Brewer Clifton (BC) produces some phenomenal wines.  Two of our three cases from 2023 came from BC.  Greg Brewer, named Winemaker of the Year in 2021, is the owner & winemaker and we were fortunate to have him meet us for a tasting.   The first case we purchased was the stunning Perilune Chardonnay sourced from fruit in the coveted Perilune vineyard of the Santa Rita Hills.   This is a limited production wine, but I can say that my love for it was limitless.  $80 bucks a bottle and worth every penny in my opinion, it’s only available at the winery (however, they ship).

The second of our year’s few cases purchased was Brewer Clifton’s Machado Vineyard Pinot Noir.  Our cellar has an enormous amount of Pinot Noir from Burgundy and California so the fact that we walked out with 12 more bottles of this variety is testimony to the quality of this wine.  After the tasting I discovered it had been given a score of 97 by a serious wine critic.  Personally, I would even rate it higher:  $90 per bottle of pure hedonistic pleasure.

       Beringer Winery, one of Napa Valley's architectural masterpieces, also makes masterful wines

Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2021

The last wine we purchased recently we learned of at a private autumn several-course dinner at a restaurant in San Diego where each course was paired with a different wine.   The wine distributor for the portfolio of terrific wines was present and discussed each wine.  Beringer’s Private Reserve Char was the first out of the gate and was paired with crab cakes.  Our table was the first poured of the 50 persons present, so we were able to enjoy the Char both as an aperitif and a small refill with the crab cakes.  There were 4 other great wines presented that evening but I couldn’t keep thinking about the first.  The next day I ordered a case.  I wasn’t surprised to learn that the Wine Spectator’s James Suckling had given it score of 98.  This Char has a great QP/R at $37 per bottle and is available at Total Wine.

Cheers to a healthy 2024 filled with some memorable wines!






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