The Engaging New Releases from sidebar cellars
sidebar cellars 2018 Kerner Mokelumne River 14.1%
The 2018 incarnation of David Ramey’s Kerner is more laid-back than the first vintage I tasted, the 2017. The aromas are noticeably quieter, giving it less of a Kerner definition but no less of a tasty and still aromatic white wine-ness. The palate, however, remains very Kerner. It's soft-sided with a plump mid-palate boosted by gentle viscosity and balanced by lifting acidity. What's here is a spicy, cracked white pepper nose amplified with sweet pear core and Pink Lady Apple. Its finish fades quickly, but its sheer drinkability and pure fruit flavors will win over scores of wine lovers. This wine hails from the only Kerner planting in California.
sidebar cellars 2016 Zinfandel Old Vine Russian River Valley 14.5%
Plumped with spicy fruits, this wine is gregarious on the nose. It smells of brambles and blueberries swabbed with coconut and exotic spices. It sits just at the verge of full-bodied, seeming more medium in body thanks to its zippy acidity. The caressing tannins make this a thoroughly drinkable wine, yet give it enough grip to work very well at the table. It's hard not to love the combo of sumptuousness and structure here! Hailing from the century-old Alegria Vineyard, this is actually a field blend and includes about 10% Alicante, 10% Petite Sirah and 2% of a dozen (!) other varieties.