10 stel­lar wines


Upscale Living Magazine - - Wines - By JARONE ASHKE­NAZI

Where do you go when you need a nice bot­tle that go easy on your wal­let but overde­liver on price and still wow your guests? The wine cho­sen to pair with a nice hosted din­ner with friends can make or break any evening. Hosts want to choose some­thing nice but not too pre­ten­tious, taste­ful but not over­pow­er­ing. Since most of us don’t have pro­fes­sional som­me­liers as friends to act as de­ci­sion mak­ers, here are some 10 great wines un­der $100 that over-de­liver on their price point and share some of the same as­pects of much more ex­pen­sive bot­tles.

Fort Ross Vine­yard 2014 Stage­coach Road Pinot Noir - $80.00

From the Fort Ross Vine­yard in the Fort RossSeav­iew ap­pel­la­tion, Sonoma Coast, the 2014 Stage­coach Road Pinot Noir comes from grapes grown in the vine­yard blocks clos­est to the ocean with some of the dark­est soils on the es­tate. The wine ages 10 months in 20% new and 80% neu­tral French oak, giv­ing it great depth of fla­vor. This Pinot Noir has a deca­dent gar­net hue with en­tic­ing aro­mas of black rasp­berry, black tea and lay­ers of plum and spice char­ac­ter that fin­ish with a mouth­wa­ter­ing acid­ity | (credit: For Ross Vine­yard)

Clos Pe­gase 2016 Hom­mage Chardon­nay, Carneros - $45.00

The Clos Pe­gase 2016 Hom­mage Chardon­nay comes from the es­tate vine­yard in Carneros, a re­gion renowned for fine Chardon­nay. It spends nine months ag­ing sur lie in 30% new French oak bar­rels. With only 500 cases pro­duced, this Chardon­nay has has no­table com­plex­ity and rich­ness, show­ing hints of but­ter­scotch and honey­suckle along with ripe melon and Meyer lemon fla­vors. Beau­ti­fully crisp acid­ity main­tains a nice fla­vor bal­ance in the wine | (credit: Clos Pe­gase)

Brunello di Mon­tal­cino - $34.99

The 2013 dry red still wine is from the es­tate vine­yards on the south­ern hills of Mon­tal­cino which are grown from stony, cal­care­ous and well-struc­tured soil at an al­ti­tude of 720 feet above sea level. The wine is aged for a min­i­mum

of four years, in­clud­ing two years in oak bar­rels and pro­vide full, soft and vel­vety tast­ing notes with traces of spice. With aro­mas of vi­o­lets and vanilla, with hints of licorice and sup­ple tan­nis and good acid­ity, the Brunello di Mon­tal­cino is per­fect with red meats, wild game and aged cheeses | (credit: Banfi Vint­ners)

90+ Cel­lars Lot 26 Barolo, Pied­mont, Italy - $34.99

Of­ten called the “King of Wines,” Barolo is made from Neb­bi­olo grapes grown in vine­yards south of Alba, in the Pied­mont re­gion of Italy. Made by a small fam­ily win­ery the wine gives guest a gen­er­ously long fin­ish and can be cel­lared for decades. At 14.5% al­co­hol con­tent, the lean but pow­er­ful wine pro­duces aro­mas that in­cludes cher­ries, rose pe­tals, cin­na­mon and hints of leather | (credit: Cour­tesy of 90+ Cel­lars)

2017 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir - $60.00

Of­fer­ing a hall­mark style of bal­anced in­ten­sity is the 2017 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, a lim­ited sig­na­ture ap­pel­la­tion bot­tling and part of San­gia­como’s in­au­gu­ral se­ries of pre­mium wines. Sourced from 40% Roberts Road, 40% Fedrick and 20% Amaral Vine­yards, three of the fam­ily’s col­lec­tion of four­teen fruit­ful vine­yards, the wine is bar­rel aged in 35% new oak, medium toast. Full of ripe, juicy berries and a bou­quet of fresh vi­o­lets and tea leaves on the nose, the fla­vors of straw­berry jam, cran­berry and rhubarb dance

with a min­gling of vanilla and Asian five-spice. Medium-bod­ied, this deep ruby wine is firmly struc­tured with re­fined tan­nins | (credit: Mike Pucci)

Cake­bread Cel­lars 2015 Chardon­nay Re­serve $56.00

Cake­bread Cel­lars has over 40 har­vests un­der their belt, pro­duc­ing iconic wines like the Cake­bread Cel­lars 2014 Chardon­nay Re­serve, which can be en­joyed now but will gain fur­ther com­plex­ity with an­other five-to-seven years of ag­ing. The light and fresh wine fea­tures notes of creamy aro­mas of golden ap­ple and Asian pear, through a long, min­eral-tinged fin­ish. From Carneros, Napa Val­ley, the 14.3% al­co­hol by vol­ume wine is made from 100% Chardon­nay grapes | (credit: Cake­bread Cel­lars)

Mul­lan Road Cel­lars’ 2015 Red Wine Blend - $45.00

Founded in 2012 by Den­nis Cake­bread, Mul­lan Road Cel­lars is helmed by Aryn Mor­rell who cr­rafted the Mul­lan Road Cel­lars’ Red Wine Blend from grapes from low-yield­ing vine­yards in the Columbia Val­ley, in­clud­ing the famed Seven Hills Vine­yard, as well as Still­wa­ter Creek Vine­yard and the Corfu Cross­ing Vine­yard out­side Royal City. This Bordeaux-style blend is ex­tremely well-bal­anced and has notes of ripe berry fruit and licorice, with a hint of smoke and resin, and has a long, el­e­gant fin­ish | (credit: Mul­lan Road Cel­lars)

2014 Cadaretta Windthrow - $50.00

The Cadaretta Windthrow is a red blend of Rhone va­ri­etals (76% Syrah, 15% Mourvè­dre and 9% Gre­nache) from Cadaretta Win­ery based in Walla Walla, WA. The re­serve-qual­ity Rhone-va­ri­etal blend made from the top bar­rels of the vin­tage is soured from six dif­fer­ent grape sources and ex­presses a per­fumed nose of vi­o­lets, boy­sen­berry, vanilla, anise and to­bacco leaf that of­fers a soft mouth­feel with more boy­sen­berry, vi­o­let, anise, black cherry, and vanilla has an added veni­son note. The soft and del­i­cate wine had only 259 cases pro­duced | (credit: Karen Adair (DG Creative Brand­ing, Inc.)

Chi­anti Clas­sico ‘Vigna Vec­chia’ Gran Selezione D.O.C.G - $55.00

Mon­te­fili wines is lo­cated at a his­toric azienda in the heart of Chi­anti and pro­duces its Chi­anti Clas­sico ‘Vigna Vec­chia’ Gran Selezione D.O.C.G from a sin­gle vine­yard 500m above sea level. On the hilly ter­rain with Gale­stro and Al­berese soil, the wine is made from 100% San­giovese grapes and is aged 26 months in ro­ta­tion be­tween in large oak (30hL) and smaller bar­rels (10hL). Its depth of fla­vor which in­clude notes of graphite, black­berry and cherry in ad­di­tion to a mus­cu­lar back­bone al­lows this wine to age grace­fully into 2040 | (credit: Vec­chie Terre di Mon­te­fili)

Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva Rioja 2010 - $69.67

With a Parker rat­ing of 97, the Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva Rioja is a palate-pleaser that can be en­joyed im­me­di­ately, or af­ter it has got­ten even bet­ter with age. Made from a va­ri­etal of 80% Tem­pranillo, 20% Gar­nacha, Mazuelo and Gra­ciano, this wine is aged 16 months in Amer­i­can oak vats and 36 months in French oak casks. From Rioja, Spain, this blackcherry col­ored wine pro­duces notes of cin­na­mon, cedar­wood and vanilla, fol­low­ing a first im­pres­sion of rich black­berry. Avail­able now at Wired­forWine.com | (credit: Wired for Wine)

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