Already the warmer venues in the Northern Hemisphere are picking grapes for the 2022 harvest – a time always mixed with hope and anxiety regardless of the size and potential quality of the new vintage.
So let’s toast the new year with wines from recent ones, wines from around the world, and from white to rosé to red to sparkling to fortified aromatics.
As a friend from the Carolinas says, “Cheers, y’all.”
2020 Tommasi “Le Fornaci” Lugana White Wine ($19). Nice fruitiness – apple and cherry – full-bodied with a hint of minerality and a crisp finish.
2021 Dog Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($22). Moderately grassy with a nice depth of flavors and textures.
2020 Symington Quinta da Fonte Souto Alentejo Branco ($26). A delightful and disciplined wine with golden flavors of peach and nectarine but with a balancing metallic minerality, making it very versatile at the table.
2020 Murrieta’s Well “The Whip” Livermore Valley White Wine Blend ($30). An interesting blend of Sauvignon Blanc’s green fruitiness and more floral flavors from the other grapes.
2021 Murrieta’s Well “Mel Vineyard” Livermore Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($50). Very enjoyable – lush and creamy without being sweet and with nice finishing bitters at the edges.
2019 Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Grand Brut Rosé ($55). Light creamy strawberry and cherry fruit with a lightly tangy finish and a hint of yeasty bread flavors.
2021 Hampton Water Languedoc Rosé ($20). Languedoc is sort of the New Jersey of France, so it made sense that two Jersey guys – Bon Jovi pere and Bongiovi fils – went there to make a rosé with Gérard Bertrand. It is orangish in flavor with good acidity but a little heavy around the middle.
2021 Murrieta’s Well Livermore Valley Rosé ($30). Quite enjoyable, with orange flavors and a metallic minerality.
2020 Veramonte Pinot Noir Reserva ($10). Some SO2 on opening that blows off after a while – lean, but the fruit doesn’t taste a lot like Pinot.
2019 Veramonte Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva ($12). Ripe blackberry flavors, some brambles, and a crisp finish.
2019 Murrieta’s Well Livermore Valley Cabernet Franc ($64). On the lean side, it’s a good but not exciting Franc with nice black raspberry flavors and integrated barrel notes.
NV Vara “Vermut” Seco New Mexico Vermouth ($12), Fragrant aromas and flavors with a good bitters finish – blend it in cocktails or serve straight over ice.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.
Feature photo is courtesy of Symington.