2012 Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio, Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Italy ($15)
The name means ‘naked moon’ in Italian and refers to clear northern Italian nights with a bright moon signifying ideal conditions for growing grapes. Hailing from the Alto Adige and Trentino regions at the foothills of the Dolomite range where cool nights reign, you can almost taste the crisp mountain air in this zesty white.
2011 Clos Du Val Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley, California ($25)
Clos Du Val is a classic Napa winery with a rich 40-year history. Winemaker Kristy Melton, at the vinous helm since 2012, is known for her deft touch. This Chardonnay expresses the elegance of its Carneros roots and is balanced with integrated oak, succulent fruit notes, and luscious yet vibrant texture.
2012 Reata “Three County” Pinot Noir, California ($35)
Reata comes from the Spanish word for lariat and symbolizes the uniqueness of each handcrafted wine in their portfolio. This Pinot Noir is a powerful blend of grapes from three California counties, Sonoma, Monterey and San Benito. The aromas are reminiscent of dark berry fruit with a hint of vanilla and spice. Tannins are well balanced and smooth giving the wine an overall silky texture. It’s class in a glass.
2011 Jamieson Ranch “Double Lariat” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California ($55)
You might expect to pay twice the price for a cellar-worthy, classy Napa Cabernet such as this one. The Double Lariat is powerful and structured but already drinking as smooth as silk. Both fermented and aged in barrel to allow for more complexity, aromas of cocoa and brown spices pair with rich, dark berry fruit notes and supple tannins, which give layers of lushness to the wine. Drink with simple grilled steak for a perfect pairing (just make sure to decant several hours ahead of time).