It's another mixed bag of goodies this week with some real winners.
2010 Novelty Hill Merlot Columbia Valley $20
About a year ago I picked up a case of the stuff for a party. A lot was left over and little by little I began sampling through it. I have always thought it was fine - good, but not noteworthy. But now it has come into its own. This wine is drinking like a serious heavyweight contender; broad-shouldered, with the structure of a top class Cabernet, but still true, dense, solid-core Merlot fruit. An attention commanding wine. Very enjoyable. Alas, it was my last bottle. Keep your eyes peeled for more on the shelves out there.
2013 Macphail Rosé of Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast $22 (Sample)
Two things immediately stand out about this wine from the first taste: first, you know this is made from Pinot Noir. Second, you've never had a rosé like this before. Soft and round on the approach, it eases into a long mid-palate with comforting flavors of slightly smoked Pinot Noir fruit before developing into a pleasing, long finish. Unusual and alluring. To be clear, this is not your garden variety, dainty luncheon rose - no, no. This is a hairy balls, drink while camping with your buddies rosé. Yeah, you read that right. The winemaker's passion for this bottling shines through with clarity.
2010 Garafoli Piancarda Rosso Conero Marche $18
This wine has been reviewed here before, but it deserves another mention because if there is a more seductive Italian red for the money, I am unaware of it.
2013 William Hill Sauvignon Blanc Central Coast $14 (Sample)This is what California Sauvignon Blanc used to be known for: bright, refreshing, and bursting with fresh-cut grass and Granny Smith apple flavors. This one also has a slight tartness to round out the acidic thread, which pleasantly balances for the whole package. A real gulper. 2012 William Hill Merlot Central Coast $14 (Sample)Benefiting from a little time decanted, this is as advertised: Merlot from the Central Coast. Textbook Merlot fruit, simple framing. On its own it fizzles, but give it some grilled chicken and it'll pop for you.