What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 2

If you only know Seghesio for its Zinfandel wines, summer is the perfect time to try its Vermentino.
If you only know Seghesio for its Zinfandel wines, summer is the perfect time to try its Vermentino.

2018 Seghesio Family Vineyards Vermentino

I’ve long been a fan of Seghesio Family Vineyards’ Zinfandel wines, so elegant and concentrated in deep berry flavors with often a back note of cocoa.

In 2008, it started planting more Italian white varietals in its Russian River vineyards, including Vermentino, a grape that traditionally grows near the Ligurian Sea.

I had a chance to try a sample bottle of the 2018 release ($24), which garnered 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.

It’s aged 7 months on French oak. You taste the woody oak, but not overwhelmingly so like a butter-bomb Chardonnay. Instead, this is a refreshingly crisp sip with the toastiness balanced by good acidity. There’s the lovely presence of melon, lemon, pear, and white flowers.

Cheers: If you like Sauvignon Blanc, this will be right up your alley, but with a more expansive profile. Open a bottle to enjoy with grilled fish, a honeydew-cucumber salad, burrata with peaches or a light, creamy pasta.

2019 Bread & Butter Wines

Like its fun moniker, Bread & Butter makes wines that are meant to be everyday accessible. So much so that the two sample bottles that I enjoyed even come with screw caps.

The Napa Valley winemaker’s Rosé ($15.99) and Sauvignon Blanc ($14.99) are both easy-breezy wines.

Easy to enjoy, Bread & Butter wines.
Easy to enjoy, Bread & Butter wines.

The rosé, a blend of unoaked Grenache and Barbera, is redolent of strawberries, raspberries, and rose petals, and boasts lively acidity. Pick up some takeout Chinese or Thai food, and pour a glass to get the weekend started.

The Sauvignon Blanc has a green fragrance, and the crisp, racy taste of lemon, pineapple and lime. Enjoy with simple seafood, a goat cheese salad or a falafel sandwich.

Cheers: These carefree wines hit the spot when you just want to kick-back without a thought in the world — and not spend a whole lot to do so.

2019 Aperture Chenin Blanc

If you’re up in the Healdsburg area anytime soon, be sure to check out the new Aperture Cellars. (And yes, you can make reservations to enjoy its wines oudoors now.) Designed by Signum Architecture, this sleek, modern winery was built to look like the aperture of a camera in a nod to winemaker Jesse Katz’s father, photographer Andy Katz.

A new release from Aperture Cellars, from its new winery.
A new release from Aperture Cellars, from its new winery.

The 2019 Chenin Blanc, of which I received a sample bottle, is one of the first wines made in the new facility. This will get your taste buds going with its peppy apple, quince, and pineapple notes, along with high acidity and plenty of minerality.

It’s a great accompaniment to roast chicken, chicken pot pie, corn on the cob, pork chops with roasted apples, Asian noodles, and turkey burgers.

Cheers: I don’t think Chenin Blanc often gets its proper due in our Chardonnay-loving society. If you haven’t tried this varietal or sipped any in a long time, Aperture’s is a wonderful way to acquaint or reacquaint yourself with this classic Loire Valley grape.

More: What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 1

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