Sensational Sips, Part II

The 2021 Band of Vintners Cab.
The 2021 Band of Vintners Cab.

2021 Band of Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon

First off, you have to love the playful name of this winery.

Second, it boasts an impressive pedigree: It’s owned by a Master Sommelier, who worked at the French Laundry.

Third, it’s a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that sells for a relatively bargain price — $39.

That’s what you get with the 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon from Band of Vintners, owned by Desmond Echavarrie. He is the founder of St. Helena’s Scale Wine Group, a portfolio of 26 boutique wine brands, including Band of Vintners.

This rich and robust Napa Valley wine, of which I received a sample, is 78 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 percent Cabernet Franc, 3 percent Petit Verdot, 2 percent Merlot, and 1 percent Malbec.

It tastes deeply of raspberries and blackberries, with a backbone of leather, cedar, and even a touch of black tea.

It has nice complexity and depth, and enough presence to win you props if you brought it to a dinner party, especially if steaks are on the menu.

Find it at and

Cheers: The name of the winery alludes to the founders: seven wine industry friends who would regularly get together to talk shop. While they are no longer involved with the brand, four of the original members did make the 2021 vintage: Stephane Vivier, owner of Vivier Wines; Barret Anderson, winemaker at Spring Mountain Vineyard; Mark Porembsiki, owner and winemaker at Zeitgeist Cellars, and winemaker at Anomaly Vineyards; and Dan Petroski, founder and winemaker at Massican Winery.

The wine making is now handled by Echavarrie and Britt Richards, who has worked at Ledson Winery, as well as with renowned Napa Valley consulting winemaker Philippe Melka.

2019 Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Vinho Branco

Portugal remains on my bucket list of places to travel to one day. Until that happens, I can at least enjoy sipping Portuguese wine in the comfort of my own home.

The 2019 Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Vinho Branco.
The 2019 Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Vinho Branco,

The 2019 Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Vinho Branco, of which I received a sample, is a crisp white wine blend from the Douro region that’s perfect for summer alongside your favorite grilled seafood, shrimp cocktail, and bountiful salads.

Gold in hue, it has notes of green apple and bright citrus, along with toasted bread. At the finish, it reveals a lingering umami note that would make it pair wonderfully with sauteed or grilled mushrooms, too.

At a price of $16, it’s as easy on the wallet as it is on the palate. Pick up a bottle at Total Wine & More.

Cheers: Did you know that Papa Figos is one of the rarest birds in the Douro? The female of the species, with its light green color, is pictured on this wine’s label.

2022 True Myth Pinot Noir

Enjoy the cool climate taste of the San Luis Obispo Coast AVA in the 2022 True Myth Pinot Noir ($28).

I had a chance to sample a bottle of this elegant and easy-to-enjoy Pinot Noir. Light garnet in color, it’s an expression of cherries and strawberries kissed by vanilla and a light touch of earthiness.

The butterfly-adorned label of  the 2022 True Myth Pinot Noir.
The butterfly-adorned label of the 2022 True Myth Pinot Noir.

Enjoy it alongside grilled salmon, chicken kebabs, or barbecued ribs.

Cheers: Find the wine at and Or best yet, if you’re heading to San Luis Obispo, stop at the winery’s tasting room, housed in a charming historic schoolhouse that was built in 1909. Tastings are available inside or on the patio.

More: Sensational Sips, Part II

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