With the eyes of the world focused on the Olympics, we are giddy as we celebrate the champions. What to uncork as we cheer the athletes? Knockout wines that deserve a gold medal, of course. Three are $20 and under, and two are well worth the splurge. Enjoy, fellow spectators.
Angeline, 2014 Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.8%, $16. A lovely red from this Sonoma County winery, shy on cabernet sauvignon characteristics but still a knockout. Tasty cherry fruit rides on a surf of bright acidity. Notes of herbs and spice. Lingering finish. Quite a find for the price.
Korbel, NV Extra Dry California Champagne, 12%, $12. The appeal of this bubbly is that it’s well crafted, and it will please those who like a sparkler that’s a touch sweet. A great commingling of citrus and mineral notes. Nice length.
Frei Brothers, 2014 Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Chardonnay, 13.8%, $20. A well-groomed chardonnay that has a remarkable range for the price. Aromas and flavors of green apple, mineral and butter. Toasty finish. This budget chardonnay is impressive.
Lasseter’s Voila, 2014 Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County White Blend, 14.3%, $46. This wine will delight with its citrus notes and refreshing crisp acidity. A kiss of vanilla is in the mix. Top rate.
Rochioli, 2014 Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 14.5% $60. This is an old style, Sonoma County classic pinot noir. It trumpets red raspberry fruit in its aromas and flavors. Mineral and spice round out this gorgeous pinot. Definitely gold medal caliber.