Food + Drink

Spring wines to like

These wines will add to all sorts of spring dalliances.

The days are longer and the light brighter, igniting the urge to get outdoors into air that’s fresh and invigorating. Easter brunch on a lovely patio might be the ticket. These wines will add to all sorts of spring dalliances.

Petite Sirah for St. Patrick’s Day

If you like:

Stags’ Leap Winery 2010 Ne Cede Malis Estate Grown Stags Leap District Petite Sirah ($80)
As brooding as a young Liam Neeson, this wine will gain layers of complexity as it ages, taking on power and nuance in equal parts. With supple, dark blueberry fruit and sensuous tannins, this is among Napa Valley’s greatest portrayals of Petite Sirah. Ne Cede Malis is Latin for “Don’t give in to misfortune.”

Then try:

Ridge 2007 Dynamite Hill California Petite Sirah ($32)
Part of Petite Sirah’s beauty is its ability to age, so getting your mitts on this 2007 vintage from Fritz Maytag’s York Creek Vineyard on Spring Mountain in Napa Valley is highly recommended. It affords a fortunate chance to get a delicious education in a red wine with softened tannins, proper white pepper and mature fruit. Pair with spring lamb.

Albariño for daylight savings time

If you like:

Marimar Estate 2012 Don Miguel Vineyard Russian River Valley Albariño ($32)
The winery’s third vintage of this iconic Spanish white (and the right go-to when there’s an extra hour of sunlight in the evening), the Don Miguel Albariño is a celebration of citrus in all its natural acidity, with pretty floral aromatics accenting the medium-bodied experience from start to finish. To pair? Think fresh fish.

Then try:

Schulz Cellars 2012 Dragone Vineyard Calaveras County Albariño ($20)
Sourced from the Sierra Foothills, this crisp Albariño offers floral scents and a taste of bright citrus and textured apple. Fresh and enjoyable, it’s a fine match at dusk with shellfish and appetizers. Sonoma-based Schulz is family-run; John Schulz doubles as the national sales director for Dutton-Goldfield in Russian River Valley.

Viognier for springs beginnings

If you like:

Freemark Abbey 2012 Napa Valley Viognier ($32)
A wine rich in tropical fruit tones and a finish of toast and vanillin oak, this is a powerhouse Viognier that’s still buoyant in acidity. It comes from a producer with a consistently good track record with the grape. Pair this wine with chicken, fish or a brunch meal built around ham and buttery eggs.

Then try:

Bonterra 2012 Mendocino County Viognier ($14)
Made from organically grown grapes, this is a delicious and easygoing Viognier with flavors of fresh apricot and lemon-lime. It’s multitalented as a porch sipper and also an accompaniment to spicy dishes and seafood.

Pinot Noir for Earth Day

If you like:

Siduri 2012 Keefer Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($52)
Siduri has made wine from the famed Keefer Ranch since 2000, one of its longest-standing sites. Gorgeously floral, this Pinot also has an earthy personality that would please John Muir. It’s exquisite as a sipper and pairs handsomely with mushroom- and herb-accented dishes.

Then try:

Siduri 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($32)
Blended from multiple sites within the vast Russian River Valley, this is a tremendous wine and a tremendous deal, fruit-forward and lush in red cherry and cola flavors, with plenty of earth and herb nuances.

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