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Author: Christine Havens

Lingua Franca Mimi's Mind Pinot Noir 2015

Lingua Franca Mimi’s Mind Pinot Noir 2015

Mimi’s Mind, so named to honor the work of Mimi Casteel, and her east-facing vineyard site of Woodburn, Nekia, and Jory type soils planted in the 1970s. I am told that the vines are own-rooted and phylloxera-free, making them a rarity in the Eola-Amity Hills. The 2015, dressed in a translucent ruby robe, is poised yet edgy—this wine struck me as the one in Lingua Frana's lineup with the most structure. Ultra-fine sueded tannins form the articulated spine of this wine's sous bois, dried orange peel, cola, and black-fruited core. Sample Lingua Franca 93 Points...

Beaux Frères Gran Moraine Pinot Noir 2015

Beaux Frères Gran Moraine Pinot Noir 2015

From a small, narrow vineyard aptly named The Tongue, Beaux Frères 2015 Gran Moriane Pinot Noir is made from Dijon clones planted in transitional volcanic marine uplift. Coastal influence has graced it with lavish aromas of ripe blue fruit, black raspberries, underbrush, lilacs, and a dusting of cocoa powder. The profile is more masculine in expression—the interplay of acid and fine tannins lend focus, a center of gravity, even as buoyant shards of flecked and ancient siltstone dance and shimmer on the palate. The finish, one of smoky minerality, cacao nibs, and warm spice. Sample Beau Frères 94 Points...

Tendril Wine Cellars Extrovert Pinot Noir 2014

Tendril Wine Cellars Extrovert Pinot Noir 2014

Winemaker Tony Rynders 2014 'Extrovert' is so named because it is the most fruit forward label in Tendril's portfolio. On the nose, the subtle interplay of blackberry, black cherry, cola, underbrush and decaying rose petal sets the stage for this focused Pinot Noir. In it, one can find concentration and balance, fine tannins, and admirable length. Tendril Wine Cellars 91 Points...

Mont Gravet Pays d'Oc Rosé 2016

Mont Gravet Pays d’Oc Rosé 2016

Limpid salmon in the glass, 100% Pays d'Oc Counoise offers fresh, lilting aromas of crushed raspberry, white peach, and line-dried linen. In the mouth, limestone minerality shines through, lending texture and continuity, a single suspended note that starts and ends softly, unobtrusively. Mont Gravet has elements in it that are suggestive of a more expensive, complex Provençal rosé, certainly it can be enjoyed for what it is, at the humble price of $9 USD. 11.5% ABV | Sample Mont Gavet 87 Points...

Josep Masachs Cava Mas Fi Brut Rosé NV

Josep Masachs Mas Fi Cava Brut Rosé NV

From the Josep Masachs family, the Mas Fi Brut Rosé is a celebratory shade of salmon. Crafted with 100% estate-grown Trepat, delicate aromas of pie cherry, strawberry, apple blossom, and graham cracker are held aloft on a nose tickling net of fine buttles. It's fresh on the palate, with just a hint of autolysis—no doubt from eleven months en tirage—that comes through as wet dough, a flavor that quickly fades to a lively finish pink grapefruit pith. Another excellent value from Mas Fi. 11.5% ABV | Sample Cava Mas Fi 89 Points ...

Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats 2015

Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats 2015

Soft, plummy and plush, the 2015 Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats offers ample drinking pleasure. On opening, black cherries, ripe Damson plums, cedar, sweet tobacco and menthol. The palate takes its cues from the nose, with a uniform profile—juicy black fruit cozened in velvety, ripe tannins and tempered acidity. This is a wine I would, and am, happy to enjoy it on its own. 13.5% ABV | Sample Alain Jaume & Fils 89 Points...

Murrieta's Well Dry Rosé 2016

Murrieta’s Well Dry Rosé 2016

Rosé for Valentines Day? Yes, why not. The 2016 Murrieta's Well Dry Rosé is an excellent candidate. Composed of 55% estate-grown Grenache and 45% Counoise, it's a pretty shade of orangey-pink salmon and delivers lifted aromas of bruised peach, Queen Anne’s cherries, melon, baking spice.Medium-bodied and crisp, the palate is awash in red berries and melon flavors, culminating in a rose hip and peach pit finish. 13.5% ABV | Sample Murrieta’s Well 88 Points ...

Mas Fi Cava Brut NV

Josep Masachs Mas Fi Cava Brut NV

I'll be featuring affordable bubblies and rosé wines in the runup to Valentines, so stay tuned. The Josep Masachs Mas Fi Brut opens with a vinous nose that is classic Cava: white flowers, lemon drop, pear, and apple. More defining features can be sussed out on entry, with crisp bubbles set against an understated, autolytic backdrop. As it dwindles, a pleasant bitterness sneaks up on you—and evolves quietly, softly, and resolutely into white grapefruit sprinkled with sea salt. A lovely find for a mere $11 USD. 11.5% ABV | Sample Cava Mas Fi 89 Points  ...

Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich Dry Rosé 2016

Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich Dry Rosé 2016

Spring is on the way. Heirloom rose petal pink, Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich's 2016 Dry Rosé opens with vivid aromas of delicately spiced pie cherries, strawberries and apple blossom. Medium-bodied, this fresh organic rosé of Pinot Noir features a lean, tensile acid spine that crescendos with a burst of delicious pit fruit bitterness and oyster shell. 11.6% ABV | Sample Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich 88 Points  ...

Bluebird Hill Cellars Trilogy 2016

Bluebird Hill Cellars Trilogy 2016

Densely packed aromas canned pear, honeydew melon, thai coconut custard are the welcome tones that lead into a palate that is surprisingly more taught than the nose belies. Bluebird Hill Cellars' 2016 Trilogy is an undisclosed blend of three white varieties sourced from the Willamette Valley, displaying predominant orchard fruit flavors embroidered against a backdrop of subtle toast. A moderate finish of lemon pith and pear skin. 13.5% ABV | Sample Bluebird Hill Cellars 88 Points...