My wife and I, prompted by our addiction to the TV series ‘Big Little Lies’, recently reached out to a handful of wineries in the Monterey, Central Coast region of California. We received some selections that provide a look into why this region is such a destination for wine. The Monterey Bay’s coastal influence allows for warm days and cool nights, providing the optimal conditions for the grapes to ripen with perfect balance of sugars and acidity. I have always been a fan of the Chardonnay, Cabernet and the very lively Sauvignon Blanc of this region- but the Pinot Noir is world class. It’s polished and pretty with impeccable balance, definitely a change from the clunky, candied, overdone styles coming from other parts of Northern California. If you want to experience what pure, un-manipulated, artisanal wines taste like, check out the below producers. Remember, great handcrafted wines are not cheap, but they’re very memorable.

– Steve Pollack, National Sales Director

Blair Estate Pinot Noir Morgantini 2015

A beautiful color of light rose petal and teaberry sets the stage for aromas of strawberry, flower, and tea leaves. In the mouth this Pinot is bright and enticingly flavorful, with wild strawberry fruit, wet earth,
candied cherry, raspberry and tobacco. Finishes velvety, pure and polished, showing impeccable acid balance and smooth silky tannin.

Suggested Retail: $40

Score: 94 Points

Blair Estate Pinot Noir Defina’s 2015

Aromas of cherry vanilla, nutmeg and cream. The palate is rich and ripe showing sweet raspberry, cherry, dark plum finishing with spiced flowers and beautifully balanced acidity.

Suggested Retail: $40

Score: 93 Points

B Estate 2014 Delfina’s Vineyard The Reserve Pinot Noir

Aromas of potpourri, herbs and flavored tea. The palate offers a red velvet entry, showing the finesse and elegance great Pinot can provide. This wine is an experience, offering plum drop, cherry, tobacco seed, strawberry, earth and minerality. Finishes balanced and smooth with the entire chorus leaving your palate popping with bursts of fruit and sweet tannin for 30 seconds. A compelling, memorable Pinot Noir.

Suggested Retail: $65

Score: 97 Points

Blair Estate Pinot Gris

Ripe and muscular, offering Asian pear, green melon, kiwi and peach flavors. Finishes with a dried pineapple note and chalky tannin.

Suggested Retail: $26

Score: 90 Points

B Estate Chardonnay The Matriarch 2016

Aromas of hazelnut, caramel, citrus oil and brioche. The palate shows buttery flavors of pineapple, toasted peach, apple, nectarine and guava. Ripe and round finishing with just the right amount of acidity to keep this massive chardonnay in check.

Suggested Retail: $40

Score: 94 Points

Blair Estate Chardonnay 2016

Citrus, lemon rind, and wet slate aromas followed by a palate filled with white peach, apple skin, and nectarine. Finishes clean and bright offering a lime tart and a note of white pepper.

Suggested Retail: $35

Score: 88 Points

Galante Vineyards Black Jack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Aromas of black licorice and dark berry fruit. The palate is dusty with graphite, plum and briary fruit flavors. Finishes with grippy young tannin. Should age very well over the next 4-6 yrs.

Suggested Retail: $65

Score: 91+ Points

Galante Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Wagon Wheel 2018

Aromas of fresh kiwi, melon and orange peel jump from the glass. The mouth is clean and refreshing, offering guava and peppered citrus flavors, and finishing with crisp acidity. This wine feels French inspired. Try with raw oysters and fresh Haddock.

Suggested Retail: $35

Score: 92 Points

Dawn’s Dream Pinot Noir Rachel 2017

Aromas of ripe strawberry with hints of slate. The palate is spiced cherry and raspberry with a touch of sea salt. Bright and balanced on the finish, resulting in a thirst quenching, racy style.

Suggested Retail: $40

Score: 91 Points

Dawn’s Dream Pinot Noir Nicole 2017

Floral aromas of potpourri and red fruits. Palate is tense with spicy tart cherry and red plum. The finish is bright and refreshing, showing strawberry and flowers. This wine should age tremendously.

Suggested Retail: $50

Score: 90+ Points

Dawn’s Dream Pinot Noir Alyssa 2017

Aromas of baked cherry and watermelon open to bright plum and cranberry flavors. Finishes with a steely mineral note, full of youthful tannin.

Suggested Retail: $40

Score: 92 Points

Dawn’s Dream Bel Sogno Reserve 2017

Aromas of earth and minerals lead to a ripe cranberry sauce, cherry liqueur and tea spiced palate. Dense and focused with a polished, elegant mouthfeel. Finishes with impeccable mouthwatering acidity.

Suggested Retail: $70

Score: 94 Points

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