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Pine Wine: Wines for Father’s Day and summer grilling

Pine Wine: Wines for Father’s Day and summer grilling

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Father’s Day is for celebrating uniquely important men, and the following wines will enhance the occasion.  Moreover, these wines are fine choices for this summer’s grilling season.


Ponga 2020 Sauvignon Blanc “Marlborough, New Zealand” ($13):  This very good buy is especially attractive on the palate with strength, full body, forward fruit, fine balance and lingering length.

BenMarco 2019 Malbec “Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina” ($20):  Argentine Malbecs are some of the world’s best buys, and this one is purple hued, strong, complex, full-bodied, well-balanced and extended on the finish.

L’Ecole No. 41 2019 Chardonnay “Columbia Valley” ($20):  Enjoy the color depth, followed by strength, fruit and complexity on nose and palate.  Its lengthy finish far exceeds that of most white wines in its price range.

Yalumba 2017 Viognier “Samuel’s Garden Collection, Eden Valley, Australia” ($21):  This nicely priced wine pleases the eye and nose and is exceptional on the palate with power, rounded body and appealing fruit, along with fine balance, complexity, refinement and length.  

Left Coast 2019 White Pinot Noir “Willamette Valley” ($24):  I anticipated enjoying this white wine made from red-wine grapes, but ended up loving it, especially on the palate with its strength, full body, appealing fruit and lingering length.

Hampton Water 2020 Rosé “South of France, Languedoc” ($25):  Beautiful peach in color, this highly pleasing rosé has exceptional body, fruit, balance, integration, refinement and length for its price.

VDR (by Scheid Family) 2018 red blend “Monterey” ($25):  Absolutely gorgeous to the eye and highly attractive on nose and palate.  Boasts quality all-around, especially its vigor, fruit, balance and length.

Dry Creek 2019 Zinfandel “Heritage Vines, Sonoma County” ($26):  A bit light in color, but very appealing with fruit, strength and complexity on the nose and beautiful development, full body and wonderful balance on the palate.

Other fine values: Centorri non-vintage “Moscato di Paria, Italy” ($10), J. Lohr 2019 White Riesling “Bay Mist, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County” ($10), Plungerhead 2018 Zinfandel “Old Vines, Lodi” ($15), Planet Oregon 2019 Pinot Noir “Willamette Valley” ($24) and Ely (by Callaway Cellars) 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve, Napa Valley” ($28).


Mollydooker 2019 Shiraz “The Boxer, South Australia” ($30): Wonderful deep, purple-hued color sets the stage for strength, fruit and complexity on nose and palate.  Thick body and extended length complete the enjoyment.

Colomé 2018 Malbec “Auténtico, Valle Calchaquí, Salta, Argentina” ($40):  Earned straight A’s on my score sheet thanks to superb color, powerful bouquet and palate-pleasing body, as well as balance, complexity, integration, length and more!

Hartford 2019 Zinfandel “Old Vine, Russian River Valley” ($40):  Don’t make assumptions based on its medium color depth, as this excellent Zin exhibits impressive strength, rich fruit, beautiful balance, engaging complexity and attractive integration, all expressed for great length.  

Trapiche 2017 Malbec “Terrior Series, Finca Ambrosia, Single Vineyard, Gualtallary, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina” ($40):  Another wonderful Argentine Malbec.  I loved its dark hue and complex nose, as well as thick texture, superb fruit, crisp balance, strong personality and long length.

Captȗre 2018 Sauvignon Blanc “Pine Mountain – Cloverdale Park (California)” ($50):  The most enjoyable, impressive white tasted in this price range has appealing color and a powerful nose that presage full body, beautiful fruit, excellent complexity, notable refinement and attractive personality.

Others: Harvey & Harriet (by Booker) 2018 red blend “Paso Robles” ($30), Ferrari-Carano 2018 Merlot “Sonoma County” ($32), Saldo (by Prisoner) 2018 Zinfandel “California” ($32), Rochioli 2020 Sauvignon Blanc “Russian River Valley” ($34), J. Lohr 2018 Petite Sirah “Tower Road, Paso Robles” ($35), Gary Farrell 2018 Chardonnay “Russian River Selection, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County” ($35), Frank Family 2019 Pinot Noir “Carneros” ($38) and Taken (Trinchero Family) 2018 red blend “Napa Valley” ($39).


Merry Edwards 2017 Pinot Noir “Klopp Ranch, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County” ($73):  The winery is best known for its Pinot Noir, and the Klopp Ranch has deep purple color and great strength and complexity on the nose. On the palate, it’s the best Pinot I’ve tasted in 2021, thanks to impressive body, wonderful fruit, excellent balance, fine integration and much more.

Nicolas Catena Zapata 2016 red blend “Mendoza, Argentina” ($95):  This exceptional blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec is gorgeous in the glass and superb on the nose and palate.  Moreover, there’s great power, heavy body, rich fruit and appealing balance, along with outstanding complexity, refinement and finish. Only available online.

Ram’s Gate 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon “Berler Vineyard, Fountain Grove District, Sonoma County” ($115):  The wonderfully forward, complex nose foretells excellence on the palate which features impressive strength, beautiful balance, fine integration, notable refinement and extended length.  Available from

Others: Jean-Luc Colombo 2018 Syrah “Terres Brȗlées, Cornas, France”($64; online), Maggy Hawk 2018 Pinot Noir “Jolie, Anderson Valley” ($65), Chalk Hill 2017 red blend “Estate Red, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County” ($70; direct shipping only), Quinta do Crasto 2016 “Vintage Port, Portugal” ($70) and Trinchero 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “BRV, Napa Valley” ($80).

Recommended wines can be ordered from local wine stores unless indicated otherwise. Prices may differ. John can be reached at


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