With several wines in each region earning recent acclaims, there are plenty of critics’ picks to try during your upcoming visit to wine country. But we also know every estate has its sleeper picks. You know what we’re talking about — those lesser-known varietals and limited release blends that make you wonder “How have I not tried this before?” or “Where have you been hiding this?”
So, in this installment of What to Taste This Weekend, here are our top choices for the best critics’ picks and sleeper wines to try at various FFWS tasting rooms this weekend.
EOS WINERY | 2300 AIRPORT ROAD, PASO ROBLES, CA
Critics’ Pick: Eos 2015 Algunas Dias Zinfandel (91pts)
“Plump blackberry, dark strawberry, dried herbs and baking spice show on the nose of this well-rounded and easily likable bottling.The palate mixes fleshy red and purple fruit with a strong chaparral component in the midpalate.The firm grippy texture makes this a more serious Zinfandel than most.” — Wine Enthusiast
Sleeper Pick: 2017 Eos Tears of Dew Late Harvest Riesling, Central Coast
What our tasting room managers describe as “sunshine in a bottle,” our Eos sleeper pick is the perfect springtime taster that is sweetness to sip. It’s unabashedly indulgent, striking the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. This sweet wine opens with aromas of dried apricots, ripe melon and orange blossom. The palate’s satisfying weight uncovers rich flavors of white nectarine, jasmine, mandarin orange and honey.
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Critics’ Pick: 2014 Sebastiani Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley (97pts)
“Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cherryblock is profoundly scented of crème de cassis, blackberry tart, bay leaves and mincemeat with nuances of star anise, cloves and menthol. Medium-bodied and packed with taut, muscular fruit, it has a solid structure of ripe, rounded tannins and lively acidity, finishing with great persistence. This is a simply stunning, very smartly crafted, true Sonoma beauty! Still very youthful, forget it for 4-6 years and enjoy it of the next 25+” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Sleeper Pick: 2014 Sebastiani Roussanne, Santa Ynez Valley
Our Roussanne is sourced from Santa Ynez and, being a Rhone Varietal, it’s a unique varietal for Sebastiani. It has beautiful floral and honeysuckle notes on the nose carrying through to the palate leading into flavors of candied citrus and white peach. Its racy acidity and firm mineral embodies the classic features of its Rhone heritage. We recommend pairing it with your next poultry or seafood dinner.
Critics’ Pick: 2015 The Four Graces Dundee Hills Reserve Pinot Noir (92pts)
“Focused and well-built, with expressive cherry, loam and orange peel flavors that take on depth and structure toward refined, stony tannins.” – Wine Spectator
Sleeper Pick: 2014 The Four Graces Doe Ridge Estate Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
This Doe Ridge Estate Pinot Noir adorns a deep ruby hue with lovely notes of black raspberry, shiso leaf and undertones of forest floor on the nose. Coming from the best eight barrels of it’s vineyard, this wine is not in distribution adn is covered by wine club members.
Want to read about more of our critic and sleeper picks? Read another edition of What to Taste This Weekend featuring wines from Chalone Vineyard, Kuleto Estate, and Lincourt Vineyards.