2005 Domaine Carneros Brut by Taittinger ($26)
A ringer for a very good Champagne from a ripe year. This Pinot Noir–dominated blend by head winemaker Eileen Crane, aged for three years in Domaine Carneros’s Napa cellars, is dry—even austere—when first poured. But it takes on flesh and weight in the glass, soon brimming with classic notes of pear, brioche and yellow apple and revealing a fine, full, mid-palate creaminess.
2007 Spottswoode ($32)
Spottswoode made its mark in Cabernet but also produces sensational Sauvignon Blancs like this one, mingling grapefruit-rind notes with melon and fig, and finishing clean and dry. Winemaker Jennifer Williams blends in a portion of fragrant Sauvignon Musqué to give the firm white an exotic note.
- American Wine Awards 2009
- Most Promising New Winery
- Importer of the Year
- Best Wines $20 and Under
- Winemaker of the Year
2007 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc ($40)
A spicy blend of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul Blanc with aromas of spring flowers and honey, this white is creamy and juicy yet also entirely dry. The grapes, from Tablas Creek’s organic Paso Robles estate vineyard, are related to those from parent winery Château de Beaucastel’s famed vineyards in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.