2009 Merry Edwards ($30)
One of California's surest hands with Pinot Noir, Edwards also makes this perfumed, arresting Sauvignon. Assembled from several Russian River Valley vineyardssome planted to the aromatic Musqué clonethe wine combines tangerine and peach with Musqué's hard-to-define, not-quite-honeysuckle aroma.
2007 Hanzell ($70)
One of California's first post-Prohibition Chardonnay producers, Sonoma's Hanzell has long gone its own way, preferring an Old World sense of proportion over showy richness. That balance is epitomized in its long-aging Chardonnays, like this creamy, floral bottling from talented winemaker Michael McNeill.
- F&W American Wine Awards 2010
- Best New Winery
- Best American Wines Under $20
- Winemaker of the Year
- Importers of the Year
2006 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs ($36)
This all-Chardonnay bottling was the Davies family's original sparkling wine back in 1965; Richard Nixon served it on his 1972 trip to China. For the 2006 vintage, the wine was aged in the bottle for two years on its lees (spent yeasts), giving complexity to its flavors of yellow apple, pear and melon.