Wine 2

If you have been into wine for any length of time, you may have heard about the wines of Dry Creek Valley Vineyards.

Dry Creek is noted for its high quality red wines, powerful white wines and some very innovative blending.

Its recent releases in that area definitely live up to its reputation and then some.

Dry Creek 2018 Petite Zin Rosé ($22). In the area of interesting blending is the 2018 Petite Zin Rosé which, by the name alone, you can deduce that it is a blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah grapes but made as a rosé. The wine opens with a complex fruit basket of aromas displaying strawberry. The flavor takes a different turn and exposes watermelon, fresh raspberry, lemon with hints of nectarine and of all unexpected things cucumber. The finish is about as kaleidoscopic as the flavor and lasts for a very long time.

Dry Creek Valley 2018 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Sauvignon Blanc grapes can produce wines in the California style, with a melon and citrus flavor as well as wines in the classical European style, with a prominent herbaceous (grassy) flavor. The Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc lives in both worlds. It has the classical grassy component but it is held in check so that the California style can predominate. This effect allows this wine to be served with a wider spectrum of foods. The wine will well accompany poultry and the lighter meats as well as seafood. The quality of this wine belies its very reasonable price.

Dry Creek Valley 2018 Sonoma County Fume Blanc ($16). Most Sauvignon Blanc wines that call themselves Fume Blanc are doing so simply to command a higher price. This is not the case with the Dry Creek 2018 Fume Blanc. Its very reasonable price tag belies its exceptional depth and flavor. The wine displays the traditional Fume Blanc smoky flavor along with all of the summer fruit flavors that has made this wine so popular, In short, this wine is excellent, enjoyable and a true child of California.

Dry Creek Valley 2016 Sonoma County Merlot ($40). Like Little Orphan Anne, this variety has found a patron. In recent years, Merlot has taken a back seat to almost all of the currently popular red wines. In fact, it might have been be a good idea to change the name of the variety to caboose because it had slipped so far behind most of the popular reds. About ten years ago, Merlot became the darling wine among reds wine drinkers. Unfortunately there were not enough good Merlot grapes to satisfy the demand and many very low quality versions hit the marketplace. Needless to say, that spelled the end to the Merlot craze. The die hard Merlot lovers had only a few brands to choose from that even closely met their standards. Fortunately Dry Creel Valley was one of the few whose name meant more than money. This wine is not only good, it could be considered a masterpiece. Full flavored with a long fantastic finish this wine may just restore the Merlot to the position it once held and rightly deserves.

Dry Creek Valley 2017 Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel ($26). This wine is a credit to the Dry Creek Vineyard name and proves the reason that they are among Sonoma County’s top producers and a world leader in the making fine wine from the once considered uninteresting Zinfandel grape. For this wine the winemakers draw their grapes from vines that have been grafted on to century old rootstock. The results are there for the tasting, and what grand results they are. This is a wine exhibiting the fruit flavors and aromas of raspberries and cherries with a deep earthy flavor in the background, which mingles with oak and a suggestion of mint. While this zinfandel is the perfect accompaniment to almost any meat dish, it is also definitely the king of the backyard barbeque where it can beautifully accompany anything that comes off of the grill.

Editor’s note: The prices listed in this column reflect the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Bennet Bodenstein is a wine enthusiast and book author whose column appears in publications throughout the country.

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