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The Dozen - Through a Glass Lightly

Unless we’ve all grown incredibly stuffy, how can you not like a wine with a whimsical name like “Sunny with a Chance of Flowers” or one that recalls our youth with a label that says “Tree House?” Both warn us not to expect too much, but instead promise some light-hearted drinking.

So with these wines, let’s bring summer back on stage for a last round of applause. The pandemic made the warm months a difficult passage this year with almost-closed restaurants and wineries, but it certainly had its interesting moments.

2017 Domaine de Bernier Val de Loire Sauvignon Blanc ($12). Structured like a Marlborough Sauvignon with vegetal and lime flavors but with a softer mid-palate.

2019 Muralhas de Moncao Vinho Verde White Wine ($12). Peachy juiciness with some petillance and good finishing acidity.

2018 Sunny with a Chance of Flowers Monterey County Chardonnay ($13). Would you sacrifice a strong finish for a wine that offers you a third less alcohol at 9%? That’s the tradeoff offered by these lighter-body Sunny wines, and this one is nicely fruity, nicely creamy and pleasantly woody before quickly saying goodbye to your palate.

2019 Sunny with a Chance of Flowers Monterey County Sauvignon Blanc ($13). This one hangs around a tad longer with pleasant green-apple flavors. Also at 9% alky.

2019 Tree Fort Monterey County Chardonnay ($17). From the Sebastani/Three Badge folks, this wine is very enjoyable with crisp apples, nice baking spices and some notes of dry wood in the finish.

2019 Tree Fort Monterey County Sauvignon Blanc ($17). More of a Euro than a Kiwi Sauvignon – more fragrant than grassy in aroma and tastes.

2019 Tree Fort Paso Robles Pinot Grigio ($17). “Bright and Sweet” the labels promises (or warns), but it is still well-balanced with good acidity and mild tannins.

2018 Sunny with a Chance of Flowers Monterey County Pinot Noir ($13). Nine percent alcohol will get you light and enjoyable cherries, a touch of the tart, but a fading at the top of the stretch.

2019 Tree Fort Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir ($17). A little too many bitter edges that tend to overwhelm the fruit.

2018 Tree Fort Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon ($17). Intense but not extreme fruitiness with dark raspberry and cassis flavors and some finishing bitters.

2016 Cedar + Salmon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon ($22). Super-ripe fruit with medium weight and a touch of sweetness.

2017 Cedar + Salmon Walla Walla Red Wine Blend ($23). Rich, fruit-forward flavors, also a tad sweet.


Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com.

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