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New Sips Across Napa and Sonoma Valleys

Singular new wine releases and tasting experiences.



Jordan Vineyard and Winery: Estate tours and tasting offerings are a great way to sample the new Chardonnay in style.

Photo courtesy of Jordan Vineyard and Winery

New Releases

Balletto Vineyards, Russian River Valley
The 2017 Balletto Rosé of Pinot Noir is made exclusively from estate-grown pinot noir—and more specifically from vineyard blocks farmed for rosé only due to the grape’s brightness and softer tannins. With its delicious flavors of tropical fruit and lime, this pink wine is great to start off any summer evening. $20, ballettovineyards.com.

Castello di Amorosa, Anderson Valley
It’s the first release of this vineyard-designated 2016 Morning Dew Ranch Pinot Noir made at the castle with grapes from the tiny 12-acre vineyard near Philo. Only 490 cases were made, in addition to approximately 400 cases of rosé from the same grapes. Pinot Noir, $75; rosé, $39. castellodiamorosa.com.

Kelly Fleming Wines, Calistoga
The 2014 Estate Big Pour—a signature red blend that’s mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with splashes of Malbec (11 percent) and Syrah (8 percent)—is bold and elegant, full of dark cherries and dusty cocoa. It’s round, juicy, and ultra-approachable, if pricey. $90, kellyflemingwines.com.

Louis Pommery California, Carneros
This classic champagne house from France quietly began production of its first California sparkling wine, now available at the winery and local restaurants, such as Sam’s Social Club in Calistoga. The bubbles are tiny and bursting with tart notes of Granny Smith apples and lemon zest. $22, champagnepommery.com.

Mayacamas Vineyards, Napa
Warm weather calls for refreshment, and this 2016 Mayacamas Chardonnay wakes up the senses with fruit from high in the hills of Mount Veeder. Under the tutelage of consulting winemaker Andy Erickson, winemaker Braiden Albrecht turned out this crisp white, with hints of Meyer lemons, layers of minerality, and subtle vanilla (10 percent aged in new oak barrels). $50, mayacamas.com.

Visit and Taste

Balletto Vineyards:  Enjoy the tropical flavors of summer in this fruity rosé. Photo courtesy of Balletto Vineyards.

Benovia Winery, Russian River Valley
Benovia’s tasting room, housed on a working ranch, was recently refreshed with floor-to-ceiling windows, rustic wood floors, and a refinished fireplace. The space feels more modern and is just right for sipping the spring release of its 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir, which has flavors of watermelon and a tart cranberry finish. $32, 3339 Hartman Rd., Santa Rosa, benoviawinery.com.

Etude Wines, Carneros
Etude Wines—famous for its Study of Pinot Noir tasting—now offers a Cabernet Focus tasting, featuring five Cabernet Sauvignons from the Napa, St. Helena, Coombsville, Rutherford, and Oakville AVAs. Tastings include a food accompaniment and daily tour at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. $75, 1250 Cuttings Wharf Rd., Napa, etudewines.com.

Jordan Vineyard and Winery, Russian River Valley
This renowned Healdsburg winery just released its 2016 Jordan Chardonnay. This incarnation is more Chablis-like, with about half of the juice aged in French oak and the other half in stainless steel. Winemaker Rob Davis keeps the fruit crisp and the acidity vibrant—and what better way to sip it than on an estate tour and tasting? Reserve in advance,
especially during nice warm days. $33, 1474 Alexander Valley Rd., Healdsburg, jordanwinery.com.

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