On December 22 Peg Melnik at The Santa Rosa Press Democrat recommends “wines that will impress:”
Playing host over the holiday? If so, be forewarned. In Wine Country, guests have high expectations; they feel entitled to have their palates pampered.
With top winemakers in this region rivaling the best on the planet, it won’t be hard to impress.
They are world-class experimenters who push the envelope. They don’t settle. These people don’t punch a timecard. On the contrary, they work crazy hours and it’s most evident during harvest when they are sleep-deprived for days on end.
The wines listed have been palate-tested and they’re prime examples of the best crafted in the region. They will no doubt prompt your guests to ask for another pour. When you fill their glasses, you can smile with peace of mind; these wines make you look good.
—Smith-Madrone, 2015 Spring Mountain District Napa Valley Riesling, 12.9 percent. This complex riesling has layered notes of papaya, petrol and honeysuckle. It’s nice and dry, with bright acidity. Pitch perfect balance. Impressive.