Free Friday Tasting: Classics And A Curveball

We have three familiar varietals for our Free Friday Tasting this week — Cab, Chard, Sauv Blanc — and one seriously fun Spanish red — Montsant! We’re trying them from 4-6 p.m. today. We’ll be back pouring samples of the same on Saturday, 12-3 p.m.

Niner, Chardonnay, Edna Valley, CA 2015 — This is from a spot just 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean, and it has plenty of coastal personality and balance. Silky body with warm bread, stone fruit, and caramel. The winemakers stirred up the lees while it was in the barrel (about a 1/3 of which were New French Oak), which amplifies cream notes and pear flavor. Regularly $19; Special Tasting Price $16.

Tangent, Sauvignon Blanc, Edna Valley, CA 2014 — Definitely worth a shot if you like French and New Zealand style Sauvignon Blancs and want to branch out a little. You’re in the ballpark of green apple and grapefruit, lime and lemon zest. Slightly herbal, mineral finish. Like high-end athletic clothes, you’re going to want it on a hot day. Shop $13.

Llenca Plana, Montsant, Spain 2016 — Made from Carignan and Grenache, just like the much more expensive Priorat region, this has a medium body but is still quite powerful. Red and dark fruits, good acidity, and a long-lasting finish. Just plain fun to drink. Shop $16.

Alias, Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2016 — Great for when you just gotta grab a Cab. Quaffable. Medium body, dark berry fruit, violet color. A straightforward oaky Cabernet, it’s a meat-and-potatoes selection, and a no-brainer pairing for… meat and potatoes. Shop $10.

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