Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars is on quite a roll, and this year’s pinot blanc ($18) makes the case emphatically. The chardonnay and pinot noir programs continue to flourish, certainly, but this pinot blanc is as fine as almost anything from the Alsace region of France, with its full palate and racy acidity to create a luscious wine that can handle all kinds of spicy foods, or reward your attention as you sip on it while listening to old Style Council records.
The Ruffino wine company has been making Chianti since 1877. The current vintage of their flagship Ducale Riserva Oro ($45) is a fantastic example of why the company continues to excel today. It is dark, deep, highly structured wine, absolutely bursting with fresh blackberry and currant notes, with plenty of spice and relatively soft tannins. Thus it is actually quite approachable now, although you could easily lay it down until David Lynch finally decides to get on with it and launch the new set of Twin Peaks episodes.