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WineRelease.com's April 15, 2020 Monthly Newsletter.

This month we had 116 winery updates and 108 wineries releasing wine.

What a difference a month makes. When I wrote the March 15 newsletter on March 12, we had yet to be notified that school was closed, we were in San Francisco as usual, and although we thought things would tighten up, I really didn't think through what this would mean for myself, my family and the world around us. Fast forward to today and we are currently 'staying-in-place' in St. Helena, cooking Blue Apron meals three times a week and absolutely accompanying those dishes with wine.

Along with the rest of the nation, our wine consumption has increased significantly (which I attribute more to the surplus of home cooked meals than to this new adventure in homeschooling - although it could be a tossup). Nielsen reports that wine sales were flat for 13 weeks at the end of January but were up 28% at the end of March 14 compared to 2019. Value wine (under $4) grew 11%, popular ($4-$8) wine sales were up 14% and wine over $25 (the category most popular with WineRelease audience - 61% of subscribers pay $30+ per bottle) was up 29%.

My wine tasting group which has religiously met every other month for the last 16 years had our ‘virtual’ tasting last week. The theme was ‘old and tired’ (defined as wines showing secondary aging characteristics). Most of the wines were still drinkable, which I always find interesting as I think more wine is consumed way too young than too old. I love drinking wine that should be ‘past its prime’ to find out the wine is drinking better with age, although my 1993 Napa Cabernet from that evening had seen better days.

Meanwhile, back in St Helena, Hall winery donated 100+ wine barrels and locals painted them as Easter eggs. We took our eight-year-old daughter (and our new 11 week old Cavalier King Charles puppy) around St. Helena for an Easter barrel hunt. Social distancing appropriately, of course.

St. Helena Wine Barrel Egg Hunt St. Helena Wine Barrel Egg Hunt

Since I am on a lot of winery mailing lists I see a fair number of wineries waiving shipping and some are offering library bottles (sometimes at a discount) and virtual tastings. I always believe buying winery direct, where possible, is a great way to get a deeper understanding of wine as well as knowing the provenance of the wine. Although I haven’t tried a virtual tasting from a winery, it does sound like a lot of fun. And as the school year was just cancelled, it looks like we're here through at least August, so I may have a good chance to do so.

And now, onto the wine releases...

April 2019 Wine Releases

  • A Tribute to Grace Wine Company; 2019 Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard Rosé of Grenache (813 cases, $25), 2018 Los Alamos Valley Thompson Vineyard Grenache Blanc (103 cases, $33), 2018 Los Alamos Valley Thompson Vineyard Grenache (37 cases, $45), 2018 Santa Barbara County Grenache (1,109 cases, $30)
  • Adastra Wines; 2018 Los Carneros Chardonnay (142 cases, $39), 2017 Los Carneros Merlot (70 cases, $45), 2015 Napa Valley Atlas Peak Boundless Optimism Cabernet Sauvignon (41 cases, $75)
  • Adea Wine Co.; 2017 Yamhill Carlton Fisher Family Estate Pinot Noir (140 cases, $50)
  • Adelsheim Vineyard; 2019 Willamette Valley Artist Series Rosé ($28)
  • Alexana Winery; 2019 Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir ($35)
  • Alma Sol Winery; 2017 Mirlo Red Blend, 2018 Petite Sirah
  • Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery; 2019 Grenache Rose (125 cases, $28)
  • Amici Cellars; 2017 Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Hirondelle Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($175), 2017 Napa Valley Rutherford Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($175), 2017 Napa Valley Oakville Missouri Hopper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($195)
  • Amigoni Vineyards; 2019 Sparkling Syrah Rosé ($25)
  • Andrew Murray Vineyards; 2019 Espérance Rosé ($22)
  • Andrew Will Winery; 2016 Columbia Valley Esploso Cabernet Sauvignon ($50), 2017 Two Blondes Cabernet Sauvignon ($35), 2017 Two Blondes Cabernet Franc ($35)
  • Aratas; 2018 Los Carneros Chardonnay ($39), 2019 Surreptitious Rose ($39), 2019 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($39)
  • Arkenstone Vineyards; 2016 Napa Valley NVD Cabernet Sauvignon ($95)
  • Ashes & Diamonds; 2016 No. 3 Cabernet Franc (1,100 cases, $75)
  • Austin Hope Winery; 2019 Paso Robles Rosé ($33)
  • Auteur; 2019 Sonoma Coast Rosé (125 cases, $25)
  • AXR Winery; 2018 Napa Valley Malbec (90 cases, $84)
  • B. Kosuge Wines; 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir ($18), 2019 Carneros El Galpon Pinot Noir ($30)
  • Baer Winery; 2019 Columbia Valley Stillwater Creek Vineyard Rosé of Cabernet Franc (77 cases, $22), 2016 Cabernet Franc (591 cases, $35), 2016 Ursa Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec (591 cases,$39), 2016 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Arctos Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot (549 cases, $43)
  • Big Basin Vineyards; 2019 Rosé Grenache/Carignan/Syrah/Mourvedre (420 cases, $27), 2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Homestead Block Roussanne (135 cases, $48), 2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Old Corral Pinot Noir (140 cases, $65), 2016 Santa Cruz Mountains Rattlesnake Rock Syrah (220 cases, $55), 2016 Santa Cruz Mountains Sixty-Two Terraces Syrah (120 cases, $55)
  • Brewer-Clifton; 2018 Hapgood Vineyard Chardonnay ($55), 2018 Machado Chardonnay ($55), 2018 3D Pinot Noir ($65), 2018 Hapgood Vineyard Pinot Noir ($65), 2009 Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay ($55)
  • Brochelle Vineyards; 2018 Zinfandel (1.,200 cases, $36), 2018 Estate Syrah (175 cases, $45), 2018 Estate Grenache (85 cases, $50)
  • Broman Cellars; 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Caladan Wines; 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc ($200)
  • Caprio Cellars; 2019 Rosé (75 cases)
  • Celani Family Vineyards; 2019 Vincenza Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($25)
  • Chaix Wines; 2019 Chaix Rosé
  • Chanin; 2018 Santa Barbara County Schock Family Vineyard Pinot Noir (100 cases)
  • Cobden Wini; 2019 O'Sullivan Vineyard Rose of Pinot Noir
  • Cosa Obra; 2019 Sonoma Coast Sauvignon Blanc ($25), 2019 Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir ($18)
  • Cosentino Winery; 2018 Napa Valley Reserve Pinot Noir ($55)
  • Côte Bonneville; 2019 Cabernet Franc Rosé ($30), 2019 Riesling ($22), 2014 Carriage House ($50), 2017 Syrah ($65)
  • Daou Vineyards; 2019 Paso Robles Rosé ($22)
  • Dashe Cellars ; 2017 Central Valley Evangelho Vineyard Carignane (286 cases, $32), 2017 Dry Creek Valley Clarksburg Grenache (412 case, $32), 2017 Eagle Peak Heart Arrow Ranch Zinfandel (392 cases, $32), 2017 Mendocino Ridge Cuvée Zinfandel (982 cases, $32)
  • Derby Wine Estates; 2019 Paso Robles Estate Rosé Cinsault/Counoise/Mourvedre/Syrah/Grenache ($22)
  • Dirty & Rowdy Family Winery; 2019 Familiar Mourvèdre ($33), 2019 Skin Fermented Semillon ($33), 2019 Familiar Orange Chenin Blanc/Semillon/Roussanne/Marsanne/Viognier ($36), 2019 Especial Old Friends Red Barbera/Petite Sirah/Carignane (73 cases, $36), 2019 Brosseau Vineyard Grenache (71 cases, $45)
  • Donelan Family Wines; 2019 Rosé Syrah/Pinot Noir (239 cases, $29)
  • Dracaena Wines; 2019 Rose' of Syrah ($20)
  • Dunstan; 2019 Dunstan Rosé ($28)
  • Eleven Eleven Wines; 2019 Napa Valley Oak Knoll Destin Vineyard Rosé of Syrah (185 cases, $28), 2019 Napa Valley Rutherford Beckstoffer Sauvignon Blanc (280 cases, $38), 2017 Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (234 cases, $48), and 2018 Napa Valley Destin Estate Riesling ($35)
  • Flat Rock Cellars; 2019 Pink Twisted Pinot Noir/Gamay/Riesling/Gewurztraminer ($18)
  • Fontanella Family Winery; 2019 Napa Valley Chardonnay ($42)
  • Galerie Wines; 2018 Knights Valley Equitem Sauvignon Blanc ($30), 2019 Napa Valley Naissance Sauvignon Blanc ($30)
  • Gamble Family Vineyards; 2017 Heart Block Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gandona Estate; 2017 Napa Valley Pritchard Hill Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon ($97)
  • Gemstone Vineyard; 2017 Napa Valley Yountville Heritage Selection Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (550 cases, $150), 2018 Napa Valley Yountville Estate Chardonnay (200 cases, $85)
  • Gentleman Farmer Wines; 2018 Napa Valley Oak Knoll District Muir-Hanna Vineyard Chardonnay
  • Gilbert Cellars; 2019 Wahluke Slope Rosé Mourvèdre/Grenache ($18), 2019 Columbia Valley Vin De La Vallee Grenache Blanc/Viognier ($22), 2019 Columbia Valley Horse Heaven Hills Unoaked Chardonnay ($20)
  • Girard Winery; 2018 Napa Valley Mixed Blacks ($60)
  • Gramercy Cellars; 2017 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah (336 cases, $60), 2017 Estates Cabernet Sauvignon (209 cases, $70), 2016 Forgotten Hills Vineyard Syrah (238 cases, $60), 2017 The Third Man Grenache (370 cases, $36)
  • Gran Moraine; 2019 Yamhill-Carlton Rosé of Pinot Noir ($28)
  • Handwritten Wines; 2019 Author Sauvignon Blanc ($45)
  • Hawkes; 2019 Alexander Valley Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot ($28)
  • Hoopes Vineyard; 2016 Oakville Dante's Block Cabernet Sauvignon ($125), 2018 Coombsville Sauvignon Blanc ($35), 2017 Oak Knoll District Sophie's Block Syrah ($50)
  • Jean Edwards Cellars; 2018 Sonoma Coast Gold Coast Vineyard Chardonnay, 2017 Napa Valley 74-41 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 Cooper's Cuvee Blackpaw Petite Sirah
  • Jolie-Laide Wines; 2019 Chalone Rodnick Farm Melon de Bourgogne ($26), 2019 Sonoma County Glen Oaks Vineyard Pinot Gris ($28), 2019 Mendocino Rosewood vineyard Valdiguie Rose ($24), 2019 Russian River Valley Fanucchi Wood Road Trousseau Gris ($30), 2019 California Trousseau/Poulsard/Gamay/Valdiguie ($30), 2019 El Dorado Barsotti Vineyard Gamay Noir ($30), 2017 Amador County Shake Ridge Grenache/Syrah.Mourvedre ($38), 2017 Yorkville Highlands Halcon Vineyard Syrah ($45)
  • Jones Family Vineyards; 2016 Napa Valley Calistoga The Sisters Cabernet Sauvignon ($75), 2017 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (143 cases, $40)
  • Joyce Vineyards; 2019 Monterey Turbidity Current Rosé of Grenache/Mourvedre (800 cases, $24)
  • Ken Brown Wines; 2017 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($35), 2016 Sta. Rita Hills La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir ($60)
  • Kramer Vineyards; 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir (50 cases, $24)
  • Le Vigne Winery; 019 Sangiovese Rosé, 2016 Tannat, 2018 Barrel Select Chardonnay, 2016 Malbec.
  • Ledson Winery; 2019 Redwood Valley Counoise Rosé ($32)
  • Lewis Cellars; 2019 Vin Gris Syrah Rose ($24)
  • Lobo Wines; 2019 Napa Valley Rose of Pinot Noir
  • Lumen Wines; 2019 Santa Barbara County Sierra Madre Vineyard The OG Pinot Gris Orange Wine
  • MacRostie Winery; 2019 Russian River Valley Rosé ($28)
  • Maitre De Chai; 2018 Massa Cabernet Sauvignon ($40), 2018 Stampede Zinfandel ($33)
  • Massican; 2019 Annia Tocai Friulano/Ribolla Gialla/Chardonnay ($30), 2019 Gemina Pinto Bianco and Greco ($32), 2019 Sauvignon Blanc ($32), 2019 Hyde Chardonnay ($50)
  • Materra Wines; 2019 Napa Valley Oak Knoll District Yoshino Rosé Malbec/Merlot (98 cases, $24)
  • Matthews Cellars; 2017 Reserve Merlot ($80)
  • McKahn Family Cellars; 2019 Amador County Shenandoah Valley Rose of Grenache ($26), 2019 Sonoma Russian River Valley Viognier ($34)
  • Mending Wall; 2017 Mortar & Stone Petite Sirah/Zinfandel (123 cases, $50), 2018 Brown Ranch Chardonnay (130 cases, $60), 2018 Stone on Stone Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (474 cases, $35)
  • Mount Saint Joseph Wines; 2017 Sonoma County Chardonnay
  • Mt. Brave Wines; 2016 Napa Valley Mount Veeder Mt Brave Vineyard Cabernet Franc ($80), 2017 Napa Valley Mount Veeder Mt Brave Vineyard Syrah ($65), 2017 Napa Valley Mt. Veeder Mt Brave Vineyard Zinfandel ($75)
  • Mueller Winery; 2019 First Blush Rose
  • Newfound Wines; 2018 Napa Valley Semillon (202 cases, $26) 2018 Mendocino County Benchland Carignane (326 cases, $30), 2018 Napa Valley Mt. Veeder Scaggs Vineyard Counoise (46 cases, $30), 2018 Napa Valley Yount Mill Vineyard Grenache (55 cases, $45)
  • Otis Kenyon; 2016 Merlot ($39), 2016 Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($41), 2016 Stellar Vineyard Syrah ($39)
  • Pahlmeyer; 2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay ($80), 2017 Napa Valley Merlot ($90)
  • Paul Mathew Vineyards; 2018 Rose' of Pinot Noir, 2018 Russian River Valley Gewurztraminer
  • Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards; 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 2017 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Franc
  • Pend d' Oreille Winery; 2018 Syrah, 2018 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Penner-Ash Wine Cellars; 2018 Estate Pinot Noir
  • Perliss Vineyards; 2018 The Serpents Sémillon
  • Pey-Marin Vineyards; 2019 Marin Water Rosé ($25)
  • Purple Star Wines; 2016 Syrah
  • Quintessa; 2016 Napa Valley Rutherford Red Wine Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Carmenére/Petit Verdot ($200)
  • Rasa Vineyards; 2018 Columbia Valley The Composer Riesling (104 cases, $30), 2018 Wahluke Slope Frenchman Hills Vineyard Dream Deferred Frenchman Hills Chardonnay (212 cases, $60), 2018 Columbia Valley QED Choice Function Cabernet Franc (152 cases, $38), 2018 Columbia Valley QED The Strong Law Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (150 cases, $38), 2018 Columbia Valley QED Reductio ad Absurdum Syrah (120 cases, $38), 2018 Walla Walla Valley Tilting at Windmills XL Vineyard Grenache/Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon (102 cases, $75), 2017 Walla Walla Valley SJR Vineyard Veritas Sequitur SJR Vineyard Grenache/Syrah (145 cases, $115)
  • Ridge Vineyards; 2017 Dry Creek Valley Wild Cattle Creek Zinfandel ($36), 2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($65), 2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Merlot ($55), 2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Chardonnay ($55)
  • Rutledge & Vine; 2016 Napa Valley Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon (75 cases, $165)
  • Saviah Cellars; 2019 Walla Walla Valley Rosé ($20)
  • Scarlett Wines; 2019 Napa Valley Rutherford Rosé ($20), 2028 Napa Valley Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc ($28), 2018 Napa Valley Rutherford Zinfandel ($42), 2018 Petite Sirah ($38)
  • Sextant; 2019 Paso Robles Estate Grenache Rosé ($24)
  • Southbrook Vineyards; 2018 Lincoln Lakeshore Kelta Chardonnay ($30)
  • Spicerack Vineyards; 2018 Spicerack Red Rhône Blend ($25)
  • T-Vine Cellars; 2019 Sierra Foothills Rosé of Grenache (375 cases, $32), 2018 Napa Valley Calistoga Frediani Grenache (400 cases, $47)
  • Talley Vineyards; 2018 Estate Chardonnay, 2018 Oliver’s Chardonnay, 2018 Rincon Chardonnay, 2018 Rosemary’s Chardonnay
  • Tank Garage Winery; 2019 El Dorado County Going Home Carbonic White Wine Vermentino/Petit Manseng ($36)
  • Tero Estates; 2019 Rosé of Charbono
  • The Vineyard House; 2016 Oakville Nob Hill Cabernet Sauvignon ($500)
  • Three Sticks Winery; 2019 Sonoma Coast Casteñada Rosé (180 cases, $45), 2018 Sonoma Valley Casteñada White ($45),
  • Titus Vineyards; 2017 Napa Valley Malbec ($52), 2017 Napa Valley Petite Sirah , 2016 Napa Valley Merlot
  • Wade Cellars; 2019 Rose, 2018 White
  • Whetstone Wine Cellars; 2019 Lodi Terra Alta Vineyard Grenache Rosé (50 cases, $40)
  • Wood Family Vineyards ; 2019 Alameda County Livermore Valley Pink Pearl Rosé of Grenache ($30), 2017 Alameda County Livermore Valley Casa de Vinas Petite Sirah (170 cases, $30)
  • Woodhouse Wine Estates; 2019 KS Rosé ($28), 2019 Picnic Blend ($20)
  • Y. Rousseau Wines.; 2017 Clarksburg Tannat
  • Young Inglewood; 2019 Vin Clair Rose ($36), 2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay ($72), 2016 Right Bank Blend Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec ($90), 2016 Napa Valley St. Helena Merlot (24 cases, $95)
  • Youngberg Hill Vineyard; 2019 Aspen Pinot Gris

May 2020 Wine Releases

  • Acorn Winery; 2016 Russian River Valley Alegria Vineyards Heritage Vines Zinfandel (351 cases, $50), 2014 Russian River Valley Alegria Vineyards Acorn Hill (187 cases, $48)
  • Betz Family Winery; 2019 Rose Cache Grenache Rose ($28), 2017 Washington Untold Story Red Blend ($35), 2018 Quinta Essentia Chenin Blanc ($42)
  • Boar's View; 2019 The Coast Pinot Noir (800 cases, $125), 2019 Estate Chardonnay (152 cases, $200)
  • Cameron Winery; 2018 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, 2019 Ramato of Pinot Grigio
  • Ceritas Wines; 2018 Charles Heintz Chardonnay, 2018 Zephyr Chardonnay, 2018 Elliott Pinot Noir, 2018 Trout Gulch Pinot Noir
  • Correlation Wine Company; 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Rosé
  • Fulcrum Wines; 2018 Petaluma Gap Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (214 cases, $70), 2018 Carneros Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir (151 cases, $64)
  • La Frenz; 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Knorr Vineyard Semillon, 2019 Viognier, 2019 Riesling 21B, 2019 Riesling 49, 2019 Alexandria Muscat/Schonburger, 2018 Desperation Hill Pinot Noir, 2019 Chardonnay, 2019 Unoaked Chardonnay, 2019 Pinot Noir Rose, 2017 Malbec, 2017 Merlot, 2017 Syrah, 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Lewis Cellars; 2018 Debbie's Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc ($60)
  • Lobo Wines; 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 Napa Valley Merlot
  • McKahn Family Cellars; 2018 Amador County Grenache
  • Pend d' Oreille Winery; 2019 Rose, 2019 Pinot Gris
  • R&B Cellars; 2017 Lake County Reprise Roussanne (150 cases, $35)
  • Red Thread Wine Company; 2018 Howell Mountain Sparkly Rose, 2019 Howell Mountain Rose
  • Robert Biale Vineyards; 2018 Napa Valley Royal Punishers Petite Sirah
  • Robert Karl Cellars; 2016 Gunselman Bench Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 Rose
  • Torrin; 2017 Lagom
  • Youngberg Hill Vineyard; 2016 Natasha Pinot Noir, 2016 J Block Pinot Noir


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The following 116 winery information pages have been updated since March 15, 2020:


Wine Quote of the Month: "Age is just a number. It's totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine. Joan Collins


Till next month.

Neil Monnens


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