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  • An Epic Fantasy Novel - from the Writer of Red Wine Please!


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    Two Excellent Value Wines from Vinum Cellars – a White and a Red

    More than twenty years ago, winemakers Richard Bruno and Chris Condos met while studying at UC Davis.? They both loved Chenin Blanc, a passion I certainly share, and together they established Vinum Cellars in 1997.? They made their start with Chenin Blanc in that first vintage, and have since expanded to several other varietals.? Working with top vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Clarksburg, Monterey and Paso Robles, Richard and Chris now offer Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, various blends and a sparkling Chenin Blanc.? Here we’ll review their 20th Anniversary Chenin Blanc and Petite Sirah.

    Both of these wines are sourced from grapes grown in Wilson’s Farms, a fourth generation farm established in 1922.? The owners quickly realized that the two best varietals to grow in that particular spot were Chenin Blanc and Petite Sirah.? Their Clarksburg location benefits from a cool afternoon air flow from San Francisco Bay, which help the grapes maintain their natural acid.

    Here are the wines, first the white:

    Vinum Chenin BlancWine: ? 2017 Vinum Cellars? 20 Year Anniversary Chenin Blanc

    Winery Location: ? Grapes from Clarksburg AVA, Yolo County, Northern California

    Tasted By:? Neil & Cheri ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? Date:? April 2019 ?

    Tasting Notes: Before we get to the tasting notes, we have to mention the very fun labels on these wines.? This one, the Chenin Blanc, shows the winemaking team hitchhiking, holding a sign that says “Will Work for Chenin”.? Clearly they don’t need to do that anymore, although they still work extensively with Chenin, and it’s a good thing they do.? This wine is very light straw colored, with a bright nose of tropical fruit mixed with floral notes.? On the palate it is fresh and clean, but has some nice texture as well.? You get all the fruit, framed by some minerality and cleansing acidity.? This is excellent all around, and a great value.

    Price Point – ?? MSRP $15, might find for less.

    Would We Buy It? ?? we would buy this by the case.? It is an excellent bottle of wine, whether it is $15 or $25.? Thankfully it is $15!

    Now the red:

    vinum petite sirahWine: ?? 2016 Vinum Cellars 20 Year Anniversary Petite Sirah

    Winery Location: ? Grapes from Clarksburg AVA, Yolo County, Northern California

    Tasted By:? Neil & Cheri ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? Date:? April 2019 ? ??

    Tasting Notes: This has another fun label, in this case featuring Tanker, the resident vineyard dog at Wilson’s Farm.? As for what’s in the bottle, this is classic Petite Sirah, with a nose of dark berries, savory notes, tobacco and a strong cedar component.? It is rich on the palate, and full bodied with berry, vanilla and well integrated, but firm, tannins.? It finishes long.? This is way beyond its price point from a quality perspective.? It will make a great house red.? Another wine to buy by the case.

    Price Point – ?? MSRP $15, also likely available for less.

    Would We Buy It? ? Absolutely.? This is a great $15 bottle of wine.?

    These are both extremely good value wines.? The Petite Sirah exhibits a depth and complexity far beyond its price point.? The Chenin is clean and bright, with texture and lingering fruit.? Both of these are case buy candidates.? Very well done, and at under $15, extreme values.

    A votre santé!

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