Don’s February Premier Series Top Picks

There is quality and there is preference.  Sometimes, it’s difficult to ascertain where one begins and the other ends, especially when forced to choose among four high quality wines, all of which I enjoy.  Nonetheless, a choice must be made.  With that in mind, my top wine picks this month belong to Donati Family Vineyard’s 2007 Claret and Gilles Noblet’s 2010 Domaine de la Collonge Macon Fuissé.  Why?  Let’s start with this month’s primary white wine: Nobody makes consistently better Macon-Fuissé and Pouilly-Fuissé than Gilles Noblet, and he does it at a fair price so that savvy consumers can afford to purchase his wines more than once a year.

My other top pick is Donati’s delicious 2007 Claret.  Donati, like so many other small California wineries outside of Napa and Sonoma, has flown under the mainstream wine press’s radar for far too long.  Wines from smaller wineries such as Donati can go un-tasted and therefore un-sung amidst oceans of more commercial brands.  A juicy blend of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, the 2007 Donati Claret is both immediately satisfying and subtlety complex.  I also believe blends are one of California’s potential growth areas and true strengths, but such blends are often eschewed in favor of varietal bottling.  On the subject of blends, give this month’s Gualbenzu Vierlas a try.  It, too, is an artful blend from a lesser known region of Spain.

A Votre Santé!