Our favorite wines of 2018 - The American Edition
The awesome thing about doing what we do is that we get to drink a lot of wine. And we do mean A LOT of wine. Most of it gets lost in conversations and forgotten about, but truly great wines are the wines that you will remember for a lifetime. They stand out, they make you feel better, and they have a way of making moments in your life more special. These are some of the wines that have stood out to us as the truly great wines and our favorite wines of 2018.
Martha Stoumen - Basically everything she makes
Lets just go out and say it, Martha Stoumen has been our best and favorite winemaker of 2018, and we could not pick out one wine that we loved because every wine was awesome. This woman has a real talent, but its her attention to detail from the vineyard to the winery that shines through. Her Nero d’Avola is exceptional, deep, dark, and spicy and her Rosato of Nero d’Avola was an experience that totally changed how we view rosé wines (we were getting very bored). Her Varietally Incorrect Viognier was racy, electric, and exciting, and her Post Flirtation Red has been one of the most delicious, easy drinking, and glou glou wines of the year. We cannot wait for 2019 only because that means more new wines from Martha!
Craft Wine Company - Minimus Pinot Noir
Pinot noir has a weird cultish following. People obsess over these wines and search for complexity often where there is none. What we really want is a pinot that is accessible, delicious, and easy drinking. Step in the Minimus Pinot Noir from the Craft Wine Company. A light wine that offers delicious, fresh red cherries from the get go. This sans soufre (no sulfites added) wine feels fresh and wonderful to drink and even the most obsessive pinot noir drinker will love its subtle complexity. A beautiful wine that is at the heart of many gatherings and we just keep coming back for more.
Vinca Minor - Carignan
California’s new wave of awesome winemakers have needed a front person that a new audience could relate too. Carignan is going to be the next big thing from California as it does a Freddy Mercury and makes people pay attention to its sheer awesomeness. Vinca Minor Carignan is our favorite of the lot. Lighter and more supple than its brethren, this wine is nonetheless rich in red fruit flavor with a driving note of earthiness that gives it purpose. A wine that will be remembered for a long time, this is Carignan’s Live Aid performance.
Teutonic Wine Company - Willamette Valley Riesling
The Teutonic Wine Company know their riesling! There is excitement over anything new they do, but above all we keep coming back to that super fun, super approachable, off-dry Wilammette Valley Riesling. It’s like adult apple juice (kind of tastes like it too), with a little hint of honeycomb. This riesling just has a way of making you feel comfortable and happy.
Drew The Fog Eater Pinot Noir
So many California pinot noir wines are over the top, over extracted, jammy monsters of hideousness, but like a cool fog rolling in over the hills the Drew Fog Eater Pinot Noir is a welcome change from the norm. A wine that is fruit forward and yet elegant, outrageous and yet restrained. This pinot noir is a great wine for special occasions with friends and family who appreciate the finer things with just enough complexity to make you feel accomplished. You will get wrapped up in its warm blanket of cranberries, red cherries, and rhubarb.
Coturri Winery - Red NV
“Whoa!” “Holy shit!” “What the fuck, is this awesomeness I am tasting” were just a few things used to describe the Cotturri Red. We wanted something big, heavy, and unrelenting and we found it in this weird blend This was the biggest, most bad ass, heavy wine that we tried this year. For the folks looking for the ultimate in full body wines to eat with those massive steaks and prime ribs your search for the peak of Everest is over.
Day Wines - Mamacita
Ok so we definitely had to include a Pet-Nat in or favorites list, because who doesn’t love a Pet-Nat right? With so many weird, wild, and wonderful options to choose from we had to say that the Day Wines Mamacita took the cake (or took the tart?) Its less fizzy than your other sparkling wines, but the fruit flavors come through so much more. This wine is a go to for starting parties and hanging out.
Idlewild - Dolcetto and Barbera
Sam Bilbro’s Idlewild is a Californian reflection of Piedmont, and you cannot have Piedmont without dolcetto and barbera. Yes, everybody loves Nebbiolo, we get that! But these wines are almost like two sides of the same coin. The Idlewild Dolcetto was roaring with dusty tannins that gave way to an earthy nose a dark fruity wine. The Idlewild Barbera was a different animal, bigger, darker, and herbaceous. Ooh baby did this wine hit a deep note with its bold structure and beautiful aroma of a summer field. These wines were the highlights of our summer barbecue.
Forlorn Hope - Ost-Intrigen Saint Laurent
This wine is high fashion! Our search for a delicious light bodied red wine that was immensely crushable also serious and complex came to a conclusion that the Forlorn Hope Ost-Intrigen is the most amazing red wine on the planet. Bright, spicy, and aromatic wrapped up in an elegant, silk and lace package that consumes you with lust.