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Are you a curious sipper?

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Three very different wines came onto center stage recently and received standing ovations.

Garnet Vineyards 2012 pinot noir is not your traditional, modest varietal. It’s a lovely firecracker in a velvet case.

These Sonoma County grapes thrive in this cool, foggy, albeit it, ideal climate that is a mirror of the ideal terroir. They plunge in and out of the fog line during the ripening season. But, they get enough heat to express full, forward fruit character. The result is a wine that is complex, structured and an excellent value ($20).

"As a winemaker, it’s much more exciting to be able to draw from a diverse array of out estate vineyards and our Sonoma Coast wines reflect that evolution,” said Allison Crowe. "Clove and sweet vanilla aromas give way to a powerful rush of dried cherries and ripe blackberries. Classic pinot noir characteristics of mushrooms and baking spices pair with supple tannins and dark fruit flavors.”

SIP 2012 Moscato ($15) is a different twist on the traditional sparkling wine. Its sleek bottle adds a touch of sophistication to any celebration. Crafted from 100 percent orange muscat, the selection has no residual sugar, just natural sweetness through arrested fermentation.

Orange blossom and banana aromas make a spectacular opening followed by white peach, honey and citrus flavors. Pour this with spicy Indian and Asian dishes.

From the Calatayud region of Spain comes Lo Nuevo 2012 Sorbo A Sorbo Garnacha (In Spanish, “sip to sip”) This area is a high elevation wine region –upwards of 3,000 feet – boasts vines 60-80 years.

This dynamic wine has intense aromas and flavors of ripe cherry, raspberry and currant with delicate balsamic notes. It is an excellent buy at $15.



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