My 2020 wines of the year—a white, a red, a Champagne, and a rosé—are a slam dunk. Without further ado, here they are:
WHITE: Gundlach-Bundschu Estate Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2019: This hits it out of the ballpark. Aromatic, balanced, crisp and rich, it’s dry unlike many Gewurztraminers. It’s a great food wine in the tradition of dry Riesling. But with spicy and Asian food you’ll want to try a sweeter style.
RED: Lingua Franca Avni Pinot Noir 2016. This surprisingly affordable medium-body Pinot is a standout, with raspberry and black cherry flavors, crisp with a slightly tart and spicy finish. From the domestic kingdom of Pinot Noir, Oregon’s Willamette Valley. If it’s sold out the 2017 is also outstanding.
SPARKLING: Champagne Pierre Bertrand Premier Cru NV, Brut. This grower Champagne puts many if not most of the big marques in its place: bold in color, with its heft coming from Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, and freshness from Chardonnay, biscuity with a long, fruity finish.
ROSE: Ehlers Estate Sylviane Rosé 2019. This unusual full-bodied wine of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc has a rich, dark color and aromas of raspberry and melon, with some hints of tannin and a long, crisp finish.