June 16, 2021

Bri's Best Bottles: June Edition

A new month awaits, which means a new batch of wines for me to share with you for my Best Bottles: June Edition. This month we’re returning to the IG Live format to present the video portion of this post. I’ll be there tonight at 6pm (Pacific), where in 30 minutes or less I share with you the 10 wines I’m enjoying in the month of June.  If you miss the IG Live, don’t fret, all the wine details are below and you can re-watch it on my IGTV channel.

Without further ado, I bring to you my Best Bottles for the month of June.

Ricci Curbastro Franciacorta Satèn Brut (Lombardy, Italy) $30

I love playing the “if you drink this, you’ll like this” game. If you drink Champagne, you’ll love Franciacorta. And isn’t it just fun to say?! Franciacorta is a traditional method sparkling wine made in the Lombardy region of Italy. It’s actually made in the same style as Champagne. A cool fact about Franciacorta: about 60% of the vineyard area is organic (that’s good for you and good for the planet). The Satèn style is Blanc de Blancs, meaning that only white grapes can be used and is bottled with slightly lower atmospheres of pressure than a normal Franciacorta (5 atm vs 6 atm). In this Ricci Curbastro bottle we have 100% Chardonnay fermented in oak barrels and then aged for 40 months in bottle. The texture of this wine is seamless, due to the additional lees aging. And this wine is quite a bit fresher than I’d expect with the extensive aging.  Beautiful notes of citrus, and stone fruit, plus the signature spice that I expect from a Franciacorta. 

Smith-Madrone 2017 Chardonnay (Napa Valley, CA) $40

Smith-Madrone is a pioneer of Napa Valley, especially Spring Mountain, which can be cooler than the rest of the Valley because of elevation. A Napa Chardonnay for those who don’t dig Napa Chardonnay. Restrained and Old World in style. The fermentation starts in stainless steel tanks and then moves to barrel to complete the fermentation. It is then aged in 85% new French oak for 10 months. How do we get a “not too oaky” Chardonnay with that much new oak? The secret is that they source tightly grained barrels, which impart less oak aromas and flavors than looser grained ones. I learned something new today with that tidbit!

Château Roquefort 2019 Bordeaux Blanc (Bordeaux, France) $13.99

This Bordeaux Blanc hails from the Entre-Deux-Mers sub-region of Bordeaux, which sits between the Left Bank and the Right Bank and between the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. There are a slew of producers from Bordeaux who are committing to sustainability standards, in an area that is not necessarily known for that historically. Hopefully these producers will help usher the region to more environmentally friendly practices. At Château Roquefort, only 45% of the estate is planted to vines and the grapes are farmed organically. The rest is forest, woods, and fields, which encourages biodiversity. In this bottle, we have a Bordeaux Blanc made from 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Sémillon. This is a perfect, high acid daily drinker, and at a fantastic price. Another cool fact: they use lighter weight glass bottles to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Saracina 2019 Sauvignon Blanc (Mendocino, CA) $23

Another (very different) take on Sauvignon Blanc. From everything I’ve heard, the 250-acre Saracina ranch sounds like a lovely place to visit. In addition to wine, they also make olive oil and honey. They were founded by the Fetzer family in 2001. And it’s still family owned….just a different family ☺ the Taub Family. This is not a California Sauvignon fruit bomb, no ma’am! This is an aromatic yet austere wine, giving me bracing acid plus a really cool note of lemongrass.

Clif Family 2020 Rosé of Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley, CA) $30

If Clif with one “f” looks familiar, it’s because this is the same Clif Family who own the Clif Bars brand. Cabernet Franc is not a grape I regularly see in a rosé, which is why I picked it! At $30 for a rosé, it’s definitely a bit of a splurge, but sometimes you just have to treat yourself. This wine serves up heaps of stone fruit (peaches and apricots) and a touch (just a touch) of sweetness. Plus some tannin influence to give it a bit of structure. An evening rosé, perhaps?

Rabble 2019 Rosé (Paso Robles, CA) $15.99

If the previous rosé was an evening rosé, this Rabble rosé is squarely a 12 noon on a Sunday rosé. No pretention and no seriousness. This is made with 100% Paso Robles Syrah. All the red fruit here (mostly strawberries) plus tangerine and kiwi fruit….yes, kiwi fruit! That descriptor was a first for me, but I definitely got it here!

Résonance 2018 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, OR) $35.99

Résonance is the New World side of Louis Jadot, a very famous Burgundy producer. They share the same grape: Pinot Noir. Oregon Pinot Noir is one of my favorite styles of wine. I appreciate the Old World light-handed style (versus the heavy-handed CA style). And I love the restraint and balance I get from so many of the wines, this one included. The grapes come from the Yamhill-Carlton and Dundee Hills sub-regions of the Willamette. I find this wine to be both energetic and elegant. Dark red fruited notes plus solid acid. I’m here for it!

BARRA of Mendocino 2018 Petite Sirah (Mendocino, CA) $26

The Charlie Barra was one of the pioneers of Mendocino, along with Barney Fetzer. Charlie first planted vines in 1955, but didn’t start BARRA of Mendocino until 1997. Petite Sirah is their signature grape that launched the brand in 1997, and is now their calling card. The grapes are certified organic. This is a deep, dark, and brooding wine. And yes, I know it’s summer, but I want to make sure to not neglect the "big red" category, because there are plenty of red wine only lovers out there. I got you. Deep purple in color, which is classic of Petite Sirah. Blue and black fruit + load of spice to round it out. 

Tedeschi Capitel Nicalò Valpolicella Superiore DOC (Valpolicella, Italy) $24.99

We’re taking it back to the Old World with OG Valpolicella producer Tedeschi who dates back to 1630. Valpolicella is known for a style of wine in which the grapes are dried after harvest in order to concentrate flavors. This is called appassimento. In the case of this wine, the grapes are placed in crates for about month to dry, where they lose 8-10% of their weight. The water loss naturally increases the sugar content of the grapes. A fruity and easy to drink wine that really hits the spot when I want a chill Italian red. Red fruit (lots of plums and cherries) plus pepper/spice on the back palate. And just the amount of old world funk that reminds me we are firmly in Italy. 

Dry Creek Vineyard 2017 Estate Zinfandel (Sonoma, CA) $44

And for a total change of pace, we’re back to the New World with a juicy AF Dry Creek Zinfandel. So juicy, I can almost hear Cardi B sayin…..wet, wet, wet. This Dry Creek Vineyard Zin swept me off my feet with its almost berry pie notes of boysenberry and blackberry. If you want an unabashed New World Zin, this is the one. Tertiary notes of sweet tobacco and leather round out the rear. Really, really lovely. Now who is braising the short ribs?

That’s all folks….see you next month!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’re looking to Up Your Wine Game and Drink Better, consider booking a private in-person or virtual wine tasting experience or register to attend my public Virtual Vino here.
Brianne Cohen Wine Educator
Brianne Cohen is a certified sommelier, wine educator, consultant, and writer based out of Los Angeles.

Since March 2020, Brianne has educated and entertained over 5,000 people through her “Virtual Vino” online wine tastings.

Brianne holds the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Diploma certificate, one of the most coveted wine certifications in the world. When she’s not helping others Up Their Wine Game, she can be found judging at international wine competitions.

Brianne aims to make wine approachable and conversational, to surprise and delight with unexpected, distinctive wine finds, and to give people knowledge (and confidence) about wine in their everyday lives.

Connect With Brianne →
Sample Policy

As a wine writer, I frequently accept samples for review on my  website and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions.

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

Brianne Cohen Favicon

Recent Posts

Stay up to date on my wine sips, jaunts, offerings & events

As a thank you, I'll share with you answers to my 5 Most Common Wine Questions!
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
Site Credit: MADE BY WMN
Brianne Cohen Logo
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram