As summer began to transition into fall, we gathered on a cool evening once again at Scott and Wanda’s home. I always wonder how Wanda will outdo herself, and she managed to pull off that feat once again with a delectable pot roast dinner.

We kicked the tasting off with an Italian Pinot Grigio, the 2019 Attems. The grapes were hand-harvested the first ten days of September. It weighs in at an easy 12.5% alcohol by volume.  Jean loved the nose and called it a great warm-weather wine. Ken said it had the perfect amount of fruit and would buy a case for Jacuzzi time. Jan found it refreshing and liked the $15 price point. It scored a solid four out of a possible five stars.

Fiano is an Italian white grape not too many people are familiar with. Oak Farm Vineyards in Lodi has produced an excellent example that garnered 99 points, best of class, and double-gold at the 2020 Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition. Chris called it balanced and refreshing with a long finish. Scott hadn’t had Fiano before and found it velvety with a nice flavor. Jan said it was different, but very nice, dry, and refreshing. At $25, it scored better than three-and-a-half stars.

Our final white came from Montagne Russe, their 2018 Farina Vineyard Chardonnay. Ken liked it, but said at $35 a bottle, he’d rather buy another case of the Pinot Grigio with the savings. Chris called it full-bodied with moderate acidity. I had trouble describing the nose but found it packed with flavor.  It scored just about three stars.

On to the reds… from Italy, we tasted a Merlot/Sangiovese blend, La Vite’s 2107 Lucente. Scott called it pleasant and thought the $28 price point was attractive. Paula found it balanced with notes of blackberry and cigar. Ken said it was light, but tasty with some spice. Chris enjoyed the beautiful ruby color with notes of plum, raspberry, and blueberry. It scored a solid four stars.

We ended the evening with a pair from Eberle in Paso Robles. First up was the 2017 Côtes du Robles, a true GSM, Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre blend. Jan said “nice!” She liked the good fruit balance and thought $28 was a decent price point. I loved this wine and found it easy drinking and very satisfying. Ken liked the spicy nose with definite pepper. Paula liked the finish and also called it a good value. It garnered just over four stars.

We ended with the 2017 Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon. Gary Eberle built his reputation on Cab, and not that long ago I tasted his 1980 Cab which is still holding up magnificently. Chris was impressed with the dark red cherry and blackberry nose extending to the palate. Jan enjoyed the balance of fruit and tannins. Ken called the nose silky and wonderful perfume. Jean and Al called it very drinkable. At $40, it also scored better than four stars.