Mike Dunne is a longtime SFCWC wine judge and the former food editor, wine columnist, and restaurant critic of the Sacramento Bee. He continues to contribute to the Sacramento Bee weekly wine column. This year, Dunne shares his insights and tasting notes for each of the 2017 Sweepstake winners, giving wine consumers an inside look at why these wines were named the best of the best. Dunne has columns based on the SFCWC scheduled to be published in the Sacramento Bee on April 9 and May 7.
|Brut||Korbel 2013 Sonoma County Russian River Valley Natural' Champagne: Accomplishes the rare combination of expansiveness and centering, the former due to booming fruit, the latter to the tempering of precise blending and the wine's slap of crisp acidity.|
|Sauvignon Blanc/Fume - $19.00 - $22.99||Hanna 2016 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc: For decades, Hanna has been turning out fully realized sauvignon blanc, with the 2016 exceeding even its high standards by its fresh and forward citric aroma and flavor, balance of sunny fruit and zesty acidity, notes of spice, lean structure and astonishing persistence. Please pass the oysters.|
|Gewurztraminer - $15.00 & Over||Castello di Amorosa 2015 Anderson Valley Gewurztraminer: From Anderson Valley, the country's epicenter for Alsatian-style wines, comes a gewurztraminer for which hammocks and hot tubs were invented. The Castello di Amorosa is soothing in its plumpness and quick embrace, and strikes all the benchmarks for the varietal - flowers, peaches, spice - with textbook clarity. Should last for a good five years, though no one likely is to resist it that long.|
|Dry Rose/Blush - RS <.2499||Trentadue Winery 2015 Alexander Valley Rosato di Sangiovese: Sangiovese so consistently yields roses of moxie and grit that it's surprising the genre isn't larger, but it will grow as consumers and winemakers alike get a taste of the Trentadue. From its pretty pink/coral blush and orange-blossom aroma through its spicy and refreshing flavor this is one striding and enticing pink wine.|
|Zinfandel - $48.00 & Over||Tonti Family Wines 2013 Russian River Valley Old Vine Zinfandel: Just goes to show you, even warmer zinfandels (15.9 percent alcohol) can pack enough fresh boysenberry fruit, pie spices, agility and acid to come off refreshing rather than challenging.|
|White Dessert - RS >3.50||Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants Vidal Blanc Ice Wine: From its deep and shimmering gold-nugget color through its massaging texture to its finishing notes of peach, honey and spice, this is one phenomenal ice wine.|