Summer Splurges

I have to bundle up against the damp, cold air as I head out on the trail for my morning run in the Presidio. Later that day, a trip down to the Peninsula brings temperatures so hot as to necessitate a dip in the pool. And once again, the Warriors are on the cusp of another championship. All of this can really only mean one thing: summer is here. In California, we are fortunate to enjoy a great seasonal bounty, from heirloom tomatoes, to artichokes, to peaches. Below is a list of five wines from around the world to accompany your favorite warm-weather fare on a variety of occasions. These are wines that are sure to over-deliver for that July birthday or August anniversary celebration.

1. Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte Anne Brut, Champagne, France NV

$44.99 at

Located well off the beaten path in the tiny village of Merfy, Alexandre Chartogne utilizes only his family’s vineyard holdings to craft his sought-after Champagnes. The process is artisanal and tightly controlled, beginning with the vineyards that are plowed by horse. This Champagne shows notes of crisp green apple, grilled lemon, and bread crust.

2. Laurent Tribut Chablis, Burgundy, France 2015

$34.99 at

Chablis is a wine region at the northern edge of where winegrowing is possible. This is Chardonnay that is crisp, zesty, mineral, and essentially un-oaked. Laurent Tribut married into one of the most storied winemaking families of the area and has established himself as one of the premier new producers. This is a medium-bodied wine of green apple, smoke, and crushed oyster shell.

3. Heitz Cellars Rosé of Grignolino, Napa Valley, California 2016

$23.99 at

This is just to tide you over until our next Rosé release comes out shortly. The Grignolino grape comes from Piedmont, Italy, but has long been grown by this historic Napa family. This is a refreshing style with pretty red fruit tones and plenty of spice notes.

4. Arnot-Roberts Syrah, North Coast, California 2015

$39.99 at

This is a wine that will go well with anything you feel like grilling. Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Roberts are wine country natives who source grapes exclusively from cool-climate vineyards. The resulting wines are full of energy. This Syrah is medium-bodied showing notes of red plum, cracked pepper, and Herbes de Provence.

5. Timo Mayer Pinot Noir ‘Dr. Mayer’, Yarra Valley, Australia 2014

$89.99 at

Timo Mayer’s small-production wines have become sought after by sommeliers all over the world. The Yarra Valley is cooled by breezes coming up from Antarctica making it an ideal place for Pinot Noir. This bottling is driven by bright cranberry tones, rhubarb, and black tea notes. The finish is long and balanced.  

Martin Sheehan-Stross