Wine of the Week: Inaugural wines

Regardless of one’s political persuasion, the process of handing off the mantle of administrative power in the U.S. from one president to the next in a peaceful ceremony is something to be respected and celebrated.

Joe Biden was sworn in Wednesday, Jan. 20  as the 46th President of the United States in a diplomatic transition of power. So, in honor of this sacred and revered tradition, here are a few wines that I think are fitting for the occasion.

Those who know me know that I love to start all celebrations with bubbles. And a very fitting bottle to pop open is the 2017 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs from Napa Valley.

This All-American sparkler is made from 100% chardonnay grapes in the Méthode Champenoise style. It gained international recognition in 1972 when President Richard Nixon served it at the historic “Toast to Peace” in Beijing, China.

Since then, it has been the centerpiece at several White House state dinners. This vintage possesses aromas of key lime, freshly cut green apple and honeydew melon, followed by just a hint of pineapple upside-down cake.

The palate is layered with flavors of citrus, ripe pear, pineapple and baked apple upfront, and ends with notes of baked bread on the long, crisp finish. $32

The aptly named 2017 Raymond R Collection “The Inaugural” Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley’s legendary Raymond family is produced with cabernet sauvignon fruit from top-sited vineyards throughout the Central Coast.

The wine sports aromas of blackberry, dark licorice and floral violets. It is big-bodied with enough structure to hold the bold flavors of blackberry, dark cherry and smoked meats together on a frame that is supported by dusty tannins and accented by cocoa and vanilla notes on the long, powerful finish. $30

And just because I like both the wine and the name, the 2017 The Federalist Chardonnay from Mendocino County, California, will find its way into my glass this weekend.

Produced using a combination of American and Hungarian oak, with a bit of French oak, this “revolutionary” wine offers bright scents of citrus and vanilla on the fragrant bouquet.

Flavors of pear tart, baked apple and toasty brioche dominate the front of the palate while hints of lemon meringue and baking spices slide in on the medium-bodied finish. $20


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