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Anna de Codorniu Brut Rose, D.O. Cava, Spain ($12.99) -- In the galaxy of impressive sparkling wines, this beauty from Codorniu stands out not only for value but also for its utterly pure fruit aromas and its compelling deliciousness. Fresh ripe strawberry and cherry flavors, an attractive mousse and the soft, seductive mouthfeel will be hard to beat at this price. Rating: 90.

Tasting Notes

Flora Springs 2017 Merlot, Napa Valley ($35) -- Napa Valley merlot from a top-notch producer continues to be one of the greatest values in a land where value is in short supply. This beauty from Flora Springs shows impressive depth, with layers of blueberry, cherry and blackberry fruit, a hint of graphite and just the right touch of oak spice. Drink now or cellar. Rating: 93.

Anaba 2019 Grenache Rose, Sonoma County ($30) -- Pale onion-skin in color, this dry rose from Sonoma is a surprise on the palate, showing impressive complexity and crisp acidity that refreshes and whets the appetite for another sip. Notes of citrus, stone fruits and tart apple linger on the finish. Rating: 92.

Tongue Dancer 2018 Pinot Noir, Pratt/Putnam Vineyards, Sonoma Coast ($49) -- Winemaker James MacPhail strikes again, this time with an impressive pinot noir from the Sonoma Coast's Pratt and Putnam vineyards. Richly textured and complex, this vintage shows bright raspberry and cherry notes with a subtle touch of wood spice and firm but nicely integrated tannins. Rating: 92.


Jean-Ernest Descombes 2018 Morgon AOC, Beaujolais, France ($23.99) -- One of the most reliable and complex of all the cru Beaujolais, this example from Descombes runs true to form. A note of violets on the nose pulls you into the glass seductively, where it delivers sweet red fruits, a juicy texture and soft, supple tannins that make for easy summer sipping. Rating: 90.


Follow Robert on Twitter at @wineguru. To find out more about Robert Whitley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at Email Robert at




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