Wine World

Wines to celebrate Mom

Chappellet CheninBlanc; Handley Cellars Pinot Noir; J Vineyards & Winery "J Cuvee 20" Brut; La Sirena Moscato Azul; Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc.

If Mom is a wine lover, be sure to check out these wines to toast her on her day. These wines are either made by moms or inspired by moms, and are great choices just for sipping or for pairing with your favorite foods. Mom doesn’t drink? Then these wines are for you. They may help you enjoy the day even more.

Chappallet “Signature” Napa Valley Chenin Blanc 2014 ($32)

Co-founder in 1967 of Chappallet with her husband, Donn, Molly Chappallet loves her Chenin Blanc. When it was suggested that the winery (now run by her sons) cease production of the varietal, the prescient matriarch felt otherwise. When Chenin Blanc fell out of favor, other wineries ripped out their vineyards, but the varietal is now enjoying a resurgence. Winemaker Phillip Titus crafts this dry-style wine with aromas and flavors of melon, tropical fruit, and orange blossoms — and Molly’s gold signature graces the elegant bottle of every vintage.

Handley Cellars Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($32)

Milla Handley is a third generation “Milla,” and was inspired by her parents’ respect of nature and tribal art collection, as evident with the Handley labels and tasting room. She has worked with some of the most well-known vintners (Jed Steele, Richard Arrowood) and wineries (Chateau St. Jean, Edmeades). Among her excellent Pinots, this one is considered Handley’s flagship wine, a “consistent expression of the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.” This vintage has a spicy berry aroma and a crisp acidity with a round finish.

J Vineyards & Winery “J Cuvée 20” Brut NV ($25)

J Wines founder Judy Jordan, whose father, Tom, owns the winery, credits her mother for her style and influence. Although winemaker Melissa Stackhouse grew up in a Midwest milk-drinking family, she’s found her niche at J Wines (after 10 years at La Crema Winery, among others). She says this sparkling is perfect anytime from casual get-togethers to celebrating special occasions, and is the perfect complement to Eggs Benedict with its crisp aromas (Meyer lemon, toasted almonds), with a palate of “fresh mousse” and a lemon-lime-Asian pear finish.

La Sirena Moscato Azul 2014 ($30)

Heidi Peterson Barrett’s artist mother and winemaker-scientist father led her to winemaking as the ultimate expression of both passions. Barrett, known widely for her cult classic Screaming Eagle Cabernet, makes this Moscato from Napa Valley Muscat Canelli. This wine is not sweet (only 0.4 percent residual sugar), despite its deceptively sweet, perfumey nose. Its crisp acidity makes it compatible with a variety of dishes (from seafood to triple cream cheese), and it’s the perfect spring and summer sipping choice. Robert Parker calls it “unbelievably fun.” Barrett’s only white wine is bottled in a striking cobalt blue bottle, which matches the winery’s signature graceful mermaid on the label.

Merry Edwards Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($32)

Merry Edwards started cooking with wine as a teenager, inspired by her mom’s cookbooks from the California Wine Advisory Board. Now, she has been making wine for 50 years, and back at her time at Matanzas Creek Winery, her mom helped her during harvest. Edwards says she could have never done it without Mom’s help. Edwards is now known as the Queen of Pinot, but her Sauvignon Blancs also deserve credit. She makes a different kind, one with more body and flavor instead of those that are bone dry with grassy grapefruit flavors. Fermented in French oak, the 2014 is rich and full with notes of citrus, vanilla, and roasted nuts.

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