Dried quince and clementine notes form the core, backed by a minerally spine and flecked with hints of ginger and jasmine on the finish. A tasty change of pace and a nice effort in this vintage. — J.M.
Immediate gratification is the hallmark of this red, featuring enticing juicy strawberry, cherry, currant and rose flavors. Linear and elegant, with a spine of prickly tannins, but this feels balanced in the end. Drink now through 2032. – B.S.
Planeta is small La Baronia estate on Sicily’s northwest coast includes a handful of nocera vines planted on Capo Milazzao, a narrow promonitory that juts out into the sea with views of the Acolian islands. Native to the region, nocera typically appears in blends to bulk up the color and structure. Here, the grapes underwent a one-week maceration, gaining a deep ruby color and firm tannins to frame the flavors of fresh strawberry, red currant, pomegranate and herbs.The 2016 is the second vintage of this wine; it’s a project worth watching. - S.J.
Planeta’s Etna Rosso from the moderate 2016 growing season is understated and elegant. It opens with delicate floral scents that lead into flavors of red plum and Morello cherry; fine sandpapery tannins and subtle notes of green olive and savory herbs add complexity to the finish. - S.J.
BEST BUY: A blend of 35% Grenache Blanc, 25% Vermentino, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, this opens with lovely herbal notes of thyme, lavender and coriander, with some lime leaf, green melon and white peach tones to support. A pleasant bitterness lends texture to the palate, while the finish is clean and fresh. Drink up. – L.B.
Features an ample core of crushed raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors, wrapped in red licorice accents and carried by a roasted apple wood spine on the finish. Grippy, but stays juicy and fresh throughout, with sneaky length in the end. Best from 2021 through 2030. - J.M.
Toasty oak and savory cherry and plum aromas are meaty and calm. On the palate, this is linear and compact, with a beam of acidity that keeps things healthy and plodding ahead. Spicy oak flavors blend nicely with tomato, herbal plum and red currant notes. Drink now through 2024. - M.S.
Potent black and blue fruit scents and are complicated by hints of licorice, pipe tobacco and violet. Sweet and sappy on the palate, offering ripe dark berry and cherry compote flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Finishes gently tannic and long, with building spiciness and a suave floral note. - J.R.
Ripe pear notes almost have an overtone of aromatic dried pear. The palate continues but adds both salty yeast notions and lemony highlights to this textured but still-light wine. The finish is dry and bright. Taub Family Selections. – A.K.
BEST BUY; Aromatic notes of very ripe black cherry seem to have a darkly floral overtone on the nose. The palate reveals velvety smooth tannins and aromatic spices of oak: think cinnamon, clove and cocoa. This is a rather sumptuous Zweigelt that makes most of its fruit ripeness. – A.K.