Two Tasty Americans – solid value Pennsylvania Chairman’s Selections: Beringer Sauvignon Blanc and Sebastiani Merlot

With price points just north of my $10 qualification to be a ‘screaming good deal’, these two wines present very solid value to the wine-loving consumer.

Beringer Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2012 – The Beringer winery in Napa Valley is an icon of the US wine industry.   Founded in 1875, Beringer has operated successfully and steadily expanded to its current globally recognized status.   Known for high volume production, and high-end estate wines, Beringer’s solid quality regional wines are sometimes overlooked.   The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley is a regional (all the fruit is from Napa) wine we should not overlook.   Starting with a bright yellow color in the glass, the Sauv Blanc offers fresh aromas of citrus and a hint of grass.   A sip reveals a medium bodied, juicy mouthful of nicely balanced citrus, especially lime and melon, ending with a nicely fresh, not-too-crisp finish.   The Wine Advocate awarded a score of 89 to this wine – if considering the value of this $10.99 bottle; I would push that up to 90 points using a similar scale.   This is a wine that will be useful all summer long, on porches, decks and in backyards with light bites and fish dishes!   (PLCB Code: 33239 Beringer Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2012 $10.99 Orig. $16.00)

Sebastiani Merlot Sonoma County 2010 – For years Sonoma County winemakers have offered fine alternatives, often more affordably, to the more hyped Napa wines.   Others have suggested that Sonoma is more ‘relaxed’ than the more tightly-wound-tourist-focused Napa region.   With no science to decide on these suggestions, we can only judge on a case by case basis.   In this case, the Sebastiani Merlot Sonoma County 2010 is a laid back, fruit-driven, rewarding red wine that deserves some attention at this Chairman’s Selection price point!   Sometimes surprises are welcome, but other times a consistent performer that delivers exactly what you expected is even more rewarding… and this Merlot delivers the full-figured, mouth-filling, lush, dark fruit that one would hope to find in a California Merlot.   Just shy of being over-the-top (in recent years many CA reds have suffered from off-putting over-rich flavors), this Merlot hits the flavor targets and oak-balance very nicely.    If you are grilling cheese burgers with friends and need a firm red to accompany, this Merlot will do the job!   Tons available, but grab some before it sells out!     (PLCB Code: 33258 Sebastiani Merlot Sonoma County 2010 $10.99  Orig. $18.00)