With beaches and swimming pools closed, this summer in Hong Kong can look dull, but that doesn’t mean you should be spending all day at home sulking about the long lost summer holidays. Sips of Summer, a pop-up store launched by California Wine Institute, might be the closest we have to imagine a breezy summer holiday under the new normal.
Here are five not-to-miss wines at this year’s Sips of Summer pop-up store including some refreshing Chardonnays and California’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon to brighten up your summer.
J Lohr Sevens Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Located in California’s Central Cost, the family estate J Lohr has over 50 years of winemaking history and counting. With over 1400 acres (566 ha) of vineyards mainly in Monterey County and the Arroyo Seco Appellation, the winery crafts a range of wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The straw-colored 2017 Riverstone Chardonnay would be ideal for Hong Kong’s soggy summer on the beach or on a junk. It’s packs plenty of flavors and is redolent of peach, yellow flowers, marmalade, baking spices and honey.
The wine will be sold at Sips of Summer pop-up store from August 20 to 23, and is imported in Hong Kong through Golden Gate Wine.
Wente Riva Ranch Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
This Chardonnay comes from the oldest continuously operated and family-owned winery, Wente Vineyards, in the US. Founded in 1883, the family estate today is run by the fourth and fifth generations of Wente family. Made from grapes grown in the cool climate Riva Ranch Vineyard in Arroya Secco, Monterey, the 2018 Riva Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay opens with bold oak aromatics, complemented by rich tropical fruit such as pineapple to white nectarine and sweet baking spices on the palate.
The wine is available at the Sips of Summer pop-up store from August 20 to 23, and is imported in Hong Kong by WineShop Asia.
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Named after Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wine according to the winery is a result of its hunt for best grapes from Napa. These would include indeed some of the best parcels of vineyards in California including Atlas Peak and St. Helena. The 2017 is quite a monumental vintage for the winery after it survived the raging wildfires that year. At Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, the Atlas Peak fire burned right down to the edge of the estate vineyards. Thankfully the vineyard served as a giant fire break and the winery was undamaged and its staff were safe.
The 2017 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 1% Malbec, is indeed quite a wine of strength. Full-bodied and powerful, the wine has aromas of ripe raspberry, dark cherry, hints of cedar and spice with a long and lingering finish.
Imported in Hong Kong by ASC Fine Wines, the wine is available at Sips of Summer pop-up store in Fashion Walk from August 27 to 30.
Orin Swift Machete 2017
After working at Robert Mondavi in 1997, Dave Phinney launched his own Californian wine brand Orin Swift, which gained immediate success with savvy marketing and most importantly quality wines. Sourcing the best grapes from over 100 vineyards across California, he makes, or improvises, his full-throttle wines decorated by quirky labels which propel the brand to a cult status in the US. Machete is a blend of Petite Sirah, with ripe and bold black fruit flavors accompanied by pleasant texture.
The wine is available at the pop-up store throughtout August 27-30 and is imported in Hong Kong via Watson’s Wine.
DuMOL Highland Divide Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016
Founded in 1996, DuMOL is a vineyard focused producer of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from distinctive vineyards in Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. Highland Divide Chardonnay is a cool-climate blend of two world-class vineyards in Green Valley. This is not just a mixing of sites and barrels, but a great equilibrium between concentration, texture and vibrancy. The final wine has complexity and detail to burn. Apple, lime and melon fruit characters dominate. Sweet sage, fennel and ginger notes add detail. The palate is full-bodied with a deep oily intensity.
Available at the pop-up store from August 27 to 30 and other days you can grab a bottle or a case from Watson’s Wine.