Raise Your Glass: 2024 Top Wine Picks

Pour

Local wine experts share their best-in-class wine selections to help you pick, pair, and partake like a sommelier.

raise your glass picks 2024

Sparkling

1. Champagne Ruppert-Leroy
Fosse Grely Brut Nature

Essoyes, France

Champagne Ruppert-Leroy Fosse Grely Brut Nature is a pure expression of its terroir, meticulously crafted by Bénédicte Ruppert and Manu Leroy from organically and biodynamically farmed vineyards in Essoyes. With a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, this Champagne reveals the essence of its clay-limestone soil, offering a harmonious balance of minerality and fruit. Vinified with natural yeast, aged on fine lees, and disgorged “à la volée” without added SO2 (sulfur dioxide), it exemplifies the duo’s commitment to artisanal winemaking and terroir-driven expression.

White

2. Arnaud Lambert Clos De Midi Saumur Blanc

Loire, France

Arnaud Lambert’s Midi Saumur Blanc reflects the Loire Valley’s terroir with vineyards on tuffeau limestone bedrock and a continental climate. Meticulous vinification, including whole cluster pressing and careful juice selection, leads to a balanced blend of stainless steel and old French oak barrel aging. This approach creates a vibrant and expressive wine, lightly filtered and ready to enjoy, with notes of citrus, green apple, and a hint of minerality on the palate.

Red

3. Garage Wine Co. Pirque Vineyard Cabernet Franc

Maipo Valley, Chile

Garage Wine Co.’s Pirque Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2016 embodies elegance and strength. With varietal and terroir character, the wine offers notes of blue fruit, mint, and balsamic, supported by textbook tannins, a testament to its mountainous origins in the Maipo Valley, where it is nurtured with care and precision, resulting in a wine destined for graceful evolution in the bottle.

Rosé

4. Domaine Montrose Rosé

Languedoc, France

Domaine Montrose Rosé reflects the Coste family’s 300-year winemaking legacy in Languedoc, where calcareous clay and volcanic soils nurture their vines. Nighttime harvesting preserves freshness for the separate vinification of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Blended for elegance, it offers delightful red berry and peach notes with a hint of spice, pairing perfectly with grilled dishes and salads.

brian bullard

Brian Bullard | Wine Manager,
Imbibe Chattanooga

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raise your glass picks 2024

Sparkling

1. Obsidian Wine Co. Pear Blanc

Lake County, California

Obsidian’s Pear Blanc is made with fresh, specially-sourced Bartlett pears from Lake County ‒ the county is known to produce the finest pears on the West Coast, and is also distinct for its volcanic style Sauvignon Blanc. The pears are pulped, juiced, and then fermented in steel drums for 21 days in a stainless steel tank, slow and steady to keep all the lovely aromatics. Blended together in equal parts, Pear Blanc is the perfect union of creamy, lush, peary aromas, flavors, and texture balanced by the refreshing salinity, citrus peel, and stone fruit character of Sauvignon Blanc. It features a touch of spritz and no residual sugar.

White

2. Josef Fischer Riesling
Rossatz Federspiel Wachau

Rossatz, Austria

A dry Riesling in the Federspiel style, this wine from the Fischer family offers notes of gasoline on the nose, nice density, and a clean finish. Riesling prefers poorer soil, and situated close to the Danube, Rossatz’s Steiger vineyard is rich with paragneiss and littered with crushed stones. The tensile, saline Ried Steiger Federspiel counterposes smoky, clinging minerality with torpor-conquering acidity to create an irresistible sense of tension. It ferments spontaneously and ages the better part of a year on fine lees in stainless steel with minimal sulfur additions. The salmon on the bottle represents the Fischer family’s effort to repopulate the Danube River with wild salmon.

Red

3. Terra Firma Winery Belsetán Garnacha

Bajo Aragón, Spain

Terra Firma’s Belestán Garnacha, a nod to the Belestán dialect from Aragón, tries to capture the unique character of the Aragón region. This wine is the perfect combination of blackberries with hints of vanilla, floral notes of violets, and jasmine. With a fruity, berry-forward beginning, it gives way to the notes of sweet caramel and a light taste of toasted oak. It’s a pleasant and balanced journey from freshness to the silkiness of a light-complexion wine that makes it so enjoyable to drink and so interesting to discover. The grapes are organically farmed, with no pesticides or herbicides.

Rosé

4. San Salvatore Vetere IGP Campania Rosato

San Salvatore, Italy

Hailing from the delightful San Salvatore in Campania, this Rosato is made from organically grown Aglianico grapes. The grapes are very gently pressed, followed by fermentation in stainless steel tanks. This wine is lovely and elegant – it’s light-bodied and dry with notes of wild strawberry, red cherry, raspberry, and white peach, with balanced acid, a slightly creamy texture, and a bright, minerally finish.

alison matera

Alison Matera | General Manager, Riverside Wine & Spirits

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raise your glass picks 2024

Sparkling

1. Veuve Clicquot Rich

Reims, France

Veuve Clicquot Rich is the House’s latest innovation and their first sparkling inspired by mixology. Crafted from a harmonious union of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay, this innovative creation pays homage to Veuve Clicquot’s legacy of pioneering spirit. The House drew inspiration from Madame Clicquot’s era, when sweeter Champagnes were deemed “rich” and adored by royalty, who often indulged by adding spoonfuls of sugar to each glass. Veuve Clicquot Rich invites a modern interpretation of luxury, best savored over ice and infused with fresh ingredients of your choosing, elevating the sensory experience to new heights.

White

2. Schloss Vollrads Qualitätswein Riesling

Rheingau, Germany

The Schloss Vollrads estate holds firm to the belief that a truly exceptional Riesling brings joy. Riesling, renowned for its aromatic allure, stands as a pinnacle among white wine varietals, boasting an array of captivating styles. Delicately light-bodied and refreshingly invigorating, this Schloss Vollrads Riesling captivates with its exuberant bouquet of ripe yellow apples, peaches, zesty lime, and delicate white blossoms. Its impeccable balance between sweetness and acidity renders it a delight to savor on its own, or as a splendid accompaniment to a myriad of pasta dishes and the vibrant flavors of Asian cuisine.

Red

3. Pyros Appellation Malbec

San Juan, Argentina

Pyros Appellation Malbec meticulously selects grapes from various blocks across their estate, resulting in an elegant and expressive portrayal of high-altitude Malbec from the Pedernal Valley. This offering is nothing short of intense, boasting captivating aromas of ripe black cherry, enticing spice, and fragrant violet. The wine’s remarkable structure is underscored by silky, mineral-driven tannins, a testament to the distinctive terroir. Within each sip, flavors of luscious blackberry and succulent fresh cherries dance gracefully on the palate. Whether enjoyed alongside a rustic charcuterie board or paired with your favorite burger, this Malbec stands as a sublime companion to culinary indulgence.

Rosé

4. Anne Amie Rosé of Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Indulge in the exquisite essence of this Pinot Noir Rosé, elegantly dry and rich with nuanced Pinot Noir characteristics. Bursting from the glass are enchanting aromas of orange blossom, ripe strawberry, honey, and refreshing lime zest. On the palate, discover a symphony of flavors including succulent strawberry, plum, pomelo, zesty orange peel, and grapefruit, promising to tantalize any discerning palate. A quintessential choice for summer, this Rosé harmonizes effortlessly with a diverse range of culinary delights. With the winery crafting only a limited quantity each year, seize the opportunity to savor this exceptional offering while it lasts.

lauren lamacchia

Lauren Lamacchia | Fine Wine Manager, Athens Distributing

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