Augie Hug from Hug Cellars visited the store this week with Bradford Sales Rep, Leah Coles, to taste the new releases. Most of Augie’s wines are made in the French style to a point. The just bottled 2007 Sauvignon Blanc is a young and vibrant wine with big guava on the nose and zesty/tangy flavors of green apple. Lots of acidity and a ever-so-slight effervescence to it which is expected to diminish soon. The 2006 Viognier from Cedar Lane Vineyard has a nice floral and tropical fruit nose which I love about Viognier – lighter styled, less upfront fruit with a round, creamy mouthfeel – a much more smooth and delicate styled Viognier. The 2006 Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco is made in the burgundian-style, light color and quite see-through, with bright fruits and mild tannins, not an overly complex wine, but a definite food-friendly Pinot. The 2006 Casa Torres Pinot Noir from Santa Maria is a bolder version of the Arroyo Seco, which I’d expect from fruit derived from a warmer weather region, this wine is a bit more complex then the previous Pinot. 2006 El Pape` is Hug’s version of Chateauneuf de Pape Rhone blend – a fun, fruit-filled wine that’s medium-bodied, layers of bright fruit like plums and a nice smooth tannin finish. Still a bit young, this wine has some nice acidity that makes it a good food wine. 2005 Syrah from Arroyo Seco has a dark ruby red color, yet is a lighter-styled Rhone, it possesses nice black fruit at first sip, then some peppery spice on the mid-palate followed by firm (but not gripping) tannins on the finish – this Syrah could actually pair well with many foods. Last, but not least is the black label 2005 Bassetti Vineyard Syrah which shows deep dark ruby/purple coloring, some barnyardiness on the nose with juicy blackberry and blueberry flavors, not an in-your-face upfront overload, but pleasantly balanced with pepper, acidity, even some earth intermixed with pepper spice – a lovely wine which will retail around $40.