E11even Wines Purple Haze 2006: Andrew Murray’s side project stars this Côte-Rôtie–inspired blend of 90-percent syrah softened by 10-percent viognier, which Murray believes “put a spell on” the red juice. It’s lighter on the tongue like an Old World wine, but much more vibrant, too, with spice, blood, cherry, and chocolate swimming around. See andrewmurrayvineyards.com.
Sagebrush Annie’s Merlot 2009: Cuyama Valley vineyard visionary Larry Hogan won his 38th gold medal in six years with this merlot at August’s Tasters Guild Wine Lovers Consumer Wine Judging in New York. It’s rustic, big, and goes down easy, meaning it’s a perfect time for Hogan to share his other wines and cook you a steak up in Ventucopa. See sagebrushannies.com.
Oreana Winery ‘Tilly’ Santa Ynez Valley 2008: A tribute to winemaker/owner Christian Garvin’s feisty Italian grandmother Matilda Maglio, this super Tuscan blend of 60-percent sangiovese and 40-percent cabernet sauvignon will go perfectly with the free wood-fired pizzas and tiramisu cupcakes at the November 18 fundraiser at Oreana for the Alzheimer’s Association. See oreanawinery.com.