Curt Schalchlin made only 450 cases of "The Offering," his lush, Rhône-style blend of 70% Syrah with 30% Grenache, all sourced from named Central Coast vineyards. He apprenticed at Barrel 27 Wine Co. in Santa Maria, and as wine prices continue to soar, he keeps it real at $23, which means, with due diligence, you might be able turn up a bottle for a couple of dollars less. That's a stunning value for a wine of this caliber. Not a bit jammy, 2005's "The Offering" packs the taste of blueberries and blackberries into the glass, but has the chiseled minerality to keep your interest sip after sip.
Roll out the barbecue for grilled ribs and chops, lamb with exotic spices, grilled eggplant and peppers, everything that summer farmers markets have to offer.
--S. Irene Virbila
Region: Central Coast
Price: About $23
Style: Lush and packed with fruit
Food it goes with: Grilled ribs and chops, grilled vegetables
Where you find it: Liquid Wine & Spirits in Chatsworth, (818) 709-5019, www.liquidpartyworks.com; Silver Lake Wine in Los Angeles, (323) 662-9024, www.silverlakewine.com; the Wine Gallery in Corona del Mar, (949) 675-3410, www.cdmwine gallery.com; and the Wine Room in Irvine, (949) 585-9463, (866) 585-WINE; www.wine.