Some of the greatest red wines in the world come from Spain and are made from Tempranillo, but they can also be some of the most expensive! That said, there are also some great values to be had and we have one in the shop right now: the 2012 Estola Reserva. This wine comes from the region of La Mancha, which is south of Madrid and is a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged for 24 months in American oak barrels. On the nose wine shows red fruits, framed in oak, and hint of leather. On the palate the wine is full bodied, showing cherries, a touch of strawberry, spice and a bit of cassis. Even though both Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon can be very tannic, the tannins are finely grained and well integrated. This is an excellent value, and the wine will go great with any type of red meat or even pizza.
Without bragging, it has been said (I said it) that our wine shop is the best and most diversely stocked there is between Seattle and Denver. A big part of that is in our cellar.
A big part of our cellar is the incredible collection of Burgundy wines. Now, I do know more about wine than most, but there’s still an awful lot I don’t know. A lot of that is related to my income and how that relates to my wine budget. I can rarely afford a bottle of wine north of fifity dollars; and when I can I usually spend it on something else. Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of great wines in my wheelhouse. Unfortunately, in this shop, I’m trusted to know how good the expensive ones are. This wine is part of my education; I study the producers.
Caroline Morey is part of a family of great wine makers from Burgundy, all of whose wines generally retail at way beyond my price point. But, I can see just how good her ‘entry’ level wine is and can then imagine how wonderful her Grand Cru’s can be.
This wine, from a bargain appellation (not so lauded and therefore expensive), shows sweet cherry notes with hints of dried lavender and pipe tobacco, a great acid balance and a lightness of body and spirit that is all Pinot Noir. For $36.00 it’s a great bottle of wine and I know now that I can recommend any of her higher end, higher pedigree Pinots with confidence.
The 2016 vintage in Burgundy was relatively short one due to multiple weather events, forcing producers to decrease production. Luckily, the decrease in production did not affect quality and the vintage is proving to be very good one for both red and whites. Although Girardin’s Cuvee Sainte Vincent is their entry-level Bourgogne blanc the wine should not be dismissed, as the grapes for the blend come from the very desirable regions of Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet. The nose on this wine is very pretty with notes of lemon, lime, and a touch florality. On the palate, the fruit shines as the wine is aged in neutral oak and has a lovely texture supported by a vibrant acidity. The citrus notes continue with a touch of minerality, and a little white peach. Try it with seafood or lemon chicken. This is a great value in white burgundy, so stock up while you can!
Having been impressed by this producer’s Barbera and needing a white wine one evening, I decided to try their Gavi. To tell the truth, I have rarely been impressed by the Gavis I’ve encountered over the years, even though they have long been considered one of the most serious whites of the entire Piedmont region. The town of Gavi has long had its own DOCG (Italy’s highest level of geographical classification), and the grapes that make the wines of the region are known as Cortese di Gavi.
So, I approached this wine without high expectations, but was surprised to find it focused, even concentrated, in its layered notes of almonds, white and yellow fruits, and delicate but distinctive florals. It was fresh, intense and harmonious with a pleasant mineral streak and the wildflowers and almond notes making an encore appearance at the finish. In short, finally I have a Gavi that I can recommend!
This month, a bunch of folks conducted a blind tasting of Syrahs from around the world. The Faury was an instant crowd favorite, and for me, showed far above its price point. This wine has everything you want in a Northern Rhone Syrah: dried violets, dried dark fruits, bacon fat, sage, and a gorgeous granite minerality with just a hint of natty wine funk.
Yummy! That’s my first impression here. This Tait Shiraz lives up to my expectations of Aussie Shiraz; big, bold, extracted with a healthy dose of alcohol to boot! This wine has tons of black fruit (blackberry, plum) with mocha and spice along for the ride. Strong oak influence mingles with mature tannins to give this wine a big finish. I like this wine paired with smoked tri tip, but it would also be a great companion to any grilled meats and vegetables. Enjoy!
This is one of the best values in Italian wines in our shop right now. It hails from Umbria, located smack dab in the middle of Italy. The wine is comprised of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino and 10% Malvasia Nera, all grown organically. The vines are pruned by hand and the grapes are picked by hand. After the grapes are pressed, the juice goes through a spontaneous ferment on natural yeasts in stainless steel. The resulting wine is perfectly balanced. On the nose I found aromas of fresh cherry, thyme, licorice, chocolate, and leather. It was very difficult to stop swirling and sniffing, but when I finally got some on my palate I was pleased to observe the taste of sour cherries and dried orange peel had joined the party. This wine is medium bodied with fine tannins and plenty of lift to add an undeniable prettiness that makes it irresistible. Drink on its own or with a wide variety of foods.
Just like most people, I am always in search of a good, every day drinker that won’t break the bank. I would love to drink $20 and up wines everyday but my wallet disagrees with me. So when I found this nice little Portuguese wine I was excited. Portugal has a lot of great values and this is definitely one of the better ones. Aromas of black fruit, red berries, coffee, black tobacco and some balsamic notes are followed by a palate that is rich, balanced and persistent with predominantly intense fruity notes and spice with a freshness on the finish.