It’s a hot, sticky day, and I’ve been helping my friend Maria Walusis of Nibbles Culinary Entertainment prep for a big catered event tomorrow. Time for a bacon-wrapped tenderloin, with some of Maria’s mushroom demiglace sauce, and a bottle of rosé. This is a 2010 Collino Teatino (Italy); it runs about $13 retail in Ohio. )
Color: dark pink with a coppery tinge at the edge.
Aroma: cherry (almost kirsch) with some spice and berry fruit.
Taste: tart and lively, with berry fruit and some earthy notes. The finish has a hint of white truffles and white pepper.
A good bottle and very dependable year to year. I like Masciarelli’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, too.
This is one of the few leftover bottles I have from last summer – it’s the 2011 vintage, Columbia Valley. A nice producer, I’ve been a fan of this for some time. I’m having this with grilled soy-sherry marinated chicken breasts.
Color: deep for a rosé – dark pink like fresh red raspberries.
Aroma: classic Sangiovese – cherry and burnt orange peel, with a touch of star anise
Taste: Lively, with excellent acidity and fruit. The spice and the tiny touch of tannin show up on the finish. Very nice, and reminiscent of a good Italian rosé. As good a quality as this wine is, I’m surprised that there aren’t more Tuscan-style wines from Washington. Someone needs to get on that!
A definite buy for the summer. I’ll have a report on the recently released 2012 in the next 6 weeks, I hope. My eBook on rosé should be out around the same time – look for Wine Me Up! Rosé in July.
This is a Southern Rhone clone (50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre) from the Pays d’Oc. I picked the 2011 vintage up at Trader Joe’s today for $9. I’m having this with a goat cheese crotin and a crisp salad of bitter greens (beet and mustard greens, baby kale, carrot greens, etc)
Color: Straight red and garnet-red color. Almost opaque in the middle.
Aroma: Cocoa and roasted earth notes from the Grenache dominate. There’s a little sweetish plum and cherry fruit underneath that.
Taste: This has some nice body – very much in the Rhone style, with good tannic and spicy length; really impressive length for a $9 bottle of French. I wish it had a little more fruit in the middle – the cocoa-earth-spice complex dominates. I’m going to try this with a hunk of dark chocolate a little later tonight.
A nice one to have on your shelf in the Rhone/GSM category.
A nice bottle from Western Cape, South Africa – this is the 2010 vintage. As part of the family commitment to nature, they keep 5 square miles of land around the vineyard as a wild game reserve, and they feature engravings of different local wildlife on the labels each year.
Color: purple, verging toward blue in the center – a sign of good extraction and clean winemaking.
Aroma: cassis and blueberries, with just a touch of chocolate, oaky vanilla, and cigar box underneath.
Taste: Rich, but not overpowering; good fruit and acidity together, moderate tannins toward the back of the palate, and a full finish with more chocolate notes. Very nicely made.
Well worth the ~$18 a bottle – this is something to keep on the shelf as a go-to Cab, especially if you’re tired of the same old California stuff.
Since I discovered this wine a few years ago, I’ve been a huge fan. I sold nearly 10% of their US production at the wine shop I used to manage. This is the 2008 vintage – 55% Shiraz, 43% Cabernet, and 2% Viognier from Victoria, Australia.
The owner, George Shinas, is a judge in Australia, and all his labels are judicial-themed, with great sepia-toned labels. He reserves the best few barrels of his varietal Shiraz and Cabernet for his flagship blend.
Color: This is a dark garnet red with a clear, clean edge.
Aroma: Very Australian – mint, oak, spice, hot fruit underneath. I opened this straight from the cellar (58 Fahrenheit) and the 15% alcohol is noticeable.
Taste: The alcohol does not come through on the palate: big, chewy, jammy fruit with moderate spice – the oaky vanilla notes come through on the finish, along with a return of the mint and eucalyptus.
$30 in Ohio, but totally worth it. For the money, this is one of the best Australian wines you can find. There were only a few hundred cases shipped to the US, so ask your wine shop to contact the importers, Vine Street.
A basic Bordeaux Superieur (which refers to alcohol content, not any inherent advantage in quality) from Trader Joe’s. The 2011 cost $8.50, so I’m not expecting much. At worst, I can throw this in an ice cube tray and use it for sauces and stews.
Color: A nice blue-purple; it’s young, obviously, but this means it was made with good climate control, hygiene, and attention to oxygen.
Aroma: Definitely some cassis in there, along with cherry and some other berry fruit. 13.5% alcohol, but you can’t smell it.
Taste: Yeah, it’s young and it’s tight. This falls off very quickly, leaving just tannin on the finish. Fairly well balanced up front.
I’m going to leave a bottle in the cellar and see what it’s like in 2-3 years.
Since Spring has finally hit, I’m going to put out a quick ebook of recipes for wine cocktails. You’ll learn why you should never soak citrus fruit in your Sangria pitcher. the difference between a Mimosa and a Bucks Fizz, and how to make a Kir Royale. Stay tuned!