Tasting Notes, ‘I don’t know that wine’, Dec. 28, 2019

Marco De Bartoli ‘Vignaverde’ Grillo, Terre Siciliane, 2016

Sicily

Regular Price $29.99

Sale price $23.99

The grape here is grillo, which is indigenous to Sicily (and the principal grape in Marsala) and produces (in the right hands) a wine that is fresh and fragrant and lively. Marco Di Bartoli has the right hands and outlook and desire and vineyards, so his wines taste like wines from Sicily should; bright and citrusy and salty and lip-smacking.

Koehler-Ruprecht Pinot Blanc Kabinett Trocken, 2018

Pfalz

Regular Price $27.99

Sale price $21.99

Koehler-Ruprecht makes extremely old-school wines from a historic estate that has been making trocken (dry) wine before it was trendy.  This wine is 100% Pinot Blanc, a late-harvest selection of older vines (40-50 years old) planted in limestone soils mostly from the Steinacker and some from Saumagen vineyards and vinified bone dry. Mineral-driven and creamy with a touch of acidity. Uhm, like wow.

Muga Rioja Rosado 2018

Rioja

Regular Price $18.99 

Sale price $14.99

Ok, don’t act so surprised. Of course, we’re pouring a rosé. And, yes, rosé from Rioj, because this rosé is fuller and richer than most (it spends some time in oak barrels). And although, it wouldn’t be my first choice with a steak (but then again, neither would a Napa Cab) or a stew, it would be perfect with almost anything else. Wine bigots need to understand…the color of the wine tells you nearly nothing about the wine. This is just another wine that illustrates the reality.

Valerie Forgues Cot, Touraine, 2017

Loire Valley

Regular Price $27.99 

Sale price $22.99 

This is a wonderful wine, also made by the right pair of hands, Valerie Forgues, who is early to both wine-making and the Loire Valley, but is building an enviable reputation in a short amount of time. This expression is far from the Argentine ‘model’, rather than being fruit forward, juicy and viscous, it’s restrained and complex with tart berry flavors enhanced by herbal notes and minerality. It doesn’t gush, it doesn’t shout, it merely adds to the pleasure of the meal or your day

Domaine Saint Denis ’Les Clos’ Bourgogne Rouge, 2017

Maconnaise

Regular Price $34.99

Sale price $27.99

Macon-Lugny is Chardonnay country (in fact, this vineyard is in Chardonnay, the actual village) so finding a quality Pinot Noir from here is a surprise and a delight. But, Hubert Laferrère is not only the sole  independent vigneron in the village of Lugny, but his minimalistic and old school approach to both vineyard and cellar practices also sets him apart. This wine is fresh, lively and relatively backwards; rather than all the fruit jumping out of the glass, the wine is understated with more flavor and texture mid-palate and on the finish. Which frankly, is the sign of a high quality wine, despite what wine critics might think.

Aster Crianza, 2014

Ribera del Duero

Regular Price $28.99 

Sale price $22.99

This wine is from a new winery, owned by a much older winery, making wines in  an area that has a history of grape growing and winemaking stretching back thousands of years (even though wine ‘experts’ have only been aware of these wines for 20 years). So, backing up a bit, the area is Ribera del Duero, in the heart of north central Spain. The claim is that the Romans planted grapes there (which may or may not be true), but regardless, it’s history predates record keeping. The winery was started by La Rioja Alta (who is soon to celebrate their 140 year anniversary) in 1990, with the first vintage released in 2000. The grape is Tinto de Pais (the local version of Tempranillo) and the resulting wine is bright and full, yet balanced between the ripe fruit, oak influence and citric acidity.

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