Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Picks: Vintages On-Line Exclusives -- January 13

Here’s my shopping list for today’s Vintages On-Line Exclusives Release.

What am I looking for? Three things.

Organic: I’m always on the lookout for wines certified biodynamic or organic. (Check out my posts on biodynamic and organic wines.)

Off-the Beaten Track: I’m keen on lesser-known or underappreciated varietals and blends, so you’re unlikely to find any Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay on my shopping list. I do buy them, but they don’t need any more publicity.

Value: I’m looking for wines at less than $30. Again, I do go over, but that’s not the focus here.

CLOS DE STE. ANNE THE CRUCIBLE SYRAH 2007, Gisborne (New Zealand); #0144451; 14% ABV; $44
Biodynamic and unfiltered; a rarity, it’s a syrah from the east coast of the warmer North Island. A bit of a splurge.

Off the Beaten Track
ANGELO D'UVA TINTILIA DEL MOLISE 2006, DOC Molise (Italy); #0124065; 14% ABV; $25
Italy has more than 350 “native” grape varieties, many unknown outside of their regions. Tintilia is one of them. So rare, it’s not even in my Oxford Companion to Wine! Native to Molise, due south of Abruzzo on the Adriatic coast. Ignored for many years, it’s making a comeback. How can I say no?

CIMS DE PORRERA SOLANES 2005, DOCa Priorat (Spain); #0148908; 14% ABV; $29
A blend with Carinena up front at 45%, then 35% Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.

CHÂTEAU DES KARANTES 2005, AC Côteaux du Languedoc (France); #0148833; 14% ABV; $25
70% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, another value from Languedoc.

FILLABOA SELECCION FINCA MONTE ALTO ALBARIÑO 2007, DO Rías Baixas (Spain); #0158907; 13% ABV; $29
Albarino!  One of my favourites, typically with citrus, floral, and mineral aromas. From the Atlantic Coast of Spain. No oak.

NIKOLAIHOF GRÜNER VELTLINER 2007, Wachau (Austria); #0148882; 12% ABV; $29
Still an under-appreciated varietal, GV is typically with citrus and tree fruit, herbal and mineral aromas with great acidity.

ONDARRE RESERVA 2002, DOCa Rioja (Spain); #0723452; 13% ABV; $26
Many, many (too many) Spanish wines have lost their classic typicity – they ain’t what they used to be – becoming a fruit-forward New World style. says this is “a good example of an old school wine that works beautifully”. Let’s find out!

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