Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Picks: Vintages On-Line Exclusives -- February 24

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 regions, varietals, and blends.
Value: I’m looking for wines at less than $30. Again, I do go over (twice today), but that’s not the focus here.


ADAM'S RIB THE RED 2006, Victoria (Australia); #148999; 14% ABV; $29
Here’s a blend that I haven’t come across before: Pinot Noir (80%) and Shiraz (20%). The vineyard is located in the “Australian Alps”. Certified biodynamic! Adam is the assistant winemaker, who is experimenting with several blends. In 2006, it’s Pinot Noir and Shiraz; in 2007, it’s Nebbiolo and Shiraz. The 2006 blend is a throwback to some wines made in the Hunter Valley in the 1930s, as well as the blending of some syrah into Burgundy wines in the 1960s. The winemaker has a great website:

LOIMER LANGENLOIS TERRASSEN TROCKEN RIESLING 2007, QbA Kamptal (Austria); #0155333; 12% ABV; $35
An example of what Austria can do with Riesling, which is considerable. Even better, the winemaker began his conversion to biodynamic winemaking in 2006.

Off the Beaten Track

ARISTOS PINOT GRIGIO 2008, DOC Südtirol-Alto Adige (Italy); #0156463; 14% ABV; $30
Located in the South Tyrol, just south of the Austrian border, Alto Adige is one of Italy’s lesser-known regions. Don’t be fooled by the oceans of ordinary, bland Pinot Grigio out there; there are also some very good examples of what Pinot Grigio is capable of...aromatic and crisp. Aristos is this winemaker’s premium label.

BODEGAS ASENJO & MANSO CERES 2005; DO Ribera del Duero (Spain); #0157818; 14% ABV; $22
A new winery with a traditional Spanish approach: made from 100% tinta del país (Tempranillo) and aged in American oak.

L'OUSTAL BLANC MINERVOIS 2005, AC Minervois (France); #0155325; 14% ABV; $35
Based in Languedoc, the winemaker is one of the best winemakers there. He describes his philosophy as, “Even if, for personal historical reasons, Châteauneuf du Pape is still engraved in one's memory, it is the fascination of Burgundy which remains the primary driving force of the philosophical approach of the Domain.” Hmmm…what does this yield? This wine is a blend of Grenache (65%), Syrah (20%), and Carignan (15%); the latter two are aged 12 months in oak.

TRAPÍO 2006, DO Yecla (Spain); #0157826; 14% ABV; $22
Bodegas La Purísima is a cooperative, led by María Teresa Ruiz González, producing 60 percent of the wine of Yecla (southeast Spain). It’s all Monastrell (Mourvèdre) from ungrafted 50-to-70-year-old vines. The winemakers take a traditional approach. Dedicated to the bull…for my fellow Taureans.

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