Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Picks: Vintages Release -- March 6

Here’s my shopping list for the Vintages Release on March 6.

What am I looking for? Three things.
Organic: wines certified biodynamic or organic
Off the Beaten Track: lesser-known, underappreciated, or traditional varietals and blends, or regions
Value: wines at less than $30 (Nothing over $20 this week).

One other note: there are more lighter-bodied wines in this list, fighting the global trend towards higher alcohol levels.

Some good choices this week. First up, 3 picks from one of Chile’s best biodynamic and organic wine producers, Emiliana. The reds are particularly good values.

EMILIANA NOVAS WINEMAKER'S SELECTION CHARDONNAY/VIOGNIER/MARSANNE 2007, Casablanca Valley (Chile); #63909; Price: $18.95; 15.0% ABV
The Winemaker’s Selection is made from organic grapes (but not biodynamic). Emiliana selects “the best and most interesting varieties of the year” for its Winemaker’s Selection. This blends Chardonnay (65%) with a couple of Southern Rhone varietals, Viognier (20%) and Marsanne (15%). Should be interesting!  Tasting Note

EMILIANA NOVAS LIMITED SELECTION CABERNET SAUVIGNON/MERLOT 2007, Central Valley (Chile); #685792; Price: $14.95; 14.5% ABV
Again organic but not biodynamic, this is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (62%) and Merlot (38%) that was aged 70% in oak barrels and 30% in stainless steel tanks, which should allow the fruit to come through while tempering the oak effect.

EMILIANA NOVAS LIMITED SELECTION CARMENÈRE/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007, Colchagua Valley (Chile); #66746; Price: $14.95; 14.5% ABV
This one’s a blend of the Chilean star, Carmenère (54%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (48%). Similar approach in aging to the wine above. Organic, not biodynamic.

Here’s one from much closer to home:

FROGPOND FARM ORGANIC CABERNET FRANC 2007, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ontario); #157479; Price: $17.00; 12.9% ABV
Frogpond Farm does not use insecticides, herbicides, synthetic fungicides or chemical fertilizers. Pro-Cert Organic Systems certifies the grapes as organic and they're handpicked. Worth supporting!  Tasting Note

ALDO MARENCO PIRUN 2008, DOCG Dolcetto di Dogliani, Piedmont (Italy); #161729; Price: $17.95; 12.7% ABV
If you haven’t yet tried Dolcetto, here’s your chance. Dolcetto means the “little sweet one”, but it’s dry, without residual sugar. Meant to drunk now. The Associazione Italiana per l’Agricoltura Biologica certifies these Dolcetto grapes.  Tasting Note

Off the Beaten Track

BÜRGERSPITAL SILVANER KABINETT TROCKEN 2007, QmP Wuerzburger Pfaffenberg, Franken (Germany); #944504; Price: $19.95; 10.0% ABV
Silvaner is a white varietal, very popular in Franken. You can buy it just for the unique classic stubby boecksbeutel! But the wine is worth it as well.  Tasting Note

ERRÁZURIZ LATE HARVEST SAUVIGNON BLANC 2008, Casablanca Valley (Chile); #427054; Price: $13.95 (half bottle); 11.5% ABV
Funny, just last week I read that Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc is a great match with mild blue cheese. I wondered, where do I find a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc? Thank you! This has 15% Gewuerztraminer to add some floral notes.

TABALÍ RESERVA ESPECIAL PINOT NOIR 2008, Limari Valley (Chile); #47514; Price: $19.95; 13.5% ABV
Although Limari Valley is way up north in Chile, it runs east-west and is exposed to cool air from the Humboldt Current, which is friendly to Pinot Noir. Lots of Pinot Noir planted in Chile after the turn of the century, now we're seeing more arrive here.

FONTCRAINE MORGON 2007, AC Beaujolais (France); #158923; Price: $17.95; 13.0% ABV
Off the beaten track? Beaujolais? Well, this ain’t no strawberry cocktail Beaujolais. Morgon is one of the cru Beaujolais. Denser, darker fruit, capable of aging. Can stand up to heavier meat dishes too.

LENTO LAMEZIA RISERVA 2004, DOC Calabria (Italy); #972208; Price: $18.95; 12.6% ABV
A blend of 3 indigenous varietals: Magliocco, Nerello, and Greco Nero. The wine is put in oak barrels for one year when two years old, then aged in bottles before release. The winemaker says it has a “strong regional identity”.  Tasting Note

RIVERA CAPPELLACCIO RISERVA AGLIANICO 2004, DOC Castel del Monte, Puglia (Italy); #984120; Price: $17.95; 12.0% ABV
Ah, Aglianico! We’re seeing more from Puglia, a bit further west from its traditional home in Campania and Basilicata. To tame its tannins and acidity, it’s often well-aged by the winemaker before release, as is the case here.

QUINTA DA FATA CLÁSSICO 2007, DO Dao (Portugal); #148544; Price: $16.95; 13.0% ABV
In recent weeks, I suggested wines from Douro and Alentejo. Now here’s one from the Dao region, located in-between. It’s a blend of the indigenous varietals, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Jaén and Alfrocheiro Preto.

Subscribing to this blog through RSS or email is easy! Just click on the subscribe link to the left ←

No comments:

Post a Comment