Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Picks: Vintages On-Line Exclusives -- May 5

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

What am I looking for? Three things.
Organic: wines certified biodynamic or organic
Off the Beaten Track: lesser-known or underappreciated traditional varietals, unusual blends, or underappreciated regions
Value: good wines at less than $30


RICHMOND PLAINS PINOT NOIR 2008, Nelson (New Zealand); #160424; 14% ABV; $21
From Nelson, a cool climate region. The winemakers believe that “great wines are made in the vineyard” (yes!) and let the terroir do the talking. Certified Biodynamic by Demeter New Zealand, the first Pinot Noir in New Zealand. Even better, the winery is “carbon negative”: their practices return more carbon to the soil than is released in CO2 emissions in making, packaging, and delivering the wine (at least within New Zealand). Made to drink now. Check out a short news clip on the winery.

Off the Beaten Track

ROCCA DEI LEONI VILLA MATILDE AGLIANICO 2007, IGT Beneventano, Campania (Italy); #165035; 14% ABV; $25
Aglianico is one of the wonderful varietals from southern Italy, typically with black fruit, spices and herbs. Grown at 400 metres in volcanic soil, north of Naples, outside the more traditional Aglianico zone (east of Naples). Aged in stainless steel for 6 months.

VALDIPIATTA VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO 2006, DOCG, Tuscany (Italy); #163782; 14% ABV; $25
A blend of Sangiovese (85%) and Canaiolo Nero (15%). Montepulciano ranks way down on most people’s Tuscany lists, after Chianti and Montalcino, which is a mistake. The wine spent 6 months French oak, then 12 more months in 50-hectolitre Slovenian oak casks, followed by 6 months bottling ageing before release.

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