Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Picks: Vintages On-Line Exclusives -- August 11, 2010

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

Nothing Biodynamic this week.

In the latest Vintages in-store release, I picked a wine from Lebanon. Now, this week, we have two wines from an Israeli winery, Clos de Gat. Clos de Gat is in the Judean foothills, just outside Jerusalem, where there’s a history of winemaking dating back 3000 years. Now that’s Old World! But the winemaker learned his craft in Australia, so there’s New World techniques brought to bear.

Being a fan of obscure varietals, I don’t often pick the BIG varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. But it’s worth seeing what a (so far) obscure wine region is doing.

CLOS DE GAT HAR'EL VINEYARDS MERLOT 2008, Judean Hills (Israel); #183020; 13% ABV; $29
100% Merlot. Handpicked grapes. Fermented with natural yeasts. Aged 14 months in 30% new French oak. Unfiltered. Of course, Israel is a Mediterranean country, so try this with foods that you’d match to wines from Spain, Languedoc, or southern Italy, such as grilled meats.

CLOS DU GAT HAR'EL VINEYARDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008, Judean Hills (Israel); #183038; 14% ABV; $29
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Merlot (9%), and Petit Verdot (4%). Handpicked. Fermented with natural yeasts. Aged 12 months 30% new French oak. Unfiltered.

MARCHESI PANCRAZI COLORINO CASAGLIA 2005; IGT Rosso Toscana (Italy); #109595; 13% ABV; $29
100% Colorino, more often used as a blending varietal with Sangiovese, adding colour and tannins. Aged 12 months in barrel, then 6 months in bottle before release. Expect a big, tannic wine; try it with a grilled bavette.

VINOSIA TAURASI 2004, DOCG Taurasi (Campania, Italy); #172692; 14% ABV; $25
100% Aglianico, introduced to southern Italy by the Ancient Greeks. It’s one of my favourite varietals from southern Italy. The winemakers claim to put “a modern spin on native varieties”. Hmmm. Handpicked. Partially fermented with natural yeasts in French oak, then aged in French oak for 14 months. Maybe over-oaked?  Let's find out.

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