We promised last week to bring all of you up to speed on the many wonderful new red wines we have in the shop. The combination of COVID related supply chain challenges, and Europe being in the midst of an epic run in great vintages has resulted in many delicious new alternatives. Here are some of our favorites.
While we have had the 2017 Spanish Quarter ($15, $13.50 Wine Club) in the shop for a couple of months now, we continue to be pleased but also a bit surprised by its popularity. This delightful red wine is a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet and strikes the compelling balance of vibrant fruit, firm but well-placed tannins and a lengthy finish that make it a popular choice for so many of you. The wine goes down easy and is priced for a crowd making it a good choice for the coming holidays.
The 2017 Sardon red ($25, $22.50 Wine Club) also from Spain is a slightly more sophisticated take on the classic Tempranillo based blend that is common across the country. The palate is sleek and refined with alternating layers of blue and red fruits across the palate. The aromatics show great depth, that encourage the wine geek in all of us to linger over the glass enjoying the aroma almost as much as actually drinking the wine. The wine will be great with your next batch of paella.
We are thrilled to have the most recent vintage, the 2017, of the Cahors from Clos de la Coutale ($20, $18 Wine Club). Cahors is the appellation in the Southwest of France where the main grape grown and harvested is Malbec. This wine that is imported by the legendary Kermit Lynch is one of our favorites year in and year out. The nose shows loads of blue fruit aromas leading to a smooth palate with blueberry flavors throughout, with a touch of earthiness and well-integrated smoot tannins.
For those of you who have only had Malbec from South America this will be an exciting and delicious alternative.
Also, from France the 2016 Gigondas from E. Guigal ($50, $45 Wine Club) is a great special occasion bottle that should not be missed. Gigondas is located in the Southern part of the Rhone Valley and the wines from there are typically Grenache based. Grenache is one of our favorite varietals, at times though they are difficult to come by. Slightly lighter than Syrah, the wine presents great palate weight and texture to go along with ripe cherry fruit flavors, mild earthiness and a wonderfully long finish.
We just tried last week the 2018 Stephen Vincent Cabernet ($24, $21.60 Wine Club) from Napa. This is a steal of a deal in Napa Cab, and we found the wine to be so great we put it on the shelf immediately. The wine is classic Napa Valley all the way with balanced use of oak ageing that allows all the dark dense fruit to come out in both aromas and palate flavors. The wine shows a bit of dustiness on the nose giving us the sense that at least some Rutherford Bench fruit is in the mix, although its not disclosed. This is a big and muscular wine that will be great with any beef dish including your Christmas prime rib, and its affordable, a rare combination!
We also just added the 2018 Fleur Pinot Noir ($20, $18 Wine Club) from California. It is rare to find great Pinot Noir at this price but the Fleur really over delivers for the money. The wine is all ripe Bing cherries and mild morel mushroom reminiscent earthiness from aromas to finish. The acids and oak barrel influence are mild and perfectly appropriate. It is the kind of Pinot Noir I could drink all day, and it will be perfect with your Thanksgiving turkey.
The 2015 Chianti Classico from Grignano ($30, $27 Wine Club) is one of the few we still see from the great 2015 vintage, the year that started Europe on this extraordinary run of growing years. It shows in the wine with a ripe fruit forward, and more American interpretation of Sangiovese. The raspberry flavors are vibrant, and the wine is rich and lush across the palate. The wine is lovely from start to finish and a rare chance to still get in on this great year.
While we are on the subject of Grignano we also added their 2012 Vin Santo ($40, $36 Wine Club/375ml). If you are not familiar with Vin Santo it is genuinely worth your time and dollars to try it. Vin Santo is an Italian dessert wine typically made in Chianti. The wine is fortified and while it has some sweetness to the wine it also is made with bright acid to keep the sweetness in check. It also has a distinctively nutty flavor on the palate making for a near perfect digestif.
Come by the shop soon to check out all of these wines and the new ones we will be adding all the time!