Archive | June, 2015

Finca La Mata Ribera Del Duero 2012

25 Jun

Isaac Fernandez Selection’s Finca La Mata Ribera Del Duero 2012. $17-19 per bottle, 14%ABV.

Opaque violet in the center with ruby edging, the nose shows bright red fruit and green pepper. In the mouth, strawberry, cherry, and red plum flavors are followed by strong acidity and tannins. The medium-long finish shares gravel, sandy clay, oak, and notes of forest floor.

Finca la Mata

Made from old vine Tinta del Pais grapes and matured eight months in oak barrels, this wine sits squarely between the bright fruit of a great pinot and the depth and complexity of a cabernet. It’s fascinating, easy to drink, and pairs well with red meat, strong cheese, or just as easily with powerful flavors like spicy black bean tostadas.

This is a bottle that has been sitting in my cellar waiting for a perfect opportunity, that finally arrived. In this under $20 price range, it offers excellent value for 60+ year old vines full of flavor and depth, as well as great conversation. I honestly can’t wait to see how it tastes in three and five more years, and hope I can manage to keep some bottles that long!

à votre santé!

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Lismore Sauvignon Blanc

20 Jun

Lismore Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Greyton, South Africa. ABV 13.4%; $24-29/bottle.

Color of medium straw with good clarity, and a nose of grapefruit, gooseberry, passion fruit, and fresh cut grass. In the mouth, clean citrus fruit meshes with ideal acidity, followed by gentle savory notes of toasted oak, and limestone. Winemaker Samantha O’Keefe has created a wine that tastes like a California dream from some of South Africa’s finest terroir.

Lismore

If you like a handcrafted wine that is only available in limited quantities yet at a reasonable price, this is for you. 4,200 bottles were produced of this wine. Insure you do not serve too cold; expression is simple at lower temps but expands and demonstrates the complex, savory delights when this wine is over 55 degrees. Lismore sauvignon blanc pairs beautifully with salad, fish, white meats and delicate to medium-bodied cheeses.

In the under-$30/bottle range,  Lismore sauvignon blanc compares favorably but at a lower cost to similar wines from California, New Zealand, and Europe. So far, this is one of the best wines I’ve tasted from this continent. If you haven’t found a wine you like from South Africa, I suggest you give this one a try! 

What wine has surprised you with brilliance, depth or astounding value?

à votre santé!

My Summer Wines are SPARKLING!

13 Jun

Have a glimpse into the joys of warm weather and the delights you can find in your wine glass!

There are so many lovely and affordable sparkling wines. Crémant, Cava, and Prosecco are some of the easiest words you can say this summer to keep joy in your glass without damaging your wallet.

Crémant: Love vintage champagne but don’t have the thick wallet? Never fear, Crémant is here! One of my favorites is Tissot’s Crémant du Jura. Delightfully expressive, unique, and easily found for $25/bottle. Grab it and enjoy, life is short! Drinks comparably to champagnes that cost 3-4 times the price. Just for the heck of it, I had a quick look at 67Wine‘s website. Ten crémants all under $30/bottle including the Jura region, just not the one below.

Cremant

Having spent a great deal of time tasting prosecco and vinho verde last year, I promised myself to spend more time tasting cava this year. And while I still love those wines, I found  both great taste and great value in the sparkling wines from Spain.

The best bargain I found this year was snapping up a mixed case of cava from Garagiste.

Pere Mata Cava

 

Each of the various types of cava found in the mixed case I sourced from Garagiste offered a slightly different pleasure. Last week, my neighbors and I enjoyed the Cupada Rosé  (below, far right) very much, along with some other still wines from the garden of earthy delights. The fact that a rosé cava could hold its own against classic Bordeaux blanc, high end Napa sauvignon blanc, and a killer Burgundian aligoté speaks volumes, does it not? 

 

Summer whites

 

 

Champagne. Need I say more? But not all champagnes are truly worth your time or hard-earned coin. Laurent-Perrier Brut is one I love, a non-vintage bottle I consider affordable in the low $40’s per bottle and better than many vintage (and more expensive) champagnes, but simply delightful on the palate.

 

perrier

 

Why not share this one, a glimpse into the high end of heavenly delights? One of the finest champagnes I’ve enjoyed in recent years was undoubtedly Taittinger’s 2005 Comtes de Champagne Rosé. Retailing at $300/bottle, it’s a rare and exotic enchantment that impressed me by tasting it blindly, and I was thankful I had a glass before I saw the price tag. But if your budget allows it, why not?

Unknown

So tasty, but the down side is that now even the sight of the box makes my mouth water.

Tattinger

 

Sparkling Reds! If you missed last year’s missive on Lambrusco or my discovery of sparkling shiraz in the summer heat then you missed out, but it’s never too late. Click the links on the names and read about my experiences with each of these wines.

 

So, do tell… what’s sparkling in YOUR glass this summer?

à votre santé!

 

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