There are many great wines that don’t have gold-plated pedigrees. Some may be made from unfamiliar varieties in well-known regions. Others are produced from familiar grapes in unfamiliar locales. One commonality is that, because of uncertainty among the wine buying public, the consumer can often pay less per bottle than when purchasing more standard offerings yet receive extremely high quality in return.
This week’s column is about various fun wines, both white and red, that I’ve had the pleasure to recently taste, usually from samples or at an industry gathering. I include my tasting notes at the end of the column in shorthand that goes like this: appearance (if relevant)/aroma/taste/acidity & finish. If I can find a domestic retail price then I list it (if there is more than one I err on the higher side), with “N/A” meaning that the wine is not generally available in the U.S.
We’re doing it again! Wine On The Road is participating in a Champagne and Burgundy pre-tour get-together for potential clients with his old friends Daniel Stern (of legendary R2L Restaurant) and Brian Freedman (@wineupdate). We start at 6:30 P.M. on Thursday, April 9, Click Here for reservations or call (215) 564-5337.
If you’re interested in coming along with Dan, Brian, and Ben on a behind-the-scenes, wine-focused tour of Champagne and Burgundy (October 4-11, 2015), or if you just want more information about this tour, Click Here.
Another fun consumer tour we’re planning involves legendary wine blogger, writer, and lecturer Joe Roberts (the 1WineDude) and Ben leading a group to Madrid and Rioja, Spain (November 1-8, 2015). If you’d like more information about this tour please Click Here.
Ben will be with Joe in Philadelphia on April 29th for a Rioja wine dinner at Bar Ferdinand to talk more about the tour. Click Here for dinner reservations or call (215) 923-1313.
Also check out Wines of Rioja’s bi-monthly newsletter (we’ve been working with WoR on our itinerary and they are an enthusiastic supporter of our tour).
BEN WILL BE IN CHICAGO AT THE WORLD WINE MEETINGS – APRIL 25 – 27, AND IN CATALONIA AND BARCELONA JUNE 3 – 9
Ben has been invited to cover the World Wine Meetings in Chicago at the end of April, and also to tour the food and wine of Catalonia including Barcelona, Spain, at the beginning of June. Follow along with him on Twitter (@WineOnTheRoad), Facebook (Wine On The Road), LinkedIn (Benjamin Weinberg) and Foursquare (Ben Weinberg).
BEN’S ARTICLE ON WINERY BEEKEEPING IN EDIBLE MARIN AND WINE COUNTRY MAGAZINE’S SPRING EDITION
Ben has an article about wineries that keep and employ bees on their properties in the spring edition of Edible Marin and Wine Country Magazine. Check it out if you can!
Have you ever read one of Ben’s columns and wondered how it would look to have one of his incredibly vivid, high resolution pictures of wine country framed on your wall? We’re now offering various size prints of his quirky photography at Pixels.com, where you can also add his images to smartphone cases, greeting cards, and many other items. Pictures can be ordered loose or matted and framed in various sizes. Click Here to take a peek.
WINE ON THE ROAD’S LUXURIOUS, BEHIND-THE-SCENES WINE TOURS
With Wine On The Road (www.wineontheroad.com), my wine-focused touring company, you can enjoy the ultimate wine country excursion with special access to top winemakers and their incomparable wines. Wine On The Road offers intimate wine country tours that combine award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor. We lodge at excellent and luxurious wine country estates (in the past we’ve occupied ancient yet completely restored castles as well as five-star resorts, all with modern amenities). We eat at amazing local restaurants and visit wineries that embody the best, most authentic expressions of local wine grapes.
You can learn more about these trips, book private groups in wine country world-wide and request more information on any of these extraordinary travel experiences by visiting www.wineontheroad.com, emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling me at 303-522-6738.
XXIV Karat Grand Cuvee NV (Mendocino, California) $34
Gold/yellow pear, pineapple, toast/green apple, toasted hazelnut, coconut/himod
XXIV Karat Rosé NV (Mendocino, California) $42
Royal pink/kumquat, rose petal, pomegranate/red apple, toast/himod
La Scolca Gavi 2012 (Gavi, Italy) $16
Gold-yellow/lemon, fuchsia/carrot, ash, lime peel/hilong
Quinta de Gomariz Vinho Verde QG Loureiro 2012 (Vinhos Verdes, Portugal) $14
Hay yellow/white flowers, honey/lime zest, flint/hilong
Terras Gauda O Rosal 2013 (Rias Baixas, Spain) $24
70albarino/15loureiro/15caino blanco. Pale yellow/Mandarin orange, lemonade/limeade, yellow apple/hilong
Palacio de Bornos Verdejo 2013 (Rueda, Spain) $16
Pale ale/honeysuckle, apricot/lime, pine/himod
Finca Antigua Viura 2012 (La Mancha, Spain) $14
Paleyel/grfrt, ash/pine, ginger, lemon/medmod
Domaine Fontan Cotes de Gascogne Cuvée des Mousquetaires 2012 (Southwest France, France) $12
Pale yellow/prickly pear, ash/lime zest, pine resin/hilong
D’Arenberg Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre The Bonsai Vine 2009 (McLaren Vale, Australia) $29
Bloody purple/black cherry pie, cola/pomegranate, granite, smoke/hilong
Kim Crawford Pinot Gris Core 2013 (Marlborough, New Zealand) $17
hay/green grape, star fruit/gooseberry, saline/hilong
MacMurray Estate Vineyards Pinot Gris RRV 2013 (Sonoma County, California) $20
Lime yellow/yellow pear, baked apple/dried fig, white peach, apricot/hilong
J Pinot Gris 2013 (California, U.S.) $16
Pale yellow/green pear, orange blossom/honey, flint/hilong
Herdade da Malhadinha Nova Monte Malhadinha Tinto 2011 (Alentejo, Portugal) $48
Bright red/juicy cherry, mint/gravel, ash, pomegranate/hilong
Jorge Nobre Moreira Producao e Comercializacao de Vinhos Po de Poeira Tinto 2011 (Douro Valley, Portugal) $21
Dark red/firm blackberry, black plum/granitic red cherry/hilong
Aveleda Charamba Red Wine 2008 (Douro Valley, Portugal) $8
Black red/dried beef, black pepper/eucalyptus, ash/medlong
Quinta do Passadouro Tinto 2012 (Douro Valley, Portugal) $17
Blred/blkb smk/cola blkpepp/hilong
Churchill’s Estates Douro Red 2011 (Douro Valley, Portugal) $17
Purple-red/blackberries, smoke/coffee, ash, rec cherry/hilong
Requesan Tinto Joven 2011 (Ribera del Duero, Spain) $15
redpurple/cherry pie strawberry/milkchoc rasp glaze/medmod
Bodegas Pingon Carramimbre Crianza 2011 (Ribera del Duero, Spain) $22
Bright red/cherry syrup, mint, clove/black cherry, mocha/hilong
Vinedos Alonso del Yerro Red Wine 2011 (Ribera del Duero, Spain) $24
Dark red-black/black licorice, Rainier cherry, raspberry liqueur/cinnamon, black coffee, black plum/hilong
Alejandro Fernandez Tinto Pesquera 2011 (Ribera del Duero, Spain) $40
Ruby red/pink cherry, smoke, brioche/blackberry, black plum, quinine, flint/hilong
Bodegas Ismael Arroyo Valsotillo Reserva 2009 (Ribera del Duero, Spain) $60
Dark red/red apple, mushroom, granite/black tea, mace, blueberry, ash/hilong
Cune Rioja Reserva 2009 (Rioja Alta, Spain) $28
blkred/blkb pine smoke/blk grapes roses chcoal/hilong
Collazzi Libertà IGT 2012 (Tuscany, Italy) $24
dkplum/blkb dkchoc/lavender blktea pomegr/hilong
Antoine Sanzay Saumur-Champigny Les Poyeux 2011 (Loire Valley, France) $43
Violet/gravel, blackberry/dark chocolate, red cherry/hilong
Domaine Paul Mas Clos des Savignac Gres de Montpellier Red Wine 2012 (Languedoc, France) $N/A
purple/blueb violets/mocha blkb blktea/himod.
Domaine Les Bruyeres Crozes-Hermitage Cuvee Georges Reynaud 2011 (Rhone Valley, France) $39
Violet/blackberry, bramble/red cherry, cola/hilong
Clos d’un Jour Cahors Sur Terre 2010 (Cahors, France) $30
Inky purple/blueberry, lees/ginger, black licorice/hilong
Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre 2010 (Veneto, Italy) $16
Redbl/blueb tar/mocha dkchoc/hilong
Arcanum IGT 2008 (Tuscany, Italy) $85
Blue-red/blkch, pomegranate, vanilla/blkberry, cola/hilong
Brancaia Tre 2011 (Tuscany, Italy) $23
Ruby red/cantaloupe, red raspberry/red plum, cola/himod
Chilcas Cinsault Single Vineyard 2014 (Valle del Itata, Chile) $19
Fresh and juicy, with good concentration to the wild plum, sour cherry and blood orange flavors. Licorice notes appear on the zesty finish.
Vina Leyda Pinot Noir Las Brisas 2012 (Casablanca, Chile) $20
Chred/redfl swredch/ginger ash/hilong
Cousino Macul Lota 2008 (Maipo Valley, Chile) $80
Blred/whpepp dkchoc/redch mocha/hilong
Kendall-Jackson VR Red Blend 2012 (California, U.S.) $17
Blue-red/plum, black raspberry/pomegranate, cocoa/medmod
Kendall-Jackson VT Summation Red Blend 2012 (California, U.S.) $17
Dark red/red cherry, red raspberry/dark chocolate, boysenberry/medmod
Amapola Creek Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard 2011 (Sonoma County, California) $42
Faceted red/red currant, cedar/red raspberry, blueberry, cocoa/hilong
Mettler Family Vineyards Zinfandel Old Vine Epicenter 2011 (Lodi, California) $22
black red/bing cherry cedar/blackberry smoke/hilong