Varietally Correct: More Bordeaux Varietal Red Wines from the New World

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Varietally Correct: More Bordeaux Varietal Red Wines from the New World

The best part of wine - drinking it!

The best part of wine – drinking it!

Wine consumers often are confused by varietal bottlings (wines made primarily from a single grape variety that typically display the name of that variety on the label).  There are many varietal wines and more are created all the time as wine producers realize that such specificity can lead to higher margins and, perhaps, higher quality as well.

Time for some big reds!

Time for some big reds!

Here I focus on single varietal red wines made in the New World from four of the five primary red grapes that originated in Bordeaux, France: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and malbec (I have not recently tasted a varietal petit verdot and so there is no such recommendation below).  Each grape has its own strengths and weaknesses, and only rarely in Bordeaux are bottles filled with only one of them.  Blends are an integral part of the process in much of Europe, but in other wine producing areas there has long been a trend toward separating out each strain.  The bottles listed below reinforce this point, with the most popular grape overall (cabernet sauvignon) comprising most of the recommendations.

Most wine lovers are at least somewhat familiar with the five red Bordeaux grapes in single variety form.  If you are not it is time to educate yourself.  There is much to celebrate in these iconic grapes, particularly when it comes to those expressions originating in the New World.

 

BEN WILL BE IN BULGARIA AND TURKEY, INCLUDING SOFIA AND ISTANBUL, AUGUST 8 – 18

Ben WeinbergBen has been invited to tour the food and wine of Bulgaria (including Sofia) and Turkey (including Istanbul) in mid-August.  Follow along with him on Twitter (@WineOnTheRoad), Facebook (Wine On The Road), LinkedIn (Benjamin Weinberg) and Foursquare (Ben Weinberg).

 

BEN’S ARTICLE ON THE RUTHERFORD DUST SOCIETY IN EDIBLE MARIN AND WINE COUNTRY MAGAZINE’S SUMMER EDITION

Among the vines

Among the vines

Ben has an article about the Rutherford Dust Society in the Napa Valley (as well as a sidebar on legendary grape grower Andy Beckstoffer’s contribution to Rutherford’s wine scene) in the summer edition of Edible Marin and Wine Country Magazine (www.ediblemarinandwinecountry.com).  The summer edition will include stories on the recent Napa earthquake and also the Rutherford Dust Society.  Check it out!

 

BEN’S WINE COUNTRY PICTURES ARE FOR SALE

The beauty of wine country is hard to describe

The beauty of wine country is hard to describe

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 http://pixels.com/art/all/benjamin+weinberg/all to take a peek.

 

WINE ON THE ROAD’S LUXURIOUS, BEHIND-THE-SCENES WINE TOURS

Wine On The Road

Wine On The Road

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 benweinberg@wineontheroad.com, or calling me at 303-522-6738.

 

RECOMMENDED WINES:

Red

Trapiche Malbec Oak Cask 2012 (Uco Valley, Argentina) $10

Purple-red/blackberry, red flowers, flint/smoke, spicy blueberry/himod

 

Luigi Bosca La Linda Malbec 2012 (Mendoza, Argentina) $12

Ruby/pomegranate rose petal/cinnamon, red cherry, black pepper/medmod

 

Trapiche Broquel Malbec 2011 (Uco Valley, Argentina) $15

Purple/toast, black pepper, red plum/black cherry, cinnamon/medmod

 

Achaval-Ferrer Malbec 2013 (Mendoza, Argentina) $25

Red purple/mace, copper, red cranberry/tangerine, charcoal, granite blackberry/himod

 

Catena Alta Malbec 2011 (Mendoza, Argentina) $50

Black red/black cherry, ash/sweet cherry, red licorice/hilong

 

Clayhouse Malbec Red Cedar Vineyard (Paso Robles, California) $14

Vibrant purple/violet, tobacco, orange zest/fennel, vanilla, black cherry/medlong

 

Columbia Winery Merlot (Columbia Valley, Washington) $16

Blue black/toast, plum/blackberry, vanilla/himod

 

Charles Krug Merlot 2011 (Napa Valley, California) $20

Red-blue/black cherry, raspberry/mocha, red currant, vanilla/medlong

 

Flora Springs Merlot 2013 (Napa Valley, California) $30

Cherry red/tobacco, blackberry/dark cherry, cola, strawberry/hilong

 

Hourglass Merlot Blueline Estate 2012 (Napa Valley, California) $75

Bright red/red currant, lead pencil/red cherry, spice/hilong

 

Hourglass Cabernet Franc Blueline Estate 2012 (Napa Valley, California) $135

Blue red/sage, red cherry, bramble/blueberry, violet, ash/hilong

 

Buried Cane Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington) $14

Limpid red/black currant, red cherry/molasses, black plum, mushroom/medmod

 

Clayhouse Cabernet Sauvignon Red Cedar Vineyard (Paso Robles, California) $14

Purple/black cherry, red currant, cedar/vanilla, black cherry, plum/medmod

 

William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Central Coast 2012 (California, U.S.) $17

Dark red/blackberry, dark cherry/pepper, chocolate, toasty oak/hilong

 

Mettler Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (Lodi, California) $25

Black red/black cherry, cedar, cinnamon/cassis, black raspberry, toast/hilong

 

Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon 2011(Sonoma County, California) $35

Dark red/red strawberry, purple blackberry/sage, currant, coffee/hilong

 

Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2011 (Sonoma County, California) $53

Dark red/cranberry, currant, basil/cassis, chocolate, tobacco, allspice/hilong

 

Trione Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2010 (Sonoma County, California) $67

Black red/black currant, cardamom/clove, red raspberry, cola/hilong

 

Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2011 (Napa Valley, California) $75

Dark ruby/espresso, blueberry/anise, violet/hilong