Having tasted a lot of juice the past couple of weeks, just thought I would point out a few wines that I really enjoyed and picked up for myself…
Primal Roots 2010 Red Blend, California ($7-12)
Can you say… “VALUE ALERT!” This interesting red blend packs a lot of punch for the price. The soft and supple black currant and floral notes from the Merlot are well balanced with the black cherry and cassis from the Cab and the brambly berries from the Zin. It’s a big wine but not overpowering as it stays smooth on the palate through the finish.
Hanna 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($24-30)
This Hanna Cab is my favorite from the AV region in this price range. It has so much elegance and charm, just a delightful wine. Classic Cab nose with cassis, black cherry and plum aromas. But it carries this floral note that stays with the wine through the finish giving it real complexity. Hints of smoky oak and sweet spices add to the playful balance of this wine.
Invetro 2009 IGT Toscana, Tenuta Renieri ($15-22)
For those that like their Italian wines big, fruit forward and supple…look no further. Brimming with red berry fruit, spice and smoked cedar box this wine is really enticing from the get go. It has nice balance with soft tannins and simply coats the palate. Pair it with a nice piece of beef or a hearty dish of pasta, either way it will not disappoint.
Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 ($15-22)
Known better for their Zins, this Cab shows a lot of true Dry Creek character. The black fruit core meshes delightfully with the toasty oak, ground coffee beans and hints of eucalyptus. The tannins are firm but supple and the finish has that hint of chocolate from the trace of residual sugar. Comes out of the bottle ready to rock, no need to decant this one.
Belle Glos 2011 Pinot Noir, Las Alturas Vyd., Santa Lucia Highlands ($40-45)
It ain’t cheap but man is it tasty. Usually I like my Pinots lighter and more delicate in nature, but this one is tough to resist. It has the fruit and spice of Pinot but the body of a Cab or Syrah… but what else would you expect from a wine produced by Caymus!
Plan Pegau 2010 , Rhone ($15-22)
Crafted by Laurence Féraud of Domaine du Pegau, Plan Pegau has loads of character and personality. Blackberry and dried herbs are layered over black pepper and savory, meaty notes. Like a baby version of their highly revered Chateauneuf du Pape for under $20.
Saffredi 2007 IGT Toscana Le Pupille ($70+)
Yes, this is a $70+ wine…and no I did not buy this one for myself (unfortunately I don’t roll like that). However this is possibly the best wine to pass these lips in some time and compares to the Sassicaias and Ornellaias of the world that fetch closer to $150+. It is super concentrated with dark berry fruit, sweet spices and a super silky smooth texture. It just dances on the palate and grows in complexity with each passing second it lay there. It finishes long leaving behind floral hints and that lush dark fruit…As Ferris Bueller would say: “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”