Interesting wines from Chile, Greece, Moldova, Romania, and more!
There is no shortage of diversity in the wine selections available in Washington, DC. If you can only try one wine in today’s post that should be the 2011 Garage Wine Co, Cabernet Franc Lot #36, Maipo Valley, Chile. Garage Wine Co., produces attractive and unique wines. While the Cabernet Franc appears to be sold out (the empty bottles were packed in the move so I am not timely) the Carignan is still available. From Greece, I certainly recommend the orange citrus flavors of the 2011 Domaine Zafeirakis, Limniona, Thessaly, Greece. Continuing with the indigenous vein then you should check out the exotic nose of the 2011 Hereditas, Babeasca Neagra, Romania. Finally, the 2013 Pieter Cruythoff, Pinotage Middelpos, Swartland, South Africa offers bitters like flavors making it a Pinotage like no other. I’ll grant that it is a bit polarizing but any intrepid drinker should pick up a bottle. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Garage Wine Co, Carignan Lot #34, Maule Valley, Chile – $32
Imported by SWG Imports. Alcohol 14.3%. Aromas of raspberry candy made way to dense flavors with the texture of an unfiltered wine. This showed more acidity with tart cherry flavor and red fruit through the end. The wine built flavor with time showing both ripe and citric flavors including raspberry followed by a lipsticky finish. *** Now – 2018.
2011 Garage Wine Co, Cabernet Franc Lot #36, Maipo Valley, Chile – $32
Imported by SWG Imports. Alcohol 14.3%. The raspberry aromas mixed with herbaceous notes and tobacco. In the mouth were ripe and dense flavors that combined an herbaceous hint. This savory wine had a lot of chewy flavors accented by chocolate before the not too bitter finish. With air it showed complexity in the way of forest notes and perhaps tar. ***(*) 2016-2022.
2013 Pieter Cruythoff, Pinotage Middelpos, Swartland, South Africa – $18
Imported by Kyslea Pere et Fils. Alcohol 14%. There was a complex nose of bitters and red fruit. The aromas echoed in the mouth with ripe then dry, grippy flavors. The structure came out as rather fine, drying tannins. The wine was simultaneously tart, ripe, grippy, and creamy with greenhouse notes and cocktail bitters. It morphed towards blue fruit in the finish. Ultimately, the wine showed a ripe core of fruit surrounded by powdery, dry, and finely textured tannins. Different! *** Now-2018.
2013 Et Cetera, Cuvee Rouge, Moldova – $19
Imported by Sarego Imports. This wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Saperavi, and 5% Rara Neagra that was aged in Hungarian and American oak barrels. Alcohol 13.0%. In the mouth were ripish, red fruit around a core of watering acidity. As the wine progressed it came dry with black flavors, textured tannins, and a dry, graphite finish. Overall this is a young that develops a strong nature. ** Now – 2018.
2012 Groot Constantia, Shiraz, South Africa – $17
Imported by Indigo Wine Group. Alcohol 14%. There were smoky aromas of black fruit. In the mouth the wine was tight with ripe flavors that built in strength. The black fruit continued with some camphor and fresh, greenhouse notes. This young wine textured, floral impressions. ** Now 2019.
2011 Hereditas, Babeasca Neagra, Romania – $11
Imported by A&M Imports. This wine is 100% Babeasca Neagra. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose was different and exotic with both floral and citrus note. In the mouth the dry, blue and black fruit was supported by a drying, black structure. The wine was spritely on the tongue tip with some baking spices, young tannins on the gums, and good texture. The finish was a bit short before the refreshing aftertaste. ** Now-2017.
2013 Chateau Vartely, Sec Rosu, Cabernet Sauvignon, Moldova – $8
Imported by Salveto Imports. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose smelled of slightly inky bell peppers. In the mouth were flavors of ripe, blue fruit, and green peppers. With air the cool, blue fruit fleshed out a bit. While not indicative of any particular place, it is a solid drink for the price. * Now.
2011 Domaine Zafeirakis, Limniona, Thessaly, Greece – $20
Imported by Oenos LLC. This wine is 100% Limniona. Alcohol 13%. The wine developed tart, red fruit with just a slight, liveliness on the tongue despite being acidity driven. It developed a fine ripe set of light, orange-citrus flavors and black fruit that left impressions of ripeness on the gums. The wine had a lighter, lift of creamy flavors towards the finish and ultimately, an attractive bit of ink. **(*) 2016-2019.