I do not think I have ever tasted a Rhone wine solely from Valreas. The 2015 Domaine du Seminaire, Cote du Rhone Villages Valreas is a new wine in our area so of course I grabbed a bottle. This is a traditionally made wine, fermented in concrete with no use of oak. It is strong and forward with a grapey, floral personality. The liveliness is attractive, causing you to return for another taste. I imagine it might open up over the next year but it is a fun drink right now. Go get some! This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Domaine du Seminaire, Cote du Rhone Villages Valreas – $18
Imported by Martine’s wines. This wine is a blend of mostly Grenache with Syrah that was fermented concrete. Alcohol 14%. The higher-toned grapey, floral nose makes way to similarly grapey, black fruit in the mouth. The wine has quite the strength, building intensity through the middle. This is balanced by almost lively acidity and fine texture. Flavors of baking spices and a tangy finish add to the complexity. This is an impressive, grapey wine. *** Now – 2022.
As happy as I am to continue drinking the 2014 Fornacina, Rosso di Montalcino I thought it best to get Tim’s advice on other wines from the region. He first recommended the affordable 2013 Tenuta Vitanza, Le Paturnie, Rosso di Montalcino. This is a firm wine of black fruit that mixes in pleasing herbal notes. It could stand a few years of development to open up perhaps becoming elegant and focused. The 2012 Le Ragnaie, Rosso di Montalcino is a step up in quality and price. The deep nose will excite you and the lively flavors will only add to the positive impression. I highly recommend you drink a few bottles over the next several years. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Tenuta Vitanza, Le Paturnie, Rosso di Montalcino – $17
Imported by Tenth Harvest. This wine is 100% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel then raised for six months in Slavonian oak. Alcohol 13.5%. This is a firm wine that remains focused with air. There is black fruit with dry herbal notes, polished wood, and an ethereal ripe finish. It remains tight with watering acidity. **(*) 2019-2024.
2012 Le Ragnaie, Rosso di Montalcino – $26
Imported by Vine Street Imports. This wine is 100% Sangiovese fermented in concrete then aged for 24 months in Slavonian oak. Alcohol 14%. The nose is deep and a touch pungent. The red and blue fruit quickly takes on polished wood notes before the brighter, red middle. There is fine acidity and grip in the end. With air this becomes a lively wine with controlled ripe fruit, a dry and bright middle, stone accented finish, and wood tannin aftertaste. Delicate floral notes even come out. This has strong development potential over the short-term. *** Now – 2026.
I brought a trio of Greek wines to my brother-in-law’s house a week ago. The two red wines were recommended to me by John Fitter but the 2015 Domaine Glinavos, Paleokerisio, Ioannina was a random grab. Not knowing what a “Traditional Semi-sparkling Orange Wine” from Greece would taste like, I just could not resist my curiosity. It is surprisingly round and complex at first. I would almost swear it is an infusion herbs and flowers with wine. It is quite drinkable but is frustrating short in the mouth. The 2011 Kokkinos, Xinomavro, Naoussa smells great and will tempt any fan of maturing Southern Rhone wines. It is firm in the mouth and did not give up the level of mature flavors promised by the nose. Still, it is a wine to try and if you do so I would try double-decanting it. Finally, the 2013 Skouras, Saint George Agiorgitiko, Nemea is a bright, lively blend of red and blue fruit with some oak hints. It is a wine that should please many. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Domaine Glinavos, Paleokerisio, Ioannina – $13 (500mL)
Alcohol 10.5%. Imported by T. Elenteny Imports. It is a cloudy, tawny orange color. There is surprising roundness to the sweet, moderately sparkling start. The flavors are immediately complex blending cardamom, sweet orange juice, and floral notes. There is even a mineral bit. Unfortunately the finish is very short. ** Now.
2011 Kokkinos, Xinomavro, Naoussa – $17
Imported by Oenos. The light volume of maturing aromas are attractive but do not prepare one for the firm red and black fruit in the mouth. There is good flavor, almost like a rather firm Southern Rhone wine. It wraps up with polished wood notes and focused ripe flavors. ** Now – 2020.
2013 Skouras, Saint George Agiorgitiko, Nemea – $17
Imported by Diamond Wine Imports. This wine is 100% Agiorgitiko aged for 12 months in used oak. Alcohol 13.5%. The good nose offers up red and blue fruits with a hint of vanilla. In the mouth is a bright, linear delivery of flavor driven by nearly lively acidity. The structure imposes the linearity but it drinks well right now. ** Now – 2020.
I often spot the wines of Sineann in Seattle but until recently, never in Washington, DC. The 2013 Sineann, Abondante, Columbia Valley is a Bordeaux blend with a dose of Zinfandel thrown in. This is a forward, generous wine with a flavor profile you might find hard to place your finger on. The Pacific Northwest can readily produce these hearty, juicy blends for everyday drinking. Priced at $18 this is a good opportunity to try this Oregon producer’s non Pinot Noir wine. It is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Sineann, Abondante, Columbia Valley – $18
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. Alcohol 14.8%. This is a forward wine with an unusual fruit profile. It is a little puckering with both black fruit and a mixture of ripe, powdery berries, only to become black fruited by the end. It has fine grained tannins. ** Now – 2020.
There is no denying that the 2015 Cave Roquebrun, La Grange Des Combes, Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun provides ample volumes of flavorful black fruit and minerals. Though there is some bitterness it is generally a ripe, powdery, dense wine. It is a not my style of wine but I imagine it is a crowd-pleaser. Priced at $13 per bottle you can supply that crowd. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Cave Roquebrun, La Grange Des Combes, Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun – $13
Imported by Monsieur Touton. This wine is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre raised in stainless steel. There are ample flavors of ripe, powdery, black fruit and minerals with an almost bitter, black fruited start. The wine is grapey in a way with some black pepper and ripe texture from the long-grained tannins. With air plenty of good, ripe and grapey black fruit flavor remains. In the end this is a dense, modern style of wine. ** Now – 2020.
I am in need of inexpensive, tasty wine. With kitchen work in plan for this Spring I need every cent for cabinets, stone, and labor. Priced at $11 the 2015 Domaine Pere Caboche, Cotes du Rhone is more generous than the other pair of 2015 Cotes du Rhone for daily drinking. You get mouth filling, grapey flavors yet there is a serious quality lurking in there. With lower acidity this is a smooth wine for drinking this year. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Domaine Pere Caboche, Cotes du Rhone – $11
Imported by Monsieur Touton Selection. This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault. Alcohol 14%. There are serious flavor undertones to this generally youthful and grapey flavor wine. It is mouth filling with smoothed edges and just enough acidity to match the density. The flavors turn riper and bluer towards the finish. ** Now.
The 2015 Thierry Germain, Saumur Champigny and 2015 Bernard Baudry, Les Granges, Chinon are fun to taste together for they are different expressions of the Cabernet Franc grape. Since I last tasted the Germain in the fall, it has opened up in flavor as well as shed weight and roundness. This is a light, ethereal wine that manages to move in flavor from red to black fruit. The wine reminded Jenn of a rose which I think is the best, single word description of this wine. The Baudry offers a bit more strength as well as lively zip from acidity and attractive texture as if extract were floating about. It is a bit dry and structured making me think it will drink better in the fall. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Thierry Germain, Saumur Champigny – $20
Imported by Elite Wines Imports. This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from 25+ year old vines, fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for seven months in tank. Alcohol 13%. There are herbaceous aromas supported by bright red fruit. In the mouth this wine is lighter in body with cranberry and strawberry flavors, and watering acidity. The light body conveys delicate flavors, which are ethereal and gently ripe, as they move from red to black fruit flavors. It picks up floral notes with air. **(*) Now – 2019.
2015 Bernard Baudry, Les Granges, Chinon – $18
Imported by Louis/Dressner. This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from young vines that is both fermented and aged for 7-10 months in cement tanks. Alcohol 12%. The nose reveals finely textured herbaceous aromas. The dry, linear entry of black fruit has strength picking up good zip in the mid palate. With air this becomes an inky and herbaceous wine with a cool ripeness and texture from extract in the end. **(*) Now – 2019.