Simply put if you need a red wine for daily drinking or a large party then look no further than the 2011 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, MonVi, Colli Perugini Rosso. This is a Sangiovese based Bordeaux blend with a bit of bitterness and cocoa but it is very tasty. It delivers a lot of satisfaction at only $13 per bottle. I must thank Tim for pointing it out to me. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, MonVi, Colli Perugini Rosso – $13
Imported by Vini Inc. This wine is a blend of 55% Sangiovese, 22% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc which is fermented in stainless steel then aged in a mixture of stainless steel and oak. Alcohol 14.5%. This is really tasty. For those in search of more information this a moderately ripe wine with ripe texture, a black bitter element, and cocoa aftertaste. It has watery acidity and a billowy structure which should support development for a year. But why wait? **(*) Now – 2019.
2015 Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, Villa, Umbria – $10
Imported by Vini Inc. This is 100% Sangiovese made from the youngest vines and raised entirely in stainless steel. Alcohol 14 %. This is a firm wine with slightly bitter black fruit, acidity, and fine texture. *(*) Now.
Phil has imported the wines of Domaine des Pasquiers for three years now. The trio of 2015 Rhone wines in this post represents the latest offering. 2015 is quite a vintage and all of these wines show significant flavor and stuffing. Of the trio, my favorite is the 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cote du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu. It is deep, flavorful, and has grip that I like. As with any proper Cotes du Rhone it will drink well over the next several years. The 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet is definitely young and in need of age. I could see it outstep the Plan de Dieu once it is mature but for a bit of raisin flavor. Maybe everything will come together in a couple years, in that case this could be a bit of a sleeper. The 2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Gigondas follows is the house style of modern Gigondas. While I prefer more funk this is certainly impressive with fat notes and a very long aftertaste to boot. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cote du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This is a very dark, grapey red color. The familiar, deep flavor leans more towards red fruit than black and is supported by strong, very fine tannic structure and watering acidity. With air herbs and a bit of inkinesss come out. It is certainly very flavorful with a touch of compelling grip, lots of flavor, and a dense almost chocolate finish. *** Now – 2022.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This wine plays it close with black fruited, powdery ripe flavor. There is extract and just the right amount of acidity. The very fine drying structure and wood notes indicate it needs a year or two for integration. The one distraction are fleeting flavors of raisins. **(*) 2018-2024.
2015 Domaine des Pasquiers, Gigondas – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. Alcohol 14.5%. This blue fruited wine is strong in flavor and strong in structure. It is a dense, sexy with a modern personality of fat, minerals, and structure. The aftertaste is persistent. *** Now – 2027.
Castiglion del Bosco produces several wines from Montalcino but also the flavorful Dainero from their vineyards in Riparbella. Located near Bolgheri, Riparbella is also an area conducive to the Bordeaux varieties. The 2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Dainero, Tuscany shows off as a successful blend of mostly Merlot with a touch of Sangiovese. It is ultimately quite tasty with the additional benefits of texture, almost lively acidity, and surprising depth. It is a well-priced wine worth checking out. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Dainero, Tuscany – $18
Imported by Maisons Marques & Domaines. This wine is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel then aged for 6 months in a combination of new and used oak. Alcohol 13%. Deep red flavors overlay minerals and bright black fruit. There is a good amount of acidity, almost bordering on lively, with texture and tang hitting the back of the mouth. The wine plays it close with structure and brightness to support further development. Development is no doubt possible because the wine has surprising depth to the pervasive, blue and black fruit flavors. *** Now – 2022.
With spring break winding down it is time to start posting again. Of good value and ripe for drinking is the 2015 Chateau Juvenal, Jolie, Cotes du Ventoux. This is a deep, black fruited wine with a mineral middle which keeps things in perspective. At $15 per bottle, this joint effort between Philippe Cambie and Chateau Juvenal, will please many people. We have already pulled the corks on two bottles! This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Chateau Juvenal, Jolie, Cotes du Ventoux – $15
Misa Imports. This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah sourced from 50+ year old vines. Alcohol 15%. This is a youthful wine with deep fruitiness that conveys richness from red then powdery black fruit. Though rich with a smooth start, the wine becomes more focused with a mineral middle and dry finish. *** Now – 2019.
Envinate not only produces wines from the Canary Islands but from the mainland as well. When I first opened the 2015 Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Albahra, Almansa I was immediately reminded of Des Tours. This impression lasted for 15 minutes or so before the wine morphed from that ethereal ripeness to a dry, focused, mineral wine. It is definitely worth checking out this unique wine. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Albahra, Almansa – $18
A Jose Pastor Selections imported by Llaurador Wines. This wine is 100% Grenache fermented and raised in cement. Alcohol 13.5%. This is a textured, lively wine which begins with ethereal ripe flavors. With air it becomes a dry, focused, mineral wine to drink over the next few years. *** Now – 2020.
The half-bottle format of 2011 Domaine Tempier, Bandol has entered a great drinking period which should continue for some time. The deep flavors are attractively ripe and a few years of bottle age mix nicely with leather and meat. If you are looking for a wine to buy this weekend then grab a few halves and pop one open as soon as you get home. Also for current drinking, albeit at the budget end of things, the 2014 Clos La Coutale, Cahors is a wine to drink mid-week. It is a lithe wine, think black tea and herbs, delivered in a fresh manner. Whereas the Tempier will drink well for years to come the Coutale should be consumed over a year or so. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Domaine Tempier, Bandol – $22 (375mL)
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 75% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, and 2% Carignan sourced from 40+ year old vines, fermented in stainless steel then aged 18-20 months in oak foudres. Alcohol 11%-14%. There is a fine, engaging nose with hints of ripeness. In the mouth is a lively start which soon builds depth, minerals, and grip before coating the gums with a lovely aftertaste. The ripeness of the start dissipates in the middle only to return in the aftertaste. It has already developed meat and leather flavors but the structure and acidity will see development for a few more years. ***(*) Now – 2023.
2014 Clos La Coutale, Cahors – $14
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot sourced from 20+ year old vines fermented in stainless steel then aged in oak foudres and barrels. Alcohol 13.5%. This is an interest wine combining black tea notes with fresh black fruit and acidity. The wine is of lithe profile bringing on drier black fruit, herbs, and a little bit of grip in the finish. There is minimal structure making this a wine for the short-term. ** Now – 2018.
Both of the wines featured in this post are blends featuring an unusual variety. You will find a small proportion of Regent, a cool-weather grape created in the 1960s, in the 2014 Saedinenie Winery, F2F, Bulgaria. I could not tell you what Regent smells or tastes like. The wine, though, is a gentle, blue-fruited, low-acidity wine that should please many. The 2014 Tierras de Armenia, Karas, Armenia features a splash of the native grape Khndoghni. I wish there was more, so I could taste it, but this is a crazy international blend which also includes Syrah, Tannat, and Montepulciano amongst other varieties. It is made by Gabriel Rogel, who comes from Argentina, with consulting help from Michel Rolland. This is a wine worth checking out. It is flavorful, lively, and has texture. It might even develop over the short-term to better integrate the cocoa notes. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2014 Saedinenie Winery, F2F, Bulgaria – $15
Imported by VP Brands International. This wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 10% Regent. Alcohol 13%. There are rounded blue fruit flavors, gentle supporting structure, and just enough acidity to move things along. There are no edges to the blue fruit. There is a bit of interest in the finish where black fruit and minerals come out. *(*) Now – 2018.
2014 Tierras de Armenia, Karas, Armenia – $13
Imported by G+B Imports. This wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 18% Tannat, 15% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Montepulciano, and 3% Khndoghni. Alcohol 14%. Chocolates and blue fruit precede the ripe textured middle. This is a good, flavorful wine with lively acidity, some weight, and cocoa. **(*) Now – 2019.