Posts Tagged ‘$9-$19’

A Spanish pair of Tempranillo

Both of the wines in this post are made from Tempranillo yet one is from Ribera del Duero and the other from Rioja.  The 2015 Alfredo Maestro, Almate, Ribera del Duero is new wine for me and I am pleased to write it is well made and quite tasty.  The 2010 Sierra Cantabria, Rioja Reserva is the more serious of the two yet it is beautiful.  It is clear that 2010 is an excellent vintage  capable of developing for the next several years. These two wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Alfredo Maestro, Almate, Ribera del Duero – $15
Imported by Llaurador Wines.  This wine is 100% Tempranillo sourced from vines at 700 and 1,000 meters of elevation that was fermented in stainless steel then aged for four months in neutral French oak.  Alcohol 14%.  Flavors of cool, juicy fruit are carried by watering acidity over a fine structure.  Quite tasty with a dry, graphite finish.  *** Now – 2023.

2010 Sierra Cantabria, Rioja Reserva – $24
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is 100% Tempranillo aged 18 months in French and American oak barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  After a few hours of air this beautiful wine fills the mouth with powdery red and black fruit.  There is some cocoa and only a hint of sweetness to the flavors.  There is fresh acidity, but not out of balance for the flavor, spices, and dry baking spices in the gentle finish.  ***(*) Now – 2028.

A trio of Cotes du Rhone

Cotes du Rhone upon release is fun but it  also is with a few years of age.  The 2012 Domaine Alary, L’Estevenas, Cairanne  is still bright and lively but there are pleasingly mature flavors to be enjoyed right now.  Pure, grapey, and deep-fruited the 2015 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone offers a good level of intensity.   The 2015 Saint-Damien, Vieilles Vignes, Plan de Dieu is another must-try wine.  I have recommended the wines of Plan de Dieu before.  If you still haven’t tried one then grab this bottle!  The Charvin was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.  The Alary and Saint-Damien were purchased at Weygandt-Wines.

2012 Domaine Alary, L’Estevenas, Cairanne – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah.  Alcohol 14%. Black fruit on the nose. This is a bright wine of mulberry flavors which still sports grip. There is watering acidity, a mixture of grip and garrigue, and hints of structure in the end. Notes of maturity do come out but the wine is still lively at the start. *** Now – 2023.

2015 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone – $20
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 81% Grenache, 7% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah, and 5% Carignan.  Alcohol 14%. This is a pure, grapey and deep fruited wine very much in the Charvin style. The middle is perfumed and mineral, eventually take on floral notes. There is just a touch of heat giving away the vintage. *** Now – 2023.


2015 Saint-Damien, Vieilles Vignes, Plan de Dieu – $17
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre.  Alcohol 14.5%. Kirsch on the nose. There is a bright, clean start which soon builds midpalate depth to the red fruit. There are additional flavors of dense black fruit and minerals by the end. There are tons of flavor to which bramble and red meat add complexity. This enjoyable in this youthful, modestly structured state. *** Now – 2025.

Another daily bottle for your table: 2015 Stephane Ogier, Les Temps est Venu, CdR

March 25, 2018 1 comment

The 2015 Stephane Ogier, Les Temps est Venu, Cotes du Rhone is more forward than the previous vintage which means it is a great wine to drink for enjoyment midweek.  I recommend you stock up at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Stephane Ogier, Les Temps est Venu, Cotes du Rhone – $15
A Robert Kacher selection imported by Domaine Select. This wine is a blend of mostly Grenache with Syrah, Mourvedre, and a dollop of Cinsault. The fruit is largely sourced from Plan de Dieu, fermented in concrete vats where it is also aged for 7 months. Alcohol 14%.  This is a forward, rounded wine with minimal structure and hints of minerals in the finish.  Though there is ripe, sweet, grapey fruit with noticeable weight, the wine becomes drier with air which puts it into balance.  Good value.  *** Now – 2020.

With good potential 2016 Domaine La Garrigue, Cuvee Romaine

March 19, 2018 1 comment

In Washington, DC, we are about to transition from Spring back into Winter.  With cooler temperatures in mind I recommend the 2016 Domaine La Garrigue, Cuvee Romaine, Cotes du Rhone.  This vintage returns with the earthy, deep note which reveals itself after a good dose of air.  It is a bit tight right now, while you may enjoy it from a decanter it is best left until the fall.  I picked up this bottle at Pete’s of East Lake in Seattle.

2016 Domaine La Garrigue, Cuvee Romaine, Cotes du Rhone – ~$17
Imported by Eric Solomon. This wine is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah sourced from 60-90 year old vines. It was aged for 12 months in concrete tanks. Alcohol 14.5%.  Tasted over three nice this wine offers brambly fruit with fine yet ripe textured tannins that coat the gums from the start.  The acidity is fresh providing the life for this wine to develop over the next few years.  There is also that earthy, deep-note I enjoy in my favorite vintages of this wine.  *** Now – 2025.

A pair of 2014 Blaufrankisch from Burgenland

The 2014 vintage in Austria was difficult and short but the robust and thick-skinned Blaufrankisch fared reasonably well.  This weekend Jenn and I tried a pair of Blaufrankisch from Burgenland.  The 2014 Prieler, Blaufrankisch, Johanneshohe, Burgenland is our favorite of the two.  An exuberant start brings dark fruit and with air, the wine shows good length.  This vintage resulted in the addition of declassified high-quality fruit for this wine and it makes this a good value.  The 2014 Steindorfer, Blaufrankisch Selection, Burgenland seems to be in an awkward phase.  The flavors are firm and austere but there is an attractive density and persistent coating of fat. I preferred it on the second night and suggest you hold off on drinking this until the next winter.  These two wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2014 Prieler, Blaufrankisch, Johanneshohe, Burgenland – $17
Imported by Skurnik Wines.  Alcohol 12%.  Very ripe and generous with fruit aromas.  In the mouth are dark, ripe red and black fruit flavors with a touch of lively acidity to keep it in balance.  In fact, the start is almost exuberant.  The dark fruit has a hint of wood/stem structure and with air the wine lengthens out.  *** Now – 2020.

2014 Steindorfer, Blaufrankisch Selection, Burgenland – $17
Imported by Select Wines.  This wine is 100% Blaufrankisch vinified in stainless steel then aged for 10 months in used barriques.  Alcohol 13%.  This is tart and clearly the more structured of the two wines.  The flavors lean towards the red spectrum but there is a surprising amount of density and fat.  With air the wine remains firm but takes on a roundness from the fat.  The flavors are of black fruit, graphite, and black pepper which I find appealing.  Though austere, it has a good finish.  In need of short-term aging.  **(*) 2019-2023.

A new mid-week wine: 2015 Altes, l’Estel

Various vintages of Herencia Altes, Garnatxa Negra have made for one of my mid-week drinking wines.  The 2015 Herencia Altes, l’Estel, Terra Alta can be added to this rotation.   Despite the warm vintage, this is a generally bright blend of grapes that will drink well over the next few years.  You may find it at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Herencia Altes, l’Estel, Terra Alta – $16
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars.  This wine is a blend of Carinyena, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Peluda, and Syrah from 40-100 year old vines which was vinified and aged in a mixture of tanks, barrels, and foudres.   Alcohol 14.5%.  Flavors of bright red fruit and minerals bear ripe texture.  Focused citric acidity moved through the end where dry structure comes out.  With air flavors of sweet tarts develop as does cherry and a touch of cocoa.  *** Now – 2020.

A pair of interesting whites made from Garganega and Arrufiac

March 8, 2018 1 comment

The grape variety Garganega may not make you think of Soave, but this blend of early and late picked fruit shows to good effect in the 2014 Bertani, Vintage Edition Soave.  The dark gold color matches the aromas of wild flower and apricot followed by weighty flavors.  This wine even has staying power for it drank well over several nights.  It is a good contender for a weekday bottle.  Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec is the  white wine appellation for Madiran and is often made with the Arrufiac variety.  I had heard of neither before Lou brought the bottle over to my house.  The color leans towards the amber and gold spectrum but the wine is lively with flavors of lemon citrus matched by a cut of acidity.  I have no experience with this wine before but I would be tempted to try a bottle in the fall.  Until then treat this as an aperitif or food wine.

2014 Bertani, Vintage Edition Soave – $26
Imported by Palm Bay International.  This wine is 100% 100% Garganega which was harvest first in September then in later October for more hang time then aged in concrete tanks.  Alcohol 12.5%.  A dark, straw gold.  The exotic nose reminds me of wild flowers, apricot fruit, and baked apples.  As conveyed by the nose, there is a weighty start in the mouth with ripe yellow fruit, white flowers, white nuts, and a mineral/flint finish.  The bottle drank well over a few nights.  *** Now – 2020.

2015 Chateau Viella, Pacherenc, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec – $19
Imported by Petit Pois Corp.  This wine is a blend of Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, and Arrufiac.  Alcohol 13.5%. An amber tinged gold color.  In the mouth are focused flavors of ripe, lemon citrus cut by a smokey and sharp acidity line through the finish.  It might be worth waiting until the fall for it to open up more.  **(*) Now – 2020.