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Posts Tagged ‘$9-$19’

Four Good Values From Bordeaux

September 18, 2019 Leave a comment

This quartet of red Bordeaux was recommended by Phil at MacArthur Beverages.  Priced between $13 and $20 these bottles represent good value for current consumption and a short-slumber in the cellar.  For near-term drinking grab the 2014 Chateau Dubourg, Saint Emilion and the 2016 Chateau Francs Magnus, Bordeaux Superieur.  These Merlot dominated blends each have their owner personality, dried herbs with the Dubourg and intense stones with the Francs Magnus.  For drinking over the next decade, after a few more years in the cellar, grab the 2016 Chateau Senejac, Haut-Medoc and the 2014 Chateau du Taillan, Haut-Medoc.  These show a bit more backbone from the Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Senejac is cool, balanced, and spiced whereas du Taillan takes on some earthiness.

2014 Chateau Dubourg, Saint Emilion – $17
Imported by MacArthur Beverages.  This wine is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.  Alcohol 13.5%.  Round and creamy with a blue fruited start then a vein of minerals with black fruit.  The low-lying, supple tannin provide subtle support.  The wine wraps-up with a very black, stone laden finish.  Intense in character with a bit of bitterness. **(*) Now – 2014.

2016 Chateau Francs Magnus, Bordeaux Superieur – $13
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.  Alcohol 14%.  This reflects a good, youthful state.  The mixture of red and blue fruit is a little tart with flavors of dried herbs, and dry wood box carried by juicy acidity.  This vein of acidity carries into the tart, and citric finish.  With air notes of rosemary come out as does a coating of fat.  Strong value.  *** Now – 2013.

2016 Chateau Senejac, Haut-Medoc – $20
Imported by MacArthur Beverages.  This wine is a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot.  Alcohol 13.5%.  A spiced nose of black berries.  Young with focused flavors of black fruit and exotic spice.  There is a mineral touch with some perfume in the finish.  The spiced tannins take a grip on the gums.  The overall cool tilt to the flavors makes for a fresh wine with supportive acidity and good length.  Will develop and last.  *** Now – 2029.

2014 Chateau du Taillan, Haut-Medoc – $19
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Alcohol 14.5%.  Round and black fruited this has a focused core of fruit.  It takes on some earth before the mineral finish.  This is a mouth filling wine with more structure for development.  It leaves a drying sensation on the gums along with a licorice hint. It should develop for another year or two.  *** Now – 2026.

Deep and mature Kalecik Karasi from Turkey

This 2014 Vinkara Winery, Kalecik Karasi, Kalecik is a fine follow-on to the 2013 vintage which I reviewed here.  In fact, I like it even better for it is deep and mineral without the prickle.  I imagine that if you like a maturing, dark Cotes du Rhone then you will enjoy this wine very much.  I find it drinking well right now but will last a few more years.  It is a steal at $15.  Thanks to John for pointing this out at MacArthur Beverages.

2014 Vinkara Winery, Kalecik Karasi, Kalecik, Ankara – $15
Imported by Fine Terroir Selections. This wine is 100% Kalecik Karasi that was aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks. Alcohol 14%.  Deep aromas on the nose followed by deep fruit in the mouth with fresh acidity and some tang to keep it lively.  This is a well-balanced wine with a mineral cut in the middle followed by good, robust fruit.  Dark and different, it even takes on some licorice.  *** Now – 2023.

For the table: 2016 La Janasse, Cotes du Rhone

The 2016 Domaine de la Janasse, Cotes du Rhone is a wine you can purchase by the case to drink over the next several years.  It has some youthfulness right now but there is enough density to the fruit that when coupled with quality acidity and structure, will see it evolve across several years.  I purchased this bottle at MacArthur Beverages.

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2016 Domaine de la Janasse, Cotes du Rhone – $15
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. This wine is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan, Syrah, and Cinsault that was aged 6 to 9 months in vat.  Alcohol 13.5%.  Youthful and clean with a bit of dense, black fruit.  Watering acidity and supportive structure will see this wine through the next several years.  It finishes with baking spices and a little cocoa.  A good value.  **(*) Now – 2024.

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The Must-Try 2012 Coupe-Roses, Orience

For the past two months I have gone back, again and again, to buy more of the 2012 Chateau Coupe-Roses, Orience, Minervois.  This is the top cuvee of Chateau Coupe-Roses and being of the 2012 vintage, it is benefiting from maturity.  The Minervois strength comes through but this wine is primarily about dark fruit coupled with earth, minerals, and a touch of baking spice.  It is a fantastic combination that will peak within the next year or two.  I almost regret posting about it as I do not know what can replace it at this price.

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2012 Chateau Coupe-Roses, Orience, Minervois – $17
Imported by Vintage ’59.  This wine is a blend of mostly Syrah with some Grenache and old-vine Carignan.  Alcohol 13.5%.  Some brambly fruit on the nose.  In the mouth this is mineral with a touch of earth before flavors of fruit, leaning towards black, come out.  A polished wine with supportive acidity, it comes across with understated density.  With air notes of salinity, cinnamon, and even more minerals develop.  Good focus for more development.  ***(*) Now – 2025.

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Austrian Pet-Nat for the Summer

The 2018 Meinklang, Frizzante Rose, Austria is a perfect selection for the summer.  It is floral, fruity, and creamy with bubbles.  It is quite flavorful yet low in alcohol so you can drink a few glasses without effect.  The price point is reasonable allowing you to grab a few bottles for the upcoming hot weekend in DC.  I see that I am behind in my notes.  John first recommended this wine to me back in the Spring so I have gone through a few bottles since.  Fortunately, it is still on the shelves at MacArthur Beverages.

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2018 Meinklang, Frizzante Rose, Austria – $18
A Zev Rovine Selection imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This is a blend of Blaufrankish, Zweigelt, and St Laurent.  Alcohol 10.5%.  A medium, rose petal color.  Hints of ripeness then a very lively burst of floral fruit before sweeter bubbles dissipate in a creamy, gentle finish.  *** Now.

It Tastes of Stone: 2017 Mas Olivier, Parfum de Schistes

The soils of Faugeres mainly consist of schist and the 2017 Mas Olivier, Parfum de Schistes, Faugeres clearly reflects this fact.  It is a youthful styled wine with black fruit, stones, and lively acidity.  I imagine it might peak in the new year.  I picked up my bottle at MacArthur Beverages.

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2017 Mas Olivier, Parfum de Schistes, Faugeres – $15
Imported by Tap Wines.  This wine is a blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre.  Alcohol 14%.  Good perfume  on the nose.  In the mouth, clean black fruit mixes with finely textured extract.  As promised, minerals and stones act as a backbone for this wine enlivened by fresh acidity and finished with puckering tannins.  Youthful in nature, this should be drunk within a few years.  **(*) Now – 2022.

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One Liter of Slovenian Deliciousness

The 2018 Ptuj Winery, Pullus, Halozan, White Wine, Slovenia must be one of the best white-wine buys in the entire store.  John at MacArthur Beverages recommended it as a crazy blend and I now recommend it as a wine to drink over the course of an entire work week.  While it is intended to be drunk as a spritzer with mineral water, I find it quite good all on its own.  There are plenty of ripe, white fruit flavors, a chalky middle, and crisp acidity.  Incredibly, it lasts for days in the fridge.  Give it a try!

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2018 Ptuj Winery, Pullus, Halozan, White Wine, Slovenia – $13 for 1L
Imported by Vinum USA.  This wine is a varying blend of at least Welschriesling and Rhine Riesling, White Pinot,  Chardonnay, Furmint, Sauvignon and Muscat. Alcohol 11.5%.  A light green, straw color.  In the mouth are ripe flavors of white tree round which are lively with crisp acidity.  There is a chalky, honeysuckle flavored middle and touch of lees in the finish.  It finishes clean.  *** Now – 2022.

For the Cellar: 2017 Guion, Bourgueil

It was Bill who reintroduced me to the wines of Stephane Guion at his Loire tasting a year and a half back.  I am happy to report that the 2017 Domaine Guion, Cuvee Domaine, Bourgueil is serious wine at a budget price.  Right now, since the wine is young, I find it tastes best on the second night when the black fruit takes on creamy blue flavors and tastes of liquid stones.  There is also a touch of herbaceousness to remind you of the Loire.  You may find this wine at MacArthur Beverages.

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2017 Domaine Guion, Cuvee Domaine, Bourgueil – $15
Imported by Percy Selections.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from 15-40 year old vines on clay and limestone soils.  Alcohol 12%.  Upon opening, there is acidity driven, tart black fruit and herbaceous flavor.  Fine, grippy tannins are left on the gums with impressions of a little ethereal fat.  With air, the wine improves markedly, becoming rounder with good presence.  The black and herbaceousness does not leave but blue, creamy fruit and granite stones add to the mixture.  It is even a little juicy.  **(*) 2020-2025.

For Humid Weather: 2018 Lapierre, Raisins gaulois

July 6, 2019 1 comment

Lapierre is great.  I recently tried a bottle 2018 Marcel Lapierre, Raisins gaulois, VDP after Phil pointed out its arrival.  This is a light wine, to drink over the next year.  It offers more than quafability for it adds just enough depth and just enough juiciness to make you take note.  Drink it during these hot, humid days we have here in Washington, DC.  You may find it on the front shelves at MacArthur Beverages.

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2018 Marcel Lapierre, Raisins gaulois, VDP – $16
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from young vines mostly located in Morgon.  Alcohol 12.5%.  Beautiful, delicate red berries are slightly tart but pure with good depth.  There is some ripeness and restrained juiciness for fun.  Best this year but should survive the winter  **(*) Now – 2020.

Diverse Italian wines

I admit to being behind in posting my tasting notes.   In an effort to clear some backlog, you will find nine notes from recent Italian bottles in order of preference.  I would try anything rated *** or **(*).  These selections are priced between $15 and $25 at MacArthur Beverages which is quite an affordable range.

2015 Rainoldi, Inferno, Valtellina Superiore – $25
Imported by Winebow. Alcohol 13%. A darker flavored wine with a ripe vein in it. There is some stemmy, supportive structure but it becomes rounder towards the end. The underlying black fruit picks up the chewy tannins to good effect. Satisfying. *** Now – 2024.

2010 Vigne Marina Coppi, Castellania, Colli Tortonesi – $25
Alcohol 14.5%. This wine has power to the black fruited, slightly puckering flavor. There are some astringent tannins and a sour tilt in the finish but this is thoroughly enjoyable. *** Now – 2029.

2015 Pertimali, La Querciolina, Montecucco Rosso – $17
Imported by Le Storie Wines.  Alcohol 14%.  Dark fruited with some red flavors as the slightly lively acidity comes into play.  There is a crisp edge to the mineral flavor but this is a robust wine with cola-like verve before the drier, baking spiced finish.  **(*) Now – 2029.

2015 Conte Guicciardini, Massi di Mandorlaia, I Massi, Morellino di Scansano – $19
Imported by Michael R. Downey. Alcohol 14.5%. There are dark, floral berry aromas on the nose. Rounded flavors of mixed red and blue berries are almost earthy with a stone note. There is fine structure and watering acidity framing the wine. The fruit focuses in the finish. **(*) Now – 2023.

2014 Tolaini, Al Passo, Tuscany – $18
Imported by Banville Wine Merchants. Alcohol 14.5%.  An herbaceous edge before the ripe, blue and black fruit.  The flavors are carried on a dry, acidic edge which makes it fresh in the middle.  This is attractive in a cooler, tannic way.  **(*) Now – 2024.

2010 Villa S’Anna, Chianti Colli Senesi – $20
A maturing wine with firm aromas of cherry and soil. In the mouth it is focused with firm, black cherry flavor and watering acidity. It is still structured but in an enjoyable, integrated way. It wraps up with dry, earthy soil notes. **(*)  Now – 2024.

2017 Coppo L’Avvocata, Barbera d’Asti – $15
A good nose. In the mouth is lively red fruit, red tart fruit with black fruit underlying it. This is acidity driven with a mineral zip at the end. Flavorful with ripe hints of rolly polly stones and some heat. **(*) Now – 2022.

2016 Benanti, Etna Rosso – $20
Imported by RWK Imports. This wine is a blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio. Alcohol 13.5%. A good nose with floral perfume. Robust nerello flavors greet but they are a bit simple. The wine is clean and while it retains focus it does reveal some weight which becomes integrated with the dry structure and acidity.  ** Now – 2024.

2016 Leone de Castris, Villa Santera, Primitivo di Manduria – $17
Imported by Winebow.  Alcohol 14.5%.  Sweet vanilla and bakery aromas.  In the mouth are blue fruits with a rounded edge.  This is a ripe wine, bordering on sweet but fortunately becomes more mineral and balanced towards the finish. ** Now – 2021.