Posts Tagged ‘Baja California’

Three wines from New Mexico, Mexico, and Greece

December 22, 2014 1 comment

One really should be curious when it comes to trying wines.  We bought the 2009 Gruet Winery, Pinot Noir, New Mexico several years ago after trying an even older, well-preserved example. It may seem surprising at first to find Pinot Noir in New Mexico but do remember that Gruet is famous for their sparkling wines, of which Pinot Noir plays a part.  Our bottle showed a lot of oak influence on the nose followed by primary cherry fruit in the mouth.  This is a solid drinking wine that would be great fun to serve blind at the beginning of a tasting or dinner.   From Mexico, the latest vintage of 2010 L.A. Cetto, Petite Sirah, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California offered solid, modern flavors of dense black fruit.  This bottle took a few days to show well which is not surprising given the grape variety.  Again, not a mind-blowing wine but another fun wine to serve blind.  I would personally be curious to see how it tastes several years from now.  The 2012 Aivalis Wines, Agiorgitiko, Nemea offers plummy, dry, and powerfully structured flavors.  The wine is a bit disjointed right now so stick it in the cellar for a year or two.  It you must try a bottle now (and most likely in the future) then be sure to accompany it by a big hunk of meat.  The L.A. Cetto and Aivalis wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.  The Gruet was purchased at the winery.


2009 Gruet Winery, Pinot Noir, New Mexico –
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir that was aged for 16+ months in oak barrels.  Alcohol ?%.  The color was a medium+ red cherry with some garnet.  There were good wood aromas on the notes, some sweet spices, and leather.  In the mouth were cherry fruits in this balanced wine.  The flavors were simple and shorter though the wine has kept well.  Eventually a fruity blue and red core came out.  No need to hold on but will last for years to come.  ** Now-2017.


2010 L.A. Cetto, Petite Sirah, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California – $10
Imported by International Spirits & Wines.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There were low-lying heady aromas of tart fruit.  In the mouth were dense, inky flavors, some ripe, powdery tannins, and fruit that turned blacker. Needs a little time in the cellar.  *(*) 2015-2018.


2012 Aivalis Wines, Agiorgitiko, Nemea – $16
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is 100% Agiorgitiko that was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in 30% new and 70% used French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose remained plummy.  In the mouth were plummy, black fruit flavors that were dry.  The acidity was salivating at first then dry, dark tannins came out towards the finish.  The structure is rather strong in comparison to the fruit.  The finish bore dark fruit that seemed separate from the structure in the end.  Needs time to integrate.  *(*) 2016-2019.


Three Alternative Wines

Today’s post features wines from Mexico and Croatia.  The 2010 Vinicola L.A. Cetto, Petite Sirah is an improvement over the 2008 vintage which I tasted almost two years ago.  It is a solid wine for the price and worth trying if you want something affordable and different or you have never tried a Mexican wine.  The pair of Trapan wines represent further offerings from The Balkan Wine Project.  Of the two, the 2012 Trapan, Ponente was my favorite.  It had an interesting combination of tropical flavors, waxiness, some vibrancy and texture.  It is reasonably priced and may be drunk over several days.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2010 Vinicola L.A. Cetto, Petite Sirah, Valle de Guadalupe – $10
Imported by International Spirits and Wines LLC.  This wine is 100% Petite Sirah.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a light to medium purple ruby.  In the mouth there were grapey flavors of purple and black fruit.  The flavors were somewhat lifted with a grapey middle, some ripe tannins, and a moderately ripe level of personality.  The wine became a little savory with air.  It has strength and ruggedness.  ** Now-2016.


2012 Trapan, Ponente, Istria – $16
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Malvazija sourced from vines planted in 2005 which was fermented and aged in stainless steel.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was a light straw yellow.  The subtle nose first had aromas of skin contact, waxy, and nutty.  In the mouth the wine was slightly vibrant with lively fruit at first, stones, and some tropical white fruit in the middle.  It was almost creamy before the texture picked up leaving a waxy impression in the aftertaste.  It held up well in the refrigerator.  ** Now-2016.


2011 Trapan, Terra Mare, Istria -$26
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Teran sourced from vines planted in 2005 which was aged for 12 months in used French oak.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose revealed a combination of different aromas, wood notes, and vanilla.  In the mouth there was moderately focused fruit, firm and tart, with red and black flavors.  The wine tastes wood aged with the fruit existing within the structure.  There were vanilla notes and sweetness but not too much.  After the middle there were drying flavors and a little vibrancy on the tongue.  This modern wine finished with a vanilla note.  ** Now-2016.


A Fun Wine from Villa Montefiori, Mexico

Vineyard, Image from Villa Montefiori

As soon as I spotted this bottle of Mexican red wine I grabbed it.  In 1985 Paolo Paoloni came to Mexico to work for Bodega LA Cetto.  A decade later the Paoloni family founded Villa Montefiori.  The family itself originates from Le Marche, Italy.  In 1998 they planted the estate with Italian and French varietals.  The first released vintage was 2005.  I rather enjoyed drinking this wine and I recommend that you give it a try.  I do not see to many Mexican wines for sale in the Washington, DC area and while that alone is enough reason to pick up a bottle, there really is serious effort put into this wine.  There is a touch too much sweetness in the fruit for my preferences but beyond that there are many attractive qualities to this wine.  I would be curious to read what you think.  This selection is currently available at MacArthur Beverages.

2008 Villa Montefiori, Cabernet-Sangiovese, Valle de Guadalupe, Vaja California – $20
Imported by Southern Wine Group Imports.  This wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Sangiovese which was aged for 10 months in new and used French oak barrels.  There is a nose of blue and black fruit with a lifted sweetness and eventually floral greenhouse aromas.  In the mouth there are soft and ripe red fruit which makes way to racy black fruit and licorice, along with a touch of tartness and sweet spices.  There is a nice coating of minerally black fruit on the lips.  Tilting towards sweet this is a fun wine with good weight.  ** Now-2015.