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A Wrap-Up of Winning Wines

| August 1, 2016

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Short And Sweet Reports On Recent Tastings

Tasting around 150 wines per month, and only having a two-page column, I occasionally fall behind, and the only way to report on all the great values from recent tastings is to list them with a short description instead of more fully reporting on 20 or 30 winners.

 

SPARKLING:

Cordoníu Brut Rosé ANNA Cava (Spain) — New and amazingly good! $11

Ruffino Sparkling Rosé (Italy) — Crisp, lively and refreshing. $14

Cote Mas Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé St. Hilaire (Languedoc) — “elegance and harmony.” $15

Carpine Malvolti Extra Dry Prosecco Superiore — From the fifth generation of the “Father of Prosecco,” Antonio Carpine. $18.99

Moet & Chandon Grande Vintage Rosé 2008 — Extra Brut dosage. Remarkable. $95

Charles Heidsieck Brut Rosé 2006 — Champagne doesn’t get much better than this! $120

 

ROSE:

Llano Estacado Signature Rosé 2015 (Texas) — Try with herb spiced chicken. $12

Galil Rosé (Israel) 2014 — Tempranillo, Pinot Noir and Grenache. Delightful. $13

Maison Belle Claire Cotes de Provence 2015 — Elegant and beguiling. $19

Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel (Provence) 2015 — Wildly popular and universally celebrated. $22

Prieure de Montézargues Tavel 2014 — Mostly Grenache. Titillating! Raspberries and flowers. $23

 

SOUTH AFRICAN CHENINS:

Fairview Chenin Blanc 2015 — Soft, round, tropical fruit. $12.99

Mulderbosch Steen 2015 — Dry farmed. About half bush vines. $12.99

De Morgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2014 — 43-year-old vines. Kiss of oak. $34

Beaumont “Hope Marguerite” Chenin Blanc 2013 — Class. $32

Badenhorst Family White 2012 — 43 percent Chenin, nine other varietals! Lively and complex. $34

Stark Condé Field Blend 2013 — 44 percent Roussanne, 41 percent Chenin and two others. Lovely aromatics. $19

Fable Mountain Jakal Bird 2012 — 45 percent Chenin and four other varietals. Made by Andy Erickson, former Screaming Eagle winemaker! $27

 

OTHER WHITES:

Llano Estacado Signature White (Texas) 2015 — Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Banc, Viognier and Chardonnay. Charming, successful blend. Incredible value. $8

J Lohr Chardonnay Arroyo Seco 2014 — One of best in price range anywhere, any time. $9.98

Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 — Try with goat cheese. $10

Tom Gore Sauvignon Blanc California 2015 — Flavors of tangerine and lime. $12.99

Moraima Albariño (Rias Baixas) 2014 — Crisp acidity, racy fruit. Try with shellfish. $14

Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc Charlotte’s Home 2015 — Luscious. $14

Justin Sauvignon Blanc Central Coast 2015 — Excellent fruit! $15

Benziger Chardonnay Central Coast 2013 — Lemon, pear and apricot. Great value. $16

Leyda Garuma Sauvignon Blanc (Chile) 2014 — Excellent fruit, balancing acidity. $20

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris Favorite Homestead Small Parcels 2014 — Peaches and apples. Fabulous. $20

Wente Chardonnay Riva Ranch Arroyo Seco Monterey 2014 — Luscious. Nothing better at this price. $20

Catena Tupungato Chardonnay 2015 — From the best winery in Argentina. Try with favorite fish. $25

Pedernales Cellars Vermentino (Texas) 2015 — Minimal handling. Roses, oranges and lemons. $29

MacRostie Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2014 — Lovely structure and minerality. $32

Duckhorn Chardonnay Napa Valley 2014 — Complexity and richness. $33

Bending Branch Estate Cuvée Blanc (Texas) 2014 — Picpoul Blanc, Roussanne, Vermentino. WOW! $38

MacRostie Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley 2014 — Exceptional! Only 399 cases. $46

Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard Carneros 2014 — Roses and apples. Class and breed! $55

Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2013 — As good as Chardonnay gets! Verve! $60

 

RED WINES:

Graffigna Antenario Reserve Malbec (Argentina) 2014 — A steal at $9

Mark West Pinot Noir “Black” Monterey County 2014 — A steal at $11

Bodegas Tridente Entresuelos (Spain) 2014 — Great value red. $14

Bodegas Juan Gil 100th Anniversary (Spain) 2013 — 50 percent Monastrell, 25 percent Syrah and 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Incredible price. $20

Robert Hall Petite Sirah Paso Robles 2013 — Made by former Texas winemaker Don Brady. Rich. $20

Bodega Renacer Punto Final Enamore 2013 (Chile) — Amarone-like! $23

Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon Jack London Vineyard 2012 — Exciting wine. Haunting, vivid label. $25

Cousino-Macul Finis Terrae Red Blend (Chile) 2011 — Earth, lovely fruit. $26

Vista Hills Pinot Noir Treehouse Dundee Hills 2012 — Rich cherry and cola with a hint of forest floor. $26

Balletto Pinot Noir HCD Vineyard Russian River Valley 2014 — Depth and finesse. $28

Bodegas Tridente Rejon (Spain) 2012 — 30 year-old vines. Concentrated, lovely. $38

TerraNoble CA2 Carmenere Costa (Chile) 2012 — Carmenere doesn’t get much better than this! $38

Lidio Carrraro Agnus Tannat (Brazil) 2014 — Best I’ve had from Brazil. Absolutely a winner! $46

Catena Alta Malbec Mendoza 2012 — Balance of all components. Complete! Iconic winery. $50

Bodegas Juan Gil El Nido Clio (Spain) 2013 — 70 percent Monastrell with Cabernet Sauvignon. Excellent. $50

Justin Justification Paso Robles 2013 — A very successful right bank look-alike. Cherry and currant fruit with tender tannins. Try with roasted duck with cherry sauce. Yum! $50

  1. Lohr PAU Paso Robles 2012 — Pauillac look-alike. Seriously good juice! 1st or 2nd growth quality. $50

Keenan Cabernet Franc Napa Valley 2012 — “Cabernet Franc shouldn’t be this delicious.” Fabulous! $58

Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Jenkins Ranch Sonoma Coast 2014 — Rich, yet seductive! Wonderful! $58

Sea Smoke Pinot Noir “Southing” 2013 — From Sta. Rita Hills from a 27-year-old vineyard on a south-facing hillside in one of the only east-west coastal ranges in the U.S. Elegant is an understatement. $60

Migration Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley 2013 — Cherries and spice. Awesome! $68

Migration Pinot Noir Goldrock Vineyard Sonoma Coast 2013 — Amazing quality. Lush and seamless. $68

Cobb Pinot Noir Rice-Spivak Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills 2013 — Only 12.5 percent alcohol, but has a brilliant aroma with layers of fruit flavors, perfect acidity and delicate tannins. $70

Chateau Palmer Margaux 2012 — The closest wine to a Chateau Margaux, try this famous, fruit-forward (for a Bordeaux) beauty. A Third Growth that is equal to the best Seconds. Very good vintage. $100

Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon Dragonfly Vineyard Napa Valley 2013 — From the greatest recent Napa vintage, this wine has “…rich, jammy flavors of strawberry, berry and spice.” Almost perfect now, should improve (if possible) with a couple years in the bottle. $110

Bodegas Juan Gil El Nido (Jumilla) 2013 — 70 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Monastrell (Mourvèdre). One of the top three wines I’ve tasted from Spain, including Vega Sicilia. $125

 


Category: Wine Reviews by Denman Moody

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