Wine Reviews: International Grab Bag

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 02-25-2017

We’re back with another grab bag of wines from all over the world. This report features some bargain Riesling from Mosel, a killer South African Chardonnay, some inexpensive Mendoza goodness, some Portuguese reds, and a few interesting blends from Locations Wines.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2015 St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Riesling Alte Reben - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
SRP: $18
Pale yellow color. Explosive aromas of white peach, sliced limes, kiwi, with honeyed tea, chalk dust, river rocks. Creamy texture on the palate with bright acid, deep minerality. Orange peel, kiwi, lime, bright fruit but a rich honeyed sense too, backed up by saline, minerals, potpourri, ginger. Lots of depth but so zesty and fresh, especially impressive for the price. (89 points IJB)

untitled2014 Capensis Chardonnay - South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
SRP: $80
Golden color. Gorgeous aromatics of sliced oranges, cantaloupe, lime, doused in sea salt, chalk, floral perfume and a hefty but nuanced dose of toasted nuts, oak and sliced ginger. Creamy and rich texture but the acidity keeps this wine precise and balanced. Rich orange and melon, drizzled with lime, the fruit is matched with notes of white flowers, honeycomb, lemon crème, and chalk dust. There is some pronounced oak in this wine (roasted peanut shell, chestnut, toasted bread), but if you’re OK with that, there is far more going on in this wine. Could age nicely but gorgeous now. A blend of vineyards in Stellenbosch, Overberg and Robertson, half the wine is aged in all new oak for 10 months. (93 points IJB)

2014 Trivento Amado Sur - Argentina, Mendoza
SRP: $15
Bright purple color. Juicy dark plums, black cherry, cola, pipe tobacco, vanilla. Juicy, punchy texture with mild tannins, moderate acidity and fresh red and black plum fruit. Notes of sweet cola, violets, mint and coffee. Earthy, spicy clove notes on the finish. Lots of fun but not simple, this would please many a palate. A near-term drinking blend of 79% Malbec, 11% Bonarda, 10% Syrah. (87 points IJB)

2009 Quinta de Lemos Dão Dona Santana - Portugal, Beiras, Dão
SRP: $25
Vibrant purple color. Aromas of smoke, charcoal, scorched earth, some mushroom and anise on top of juicy black currant and plums. Full but quite fresh on the palate, sturdy tannins, dark plum and currant fruit, a juicy, complex but delicious wine. Such vibrant black currant and cherry fruit, maintains a tart edge, and it’s laced with mushroom, pepper, coffee, leather, clove. So much going on here, with a seriously complex finish. Good time ahead but delicious now.  60% Touriga Nacional, 20% Tinta Roriz, 10% Jaen, and 10% Alfroceiro varieties. (90 points IJB)

2009 Margarida Cabaço Monte dos Cabaços - Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano
SRP: $21
Deep purple color. Smoky nose of charcoal, grilled herbs and raw tobacco on top of rich black cherry and dark plum, some clove and pepper sauce notes too. Full-bodied with some serious grip to the tannins, moderately fresh acidity, a chewy black cherry and currant fruit sense but stays fresh. Lots of undertones of earth, smoke, charcoal, black pepper and soy, with some magic marker, clove, grilled meat and cedar too. Wow, surprised at the depth, concentration and length of a wine at this price point, but the Alentejo delivers yet again! A blend of 45% Alicante Bouschet, 30% Touriga Nacional, 20% Aragonez and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. (89 points IJB)

2013 Quinta dos Poços Douro Colheita - Portugal, Douro
SRP: $16
Vibrant ruby color. Aromas of vibrant red plums and currants, violets and roses, sweet sage, coffee, this is a warm winter kitchen of aromatic goodness. Medium-bodied, fresh acidity, a bright wine but solid grip from dry tannins. Tart red and some black currant fruit, lots of dark earth, coffee grounds, black tea, lots of potpourri spice and floral tones. Pretty but structured, could use a nice decant or a few years in the cellar. A blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional. (88 points IJB)

untitled3N.V. Locations P-4 - Portugal
SRP: $20
Deep purple color. Smells of rich plums, juicy blackberries, dark earth, charcoal smoke, topped in sweet vanilla coffee. Full and juicy with accessible, dusty tannins and some moderate acidity helps it move forward. Plum cake and blackberry jam, a rich but silky wine with charcoal, dark chocolate, black pepper and vanilla. Juicy, delish, crowd-pleasing style but multi-dimensional and long on the finish. A blend of Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira and Touriga Franca sourced from the northern Douro and Alentejo regions and aged in French and American oak. (88 points IJB)

N.V. Locations F-5 - France
SRP: $19
Light copper color. A mix of sweet melon and strawberry jam aromas with a kick of white pepper and dandelion. Plump wine on the palate, almost honeyed texture but crisp acidity. White cherries and strawberry shortcake mix with rose petals, slight pepper, cut flower stems. Lots of fun but a good amount of complexity. 100% Grenache. (87 points IJB)

N.V. Locations I-4 - Italy
SRP $19
Bright ruby color. Smells of juicy cherries, raspberries and dark plums, along with roasted hers, black tea, clove and rose petals. Full-bodied, some dusty tannic structure, moderate acidity. Juicy plums and roasted cherries, fresh fruit but dark and savory, too, with notes of mocha, clove, leather and topsoil. Quite complex and seriously delish at this price point (which seems to be the theme with this Locations wines). A blend of Negroamaro and Nero d’Avola from Puglia and Barbera from Piemonte (Alba) — definitely the first time I’ve had a Northern/Southern Italian blend like this. (88 points IJB)

2015 Cusumano Nero d’Avola Terre Siciliane IGT - Italy, Sicily, Terre Siciliane IGT
SRP: $13
Juicy ruby color. Smells of bright raspberries, red plums, smoked herbs, anise and black tea. On the palate this is a bright and juicy wine with easy tannins and fresh acidity to frame the red plum and cherry fruit. Spicy, earthy, with clove and anise, but also clean and floral. For 10 years or so, this wine has been a dependable Sicilian red for the price, and a no-brainer in terms of an inexpensive pizza wine. (87 points IJB)

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