Wine Reviews: International Grab Bag

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 04-29-2017

This week we’ve got a hodgepodge of wines from all around the world.

I recently tasted a Chenin and a red blend from a new project called Lubanzi. These are South African wines brought in by two young Americans, Charles Brain and Walker Brown, who fell in love with South African wines (as I did) while traveling around Cape Town. There are so many great winemakers, old vines, and exceptional wines in South Africa, and at such moderate prices. But we don’t get nearly enough of them here, so it’s awesome to see a crew with passion bringing high-quality, value-driven South African vino to the States.

We also have a Locations wines from Dave Phinney and two different Sauvignon Blanc’s from New Zealand’s Nobilo. Lastly, I really liked a zesty, complex dry Furmint from Oremus.

n2T5j-I5ng3xUUemJqPOTKEWJUILXZ8EytPw-fuBkBMpX92IBReview: 2016 Lubanzi Wines Chenin Blanc Leeuwenkuil Vineyard - South Africa, Coastal Region, Swartland
SRP: $18
Medium yellow color. Nose of lemon curd, orange peel, apricot, chalk dust, crushed shells, honeysuckle and raw almond. Fresh and vibrant on the palate with medium-body, brisk acidity and a juicy fruit presence (white peach, apricot and nectarine, green melon) with notes of white tea, honey and chalk. Vibrant minerality, a bright white flower, honeysuckle and dandelion aspect. So lively and, crisp, so food-friendly, long, deep finish. Very pretty stuff with surprising depth and complexity. (90 points IJB)

Review: 2015 Lubanzi Wines Red Blend - South Africa, Coastal Region
SRP: $18
Light purple color. Smells of sweet plums and juicy red cherries topped with leather, pepper, sage and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied with fresh acidity and moderate tannins. Red plums and raspberry mixes with a host of roasted herbs, eucalyptus, pine smoke and roses. Complex but accessible with a fresh, vibrant finish. 46% Shiraz, 31% Cinsault, 20% Mourvedre, 3% Grenache. (88 points IJB)

Review: N.V. Locations Corse - France, Corsica, Corse
SRP: $19
Medium yellow color. Interesting nose, it seriously smells like new tennis balls and Lego sets mixed with lychee, white peach and cherry blossom. Light-bodied, moderate acidity, a smooth presence on the palate with more nuance than bombast. Lemon, white peach and lychee fruit blends nicely with floral perfume and new tennis balls. Fun stuff. Made from Vermentino. (85 points IJB)

Review: 2016 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Regional Collection Marlborough - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $13
Pale straw color. Nose of bitter lemon, ruby red grapefruit, sliced jalapeno and onion grass. Zesty and fresh style on the palate with lime and grapefruit backed up by green onion, sliced jalapeno, some honeysuckle and yellow flower notes hang on the finish. Crisp, clean, this is a reliable standard-bearer for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at this price point. (86 points IJB)

Review: 2016 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Icon - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $22
Pale straw/lime peel colored. Strongly grassy on the nose with sliced bell pepper, dandelion, cucumber water, on top of lemons and grapefruit. More texture on the palate with bright acidity. More green herb notes (rosemary, basil), with cut grass and jalapeno, on top of fresh limes and grapefruit. Lip-smacking stuff for fans of the Marlborough greenies. (87 points IJB)

Review: 2015 Oremus Furmint Tokaji Dry Mandolás - Hungary, Tokaji
SRP: $25
Medium straw color. Pretty aromatic complexity based around apricot, nectarine, lime, topped in chamomile, yellow flowers and a dusty/chalky minerality. Bright and vigorous with precise acidity but plenty of body and texture. Clean and zesty with orange, limes and apricots, mixed with chalk dust, white flowers, dandelion, honeycomb, some nougat and candle wax elements. Rich and complex but also bright and vibrant. An exciting dry Furmint. (90 points IJB)

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