Wine Reviews: International Grab Bag

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 06-09-2018

A lot of the wine samples I receive don’t fit neatly into a thematic whole — hence this week’s “grab bag” collection of wines. Some goodies in here to highlight, though!

Nobilo’s widely-available Marlborough wines make another appearance, delivering accessible, tasty wines that are a good first step into New Zealand. A few California Pinots from 2016 entice, while Southern Oregon’s Troon Vineyard delivers yet again with some serious reds from Applegate Valley.

These wines were received as samples and tasted sighted.

2016 Bodega Colomé High Elevation Vineyards - Argentina, Salta
SRP: $25
Deep purple color. Rich and lush aromas of plums, blackberries, blueberries, along with violets, loamy soil and graphite. Full-bodied with smooth but structured tannins and fresh acidity. Lovely depth and balance with rich but tangy fruit (blackberry, blueberry, dark plums). Complex earthy, loamy notes with graphite, mineral, iron, coffee and cedar. All Malbec aged 15 months in French oak. From vineyards that range in elevation from 5,700 feet to a staggering 10,200 feet. Gorgeous now but can cellar for at least a few years. (90 points IJB)

2017 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Regional Collection - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $13
Light lemon colored. Bright aromas of lemon pepper seasoning, jalapenos, cut flower stems, along with lemons and green apples. Bright acidity on a light/medium-bodied frame, with lemon crème, green apples, orange peel, topped with cucumber slices, lemongrass and honeysuckle. Always a reliable, tasty introduction to Marlborough Sauv Blanc, and good for the price. (86 points IJB)

2017 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Icon- New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $22
Pale lemon color. Aromas of green apples, grapefruit, lemon, along with spicy green herbs and cucumber slices. Crisp and lively on the palate with tangy acidity on a medium-bodied frame. Flavors of green apple and grapefruit blend well with lemongrass, cucumber slices, notes of mineral and sea salt. A bit deeper and more complex than the regular bottling. (87 points IJB)

2015 Nobilo Pinot Noir Icon Marlborough- New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $22
Deep ruby color. Nose shows black cherries and wild raspberries, with an interesting mix of sage, rhubarb, red pepper flakes, roses and coffee. Zesty acid on the palate with a fresh approach and light tannins. Spicy red currants and strawberries, some black cherries, I also get notes of spiced tea, roses, clove and rhubarb. Delicious, quite complex for the price, a fun, early-drinking Pinot. (88 points IJB)

2016 Castello di Amorosa Pinot Noir Morning Dew RanchUSA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
SRP: $75
Light purple color. Inviting aromas of plums, kirsch, sweet cherries, rhubarb, cola, lightly roasted coffee. Full-bodied on the palate, nicely structured with medium tannins and acidity. Juicy and fruity with black cherries, dark plums, jammy raspberries, saucy but shows a lot of complexity in the form of cola, violets, clove, sarsaparilla, and an earthy/pine resin notes. Rich and forward but well-done. 13.9% alcohol, aged 10 months in French oak. (91 points IJB)

2016 FEL Pinot NoirUSA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
SRP: $38
Deep ruby color. Pretty aromatic display of lavender, roses, eucalyptus on top of tart red currants and juicy black cherries. Full-bodied, super juicy, with structured but plush tannins and refreshing acidity. Dark yet tart cherries and currant fruit, mixed well with elements of spiced tea, cola, rhubarb, violets, pine needle and forest floor notes. Big but vibrant, with a cool mineral streak that lingers on the finish. I’d hold this for a year or two and let it open up, but a very pretty Anderson Pinot. (91 points IJB)

2015 Troon Vineyard Tannat Kubli BenchUSA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Applegate Valley
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SRP: $35
Light purple color. Aromas of plums, black cherries, dark currants, along with loam, anise, violets, clove and leather – really complex. Solid grip on the tannins, the zesty acidity is glorious. I get tart black cherries and currants along with leather, coffee, violets. All wrapped up in a serious, structured but fresh wine that should age wonderfully. Another beautiful Applegate Valley wine from Troon. Includes 4% Tempranillo. (92 points IJB)

2015 Troon Vineyard M*T ReserveUSA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Applegate Valley
SRP: $50
Rich purple color. Dark aromas of black cherries, blueberries and cassis, with violets, pencil lead, scorched earth and violets. Serious grip but fresh acidity, the balance is wonderful with the tart blackberry and cassis fruit. Notes of pepper, clove, grilled herbs, iron, pencil lead and violets. Elegant yet so complex, this will age wonderfully. 52% Tannat, 46% Malbec, 2% Tempranillo. (92 points IJB)

N.V. Warre Porto Warrior- Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $19
Deep ruby color. A nice mix of tart black currant and sweet cherry cake topping, along with vanilla, sweet violets, dark chocolate. Rich texture, sweet and nutty with smooth tannins and medium acidity. Rich currant and cherry fruit mixed with dark chocolate shavings, mesquite chips, notes of cocoa and honeyed black tea. Delicious, accessible Port, and a steal for the price. (88 points IJB)

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