Posted by Uncategorized | Posted on 09-26-2015
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For wine newbs and nerds alike, Spanish Garnacha offers a lot of fun options, many of them for a moderate price. This grape (Spanish for Grenache) has historically been used in blends, but it’s common as a varietal wine, and “Garnacha” is featured frequently and prominently on many Spanish wine labels. A juicy red grape, Garnacha is becoming more widely known among consumers looking for something smooth yet bold and fruity.
Apparently every grape now has to have it’s own “day,” so on September 18, I tasted some Spanish Garnacha on Garnacha/Grenache Day. In an online video tasting sponsored by Snooth, Guillermo Cruz, sommelier at the award-winning Mugaritz in San Sebastian, said customers frequently ask for a bottle of Garnacha by name, which was an uncommon request just a few years ago.
Like any wine from any region, the $10 bottles with screwcaps and kitschy labels are most likely going to be sweet, candied wines without much depth. But perhaps unlike many regions, Spanish Garnacha quality rises quickly with only slight cost increases. There are lots of real, terroir-driven wines out there for $15-$25, which isn’t as easy to find with some other popular red varieties.
All wines in this post were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Uncategorized | Posted on 09-19-2015
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Vias Imports — a big player in the U.S. when it comes to Italian imports — has just launched its own label called Acinum. Hitting the nationwide market this month, these wines are solid, value-driven examples of the classic Veneto wines: Prosecco, Soave Classico, Valpolicella and Amarone.
The wines are a result of collaboration between the chairman of Vias Imports, Fabrizio Pedrolli, and grower and oenologist Enrico Paternoster. For those looking for an introduction to the wines of the Veneto, these widely-available bottles would be a good and inexpensive place to start.
These bottles were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Uncategorized | Posted on 09-12-2015
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I never tire of tasting California Pinot Noir. Since our last tasting report published in May, I’ve tasted a few newly-released Pinots from across the state. From the $15 multi-regional blends to the $60 bottle with 100% new oak, it’s always fun and educational to explore what’s happening with Cali Pinot.
In this batch, I especially liked the two Masút Pinots, which were the first wines I’ve tasted from the relatively new Mendocino AVA, Eagle Peak. If these wines are any indication of what’s coming out of this region, I can’t wait to taste more.
The wines were received as trade samples and tasted single-blind. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Uncategorized | Posted on 09-05-2015
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Columbia Valley is a huge area with multiple sub-appellations, home to a diverse array of grape varieties and wine styles. It’s hard to generalize about an entire region, but I think these wines represent a good introduction to what’s available from Columbia Valley.
I recently tasted through a few of these Washington State wines and found some really nice bottles. Like any region, there are those larger-production blends that offer some fun flavors but leave the palate and mind wanting more.
These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Uncategorized | Posted on 08-15-2015
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Last week, I focused on some California Chardonnay. This week, the focus is on, well, pretty much everything else. This summer I’ve tasted through a bunch of non-Chardonnay California white wines, and I’ve come across some interesting ones, some unique ones, and some that are just plain okay. Some of the Sauvignon Blancs showed really well. I’ve gotten excited about a few California Grenache Blancs, and Kita’s Camp 4 Vineyard is one of them. It left me wanting to explore more and more California Grenache Blanc.
These wines were received as trade samples and tasted single blind. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s the dead of summer and it’s hot here in the District. These days, white and pink wines are my go-to. That said, drinking juicy California red wines and grilling out on a summer day is something of a patriotic duty for the American wine lover. And what better day than the Fourth of July to crack some Cali Zin, Petite Sirah or Charbono and toast to the good ol’ US of A?
These diverse wines were received as trade samples and tasted single blind.
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