Wine Reviews: International Grab Bag

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 08-01-2020

Happy Saturday, folks. I’m back this week with a mix of wines from around the world, a lot of which are great options for summertime.

One of my favorite German producers, Peter Lauer, makes an appearance with a serious value of a Riesling. Domaine Wachau comes out swinging with a fun and inexpensive Gruner that is definitely worth checking out. And a smattering of different Rioja offers up a lot of quality and value that would be great with summer grill-outs.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2019 Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
SRP: $15
Medium yellow color. Nose of crushed shells and sea salt on top of lime and green melon, topped in lemon verbena. Pretty, spicy and fresh on the palate, with limes, lemon and ruby red grapefruit. Focused acidity, racy and bright, but the texture shows plumpness and depth. Elements of chalky minerals, saline, with sliced celery and cool mint notes. Really delicious and showing tremendous value. (90 points IJB)

2018 Peter Lauer Ayler Riesling Faß 4 Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
SRP: $20
Light yellow color. Aromas of lively lime, apricot, white peach, with tennis balls, honey, stony minerals. Plump texture on the palate is met with racy, vibrant acidity, and a complex host of stony, chalky, mineral elements. Limes, peaches, sliced green apples, topped in honey, white tea, clover and candle wax notes. Such precision, the sweetness is balanced wonderfully, this feinherb has a lot of depth and punches way above its weight. (92 points IJB)

2019 White Cliff Sauvignon Blanc Winemaker’s Selection New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $16
Pale lemon color. A strong burst of lemon, grapefruit, green apple on the nose, with mint, and sliced cucumbers and jalapeno. Crisp and bright on the palate, with crunchy green apples and limes, topped in mint, white pepper, and oyster shell notes. Classic, bright, spicy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. (86 points)

2019 White Cliff Pinot Noir Winemaker’s Selection New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $20
Medium ruby color. Aromas of bright raspberries, red cherries and pomegranate, with menthol, spiced tea, mint and white pepper. Crisp and vibrant on the palate with dusty-light tannins and fresh acidity. Tangy cranberries and sour cherries mix with mulling spices, subtle earth, white pepper and rose petals. Brisk but juicy, crushable but a lot of complexity, especially for a wine at this price point. (88 points IJB)

N.V. Graham Porto 20-Year-Old Tawny Portugal, Douro, Porto
SRP: $65
Warm, inviting nose of roasted pecans, caramel, yellow raisins, apple cider, ginger, lemon peel, almond cake. Plush texture on the palate, medium acidity keeps it fresh on the palate against the richness and sweetness, but it’s balanced very well. Yellow raisins and glazed pear fruit mixes with delicious notes of candied nuts, honey, ginger snap, and there’s this underlying salty aspect that I love. Balanced, lovely Tawny. (92 points IJB)

2019 Bodegas Beronia Rioja Rosado Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
SRP: $13
Pale watermelon color. Bright and fresh on the nose with chalk, talc, celery seed and honeysuckle, over red apple peels and white cherries. Plush texture but zesty acidity on the palate, a creamy texture supports watermelon rind, red apple. Notes of lime zest, cucumber, celery seed, with some chalk and mineral tones. Lots of character and verve, great value. Tempranillo and Garnacha. (88 points IJB)

2016 Bodegas Palacio Rioja Glorioso Crianza ­- Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
Bright purple color. Nose shows juicy raspberries and red plums, with smoky earth, sweet red flowers and mint. Velvety tannins, fresh acidity, a deeply fruity but lively wine with black cherry and ripe plum fruit. Notes of earth, dried rose petals, cocoa and vanilla. Smooth, fresh, fun, accessible but sporting some solid complexity for a Crianza. (87 points IJB)

2015 Bodegas Beronia Rioja Reserva Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
SRP: $20
Light purple color. Fresh nose of cherries and red currants, mixed with spicy herbs, tobacco, red pepper, paprika, with smoky earth. Super fresh and crisp on the palate with dusty tannins, very accessible feel with a tangy vibe. Notes of pine needle, chewing tobacco, rhubarb, light roast coffee and earth accent the tangy red cherry and spicy cranberry fruit. Fun now, but will drink well over the next few years. Good, bargain-priced stuff that would be great with grilled veg and roast chicken. (87 points IJB)

2012 Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
SRP: $18
Medium purple color. Aromas of red and black cherries, currants and plums, with violets, charcoal, fallen leaves, tobacco and vanilla. Medium-bodied with silky tannins and medium acidity, vibrant and refined but structured, still. Red and black cherries, currants, mulled fruits mixed with tobacco, leather, leaves, cocoa and vanilla. Refined and pretty, this seems to be entering a good drinking phase, but no rush. (89 points IJB)

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