Saturday, January 30, 2010

LeDom selection of the month: Dom's unsual Dozen, 12 of some of my favorite wines (under $15)

Dom’s Unusual Dozen
(12 of some of my favorite wines under $15)

Over my 18 years career as wine buyer, I realized many times that there is nothing more attractive for my customers than an already prepared mixed case of white and red wines, especially when at discounted price. It usually easier for them because they don't have to make a choice and for me because I can, in that case (literally and physically), easily promote wines that normally do not trigger their primary interest or thoughts.

So here is a selection of 12 of some of favorites wines (under $15) that you can get at the store at an already discounted price of $120 (before tax) instead of the regular price of $152 (before tax) at the store (, a reminder for those of you who didn't realize yet that I'm the Wine Buyer and Store manager of Heights Chateau, Brooklyn, NY).

New Year, new resolutions! Why not try some “out of the beaten path” expressive wines, made with rather unusual grape varietals from lesser known appellations. They will trigger your interest and open your palate to new tasting frontiers.

2008 Carrel Jongieux Savoie France
Suggested retail price $10-$13
Imported/Distributed by Martin Scott in NYC

Made from 100% Jacquere, an ancient local grape planted in the mountainous Alpine region of Savoie, this joyful, crisp and refreshing white is light, cleansing and loaded with minerals. Citrus peel, white blossom and white fruit with minerals almost add a sense of purity to this really appealing little Savoyard.

2008 Uby Colombard-Ugny Blanc Southwest of France
Suggested retail price $9-$11
Imported/Distributed by Baron Francois in NYC

Light-bodied with crisp, fruity sensations, it is a very fresh blend of 75% Colombard and 25% Ugni Blanc that are also the traditional grapes for Armagnac. Vivid in the palate, it bursts flavors of lemon, citrus peel and white peach enhanced by a great acidity leading into the food friendly and inviting finish, which makes it perfect for salads, grilled fish and white meat.

2006 Chamarre Viognier Grande Reserve France
Suggested retail price $10-$13
Imported/Distributed by Monsieur Touton in NYC

Usually very floral, fragrant, quite viscous and mineral, Viognier is the perfect white for winter and mid-seasons. The “Grande Reserve” combines Viognier grapes selected from Northern Rhone and parts of Languedoc where it excels under ideal conditions resulting in a fruity, balanced and gently toasted wine. Pair it with roasted garlic chicken.

2007 Monmousseau Vouvray Sec Loire France
Suggested retail price $11-$14
Impoted/Distributed by Maximilien Selections thru Fruit of the Vines in NYC

Quite versatile and docile, Chenin Blanc produces some of the most vibrant, complex and delicate whites of the Loire valley. Bordering on off-dry, this aromatic Vouvray offers aromas of citrus and honeysuckle along with ripe apple and almonds. Residual sugars are balanced by racy acidity into a fresh, clean finish. Pair it with poultry or shellfish in rich creamy sauces.

2008 Zaleo Pardina Ribera del Guardiana Spain
Suggested retail price $8-$10
Imported/Distributed by Blue Decanter (Justin Berlin) thru Brix Brands in NYC

Made with the rather unknown Pardina grape, indigenous from the Spanish region Extramudra, this little, friendly and refreshing white is a surprising versatile value. Soft and balanced with citrus, white peach flavors and good minerality, it also possesses great structure and length for the price. Enjoy is as an aperitif or with light salad, cold white meat and fish.

2008 Terres Falmet Cinsault Languedoc France
Suggested retail price $11-$14
Imported/Distributed by David Bowler in NYC

Finding a 100% Cinsault is a rare thing. Usually used in a blend, Cinsault produces rather light, earthy, slightly rustic wines, but this unoaked and neither fined nor filtered example features chewy red fruits and ample notes of wet stone and earth. Made from 40 years old vines, it has fruity attack and a crisp, juicy finish with great acidity and integrated structure.

2006 De Bortoli Petit Verdot Vat 4 Southeastern Australia
Suggested retail price $12-$15
Imported/Distributed by Opici in NYC

Normally blended with Cabernet or Merlot like in Bordeaux, this Australian Petit Verdot is a fine example of what this grape offers on its own. Exhibiting aromas of violets, concentrated plum and blackberry with spicy oaky notes, it is a delightful wine, balanced and rich, yet with good acidity, aged for 12 months in American oak barrels. Pair it with quail, veal and smoke meats.

2007 Miolo Pinot Noir Brazil
Suggested retail price $11-$14
Imported/Distributed by ...

This 100% Pinot Noir, from Bento Goncalves - Vale dos Vinhedos, is really well made, somewhat a cross between a Burgundy and a Languedoc Pinot Noir, but earthier and rustic yet juicy with lovely fruit texture and structure. Light to medium bodied, with great acidity, it is a great example of Pinot Noir from Brazil that shouldn't be overlooked.

2006 Perelada 3 Fincas Red Emporda Spain
Suggested retail price $10-$13
Imported/Distributed By Vision Wine Brand in NYC

3 Fincas is a juicy, earthy and dry blend of Carignan, Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the north-east of Spain. Spicy and ripe fruit aromas translate well onto the palate, complemented by notes of cedar and rosemary. Deeply structured, moderate acidity runs through the mid-palate, fading into a lingering finish. Enjoy with cured meats and cheeses.

2005 La Roque Pic Saint Loup Coteaux du Languedoc France
Suggested retail price $16-$19
Imported/Distributed by Kermit Lynch thru Ibanez Pleven in NYC

One of the leading wineries of the Pic St. Loup region, La Roque is a beautifully maintained 41 hectare estate, with a distinctive lilac-shuttered Château. A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, the 2005 shows ripe flavors on the nose, with earthy and spicy notes. Terroir oriented, the palate is quite savory and warm on the palate with good density and structure.

2007 Marcato La Giareta Rosso Veneto Italy
Suggested retail price $11-$14
Imported/Distributed by Noble House Wines in NYC

100% Cabernet Franc from La Giareta estate in Veneto, this approachable red offers fruity cherry aromas with a touch of oak. Aged ten months in both oak and stainless steel, clean fruit flavors explode on the midpalate, supported by silky tannins and nice acidiy into a nice cherry finish. A versatile pairing wine, this works well with everything from chicken to lighter meats to creamy cheeses.

2008 Kanonkop Kadette Stellenbosch South-Africa
Suggested retail price $11-$14
Imported/Distributed by Lauber in NYC

Kanonkop’s Bordeaux-like style, blend and structure greatly appeal to most palates. Kadette presents very enjoyable fruit, a generous palate and a lovely balance. A blend of 45% Pinotage, South Africa’s pride, blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this wine was matured in Bordeaux barrels for up to 16 months. It offers rich, structured and juicy ripe red and dark berry flavors with hints of oak, spices and earth.

I hope that you will like this little selection. I'm open to comments so feel free to let me know what you think about it.


LeDom du Vin

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