Friday, February 26, 2010

Escape Winter and the snow with these 4 earthy heartwarming wines

Escape Winter and the snow with these 4 earthy heartwarming wines

2008 D'Aupilhac Lanquedoc VDP Rouge $13.99

The Domaine d'Aupilhac is located in Montpeyroux, a little village some 36 kms north-west of Montpellier which gave its name to the vineyards area. The cellar, created in 1989 in the family home, is right in the heart of the village. Sylvain Fadat and his family have been growing grapes for over 5 generations. Made with 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 10% Carignan, 5% Syrah, and 5% Alicante Boucher, from vines planted on arid stony limestone where Grenache and Cinsault thrive, D’Aupilahc Red “Lou Maset” wine was fermented in traditional vats for 10-15 days, then aged for 6 months in cask. It was bottled without filtration.

Montpeyroux usually offers powerful, full-bodied yet balanced and structured wines with ripe fruit and earthy, Terroir oriented attitude, and the 2008 Domaine d’Auphilac "Lou Maset" red is no exception to the rule. Beside its dark, intense ruby color, the nose is fresh, earthy and warm at the same time, with ripe dark fruit mixed with floral and Garrigue scents. The palate is full, generous, with a lot of ripe, dark berry fruit and earthy Terroir components enhanced by a great acidity that makes this wine quite juicy and also an integrated tannic structure nicely framing all the layers and nuances. The finish is dry and slightly tight yet will settle down rapidly with a decantation and a bit of substantial food like grilled red meat, roasted leg of lamb.

2006 Bodegas Adria “The Pilgrimage” Mencia Bierzo Spain $16.99

Bodegas Adria owns vineyards located between the villages of Corullón, Villafranca del Bierzo and Cacabelos, in the foothills of a small mountain range about 25 kilometers west from Ponferrada, planted in a mosaic of complex soils ranging from alluvial clay and stones on the valley floor to granite and schist higher up on the slope. The wine is called “The Pilgrimage” because the vines in this region of Bierzo lie along the holy "Camino de Santiago de Compostela" (the path or “way of St. James of Compostela” in English or “Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle” in French), a town located at the northwestern part of Spain, in Galicia, which has long been a pilgrimage center for many Christians and other pilgrims since the 9th century.

From the acclaimed 2006 vintage, which was great in this particular area, the Pilgrimage Red Bierzo, made with 100% old Mencía grapes, has a quite intense deep purple color with ruby reflects on the rim. The nose is fresh, aromatic with inviting aromas of ripe dark and red cherry, plum, chocolate, and spice, and earthy notes. The palate is dry, intense and juicy, yet medium bodied with soft, gentle red and ark fruits, present yet integrated tannins and an overall texture enhanced and balanced by a great acidity. The lingering finish is structured, soft and food friendly. Pair it with baby lamb and duck. Another interesting example of what the versatile Mencía grape has to offer.

2008 Establecimiento Juanico Estate "Pueblo del Sol" Tannat Juanico Uruguay $10.99

Fairly new, the "Pueblo del Sol" range offers great value, great quality, fun wines produced with their own label yet from "Don Pascual" selection part of the Familia Deicas "Establecimiento Juanico" estate. Pueblo del Sol is a classic entry level wine to introduce you to the excellent quality of wines from Uruguay. "Pueblo del Sol' in Spanish means "Village of the Sun". And the village of Juanico in southern Uruguay, which is the home of the Don Pascual winery, epitomizes this description. Benefiting from the abundant sunshine of the 34th parallel South latitude, this little wine is quite surprising. The unique maritime climate of the Juanico region produces superb fruit. The combination of hand picking and grading with state of the art winemaking equipment produces wonderful wines that represent great value.

Pueblo del Sol Tannat is a nice, easy going, fruit forward, clean wine that wasn't aged in oak. Made from 100% Tannat, the wine was fermented then rested for a short period of time before bottling in stainless steel tanks. Only the very ripest grapes are harvested and fermented at low temperatures so as to emphasize the fresh and fruity varietal aromas. On the nose, it exhibits fresh, earthy aromas of licorice and jammy fruits such as figs and plums. On the Palate, it is forward, very flavorful with smooth fruit, good balance and soft tannins. Overall, it has a rich structure with a long finish. Pair it with roasted or barbecued meat, strong cheese, game, goulash and any other well-flavored dishes.

2006 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva $10.99

Think about Puglia (or Apulia), southeastern Italy, the heel of the boot. A very warm, dry place with arid soils, long flat plains and a few gentle low rolling hills here and there. Surrounded by the Mediteranean Sea on roughly 3/4 of the all superficie, Apulia is a peaceful place influenced by the Sea, the hot wind from the south, its long history and the intriguing mix of cultures. Cantele is located in Salice Salentino DOC, a wine area located in northern part of the Lecce province which represents the most southern part of Puglia, the tip of the heel. Salice Salentino is a region that encompasses vineyards, olive trees surrounding scattered farms and a few old watchtowers (some from the medieval time). The main grape varieties are Negro Amaro for red and rose wines, and Malvaisia for the whites.

2006 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva is roughly a blend of 80% Negroamaro and 20% Malvasia Nera, from vineyards located next the village of Guagnano. After de-stemming, crushing, maceration of 6-7 days and fermentation, the wine was transferred to barriques where it matured for at least six months, before bottling.The robe is quite intense, dark ruby red. The expressive nose exposes earthy aromas of ripe red fruits, spices and cigar box, woody notes. In the mouth, it is fruity, quite full yet balanced by the tannins and great acidity to keep it fresh, almost crisp, with ripe red and dark fruit. Smooth and rounded in the finish, with gentle vanilla oaky notes, it is pretty easy going and perfect for simple dish and picnic. Serve it with pasta and meat sauce, red meats including lamb. Ideal with cheese.


LeDom du Vin

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