Hurricane Checklist

    The Wine Guy

     

    You’d have to be a hermit not to know that it’s Hurricane Season again, so let’s take a moment to make sure that we have the essentials at home to ride out any storm successfully. First, you want to have some good, flexible red wines on hand; in case you lose power, they can be served at room temperature! If you have to evacuate, take them with you; they won’t go bad.

    Here are a few for you to keep on hand during the storms or in your “bug out bag” if you have to go:

    ACHAVAL-FERRER CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013, Mendoza, Argentina, ($21.99), this Cabernet from the Mendoza region of Argentina delivers a sharp and direct message where the fruit overcomes the mineral nuances. Originating from small patches of vineyards located in the first area in Mendoza, this wine is a small production label that highlights a juicy texture filled with black and red fruitiness. In old French Oak for nine months, it’s great to drink now through 2022. Don’t forget the candles!

     

    Ch. La Diligente 2015 Puisseguin Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France, ($24.99), is a super value 2015 Bordeaux. The Château La Diligente is located on the limestone hill of Puisseguin in the commune of St. Emilion, where the Merlot grapes get a full character of minerality and finesse. Another part of the estate has clay slopes where powerful, concentrated Cabernet fruit is grown. The vines average a mature 40 years of age and bring lots of complexity to the grapes.  The 2015 vintage is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine ages 15 months in 40% new oak barrels. James Suckling scored it 91 points, saying “A silky red with plum and cherry character. Medium to full body, sleek and fine tannins and a chewy finish. Drink in 2020 when the tannins soften slightly.” and Wine Enthusiast Magazine scored it 92 saying “This 30-acre estate offers an excellent wine that demonstrates the balance between the ripeness of Merlot and the more restrained nature of the Cabernets. Add in the barrel aging, and the wine has both structure and elegance. Drink from 2022.” Okay, so this one might be for another season, but it’s always good to plan ahead!

     

    While they don’t get hurricanes in Italy, they still make reds that are great in any kind of weather and one of my favorite winemakers there is Michele Chiarlo. His Barbera wines are some of the best from Italy and one of his better examples is Michele Chiarlo 2015 Cipressi, Nizza, ($25.00). Elegantly structured, delicious and loaded with personality, this benchmark Nizza offers earthy aromas of truffle, leather, game, pressed violet and ripe black-skinned fruit. The aromas carry over to the savory palate, along with star anise, black cherry, mature plum and crushed mint. It’s balanced by polished tannins and fresh acidity. You won’t even notice the wind!

     

    If we survive the season without any hits at all, then you can celebrate with some Sparkling wine. I’ve mentioned this one before, but it bears repeating. It’s local, elegantly structured and a great value. Westport Rivers Sparkling Wine, 2015, Southeast Massachusetts, ($22.99), will surprise and satisfy. A classic Chardonnay-based white, is has a beautiful nose of berries, peaches and a touch of yellow grass. Not even a hint of wind, rain or flooding.

    Oh yeah, don’t forget batteries, candles and some food, too.

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