I thought I’d just put out some wines this week that have been favorites for a number of year. They’re dependable, delicious and affordable. In Argentina’s Mendoza region, the Cuyo area, though relatively small, produces some of the country’s ripest, most intense wines. Tikal Patriota, Mendoza, Cuyo, 2012, ($19.99), is the embodiment of all that makes this place special. It’s not only a Wine Spectator “Top 100 Wines” selection; it’s been given 91 points by Robert Parker-no small feat! It presents a deep reddish purple with aromas of bright berry/cherry fruit and gives the impression of swallowing a whole bowl of mixed ripe berries at once. Big body, yet very balanced, with luscious layers of raspberry, cherry, and cocoa avors. Just a hint of baking spice at the end brings it all together. This one is a natural with Prime Rib, bone-in, some yorkshire pudding and your favorite roasted vegetables.
The Russian River Valley AVA, in California’s Sonoma County, is a growing area to some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines in world. Like the neighboring Napa Valley, it’s “bathed” each evening by the “Paci c mist”, which coats the grapes with cool Pacific fog that burns off late each morning. This allows a slow, full growth and a long hang time, which creates full, rich flavors in the grapes.
One of the best-known vineyards in this area is Picket Fence. Their 2014
Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, ($19.99),
is a classic Sonoma Pinot; Winemaker Alison Crowe describes it as “a wine with rich aromas of raspberry jam and brandy- macerated cherries. Its luxurious density and beautiful structure are hallmarks of this Russian River Pinot Noir. Round avors and balanced tannins nish with nuances of vanilla and star anise.” Pinot Noir is one of the more versatile red wines as far as food goes, so you might want to try this one with game meats, sweetbreads or a lamb dish. Even though it’s summer time there now, people in Australia love their Cabernets all year round; one of the latest to come to our market is Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Cabernet Sauvignon,Coonawarra, Limestone Coast, Australia, ($17.99). This wine shows a brooding dark red color in the glass. The nose boasts of aromatic blackberry and blue fruits with re ned hints of bay leaves and mint. A great line of acidity drives through the wine support- ing talcy ripe tannins. Flavors of blackberry and mulberry shine from the medium bodied compo- sition. Great with some Black Angus sliders and fried sweet potato fries.
Last but not least, you have to throw a good all-around white into an assortment like this, so why not have a glass of Decoy Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Sonoma County, California, ($18.99). This enticing wine offers vivid avors of grapefruit and apricot, as well as lovely notes of honeydew and lemongrass. On the palate, refreshing acid- ity mingles with a subtle sweetness that carries through to a fresh, lively nish.
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