What Do We Do Now?
The Super Bowl is two weeks away. Valentine’s Day is nearly a month away and Saint Patrick’s Day, as any reasonable person knows, is just too far away to talk about. So, we might as well get a bottle of something good and figure just what we’re going to do between now and then. A few thoughts…
Maremma, located in Tuscany, is a special sub-region unto itself, where some of the greatest Super Tuscans on the planet are crafted and aged. The Castellare family, owners of the Rocca di Frassinello label, teamed up in 2009 with the Domaines Barons de Rothschild-Lafite, the first partnership of its kind and their first wine has been released. Le Sughere Di Frassinello 2015 Maremma, Toscana, Italy, ($24.99), is the result of a project couples Castellares experience in the growing and vinification of Sangiovese with Lafite’s experience in classic French varietals.
Sughere di Frassinello is the second highest Rocca di Frassinello label, is a wine of great substance, in which Sangiovese and the international grape varieties of Cabernet and Merlot fuse for an ideal Italian-French creation. A blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, the wine aged for 9 months in 50% new French barriques.
Antonio Galloni,Italy’s version of Robert Parker, scored this 93 points saying “The 2015 Le Sughere di Frassinello is terrific. Scents of sweet pipe tobacco, mint, leather, rose petal and exotic spice give the 2015 much of its immediate allure. Super-ripe and racy on the palate, with silky tannins and gorgeous, supple fruit, the 2015 is hugely appealing.”
I’ve mentioned Zac Brown before and not for his music, but for his wine and he and winemaker John Killebrew have come through again. Z. Alexander Brown 2016 Uncaged, Proprietary Red, North Coast, ($17.95), is another 90+ wine for under $20.00. This Proprietary Red blends Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Verdot, Malbec, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon into a smooth but layered wine. It aged 9 months in one-third new French and American oak barrels. This red over delivers from nose to palate; from its deeply rich dark chocolate aromas to its equally indulgent flavor profile, this is structure without tannic tightness. Blackberry jam pervades and the acid is bright for pairing with lighter fare, like chicken and grilled fish, to the beefiest dishes.
In case you want to get a little practice in early for Valentine’s Day or just want to have a good bottle on hand to toast another Super Bowl win, Perrier Jouët 2011 Belle Epoque Brut Champagne, ($!59.00), is first of all, a vintage year, (2011) and comes with two hand-painted flutes. An iconic wine for an iconic event!