There are many great wines that don’t have gold-plated pedigrees. Some may be made from unfamiliar varieties in well-known regions. Others are produced from familiar grapes in unfamiliar locales. One commonality is that, because of uncertainty among the wine buying public, the consumer can often pay less per bottle than when purchasing more standard offerings yet receive extremely high quality in return.
This week’s column is about various fun bottles, white, rosé, and red, that I’ve had the pleasure to recently taste, usually from samples, at an industry gathering, or during my wine country travels. Tasting notes are at the end of the article.
BEN WILL BE IN ITALY, INCLUDING EMILIA-ROMAGNA AND PUGLIA, OCTOBER 14 – 24
Ben has been invited to tour the food and wine of Italy, including attending the GOOD! 2015 tourism meetings in Emilia-Romagna, in mid-October, and the Buy Puglia 2015 tourism meetings in Bari, Puglia. Follow along with him on Twitter (@WineOnTheRoad), Facebook (Wine On The Road), LinkedIn (Benjamin Weinberg) and Foursquare (Ben Weinberg).
BEN’S ARTICLE ON THE RUTHERFORD DUST SOCIETY IN EDIBLE MARIN AND WINE COUNTRY MAGAZINE’S SUMMER EDITION
Ben has an article about the Rutherford Dust Society in the Napa Valley (as well as a sidebar on legendary grape grower Andy Beckstoffer’s contribution to Rutherford’s wine scene) in the summer edition of Edible Marin and Wine Country Magazine (www.ediblemarinandwinecountry.com). The summer edition will include stories on the recent Napa earthquake and also the Rutherford Dust Society. Check it out!
BEN’S WINE COUNTRY PICTURES ARE FOR SALE
Have you ever read one of Ben’s columns and wondered how it would look to have one of his incredibly vivid, high resolution pictures of wine country framed on your wall? Prints of his quirky photography are available at Pixels.com, and you can also add his images to smartphone cases, greeting cards, and many other items. Pictures can be ordered loose or matted and framed in various sizes. Click Here to take a peek.
WINE ON THE ROAD’S LUXURIOUS, BEHIND-THE-SCENES WINE TOURS
With Wine On The Road (www.wineontheroad.com), my wine-focused touring company, you can enjoy the ultimate wine country excursion with special access to top winemakers and their incomparable wines. Wine On The Road offers intimate wine country tours that combine award-winning wines and exquisite dining and lodging with uniquely local flair and flavor. We lodge at excellent and luxurious wine country estates (in the past we’ve occupied ancient yet completely restored castles as well as five-star resorts, all with modern amenities). We eat at amazing local restaurants and visit wineries that embody the best, most authentic expressions of local wine grapes.
You can learn more about these trips, book private groups in wine country world-wide and request more information on any of these extraordinary travel experiences by visiting www.wineontheroad.com, emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling me at 303-522-6738.
Castelluccimiano Catarratto Miano 2013 (Sicily, Italy) $18
It’s always worthwhile to try new whites from the south of Italy.
Bright yellow/guava, lemon zest/flint, lime, grapefruit/himod
Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2014 (Marlborough, New Zealand) $15
Pinot gris from New Zealand! How crazy is that?
Pale yellow/green pear, honeysuckle/orange juice, saline/hilong
Francis Coppola Pinot Grigio Diamond Collection 2014 (California, U.S.A.) $16
Okay, less crazy but still…I don’t get a lot of pinot gris samples from California.
Pale green/lime, papaya/white flowers, flint/medmod
Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir 2014 (Willamette Valley, Oregon) $24
Agree with Lisa Mattson @Jordan, would never guess it correctly blind.
Pale yellow/clove, yellow pear/honey, citrus blossom/medlong
Kim Crawford Chardonnay Unoaked 2014 (Marlborough, New Zealand) $17
Completely unoaked Chardonnay is unusual at this level of fruit quality.
Pale yellow/lemon zest, peach/butter, yellow pear/himod
Murrieta’s Well The Whip 2013 (Livermore Valley, California) $22
Livermore produces ever more high quality wine.
Green yellow/white peach, pear/green melon, lime zest, cantaloupe/hilong
Emilio Moro Finca Resalso 2014 (Ribera del Duero, Spain) $15
Another relatively unknown region in the U.S. but well worth a look.
Dark purple/red raspberry, black cherry/ash, cola, pomegranate/himod
Vigna di Pettineo Nero d’Avola 2012 (Sicily, Italy) $20
Will be nearby in Puglia in mid-October.
Dark purple/blackberry, graphite/black tea, red cherry/hilong
Dievole Chianti Classico 2013 (Tuscany, Italy) $19
Great price and the juice doesn’t suck.
Brown-ruby/pink cherry, ash/leather, tobacco, blackberry/hilong
Mettler Family Vineyards Zinfandel Old Vine Epicenter 2012 (Lodi, California) $20
A consistently high quality winery no matter which bottle.
Garnet/dried red currant, blackberry, vanilla/red raspberry, boysenberry, tobacco, white pepper/hilong
Francis Coppola Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Director’s Cut (Sonoma County, California) $22
Remind me to tell you about the time I met FFC at Bouchard in Yountvill.
Dark red/blackberry, clove, black pepper/black currant, anise, cinnamon/hilong
Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2012 (Mendocino County, California) $29
Mendocino County is so beautiful, and the beer is great, too!
Black-red/white pepper, vanilla, black cherry/boysenberry, dark chocolate/hilong
KEY TO TASTING NOTES
Appearance (if relevant)/aroma/taste/acidity & finish.
U.S. retail prices are listed if available and are often higher than the average online U.S. retail price.
“N/S” indicates that specific wine is not generally available in the U.S. online retail market.