We happened upon a wine tasting at Franco's in New Canaan, CT the other day where we got the chance to taste a nice rioja. It was good enough to jot down in our little wine notebook. We highly recommend it. Suave with body. Retails for $13.99 so a bargain as well. Enjoy.
Most weeks FWandD stops in to Grande Harvest Wines in Grand Central Terminal to pick up wine "supplies". At Grande Harvest they have a great frequent buyer program. After seven stamps on your card, you can pick up a pre-selected bottle for free or a bottle of your choice with a 15% discount. The beauty of the pre-selected bottles is that since Grande Harvest only sells good wine, you're bound to discover something casual but nice. This week they selected a bottle of Down Under Shiraz 2008 (label shown is from the chardonnay). It was delicious and makes a great weeknight selection. FWandD went back and bought another bottle for a friend. We also found a post from The Wine Curmudgeon that seems to agree with our Down Under experience. For ten bucks, you can't go wrong with this one. Happy sipping!
These recommendations come from Cellar XV Wine Market in Ridgefield, CT. This is a great wine shop and they throw fantastic wine tasting events that support charity and other local causes. The events are reasonably priced too... and FWandD is always looking for value! And we think this is especially legit since there is a Rex Goliath on the list. Yum!
J. Vidal Fleury Cotes du Rhone 2007
Rhone Valley, France
50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Other
Red fruits and spice on the nose. The mouth reveals rounded tannins; warm and full-bodied with rich dark fruit and a nice spice finish. A great value for any occasion, including Thanksgiving!
Rex Goliath Free Range Red (NV)
Grenache, Syrah, Zinfandel
Deep aroma of pepper and blackberry. The front begins slightly sweet and fruit forward with berries, progressing into layers of spice in a surprisingly long finish.
Las Colinas del Ebro Garnacha Blanca 2009
Terra Alta, Spain
100% Garnacha Blanca
Nose of lemon zest, nectar, and clementine orange. Clean, cool, and crisp with hints of citrus as well as tropical fruits while retaining a refreshing dryness.
Clos Palet Vouvray 2008
100% Chenin Blanc
Floral nose of honeysuckle, accompanied by notes of nectarine and fresh almonds. Palate of wet stone minerality, with medium body and silky finish.
In the popular imagination, Provence calls to mind sunny, pastel images of hillside towns climbing up from the sea. For the wine lover, Provence mostly conjures up the tangy, lighthearted spirit of rosé, sipped within earshot of the water. It simply doesn’t square that carefree Provence is also home to a superb red wine that practically epitomizes the term “brooding.”
But then, anybody who has read the Marseilles-based novels of Jean-Claude Izzo knows that Provence has its dark side, too. As far as wine goes, that would be Bandol. There, in a pocket of terraced hills west of Toulon, within sniffing distance of the Mediterranean, surprisingly sturdy wines made largely from the mourvèdre grape can stun you with their haunting beauty.
Just the other week, I had a 2004 Bandol from Château Pradeaux ($37), one of the most resolutely traditional of Bandol producers. When young, these wines are deep, dark and practically savage, but this one was just emerging from the stranglehold of its tannic embrace. It was decidedly dry and structured yet bewitching, with aromas of licorice, leather and flowers along with something wild and untamed. By its weight, tannins, aromas and flavors, the wine reminded me of nebbiolo, except for that wild element, which is very much mourvèdre’s own...
Osprey’s Dominion 2002 Cabernet Franc ($22), which was aged for 12 months in small oak barrels, seems fuller bodied and more lush than the double gold medal winning 2001 edition, but the flavor profile is similar.
It features an aromatic berry-forward nose with ripe raspberries, baked cherries and hot cocoa aromas.
Soft and round on the palate, this low-tannin red has a little less structure than the ‘01, but is no less delicious, with flavors matching the aromas and just enough oak character. Super-subtle hints of Italian basil add a layer of complexity that makes this wine impossible to dislike.
89 points Jay Miller (Wine Advocate): "The 2008 La Cana Albarino is the first release of the collaboration between the Gil family of Jumilla and importer Jorge Ordonez. Their intention was to make a more austere style of Albarino. Light gold-colored, it reveals an attractive perfume of pear, lemon-lime, and pineapple. Vibrant on the palate with excellent natural acidity, this racy Albarino will drink well for another three years. It is an excellent value. (Jun 2009)"
88 points Josh Raynolds (International Wine Cellar): "Yellow-gold. Ripe pear and peach on the nose, with notes of pungent herbs and talc adding energy. Fleshy, weighty apple and pear flavors are enlivened by notes of orange and honeysuckle, with a kick of white pepper on the back. For a rich wine this boasts good energy and finishing clarity. (Sep/Oct 2009)"
Los Angeles Times "Wine of the Week": "On one of those three-digit hot days last week, I opened a bottle of this sublime Albariño from the lush green Celtic part of Spain, Galicia. What a beauty! Scented with lime and white peaches, it has a bracing minerality that balances the lush ripe fruit. The 2008 Bodegas La Cana, named for the canes that grow along the rivers, exhibits finesse and grace in a beautiful package. Serve well chilled as an aperitif with a bowl of toasted almonds and olives, with summery salads and chilled seafood, grilled prawns or lobster. (9/30/09)"
Good rosé is like a carnival in your mouth—and not one of your low rent carnivals. We’re talking about your really classy, country fair kind of carnival. Our 2008 Ménage à Trois is the epitome of a good rosé. No pretension, no pretense. Just a fruit-laden roller coaster ride of raspberries, strawberries, lychee nuts and flowers with a silky smooth finish.