Though Zinfandel is California’s signature grape, much of what is made is simplistic, jammy and average. Good thing the folks at Quivera have always taken Zin seriously. Comprised of all Zin with 15% Petite Sirah, the Black Boar offers complex flavors of black cherry, blackberry, plum, bay leaf, current marmalade, with light green tea notes, rhubarb, smoked vanilla and subtle charred campfire. The overtness of the fruit is kept in check with moderate tannins and a smart oak program, which included French, American and Hungarian oak, for a total of just 18 months in barrel.
Located on Mount Veeder, Brandlin is the sister winery of Cuvaison. In the very capable hands of winemaker Steve Rogstad, his 2021 offers classic notes of light kiwi, lemon-lime zest, gooseberry, light resin, tart green apple and a whisper of butterscotch. This expresses what people want in Sauvignon Blanc – something light, crisp, and fresh. But Brandlin adds a bit of texture to the wine due to fermenting in large French oak barrels, then aging 11 months in oak (just half the barrels were new) to add a noticeable viscosity.
The idea of a Super Tuscan wine has been around for decades, but they tend to be a higher price point. So in 1993 Carpineto launch they value version, Dogajolo. This wine offers good tannic structure and acidity. This leads to notes of blackberry, black cherry, light blueberry with soft strawberry, pomegranate and huckleberry. These fruits are muted though, not overt and jammy - the fruit is balanced with the oak, acids and tannins so the wine is ideal for food.
Though this has become an iconic wine, the beauty of this wine and many others is vintage variation, which produces subtle changes, depending on weather patterns and how the fruit is grown. This is Duckhorn’s most dense and deeply rich Merlot of the past few years, and in fact this is a Merlot dominant iteration (98% Merlot, 2% Malbec). More dark and brooding than previous vintages this one has a beautiful depth to it - deep and rich, blackberry pie, Huckleberry compote, blueberry jam, and light strawberry.
2020 Alessandro di Camporeale Monreale Catarratto Sicilia Vigna Di Mandranova, Italy, Sicily, Wine Review
This is a white wine made from Catarratto Extra Lucido grapes in Sicily. Silvery/gold in color with slight green swirls, clear and bright. The nose has lots of salinity, some smoke, lemon rind and slight granny smith apple notes. Full bodied. Very well balanced. Slightly viscous texture. On the palate, limes, slight grapefruits, loads of minerality and slight underlying char. Long finish. This is very interesting as well as delicious. This is nice on its own but better with food. It would be classic with trout or other fish dishes. Drink over the next five to eight years.
This is made from the Nero Mascalese grape grown on old vines in Sicily on Mt.
This is a lighter, but traditional, Rioja. Garnet in color, clear and bright. The nose is a bit earthy with fresh cherries and a whiff of tobacco. Light to medium bodied. Light tannins. Good acidity. On the palate, flavors of cherries with a bit of char. Anise on the finish. This drinks easily and should for the next five to seven years. Nice on its own, this would be a great mid week meatloaf or pizza wine.
This is a Rosé from Spain that is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha. It is Salmon pink/copper in color, clear and bright. The nose is interesting with a slight orange/citrus note along with cherries, strawberries and a very slight vanilla note. (As an aside, both this and the Blanco had a vanilla note, but it does not appear the wines so oak, so where does it come from?). Medium bodied with a slightly oily texture. On the palate, lots of fresh cherries, some cranberries and slight red currants. A bitter almond note on the finish. This is refreshing and a lovely wine to serv
This is a blend of 93% Viura, 4% Sauvignon Blanc, and 3% Verdejo grapes from the Rioja region of Spain. Green/gold in color, clear and bright. The nose is nice with sea air/salinity, Limes, and slight vanilla note. Light bodied with a slightly viscous texture. 12% abv. On the palate, this is very refreshing. Limes with underlying minerality. Good acidity. This will work well with lighter foods. Tuna or Chicken salad would work well. drink over the next couple of years. Great Value!
This is an unoaked Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina. It provides excellent value. Screw capped. Ruby/purple in color, clear and bright. The nose has cassis, black cherries, and sandalwood. Medium to full bodied. Medium tannins. On the palate, black cherries with slight minty note especially on the finish. This wine delivers a lighter, but present, style of Cab that would be great for Cookouts or other parties. Drink over the next three to five years. A good wine to pair with Burgers off the grill.