Some readers who do not regularly have a chance to read The Washington Post’s Wednesday Food section have asked me to post my columns and wine recommendations here more regularly. So I will try to do that in some form or other with more consistency. (The spirit is willing, but time is lacking usually.) I will omit the sometimes lengthy lists of stores, since many blog readers are not in the Washington D.C. metro area. Here are my recommendations from October 16, which accompanied the column I posted yesterday.
(3 Stars = Exceptional, 2 Stars = Excellent, 1 Star = Very Good)
Gundlach Bundschu Merlot 2009/2010
Sonoma Valley, Calif., $32
It’s easy to focus on new names and labels and take older wineries for granted. And in our decade-long aversion to merlot since the movie Sideways made us fall for pinot noir, we tend to forget how good merlot can be. Here’s a worthy reminder. ABV: 14.4%
Pedroncelli Zinfandel Mother Clone 2011
2-1/2 stars GREAT VALUE
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, Calif. $18
“Mother clone” refers to vines propagated from the original vines from the vineyard purchased by John Pedroncelli Sr. in 1927. This wine is textbook Dry Creek zin, with raspberry and cranberry flavors and a spicy edge that suggests wild sage. ABV: 14.8%
La Posta Campodifiori Falanghina 2012
Benevento IGP, Italy, $22
This lovely wine from central Italy sings for its supper of seafood, with briny minerality and pinpoint acidity backing its core of citrus. It’s a food wine, though I can hardly resist gulping it. ABV: 13.5%
Sawtooth Skyline Red 2010
2 Stars GREAT VALUE
I’m a big fan of this winery for its outstanding Riesling, delightful chardonnay and succulent syrah. This juicy blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, tempranillo, petite sirah, petite verdot, malbec, syrah and grenache defies any paradigm of a red blend from anywhere around the world by combining Bordeaux, Spain, California and the Rhone in one. It’s a wine that could be found nowhere else but America, and it shows a sense of adventure that comes through in the glass. ABV: 13.5%
Enate Chardonnay-234 2012
2 Stars GREAT VALUE
Somontano, Spain, $15
Spanish chardonnay? Why not when it’s this good – an excellent unoaked version with lots of tree-fruit flavors and mineral talc notes, along with a hint of tropical fruit and an invigorating citrus finish. No, it isn’t masquerading as Chablis, the pinnacle of unoaked chardonnay, but this is a delicious expression of the grape. ABV: 14%
Thank you, thank you, a thousand thank yous!
You’re welcome! I’ll try to do this regularly.
A thousand thousand thank yous!
This is wonderful! I particularly appreciate that you’re reviewing wines from some unexpected places (like Idaho)! Thank you!
Hey Dave- Many, many thanks! Just a thought- could you include a link so we might see where these wines might be bought? I’m sure you wouldn’t want to rewrite it, but perhaps a link to the Post article might give the paper a chance to advertise! Also- where is DLW being held this year? Cheers!