Dalla Valle Vineyards 2015 Maya Napa Valley
Dalla Valle Vineyards 2015 Maya Napa Valley Joshua Scott
Thirty-one years ago, in 1988, Dalla Valles Maya was launched out of vintner Naoko Dalla Valles love of Cabernet Francand named for her daughter, who had just been born the year before. While Cabernet Sauvignon leads in the blend, its the large proportion of Franc that lends vibrancy and aromatics. The 2015 Maya is no exception, leading with warm, exotic spice notes . A beautiful crushed-rock quality is layered under black cherry, strawberry and espresso, with a refreshing salinity cutting through. While the wine offers the texture of silk today, its power and richness will go for many years. In 2017, Maya herself took over as director of the winery. With a masters degree in enology from Cornell University and another in vineyard and winery management from Frances Bordeaux Sciences Agro, the younger Dalla Valle brings hands-on experience at Petrus and Chateau Latour, and more, to the table. Shes got this.
Best White: 2019 Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling
Courtesy of Wine.com
Region: Germany | ABV: 8.5% | Tasting Notes: Yellow Apple, Pear, Peach, Lemon Curd
Forget everything you think you know about rieslingthis seriously underrated variety makes some of the greatest serious white wines in the world, but it is also responsible for some of the best introductory styles. Riesling comes in every level of sweetness imaginable, from bone dry to lusciously sweet, but most beginners will want to start with an off-dry version like this best-selling classic from Dr. Loosen.
Vibrant acidity keeps this wine from being cloying, and ripe citrus, orchard, and stone fruit flavors make it delightful to drink. The best part is that, like most rieslings, this food-friendly wine is pretty low in alcohol, so it wont cloud your judgement if youre tasting it alongside other wines.
Best Grenache: Clos Figueras Serras Del Priorat 2018
Courtesy of Vivino
Region: Spain, Priorat | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Blackberry, Raspberry, Cherry, Cassis.
The Priorat region of Catalonia experienced a new revitalization in the past 30 years after going dark as a center for wine production. This was an unfortunate oversight, but youll be glad it’s made a comeback because the area is a hotbed for some of the best grenache-based wines in Spain. To sweeten the appeal, many of its wines offer an incredible bargain. If you want to get acquainted with the Mediterranean zip of Priorat, this 2018 bottle from Clos Figueras is a great place to start.
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What You Need To Know About Chilling Red Wine
Sarah Jane Evans MW, co-chair of the , said that as a rule of thumb, the cheaper and/or simpler the red wine the more it will benefit from being served cool or chilled.
Think of the refreshing rustic reds served straight from the fridge in tumblers in Mediterranean bars.
If price seems a bit of blunt instrument, then consider being wary of tannin and over-use of new oak, in particular. Focus on fresher styles with good primary fruit flavours.
Chilling emphasises tannin and oak, so be careful to serve a well-structured red only a few degrees cooler than usual, said Evans.
One reason why stainless steel vats can be used in wineries, and sometimes also concrete, is to help protect those fresh, primary fruit flavours in at least a portion of the wine.
A pale colour can also be a good indicator, because it suggests lighter extraction in the cellar.
Focus on style, rather than grape or region, said Matt Walls.
Go for light- or medium-bodied wines with fresh acidity and discreet, fine tannins. Juicy, fruity flavours work better than savoury notes, so opt for a young wine in preference to an old one.
Wines with modest alcohol levels tend to be more thirst-quenching by their very nature, so as a rule, the lower the alcohol the better.
E Guigal 2014 La Mouline Cote
E. Guigal 2014 La Mouline Cote-Rotie Courtesy of Guigal
In a mere three generations, the Guigal family has traveled from vineyard work to producing some of the most highly acclaimed wines from almost every district in the Rhone Valley. And while the familiar E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone label shouts value the world over, it is the familys tiny productions from post-stamp vineyards in the likes of Cote-Rotie, Saint-Joseph and Hermitage that prompt collectors to sleuth out bottles on the secondary market. La Mouline, in Cote-Rotie, is the oldest of the Guigals vineyards. In fact, its considered the oldest in the AOC itself, with walls dating back some 2,400 years. Replanted in the 1890s, after the scourge of phylloxera, the vineyards current vines average about 90 years old. The E. Guigal 2014 La Mouline shows what gorgeous balance vine age can produce. Its dark berry fruit is concentrated and layered with an earthy smoked-meat character, with delicate floral aromas, and theres a subtle silky quality to the winelikely the result of a full 11 percent Viognier cofermented with the Syrah.
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Ayala Brut Majeur Champagne 12%
Women have long held an integral role in the champagne industry, with many female winemakers at the helm of well-known houses . Ayalas chef de cave, or head winemaker, Caroline Latrive, has created an elegant, dry fizz that offers fantastic value for money. Its part of the Bollinger family, but at a fraction of the price.
A relatively low dosage keeps each sip crisp and refreshing, making this an excellent aperitif or accompaniment to seafood.
Best Chilean: J Bouchon Pas Salvaje
Courtesy of Plonk Wine Club
Region: Central Valley, Chile | ABV: 12.5% | Tasting Notes: Red fruits, Cherry, Wild Strawberry, Floral
Never heard of País before? If you love earthy, medium-bodied reds with tons of acid, then this historic grape needs to be on your radar.
Produced from organically farmed vineyards in the heart of Chiles Central Valley, this flavor-packed wine jumps with notes of wild strawberries, red flower petals and wild herbs. For a crowd-pleasing red that promises to satisfy the masses, look no further than this tasty, budget-friendly option.
Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2017
Virginia wines have been a favorite among the VinePair team this year, and this bottle is no exception. This versatile Cabernet Franc is delicious both chilled and at room temperature. It has a soft, earthy fruit core and brambly blackberry aromas, along with hints of cooked meat and cracked black pepper.
The 19 Most Popular Wines You Should Have In Your Stockpile In 2021
Its tempting to drink your comfort wine, but with spring coming in like a storm, we recommend tickling your taste buds with new wine varieties to start afresh. Or perhaps, trying your hand at making wine in an instant pot. Your call.
But for this story, were focusing on narrowing down well-made, uplifting wines that simply wont disappoint. Whatever 2021 is in store for us, we know itll pair with some good wine. Heres a list of the best wines you should keep in your stockpile, panning the spectrum from white and pink to orange and redplus a few outliers, just for good measure.
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If You’re On An Afternoon Picnic:
“Any sparkling is great and refreshing when you are drinking outside in the summer,” Selecman said. “But I do particularly love a crémant, which is basically the French word for sparkling wine. But basically what you are getting is something that’s a little more complex than a cava or prosecco, but a wine that’s not at the level of a true Champagne. It’s still from France, it’s bubbly, but it’s a little bit lighter in style… and price point.”
Best Intro To Lebanese Wine: Chteau Musar Hochar
When exploring red wine, dont be afraid to step outside of Europe. Chateau Musar is a historic vineyard in Lebanon, and its wines are beloved by wine experts the world over. This is a blended wine fermented from cabernet sauvignon, carignan, consult, and grenache. Its also aged in European oak for six months, so the drinker can expect light spice and pepper flavors.
Chateau Musat is famous for its old vine, low-yield style of production. This treatment yields grapes with richly concentrated flavors. This is an intense and interesting wine, aged in oak and full of dark plummy fruits. For pairing, this wine has the depth to stand up to red meats and flavorful stews. If its your first time trying this particular wine, dont hesitate to enjoy a glass on its own and really take the time to understand the flavors.
Craving something a little different? Try a Lambrusco. Lambrusco hails from the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy. This red wine is slightly sparkling. The ripe red fruit flavors and playful nature of Lambrusco have earned it a reputation as the perfect wine to pair with pizza. Why not? Like pizza, its fun, boasts simple and accessible flavors, and is perfect for a party. This bottle is a Lambrusco di Sorbara, the lightest and most delicate of Lambruscos.
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A Simply Astounding Ripasso
I have written up a detailed review of the extraordinary portfolio of Monte Santoccio wines on my website, including a preview of a wine never before seen on our shores, the 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella, Classico Black Label, and they are all extraordinary creations. I have chosen to focus this weeks column on the ripasso in the range as the value for money afforded here is astounding.
Winemaker Nicola Ferrari was formerly an assistant to the legendary Valpolicella producer Giuseppe Quintarelli, and he and his wife Laura now make their wines from four hectares of organically farmed vines in Fumane. Their wines are as honest and accurate as any I have tasted from this region and yet there is fascinating detail to be found behind every label. Uncommon restraint and calm balanced by grand, layered, enticing and refreshing flavours this is the Ferrari signature and you will find it on every bottle, from those costing £17.95 up to the £75 ones. This ripasso will act as your ambassador to the range and, given its astounding flavour and the keen price, I am sure you will rejoice when you meet it.
There is an extra dimension of flair and richness at the heart of this red that is truly sensational. Many wines of this style carry extra weight and darker fruit tones, but this elite version parades glorious red fruit and uncommon succulence.
2019 Château de Bousval, Gouttes dO Chardonnay, Bousval, Jardins de Wallonie, Belgium
The Best Merlot Glass
Merlots dont seem to achieve the status of Cabs and are not even close to winning in the popularity contest. But they share many similarities, including generating from the Bordeaux region and using a cabernet franc grape. Here again, youll want to pour your Merlot into a wide-rimmed, wide-bowl glass, particularly if youve been advised its a bold bottle.
Many Merlots are medium-bodied wines and therefore suitable in any red wine glass stemmed or stemless.
Tip: Try to remember to open your wine ahead of when you intend to drink it. This allows excellent reds to show their actual color.
We love the ergonomics of this stemless glass, perfect for a Merlot but much more. This unique design will be a conversation starter even if the wine is not!
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When Should You Drink Certain Wines
|If the product page says:
|then our advice would be:
|Within one year of purchase
|A non-vintage wine that should be drunk within 12 months.
Similarly, you may ask, which wine should I drink?
Which Red Wines To Drink
- Pinot Noir.
- Cabernet. Cabernet Sauvignon is loved for its high concentration and age worthiness. This is the driest and boldest of the red wines. Making this for experienced wine drinkers.
- Pinot Grigio.
One may also ask, what wines should be aged? Somewhat over-simplified overview of red wine aging potential:
- Nebbiolo ~20 years.
- Cabernet Sauvignon ~10â20 years.
- Tempranillo ~10â20 years.
- Pinot Noir ~10 years
Similarly, it is asked, is it bad to drink a bottle of wine every night?
Go Ahead And Drink A Bottle Of Wine A Day, Says Alcohol Scientist. Kari Poikolainen, who used to work for the World Health Organization as an alcohol expert, is. And according to him, drinking a bottle of wine a day isn’t bad for you. Although drinking nine bottles of wine a day probably is still bad.
Should you refrigerate wine?
When to put red wine in the refrigeratorVery few red wines need to be completely chilled before drinking with the exception of sparkling wines like Lambrusco. But reds can benefit from being in the refrigerator after they’ve been opened. “Once you open a bottle of red and are done drinking it, keep it in the fridge.
Best Australian Red: Penfolds 2017 Bin 389 South Australia Cabernet Shiraz
Region: South Australia, Australia | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Black cherries, Cassis, New leather, Fruit cake
Penfolds, unquestionably the greatest winemaking estate in Australia, is best known for its iconic wine, Penfolds Grange. Chief winemaker Peter Gago made it his mission to produce well-structured wines with deep flavors and, as he puts it, a propensity to age.
While Grange is primarily shiraz, with a splash of cabernet sauvignon sourced from specific sites in South Australia, Penfolds’ Bin 389 combines 54% cabernet sauvignon with 46% shiraz and is often referred to as Baby Grange. Plus, this wine comes at a more approachable price tag than the Grange.
Region: Mendoza, Argentina | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Cherry compote, Salty dark chocolate, Cedar spice
Achaval-Ferrer’s Quimera blend is a wine of remarkable precision: Co-founder Santiago Achaval, one of the most respected winemakers in Argentina, and winemaker Roberto Cipresso comb the vineyards, tasting grapes and hand-selecting vines specifically for this blend. In 2014, they conceived a dynamic and complex blend of 50% malbec, 24% cabernet franc, 18% merlot and 8% cabernet sauvignon.
Region: Ribera del Duero, Spain | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Spiced plums, Forest underbrush, Cigar box
Good to Know:
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An Insanely Delicious Kiwi Interloper
Tamra Kelly-Washington is a gifted winemaker and one who goes the extra mile for every one of her carefully crafted wines. Highly experienced, having worked to great acclaim in both Europe and also her homeland of New Zealand, she consults for Michael Seresins wines in Marlborough and is responsible for giving his portfolio an exquisite, new lease of life. She also works with her husband, Simon, on their family wine label, and this newly released pinot will show you, in just one sip, why she is a force to be reckoned with and a name to follow very closely.
The grapes are sourced from the Monte Rosa vineyard in my favourite sub-region of Central Otago, Gibbston. The wines from this part of Otago are particularly fragrant and graceful, and in slightly warmer vintages they summon up marvellous, stylish juiciness. In 2018, Tamra used 20% whole bunches to bring enviable spice and tension to this silky red, and with 28% new French oak used for 11 months, there is an underlying classiness and flamboyance which echoes the elevated level of ripeness found in this vintage. This is a perfect example of a winemaker using sensitivity, taste and experience to exactly match the terrific calibre of her pinot fruit to the precise recipe needed to create an insanely delicious wine.
Drinking well already, and with a rather chaotic 2019 Burgundy En Primeur circus going on around us this month, find solace in this Kiwi interloper.
Empire Estate Riesling Dry United States New York Finger Lakes $21
One of the biggest hesitations many have with Riesling is often its residual sugar or sweetness. While I personally find those examples delightful , the Empire Estate is a fantastic dry Riesling that you can enjoy all by itself, James says. The wine is a collaboration between celebrated sommelier Thomas Pastuszak of The Nomad Hotels and winemaker Kelby James Russell of Red Newt Cellars in the Finger Lakes. Pastuszak fell in love with wine while he was studying neurobiology and classical piano at Cornell University, all the while working in restaurants to pay-off his student loans. Soon he found himself being drawn deeper into this world and he now runs some of the best wine programs in the country. His Riesling is zippy and cheerful and I highly recommend ordering it in magnumsthe wine stays fresher for longer!
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Domaine De Fontsainte Gris De Gris Corbires France $19
The first vineyards were planted here by the Romans and the south of France is actually where rosé was first made in this country in the 6th century BCE. The winemaker, Bruno Laboucarié, has even found old coins dating from the time of Marcus Agrippa, in the vineyards. The winery was built around a thermal spring, named for the local, 12thcentury patron saint, Saint Siméon hence Fontsaintethe saints fount. They make wines from the golden crescent, an area nicknamed due to its ideal southern exposure, which allows for maximum sunshine hours. The cool Mediterranean Sea breezes chill the grapes and help preserve freshness. Sustainable farming is evident: When Ive walked through the vineyards I spotted earthworms popping out for a snack and the wild garrigue of rosemary, thyme, and immortelle growing in patches.