Best California Red: Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Region: Napa Valley, California;| ABV: 14.1%;| Tasting Notes: Blackberry, Brown spices, Vanilla bean;
Today, thanks to co-owner Peter Mondavi Jr.’s leadership, Charles Krug winery is a pillar of Napa Valley. With longtime winemaker Stacy Clark at the helm, the wines are utterly delightful, classically structured and decidedly age-worthy.
I try to find off-the-beaten-path producers who inspire me with a story and passion. … Of course, one shouldnt ignore the classics; however, there are too many great wines in this world to stop exploring past the point of comfort.;Alexandra Neverov, Sommelier, Topping Rose House
Best Chillable Red: Domaine Chapel Charbonnires Fleurie
Courtesy of Vivino
Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais, France | ABV: 13% | Tasting Notes: Dried cherries, Potting soil, Pepper
After a chance meeting at the legendary Domaine Lapierre in Beaujolais, Michele Smith and David Chapel fell in love, relocated from New York and established their eponymous estate back in 2015.
Today, the duo is making some of the regions most exciting and easy-drinking wines, including this stunning cuvée from Fleurie. High-toned flavors of raspberries, dried cherries, potting soil, pepper and fresh-cut herbs lead to a thirst-quenching finish.;
Best Value French: Chne Bleu Ablard 2011
Region: Rhône Valley | ABV: 14.5%;| Tasting Notes: Black cherry, Red licorice, Earth, Warm cinnamon
From an ancient property at the cornerstone of four appellations in Frances Southern Rhône, near the town of Gigondas and situated in Mont Ventoux, comes this absolute marvel of a wine. Owners Nicole and Xavier Rolet are incapable of making a bad wine, and incredibly, they’ve taken the extraordinary step of aging their wine for a generous amount of time prior to release. The vintage they currently have on the market is the 2012, but its terribly hard to find. Luckily, the 2011 is up for grabs: A decade-aged Rhône red consisting mostly of grenache, it is a testament to the efforts of these renegade vintners.
Wild red berry fruit, blackberry jam, French vanilla bean and garrigue layered with cigar box spices. Silky soft, elongated tannins support a panoply of flavors, from warm cinnamon and brown sugar spices to curry powder-dusted red berry fruit, with generous dollops of black cherry and red licorice. It finishes with grippy acidity and vivid earthy notes.
Region: Douro, Portugal;| ABV: 13.8% | Tasting Notes: Cranberry, Raspberry, Blood Orange, Cedar;
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California Residents: Tap Here For Proposition 65 Warning
|WARNING: Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol|
|WARNING: Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A , a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to: www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/BPA|
Charlie Wagner Director Of Winemaking
We believe in being both serious and playful, and this wine fits the bill. A rich, dark red, it offers aromas of ripe berries and plums, warmed by a hint of cocoa. Dried fruit and the taste of chocolate-covered cherries come through on the palate, while a wisp of smokiness makes this wine created from dark red varietals including Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon the perfect complement to grilled meats and full-flavored dishes. Tannins are rounded out by the ripeness of the berries for a texturous but smooth mouth feel. The finish makes us think of lingering at the end of a long evening and still not wanting to go home, with layers of rich flavor that teasingly trail off.
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Cabernets Pinots And Beyond
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Liquor / Chloe Jeong
Best Value French:Chêne Bleu Abélard 2011 at Vivino
Silky soft, elongated tannins support a panoply of flavors, from warm cinnamon and brown sugar spices to curry powder-dusted red berry fruit, with generous dollops of black cherry and red licorice.
When it comes to red wine, there are a variety of classic grapes to choose from, including cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. However, the style of each classic red varies greatly from maker to maker.
Take pinot noir, for instance: a hard grape to cultivate because of its delicate skin and difficulty ripening in areas that lack sufficient sunshine. The style of pinot from California is typically ripe, powerful and fruit-forward. The same grape grown in the various Burgundy villages of France returns a much different style: wavering in degrees of ripeness, with some more fruit-forward than others, but remarkably earthy and imbued with ample acidity and firm, taut tannins.
Taking all of the red wine grape varieties into consideration, here are some of the best red wines from around the globeso get that corkscrew ready.
Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search
; Best Books of the Year
Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a feisty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.
The Financial Times of London
There are very few people in the wine world who “get it” and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.
Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV
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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:
Is The Conundrum Wine By Conundrum Vineyards The Same As The Old Caymus Conundrum
Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snobyou can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Is Conundrum wine by Conundrum Vineyards owned by Caymus, who has made Conundrum for years? Is it the same wine? I cannot find a recent vintage from Caymus.
Alan G., Santa Barbara, Calif.
It is the same wine, but a couple things have changed. When the aromatic kitchen-sink blend of white wine was first introduced in 1989, it was originally called “Caymus Conundrum.” Conundrum is still owned by Caymus Vineyards’ Wagner family, but they split it into a separate brand beginning with the 2001 vintage. In addition to the name change, Conundrum is now made at its own winery in Monterey County, while Caymus remains up in Napa’s Rutherford district.
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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.;
Best Overall: Louis Latour Chteau Corton Grancey
Region: Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Red currants, Blood orange, Dried raspberries, Baking spice
One of the top names in all of Burgundy is Louis Latour, and one of the most unique wines it produces is this Château Corton Granceya blend of four Grand Cru vineyards .
Delivering profound notes of black and red currants, blackberry fruit, blood orange citrus, and dried raspberries underscored by baking spices and dried red florals, this pinot noir is also a textural masterpiece with mouthwatering acidity and grippy cedar-like tannins.;
Good to Know:
When it comes to red wine, balance is a non-negotiable for Alexandra Neverov, sommelier at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, New York. For me, there has to be this unspoken equilibrium in a great red wine, from tannins to alcohol to acid and fruit balance, she says. Neverov also goes for reds with pronounced aromatics. If I find myself entranced, then I feel that wine can be truly enchanting.
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Original Design By Final Touch
Mouthblown Conundrum Glasses are not your average stemless! Each glass is hand crafted with sleek curves making it comfortable to hold and a better wine tasting experience.
- Set of 4 Conundrum Stemless Wine Glasses
- Curves provide comfortable finger placement
- 16 oz capacity
- Made of mouthblown lead-free borosilicate glass
- Dishwasher safe
Which Wine Regions Are In California
California is a vast region that consists of several smaller wine-producing areas. Although Napa Valley and Sonoma are what California is most known for, the states other regions produce equally outstanding wines.
Napa Valley and Paso Robles are renowned for the bold reds of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, as well as the scenic wine route which offers unique experiences to wine lovers. On the contrary, Santa Barbara and The Russian River Valley, with conditions more suited to delicate grapes, produce outstanding expressions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Each of these regions offers a unique take on the wines of California allowing for a greater expression and experience of what the Golden State can truly offer.
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Best Italian: Girolamo Russo A Rina Etna Rosso
Courtesy of Vivino
Region: Etna, Sicily, Italy | ABV: 13.5% ABV | Tasting Notes: Red berries, Ash, Black pepper, Clove;
Love Italian reds from Piedmont, Tuscany, and beyond? If youve never dove into the world of earthy Sicilian reds, specifically from Etna, we cant recommend them enough.
These earthy, soil-driven wines come from the ash-laden volcanic soils of the region, which impart an undeniable mineral quality to the juice. This mouthwatering expression oozes with flavors of red berries, smoky ash, black pepper and clove.
I love a good Nerello Mascalese from Sicily. Theres something about that volcanic rusticity and high-toned cherry notes that strike a chord with me. … If the red wine is mostly mass produced, then its a no-no for me. Sylvester Inda, Wine Manager, CoolVines Powerhouse
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From Lush Napa To Moody Monterey
We source Conundrum in places that are both famed and off the beaten track in Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Benito, Solano and Tulare Counties. Its character starts in the vineyard, in small towns where families have been farming for generations and theres always plenty of good conversation, great grapes and more to explore.
What Is The Famous Wine Region Featured In The Movie Sideways
Thats Santa Barbara.
The greatest attribute of Sideways is that it promoted Pinot Noir, which became very popular because of the movie.
The region of Santa Barbara offers a great variety of unique tasting options with over 120 different wineries to choose from. This region is off-the-beaten-track, but should not be underestimated. Sideways drew much-needed attention to this region and all that it has to offer.
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Where In California Is The Wine Country
The Californian wine country is in the North San Francisco Bay area, with over 800 wineries located all along this scenic route. The Bay area encompasses some of the world’s most famous wine regions, including Napa Valley and Sonoma.
The success of these famous regions within the Bay area is largely to do with the sound soil composition and ideal climatic conditions. Each region is fortunate to have a wide range of temperatures and soil types, allowing the brilliant variety of grapes to thrive here.
Best Organic: Larkmead 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Napa Valley, California;| ABV: 14.7% | Tasting Notes: Dark fruit, Tobacco, Fresh-turned earth, Dark chocolate
This winery, under the watch of winemaker Dan Petroski, doesn’t just focus on making world-class wine. Petroski helps shed light on the necessary work for studying climate change, and in 2015, Larkmead converted to organic farming practices.
Cabernet collectors should stockpile wines from the 2016 vintage, which are high in naturally vibrant acidity due to a moderate growing season. Hallmark signifiers are deep, dark fruit and a distinct freshness, all of which the 2016 Larkmead has in spades. Adding to that are incredibly alluring brown spices, fresh-turned earth and tobacco wrapped in dark chocolate, with mouthwatering purple violet notes and firm, dusty tannins.
This is a wine to contemplate over many hoursand, ideally, over the next decade, with a bottle or two every year.
Region: Carneros, California | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Red cherries, Bramble, Brown spices
Proprietor Rich Frank, a former Disney executive, bought his eponymous winery in 1992 and released his first wine a year later.
This 2018 release is a full-bodied pinot noir with lively red fruits, deep concentration, firm acidity and sturdy tannins, which will help it develop over a few decades in a cool, dark cellar.
Good to Know:
Good to Know:
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Final Touch Conundrum Aerator Wine Decanter
|Item dimensions L x W x H||11 x 11 x 23 centimeters|
- The unique design helps to enhance both flavour & aroma.
- Aerates wine when filling or serving – Holds half a standard 750 ml bottle of wine
- Made of borosilicate glass with elegant brushed stainless steel base.
- Large spout for easy filling and smooth pouring.
- Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.3 x 9.1 in | Capacity: 12.7 ounce | Material: Borosilicate Glass & Stainless Steel