Another bottle I had picked up in a small student-type wine shop in Boston a few weeks back. In addition to not having seen it on any of my local shop shelves, it was inexpensive and the 2010 Chianti vintage is known to be a great one, so I thought it would be an uncomplicated, easy-going glass. The Castelvecchio farm is a family estate located in San Casciano Val di Pesa in the Florentine hills, and is headed by Filippo Rocchi. The estate was founded in 1962 by Filippo’s grandfather Renzo Rocchi and consists of 73 hectares, 30 of which are vineyards and 15 are olive groves. Filippo is passionate about caring for the vines, with a winemaking philosophy to express “the character and originality” of each grape and wine.
Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, earth and sweet herbs. Cherry and strawberry flavours were supported by leather elements and hints of smoky herbs in the medium body, whilst white pepper and mocha comprised the moderate finish. Straightforward and easy drinking, this is a pleasant companion at the table.
90% Sangiovese, 10% Cannaiolo
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Castelvecchio of Filippo Rocchi Viticoltore
Enjoy now thru 2015
In an appellation dominated by negociants and large producers, Domaine Durdilly stands out in fresh contrast. The small family run estate is located in the southern part of Beaujolais and consists of vineyards that are among the highest altitudes in the area. Les Grandes Coasses was hand harvested from 100% estate grown grapes and fermented using only native yeasts.
Bright red-violet in colour with aromas of strawberry, cherry and hints of banana. Tart cherry, red currant and raspberry flavours join light, silky tannins and chalky minerals in the clean finish. Easy drinking with a bit more personality than the average Beaujolais Nouveau, this is a fantastic glass to enjoy on its own or with light dishes.
Mis en Bouteille à la Propriété by Les Grandes Coasses
A gift from a friend, I gave a pour to Snap Dragon Pinot Noir to accompany pizza and veggie antipasto from our favourite local Italian restaurant. Snap Dragon is a brand of the huge global wine and spirits company Diageo. They produce and market wines from around the world, a few of their numerous other brands are: Sterling Vineyards, Rosenblum Cellars, Provence Vineyards, Guinness, Crown Royal and Johnnie Walker.
Dark ruby red in colour with aromas of strawberry, dusty earth and toasted oak. Black cherry, leather and earth flavours merged into white peppercorn and traces of toasted oak in the compact finish. Approachable and easy drinking, this is a good value that pairs well with simple dishes.
Pinot Noir [I could not verify varietal percentage.]
Vinted & Bottled by Snap Dragon Winery, Sonoma
$8 [average price]
Hey Mambo is one of the labels of The Other Guys, a company founded by August and Mia Sebastiani of Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery fame. When the prominent family company was sold in 2001 to Constellation Brands, he was motivated along with his sister Mia to establish a company that would “continue their family’s reputation for quality winemaking for generations to come”. They believe crafting quality wines is dependent on a strong family foundation like “ the early days when all wine companies were family owned and operated”. The Other Guys are also behind Pennywise, Plungerhead, and The White Knight labels, to name a few.
Dark red-violet in colour with aromas of violets, black currant and black pepper. Jammy blueberry and blackberry flavours were complimented by savoury black olive notes in the nearly full body, whilst smoky earth, vanilla, sweet caramel and rich cedar elements comprised the lengthy finish. This is a straightforward, easy drinking, crowd pleaser that pairs well with just about any dish. [And a great value.]
18% Petite Sirah,
6% Cabernet Franc,
5% Alicante Bouchet,
Vinted & Bottled by the Other Guys, Napa
Enjoy now thru 2014
I picked up Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 since it has routinely been on multiple “best buy” lists, and it was only $6. The De Wet family have been cultivating the land at Excelsior Estate in South Africa since 1859. Throughout the years many different products have been farmed, but wine has consistently been produced. Today the family has 220 hectares of vineyards and a goal of producing “full-bodied wines that display intense fruit”. Their philosophy is that “good wine starts in the vineyards” so they employ strict methods such as hand harvesting and extremely spare use of chemicals.
Dark garnet in colour with aromas of blackberry, funky earth and winter spices. Blackberry jam, licorice and earth notes merged into spicy black peppercorn and dark chocolate in the moderate finish. A rather basic glass, but considering the price, it really is a great value and easy drinking with everyday dishes like pizza and simple pastas.
Cabernet Sauvignon [I could not verify varietal percentage.]
Produced & Bottled by Excelsior, Ashton
Enjoy now thru 2014