Crafted from the Monica grape in Sardegna and not commonly found elsewhere, this is well balanced, rustic and a versatile companion at the table.
Estate: Founded in the early 20th century by Antonio Argiolas, today the estate is headed by the 3rd generation of the family, Antonio’s grandchildren. For over 20 years the estate has been practicing “ecologically sound” cultivation techniques. They have adopted sustainable methods across all areas of wine production including using solar power that currently provides for 50% of their electrical needs. The family also focuses on the preservation and revitalization of native Sardinian grape varieties. They cultivate “collection vineyards, where we grow the selected vine species, both to protect them and to test their agricultural viability and winemaking quality”. The “collection vineyard” currently contains 5000 plants.
Philosophy: It is “a simple story: one harvest after another, tradition is handed down from parent to child”.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced form the Perdera vineyard, then fermented in glass lined cement tanks, and followed by aging in French oak barrels for 5 to 6 months.
Tasting Notes: Brick garnet in color with aromas of cherry, dried rose petal and dusty earth. Baked cherry and traces of black currant were highlighted by nuances of zesty orange rind along with earthy leather notes. Spicy pink peppercorn, dried cherry and hints of balsamic lingered richly in the substantial finish.
90% Monica, 5% Carignano, 5% Bovale Sardo
Bottled by Argiolas S.P.A.
Rated 88 points by Wine Enthusiast
Comfortable and easy drinking, this is a sunny, boxed Riesling and hard to beat value.
Brand: Originally created by renowned Syrah producer Charles Smith, the House label is now under the aegis of Precept Wine, the largest privately held wine company in the northwestern US. The goal of the House label is to bring “outstanding wines into people’s homes at an affordable, everyday price”.
Tasting Notes: Golden yellow in color with vivid aromas of pineapple and honeysuckle. Bright red apple and pineapple flavors fused with sweet honey notes along with hints of nutmeg on the juicy finish.
Riesling [I could not verify varietal percentage]
Vinted and Bottled by Original House Wine, Walla Walla WA
$17 [One box = 4 bottles]
A garden variety red blend that is pleasant and easy drinking for the value price.
Brand: The Spanish Quarter is a label of Aveníu Brands, a “marketing company specializing in the importation, distribution and marketing go fine wines and spirits”. In turn, Aveníu Brands is a subsidiary of Grupo Codorníu, a Spanish producer of global wines, and the world’s largest producer of Cava. One of the oldest family companies, Codorníu was founded in 1551 and is currently headed by the 17th generation of the family.
Winemaking: The Spanish Quarter was label was created with the aim of combining native Spanish varietals with international grapes, “resulting in blends that are exotic, yet familiar”.
Tasting Notes: Purple-red in color with aromas of cherry and crushed rainbow peppercorn. Soft, velvety flavors of cherry and black currant joined hints of sour cherry and herbs which provide backbone in the medium to full body. Toasted oak and traces of vanilla comprised the respectable finish.
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Tempranillo
Produced and Bottled by Coniusa
Enjoy now thru 2015
Photo by Frankie Cermak
Straightforward, super easy drinking, and with a sense of refinement not commonly found with a $7 bottle. A great companion to a wide variety of dishes, especially pizza and pastas.
Winery: For many generations the Pozzi Family has been making and selling wine. Beginning in Cremona, northern Italy the current owner’s great grandfather established relationships with local growers and producers and travelled throughout Italy selling their wines. Today the estate is headed by 4th generation winemaker Daniele Pozzi, who continues expanding the family’s connections, especially internationally.
Philosophy: The family’s motto is “Res non Verba” [Deeds not Words], and aims to produce high quality wines at affordable prices.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from hillside vineyards with clay soils in western Sicily.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in color with aromas of grape jam and fresh herbs. Jammy black currant and blueberry notes along with traces of cigar box spice comprised the medium body, whilst black peppercorn,vanilla and hints of raisin lingered sweetly between each sip.
100% Nero d’Avola
Produced and Bottled by Cantine Francesco Minini S.P.A.
A wonderfully glugable, dry Rosé cheerfully delivering tart fruits and light spices. At only $7, a fantastic value for sipping on its own or accompanying light dishes.
Located in central Italy, Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo is the newest DOC in the Abruzzo region. Created in October 2010, the DOC covers the fresh, intensely flavoured, dry wines formerly labeled as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo. The wines are crafted using an ancient winemaking technique in which the juice has a very limited amount of contact with the skin. [Cerasuolo refers to the bright cherry red colour of the wines.]
Estate: Cantina Colle Moro was established in 1961 by a small group of growers. Today, the quality of their wines has rewarded them with many accolades.
Philosophy: “The will to improve.” With 50 years of winemaking experience and traditions, the winery takes special care in paying attention to the tastes of its consumers, and “aim to continuously improve our products, pursuing a strong and competitive presence on the market”.
Tasting Notes: Cherry red in color with delicate aromas of raspberry and minerals. A cheerful mix of light, tart red fruits and bright acidity, finishing with dry minerals and hints of white peppercorn.
100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Estate Bottled by Cantina Colle Moro s.c.agr. [Bottled exclusively for Astor Wines and Spirits]
Enjoy now thru 2015