Life in a Northern Town

More Good Wines To Seek Out

2010 Bordeaux Supérieur Château Belrose Portraits Cuvée Maucaillou

I've recently signed up for email alerts from WTSO.com and it's really expanded my wine drinking horizons. Not everything is worth buying but now and then, they offer a good wine at a really good price. This one is a great example— it's a good, drinkable Bordeaux that isn't going to break the bank ($9.99) and make you sad when you open it on a Tuesday night for no good reason. It's a traditional Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. According to Wine Spectator, 'it's a chunky mix of plum, prune and mulled cherry fruit flavors, with a coating of dark toast on the finish'. I'd add it's an easy drinking, not terribly complicated Bordeaux and for $10.00 a bottle, a really good value.

2009 Monte Del Frà Tenuta Lena Di Mezzo Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore

Another WTSO purchase ($12.99) and a really, really good Valpolicella Ripasso (I'm picky about Valpolicellas, they can be too light bodied for my taste). Ripasso means to 're-pass' and Valpolicella Ripasso is fermented twice— once with the Valipolicella grapes (a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara) and then fermented again with the partially dried grape skins that have been left over from fermentation of Amarone. It's a fruit forward wine with a nice balance between lively acidity and raisin-y sweetness. Wine Spectator gave it 90 points and described it as, 'an elegant red, showing hints of black raspberry, plum and strawberry fruit bolstered by a spicy undertow of ground pepper, dried mint and thyme, anise and vanilla bean, with a mineral-tinged finish'. I'm hoping WTSO isn't really sold out of this vintage because if it comes around again, I'm buying a case!

2007 Clos LaChance Merlot Hummingbird Series Violet Crowned

Yet another WTSO purchase— this time it made its way to my house because it a great deal, $8.99 a bottle, and a great Bordeaux blend, 76% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.5% Malbec. If I had to sum up this wine in one word, it would be smooth. Aromas of red plums, mint and cranberries are followed by dried cherry, plum, vanilla and toasty oak flavors with subtle herbal notes. It's a medium bodied wine that's almost chewy and dense in the mouth. It's a solid wine for under $10.00. This is another wine I hope WTSO isn't really sold out of, I'd love to get me hands on a few more bottles.

2007 Ciabot Berton Roggeri Barolo

Barolo is a big wine and this bottle is no exception. It's definitely a bottle that a) needs a couple more years to grow up or b) needs lots of air to be the best version of itself in your glass. I bought 3 bottles from WTSO ($34.99) and I'm letting the two bottles I have left spend a few years downstairs, gathering themselves. I did enjoy the bottle I opened— cherry fruit flavors, earthy aromas, good structure, full-bodied and a long soft textured finish but it was a bit too rustic now. Wine Spectator gave this vintage 93 points and described it as, ' a warm red, exuding tar, tobacco, cherry, floral and sun-baked earth aromas and flavors, with a long, spicy finish. This still has the chewy texture courtesy of the tannins, but is developing nicely. Best from 2014 through 2026'. I'm going to give it another try in 2016— I think it's going to blow my socks off.

2007 Domaine Catherine le Goeuil Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne

Kermit Lynch know what he's doing when it comes to wine and as I've mentioned before, I've yet to meet a Kermit wine I don't like. This is a lovely bottle of wine, one of my favorites. It's a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise — a similar blend to those you'd find in wines from the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region. Kermit Lynch described it as— 'nose ripe and decadent; wild thyme, stones, and loads of Grenache fruit; chewy, concentrated, great tannins, palate-staining  sensations, and just a whole lot of rock ’n’ roll going on. There is also a rare quality that I’d like to see in more wines, something luxurious in the feel of  it on the palate.' Plus, it's organic— this is a wine definitely worth seeking out.