This release has two features, Piedmont’s Barbaresco and Barolo Wines, and California Wine Picks from the outstanding 2012, 13, and 14 vintages. There are some luscious wines among those features but they don’t fit within my ‘mandate’ of finding the best wine values in the $15-$35 price range. So you can read about those yourself if you are above the $35 ‘snack bracket’ and I will highlight some other gems from this release.
Having said that the 2 Wines of the Month do fit within that range so I would just be restating the obvious. So check out Manifesto Zinfandel, Score 91, $23.95 and Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes Syrah/Grenach 2014, Score 92 , $19.95.
Value White Wines
Fielding Estate Bottled Riesling 2015
#251439 Score 90 $19.95
Rémy Charest of winealign.com calls this young, long, and fairly complex with a nice range of smokey, apple and floral notes and a touch of nectarine.
Lapostolle Gran Seleccion Chardonnay 2015
Lapostolle winery is founded and owned by the Marnier Lapostolle family, of Gran Marnier liqueur fame. They bring generations of experience to their mission of creating world class wines applying French wine making techniques to the fabulous Chilean terroir.
Tasting notes from the Vintage panel describe this as having ‘aromas and flavours of apples. lemon peel, vanilla and spice in a buttery creamy package.’
See also the Pinot Gris recommendations for this release.
Red Wine Values
Lua Cheia Old Vines Red 2014
#266882 Score 89 $13.95
Another outstanding value from Portugal that John Szabo of winealign.com describes as having fleshy dark fruit, good weight, genuine complexity and minerality that is worth twice the price.
Hogue Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Vintage notes describe this wine from a top Washington state producer as juicy and value -priced delivering cassis, plum, ripe black cherry fruit and spice. Described as full-bodied and smooth with supple tannins. I think this will be a fruity flavour bomb for every day sipping.
Domaine Galaman Fitou 2013
#395467 Sore 90 $14.95
Jeb Dunnuck of robertparker.com describes this as fruity with loads of texture and richness, offering mineral-tinged fruit, licorice and toast – a crowd pleaser. Drink now.
La Ferme du Mont |Le Ponnant Cotes du Rhone-Village 2014
#171371 Score 90-92 $19.95
Jeb Dunnuck of robertparker.com calls this a Chateauneuf du Pape ‘look alike’ with melted licorice, black cherry and peppery herbs, elegant yet textured. He suggests it will drink well now through 2023. Sounds like a multiple buy opportunity here!
Update: April 2017
This is quite possbily the best $19.95 I spent last year. This wine is full-bodied and smooth with an amazing smoky, spicy bouquet. Smoky, peppery and a light leather on the palate. Will be tracking down more of this !
Buena Vista Pinot Noir 2012
Carneros is one of the premier wine regions of California for cool climate grapes such as Pinot Noir. This one is described as silky and substantial with lighter tones of pomegranate, cherry and cola, and sandalwood and mushroom subtlety by Virginie Boone of sonomamag.com. A steal at its price.