The Feb 4, 2017 release is full of quirky lesser known wines. I usually find these delightful when I am charmed by the local culture, sea views, mountain top…you get the picture. Not so much when I am at home in my own culture!
Having said that there are a number of lesser known grapes that do deserve mention –mostly because they are very good representations of better known grapes!
Here are my picks from this release:
Avondale Jonty’s Ducks Pekin White 2015 (South Africa)
439554 Score 90 $15.95
This looks like one of the best values in the release. This is a blend typically driven by Chenin Blanc. Wine Align review gives it a score of 90 and indicates flavorful, ripe, balanced, seriously stony and fruity with amazing depth and length.
Dirty Laundry Say Yes Pinot Gris 2014 (British Columbia)
This is featured in the What to Drink for Valentines with a description of fresh nectarines and a lively citrus finish from winetrails.ca. Wine Align notes call it round and fruity with gentle acids in Alsatian style.
Jean Biecher & Fils Schoenenbourg Riesling 2014 (Alscace Grand Cru)
469767 Score 94 $23.95
Anne Krebiehl, of Wine Enthusiast notes Mirabelle plums and tart red apples mix to give a very fruity, appetizing aspect which on the palate is joined by ripe, lemony freshness.This has the balance and drama everyone wishes for in a dry riesling… Lovely Mirabelle finish of immense length.
La Chablisienne Grande Cuvée Chablis 1 er Cru 2014 (Burgundy)
685222 Score 92 $29.95
Neal Martin of robertparker.com says ‘this has crisp sea spary and cold flint-lie bouquet that is well defined and nicely focused. The palate is clean and fresh with a fine line of acidity, great depth and poise and it gently fans out towards the finish with citrus peel, Granny Smith and gun-flint notes.’
This is blend of chardonnays from neighbouring Grand Cru vineyards… a bargain at this price.
Simonnet-Febvre Bourgogne Chitry 2014 (Burgundy)
Vintage Panel notes this is a chardonnay – citrusy and yellow apple, hints of white pepper and wither flowrs and a suggestion of flinty mineral. Wine Align calls it a dead ringer for the pricier Chablis of the neighbouring environs.
Chateau Saint-Roch Vieilles Vignes Syrah/Grenache 2014 (France Roussillon)
195107 Score 90 $15.95
Reviews from various sources are suggesting to buy this one by the case! Jeb Dunnuck or robertparker.com calls it sexy, ripe, polished – with lots of blueberry, strawberry, spice-box and dried flowers aromas and flavours.
Tectonia Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Chile)
480822 Score 91 $19.95
James Suckling of jamessuckling.com says this is a silky red with chocolate, berry and fres tobacco character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish.
Bridlewood Blend 175 2014 (USA California)
Syrah, Tempranillo, Malbec, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Viognier in the blend – apparently 175 variations attempted (Gotta give them A for perseverance!) Final blend is soft, slightly jammy, raisiny with chocolate mocha oak.
Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel (USA California)
I love Ironstone.. and I love Zinfandel so this has all the bases covered for me ! This one is categorized as Full-bodied and smooth, fruit foward blackberry and blueberry. Pair with beef!