The other weekend, I held a virtual wine tasting in what has become another in a series of occasional online gatherings to sample, discuss and enjoy wines with fellow wine aficionados. This time I asked participants to choose one or more wines in the list of recommended red wines from my previous blog post. We tasted the following 4 wines which were generally available in local PA wine stores. Although all wines were positively received, the Italian and Argentine wines seemed to have the edge in preference. In any event, they all offer good value and a welcome accompaniment to your dinner dishes.
Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2019 ($9.99)
Origin: Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina
Varietal: 100% Malbec
Production/Tasting Notes: Estate grown in Uco Valley; cold maturation for 5-7 days before vinification with native yeasts; partially aged in French oak barrels; blackcurrant and plum aromas; full-bodied, black cherry and chocolate notes; velvety finish; structured yet soft tannins. (92 points, James Suckling)
Food Pairing: Steak, burgers, barbeque
Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 https://www.taubfamilyselections.com/ ($11.99)
Origin: Colchagua Valley, Chile
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Notes: Estate grown and bottled; produced by Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite); stainless steel fermentations between 77 80 degress;10-15 days of maceration with frequent pump-overs; 3 months aging in stainless steel tanks; aromas of red fruit - plum, raspberry, cherry; laced with notes of ripe strawberries, nutmeg, cocoa, thyme, and black pepper; savory notes of tobacco, toasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate, tapenade; fresh lively tannins.
Food pairing: Barbeque and grilled meats; pizza
Planeta La Segreta Il Rosso 2017 planeta.it ($8.99)
Origin: Sicilia DOC
Varietals: 50% Nero d'Avola; 25% Merlot; 20% Syrah; 5% Cabernet Franc
Production/Tasting Notes: After diraspapigiatura (destemming), maceration for 7-14 days; racked then aged in oak; aromas of red fruits, black currant, mulberry, cocoa, hints of balsamic; flavors of ripe berries; herbaceous notes; lightly spicy, mentholated finish; soft tannins.
Food Pairing: pizza, pasta, burgers; Mediterranean fare; bluefish
Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT 2016 ($19.99)
Origin: Veneto IGT
Varietals: 40% Corvina, 30% Corvinone; 25% Rondinella, 5% Sangiovese
Production/Tasting Notes: Average vine age 35 years; fermented with native yeasts in stainless steeel; aged 15 months in second-hand barrels; 7 months in bottle; aromas of crushed cherries, aged balsamic, delicate spice; lively fruit, tart edge; angular tannins; moderate acidity; herb-, smoke-laced finish (90 points, Wine Spectator)
Food Pairings: hearty pastas; pizza
There's one more one wine (not on the original recommended list) that some people sampled and is also from the Veneto region. It was very well received and is a special bargain as a Chairman's Select if you can still find it:
Zenato Alanera Rosso Veronese 2015
This is rich and layered with dark berries, chocolate and hints of hazelnuts. Full-bodied, yet bright and focused. Dusty texture. Drink now or hold. (James Sucking, 93 points.)
Los Vascos wines blend Lafite tradition with the unique terroir of Chile to create elegant wines that bring exceptional to the everyday. The vision of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) to expand their estate took them to South America in 1988, becoming the first French viticultural investment in modern Chile. Since then, a comprehensive modernization and investment program has been undertaken, oriented towards the production of fine wine using and adapting the viticultural experiences of Bordeaux and other areas where Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) is present. Los Vascos is located in Valley de Caneten (Colchagua), a closed valley in the central zone of Chile, approximately 25 miles from the sea. The valley provides a perfect microclimate for high quality viticulture, with Northern exposure to lands uncontaminated by airborne or water-borne pollutants. Daily on-shore winds provide temperature changes between 68-77°F, for optimum maturation of the grapes.