Every now and again, I like to just chat about wines I’ve enjoyed recently. On their own, these wines aren’t worth a whole post. But, I enjoy reading about what my fellow wine writers are drinking, so I hope you’re interested in what’s been in my glass.
2005 Viñedos y Bodegas Pablo Menguante Garnacha Cariñena ($9)
I just commented to Joe of Joe's Wine that I think Spanish wines in general are the most interesting, delicious and affordable wines around at the moment. This is a stunning example of garnacha from 80-100 year-old vines. Garnacha can be light and quaffable, but it also can be rich and complex. This is the latter.
2002 Preston Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley ($12)
If cabernet franc needs an agent, I’ll take the job. The “other” cab is fantastic when it’s done well. This is done well: silky, lush and spicy with abundant red and black fruit. Preston makes some seriously good wines. If you’re not familiar with them, I highly recommend seeking out their wines.
2001 Preston Merlot Columbia Valley ($12)
I’m not kidding about Preston. This is a merlot that could well restore merlot’s good name. A little time in the bottle has revealed a subtle, elegant wine with sweet notes of dried cherries, herbs, cedar and leather. Merlot can age quite gracefully, and given its lack of popularity, post-Sideways, there’s never been a better time to hunt for hidden gems like this one.
2001 Hope Merlot Hunter Valley ($9)
Speaking of merlot from older vintages...here’s another. I normally wouldn’t think of Australia for merlot, but Hope makes some really unique, hand-crafted and well-priced wines. This was a random pick at a restaurant wine sale—and what a great find it was. A little more fruit focused than the Preston, but still showing its age very well: velvet-smooth with lovely black cherry, plum and cedar.
2004 Trentadue Old Patch Red Sonoma Valley ($13)
I’m hooked on field-blend style Cailfornia reds at the moment. This is a mix of 76% zinfandel, 16% petite sirah and 8% carignane. I wish more CA wineries would make wines in this style. Sonodora at Wannabe Wino has an excellent write up about Trentadue along with tasting notes for most of their wines, including the Old Patch Red. Check it out.
NV Dover Canyon Winery Renegade Red Central Coast ($11)
A cool wine from a cool winery. Another field-blend style red wine from the fine folks at Dover Canyon made from zin, sangiovese, barbera and syrah. It’s lively, fresh and intoxicatingly good. This is the wine that Bacchus wants us to drink. Get a bottle and dance with Pan. I’ve added the Dover Canyon Winery blog to my links, so now you have no excuse not to visit. Mary Baker, co-owner of Dover Canyon, is also editor of the Women Wine Critics Board blog, which is full of some great writing.
That’s all for my show and tell. What wines have made you happy lately?