Carl, being me (Wine Depot Manager) has spent the last 12 years in the beer and wine industry. Certified Sommelier and alcohol aficionado, my life is all things booze. The idea for this tasting really just came from the fact that probably the most common question I get is “What would you buy?”, or “What do you like?” I, like most people, don’t often buy wine to pair with my dinner. I like wines that stand alone. Fruit forward reds and crisp high acid whites. This weeks flight is a lineup of some of my faves. These wines are balanced, complex, can stand alone, but still food friendly.
Grab a flight of these premium wines for $10!
2017 Francois le Saint “Calcaire” Sancerre – Loire Valley, Franc; $24.99
For most people Sancerre is the pinnacle of Sauvignon Blanc. If I could afford it this would probably be my daily drinker. Francois le Saint is produced by the Foussier family at the Domaine established in 1749. Now run by the families 10th generation they manage about 100 acres of Sauvignon Blanc. The complexity of white wines from this region comes from the soil. Calcaire literally translates to Limestone as a reference to the calcareous clay soil these vines are planted in. Great fruit complexity with lots of citrus, pears and some melon along with that iconic limestone minerality. So good and amazingly this is one of the least expensive Sancerre’s in the market. - $2.50 Sample
2017 Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes Cote de Brouilly – Beaujolais, Franc; $26.99
So I may be rather biased on this one since my dog is named Beaujolais, I think people may infer that I am a fan. This has to be one of my favorite wines to have sampled this past year. This is what Cru Beaujolais is, it is so representative of the style that this particular wine is served in all of the French embassies around the world. This is 100% Gamay which is a beautiful light bodied red that I prefer over something like Pinot Noir any day. It has an intense aroma of rose petals, bright red cherries, raspberries and pomegranates. - $2.50 Sample
2010 LAN Gran Reserva – Rioja, Spain; $24.99
Tempranillo is for sure a top 3 varietal for me these days. It offers a richer full body with good balance and not too much tannin. The balance of a full mouthfeel and lower tannin makes it smooth and easy drinking by itself, but capable of pairing with a very wide variety of food. Bodegas LAN showcases some of the best parcels of vineyards throughout Rioja. Founded in 1972, even the name LAN plays homage to the region standing for Lagrono (now La Rioja), Alava and Navarra which are the three DOCs of Rioja.
The Gran Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo from Rioja Alta and small amounts of Mazuelo from their Vina Lanciano estate, located in El Cortijo. It is aged in barrel for a full two years and then bottle aged for another three years before being released. Even with that much age the wine has lots of ripe fruit backed with notes of vanilla and caramel from the barrels. - $2.50 Sample
2017 Turley “Juvenile” Zinfandel – California; $29.99
For me, Turley is certainly one of the kings of Zinfandel. They make 34 different wines and nearly all of them are single vineyard old vine Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Juvenile is composed of a variety of young vines that have been replanted in several of their old vineyard sites. The vines in this range from about 6 to 25 years of age and come from 15 different vineyards throughout California.
“...scented of cinnamon toast and licorice with warm red currants, cranberries, warm black berries and cherries with blue fruits and spicy hints. Light to medium-bodied, is has a good core of fruit in the mouth with loads of warm spices coming through, framed by softly textured tannins and juicy acidity, finishing long and spicy.” - $2.50 Sample