2010 POGGIOTONDO ROSSO TOSCANA
(VINOUS 90 points)
Some of the more stubborn traditionalists out there may want to skip over this tasting note, as it contains a blend of fairly international grape varieties not usually done in Tuscany. But if you can get past that small detail, the finished wine is an exceptional value that still shows lots of Tuscan character. Primarily Sangiovese, the base of Chianti and almost every other Tuscan red, the blend goes away from tradition using an equal balance of Merlot and Syrah to round out the wine. And it works out incredibly well, especially for wine that is built to be inexpensive and easy to enjoy. A dusty red in the glass, the aromas are dry and earthy, distinctly Tuscan and savory with lots of dried cherry and strawberry leaf. The palate is a bit softer than one would usually expect from a Tuscan red, but it helps to make all the juicy red fruit that much easier to gulp down. Extremely approachable right out of the glass and perfect with pasta and savory pork or chicken dishes.
Regular Price $12.99, $11.04/case
2013 IZADI RIOJA BLANCO VIURA 'FERMENTADO EN BARRICA'
(Wine Advocate 90 points)
White wines from Rioja suffer from a similar identity problem to White Bordeaux, in that it's hard to find a middle ground between the inexpensive everyday versions and the great yet pricey wines at the top of the heap. This one occupies that middle ground for us quite nicely, showing immediately evident character and care in the winemaking over the entry level wines without blowing the doors off the budget. Viura is the primary grape in the more serious White Riojas as it provides the richer texture and weight, much like Semillon in Bordeaux. In this version the juice spends three months in oak on its lees to really bring that richness out, while at the same time being blended with Malvasia to provide a floral, almost tropical accompaniment. Lots of waxy citrus on the nose at first, with the tropical Malvasia notes coming through as the wine opens up. There is some oaky intensity on the palate, but the fleshy texture of the Viura holds it in nicely, allowing the creamy white fruits and melon rind to show through nicely. A wine that deserves a richer seafood or savory poultry dish to really show all of its most unique qualities.
Regular Price $19.99, $16.99/case
2014 CHATEAU COUPE ROSES MINERVOIS 'LA BASTIDE'
We don't usually try and single out any one particular wine when doing the Select Six, but this one has to be one of the most fun and interesting reds we've done here for a while, and a personal favorite. Minervois is one of the largest appellations in the Languedoc, and one that tends to favor the earthier, gamier Carignan grape over Syrah and Grenache, so it doesn't always get the popular attention some of the others get from the press. But well established small producers like Coupe Roses have access to some spectacular older vineyards that allows great ripeness in their Carignan to provide more enticing fruit behind the funk. This bottling is almost a 'Minervois Nouveau', built with the intention of showing soft approachability immediately without loosing the grape's bold flavors. Dark aromas of blueberries and campfire coals (but not smoke) that follow onto the palate with some darker fruits as well, and an unusual texture that is full but pillow soft on the tannins, and no sugary fruit to be found anywhere. A great casual wine that will go with grilled anything, from veggies to venison.
Regular Price $16.99, $14.44/case
2014 SERRA DEL CONTE VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO
For people looking to explore a little bit this Summer for new varieties to try, grab this Verdicchio on the way to the beach or to a seafood boil. If you have not heard of it before, Verdicchio is a prevalent grape in the Marches region of Italy along the Adriatic Sea just below San Marino. The coastline is never that far away here, so of course seafood plays an important part in daily life. Verdicchio has evolved in this region as part of that culture and marries perfectly with almost anything that can get pulled from the sea and cooked. Fresher and crisper than most white wines you find along the Mediterranean, there is lots of white fruit and rich melon aromas as well as a certain seashell type salinity. The rindy melon comes through on the palate as well, surprisingly full textured for the price that will help it stand up to fleshier dishes without needing any help from oak aging.
Regular Price $12.99, $11.04/case
2012 HAZANA TRADICION RIOJA
The second vintage in a row for this wine that has been a real blockbuster value. A very modern style of Rioja with lots of fruit and obvious oak at first, but also shows some restraint from a decent addition of the Graciano grape, which usually plays a distinctly secondary role to Tempranillo in the region. The grape brings more tart red fruits into the wine when the Tempranillo can get overly dark and heavy on its own. This wine once again is the picture of over-delivering, showing loads of dark aromas and exotic spices that evolves for hours after opening, and a juicy approachable palate full of silky red fruits with just enough dusty tannins to remind this is a Rioja. A great wine for sipping and with food, and could conceivably do well with some cellaring if it weren't so tasty right now.
Regular Price $13.99, $11.89/case
These wines regularly sell for $90.94
For Select Six July they are $77.99
You Save $12.95!
Select Six Red is $74.99
Select Six White is $80.99
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Seasonal Picks at a Great Price
Each month we pick six fantastic wines and give them to you at an even better price when purchased together