We threatened in the last Select Six to feature the Verdicchio from this great new producer in Abruzzi, and a month later here it is. Abruzzi has traditionally been the bread basket for producing high volume, straightforward volume wines, but the last few decades has seen lots of new investment and improved quality, especially at the upper end which most people never knew even existed. In a recent article on the Vinous web site reviewer Ian d'Agata stated "The wine scene in Abruzzo, long a sleeping giant of Italian wine, is especially exciting today." Not only are the top end wines achieving high quality, but the less expensive ones are a better value than ever before, and this represents one of the best deals we have seen in a while. Fleshier in texture than a Pinot Grigio and not NEARLY as fruity, Verdicchio like this is built for the dinner table, offering clean stone fruit and melon rind aromas and dry textures that hold up to most simply prepared fish or poultry dishes. And at this price you can always have 2-3 ready in the fridge at any time.
Regular Price $9.99, $8.49/case
2014 DUORUM 'TONS DE DUORUM' DOURO RED
Over the last few decades the worldwide demand for the fortified Port wines of Portugal has tapered off a fair bit. The good to great ones will always find a home to be sure, but the days of people having Port as a daily or even weekly drink are generally in the past. Thankfully their vineyards are not going under the tiller any time soon as they have been easy to transition into producing quality 'regular' red wines. In many cases wines like this one pop forth almost immediately using essentially the same blend of grapes (Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, and Tinta Roriz) as Port, so the transition doesn't even need to skip a beat. And the wines are often very accomplished from the start; if you are a fan of the Spanish wine styles, you will probably enjoy these just as much. Dark and loaded with plum and spicy red fruits, this has the soft and approachable modern style to it, with just a touch of polished tannins on the palate. What it may lack in extensive complexity, it more than makes up for in value and ease of enjoyment.
Regular Price $11.99, $10.19/case
2015 VOM BODEN RIESLING FEINHERB WEIHWASSER
'The vast majority of German wines from the 2015 vintage are going to be outstanding, so if you like the style bet as much as you can while you can.' That phrase will likely become a broken record from us over the next year or so. A delicious broken record that will give German wine fans a smile you can't get off their face with a chisel. And with more and more production leaning towards drier styles in general, people should acquaint themselves with the term 'feinherb', a term used mostly in the Mosel that means the same as 'halbtrocken' or half-dry. It takes most of the sticky sweetness out of the palate while holding back the astringency many of the true Trocken wines can show. Loads of vibrant white fruits and flowers on the nose, and a refreshing burst of vibrant acidity across the palate that brings out loads of mineral tones and layers of complexity often hidden behind the residual sugar. Brilliant and transparent, this is a wine that will perform very well at the dinner table since the sweetness isn't a factor.
Regular Price $19.99, $16.99/case
2014 TORRAE DEL SALE MONTEPULCIANO d'ABRUZZO
Even more quality goodness coming from Abruzzi, so much so we feel the need to go with a red in back to back Select Six selections. The nice thing about the quality coming from the region is, even in wines priced within a dollar of each other there is discernable differences between them. The Torrae de Sale sees a touch of barrel aging which brings out a plumper, slightly sweeter red fruit character to the wine, as well as a silkier texture. Much of the flavor profile is the same, somewhat Chianti-like with less acidity, but this one has a bit of added polish. Regardless of how you parse it, this is another shining example of the great value the region has to offer, and yet another reason to constantly experiment with wines that may not have the most famous reputations.
Regular Price $10.99, $9.34/case
2015 BETES CURIEUSES MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE 'LA PERDRIX de l'ANNEE'
Muscadet is one of the more exciting and undervalued growing areas in France. Even though it has been an established appellation for centuries, the wines were generally viewed as simplistic and the Melon de Bourgogne grape used to make it planted virtually nowhere else in the world. Improved winemaking techniques over the last few decades have helped producers extract every last bit of flavor possible out of the grapes, as well as identifying the best parcels that are capable of elevating the potential wines even further. The most interesting versions like this one have taken on the nickname of 'the poor man's Chablis' in some circles, as it can mimic the seashell and mineral tones of Chablis very well. Betes Curieuses is a project between two winemaking friends from the Western Loire area looking to be a part of the growing improvement of Muscadet. This is their entry level wine made from their youngest vines, but still getting an intense dose of that telltale oyster shell salinity on the nose. Fresh, clean and quenching with a bit of leesy texture on the palate to lend some body as well as hint of zesty lime, this is a seafood eater's dream wine, marrying well with any dish that shows off a natural briney side.
Regular Price $15.99, $13.59/case
2014 S.A.R.L. LAFAGE 'TESSELLAE' CARIGNAN VIEILLES VIGNES (Wine Advocate 92points)
Another area that is evolving between winemaking styles these days in the Roussillon in the Catalonian part of France just above the Pyrenees Mountains. The fortified wines from the Rhone variety grapes grown here are lesser known than those from Portugal, and when their limited desirability dried up the region almost fell to ruin. Making table wines took a while to catch on as the warm dry climate creates intense wines of great strength and extraction, which isn't what most French wines aim for. Fortunately for them the drinkers of New World styled wines from areas like California and Australia were open to enjoying that style, and the wines have quickly become more popular abroad than at home. Carignan is usually a high volume/low reward grape saved for blending in the background, but from this parcel of 70 year old vines Lafage is able to extract something truly outstanding. Deep and rich, both the color and aromas are almost black in character more so than red fruited like a Grenache would be, with a savory licorice spice that comes across the full palate. Warmer and juicier than a Cotes du Rhone but priced like one, this is an adventurous route to go that will show very well with all sorts of grilled meats.
Regular Price $15.99, $13.59/case
These wines regularly sell for $84.94
For Select Six October they are $72.99
You Save $11. 95!
Select Six White (2 of each white) is $77.99
Select Six Red (2 of each red) is $67.99
Pick any three different bottles and get 10% off!