Once again, these wines are all available at Purdy’s, right on Congress Street in Saratoga, and they’re handpicked recommendations straight from their employees. Whether you’re serving wine at home this holiday season, or bringing a bottle with you to a get-together, you can be confident you’ve picked a great choice at the right price!
Content sponsored by Purdy’s Discount Wine & Liquor in Saratoga Springs, NY
1) Scaia Corvina, 2014 ($10.99)
Scaia Corvina’s nose and palate are dominated by notes of black cherry, plums, blackberries, and dried rose petals. There’s an herbaceous and tanned leather note accompanied by trace amounts of VA on the finish, which adds to the depth and complexity of this intense, yet elegant wine.
Bright acidity and supple tannins complete this harmonious wine. A textbook example of Corvina that rivals the better examples of Valpolicella and Amarone. Stunning value!
2) Di Majo Norante, 2012 ($16.99)
They make wine in Molise? Yes! And this is an awesome example of the potential this region has to offer. Though Di Majo Norante claims this is produced in the Biferno DOC, it’s labeled as Molise Rosso, and is comprised of 85% Montepulciano/15% Aglianico.
There’s a dried red cherry fruit component typical of many Italian reds, but then the Presence of Aglianico asserts itself with notes of smoke, red liquorices, mushroom powder, and faint hints of dried leather. The Montepulciano definitely softens the tannins, resulting in a dusty mouthfeel. The acidity is also very refreshing, and slightly less than you would expect for a typical Italian red.
The Biferno DOC actually stipulates a maximum elevation at which these grapes may be picked (500m), and this cuvee picked at 400m definitely lends great structure to this beautifully balanced wine. This wine out drinks its price point enormously. We could nose it all day and be satisfied. Amazing!
3) Can Blau, 2014 ($16.99)
Bright purple. Spice-accented black and blue fruit aromas are complemented by violets and wood smoke. Round and seamless on the palate, offering juicy blackberry and cassis flavors that are lifted and firmed by zesty acidity. The finish is framed by gentle, harmonious tannins, with very good breadth, thrust and persistence.
4) Crasto, Douro, 2013 ($14.99)
The Roquette family’s historic quinta is located on the north bank of the Douro, downriver from Pinhão. This wine comes from a property far upriver, in the Douro Superior. Quinta da Cabreira is near the border with Spain, where the Roquettes farm a block of mixed old vines and plan to plant a total of 282 acres.
The exceptional 2013 vintage at this estate includes tourigas nacional and franca, tinta roriz, a little sousão and a small contribution from the old vines, a wine that reminded one of our tasters of a Rostaing Côte-Rôtie, for its floral notes and the interplay of red and black fruit. While saturated with clean, plummy fruit, satisfyingly rich, this remains elegant, a balanced line drive of flavor that continues long after each taste.
5) Chateau Pesquie, Ventoux Rouge Terrasses, 2014 ($14.99)
This stunning example of Southern French red blend of Grenache and Syrah comes from the base of Mount Ventoux, which lends a cooler climate than other Southern French reds sourced from more generic appellations like Cotes du Rhone. This climate comes through in the wines extreme elegance and texture.
Medium plus intensity on both the nose and palate. Notes of sweet strawberry fruits, accompanied by garrigue, white pepper, and underbrush contribute to an utterly complex and extremely well-balanced wine.
Again, there’s no use of new oak here, but the aging on neutral oak combined with the cool climate of Ventoux give this wine a supple mouthfeel with bright acidity and talcum like tannins. One of the star producers in the Southern Rhone.
6) Piatelli, Reserve, Malbec 2015 ($14.99)
A striking, slightly smoky wine with a deep burgundy hue, Premium Reserve Malbec’s fruity bouquet delights the senses and warms the palate with notes of blackberries, blueberries, and lavender, lingers with a gentle tannin pull, and finishes with subtle flavors of toasted hazelnuts.
7) Domaine Guion, Bourgueil, Cuvee Domaine ($16.99)
This 100% Cabernet Franc offering from Stephane Guion is organically farmed and is a textbook example of Cab Franc. Though not as ripe as the 2013, there is still plenty of fruit reminiscent of raspberries, along with notes of violets, white pepper, bell pepper, dried leaves, and graphite pencil shavings.
This is utterly complex for an entry level wine. Medium plus acidity keeps the wine light on the palate, while the talcum like tannins complete this well-balanced/structured wine. No perceptible presence of oak. Guion is not about opulence, but there is so much guts to this wine combined with exquisite elegance, that this bottle has at least 12 years ahead of it, however is completely approachable now. An awesome value, from a super boutiquey producer not often seen in the US!