Brad’s Picks – September 2015

Some new wines have arrived, and it’s a mixed bag as usual. There are two Italian whites from our trip to Vinitaly in April, two good values from Argentina and wines from the island of Madeira and several from France’s Loire Valley. For good measure we have a Zinfandel from Shannon Ridge in Lake County, California.  Cheese and wineItalian white wines are too often overlooked but Italy is practically surrounded by water and seafood is a staple. The white wines are well worth trying. The Cabernet and Malbec from Antucura in Argentina reach a good price point from a highly rated winery. Madeira is not the most well-known fortified wine but is certainly unique and worth a try. Enjoy!

835955Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel 2012 – Lake County, California

This Zinfandel comes from the mountain vineyards above Clear Lake where the cool night temperatures allow the fruit to ripen slowly and retain acidity and balance. The wine opens with deep garnet color leading to notes of black fruits, clove anise and a touch of oak and pepper. This is a beauty for grilling with any red meats. $12.99; 835955 

Nunzio Ghiraldi Lugana Il Gruccione 2014 – Veneto, Italy

As happens often with our Italian wines, we met Nunzio Ghiraldi at Vinitaly and liked his wines.  Lugana is made from Trebbiano grapes grown in clay-calcareous soil at the southern end of Lake Garda.  Ghiraldi uses only the first press juice and no oak. The wine opens with bright apple and white flower notes leading to a supple texture and crispy acidity. It’s a great match for the fish from the lake as well as chicken or pork. $18.99; 285955

Marotti Campi Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi Albiano 2014 – Marche, Italy

Marotti Campi’s hillside vineyards on the east side of Italy produce this 100% Trebbiano wine.  Fermented in stainless at cold temperatures, the wine shows citrus and minerals carried on crisp acidity. It’s the perfect match for shellfish and pasta with white cream sauce. $10.99; 109255

Intuition Malbec 2013 – Vista Flores, Mendoza, Argentina

The Antucura winery makes this super value in Malbec. The wine opens with bright ruby color leading to notes of black cherry, blackberry and a hint of chocolate with a supple finish. $12.99; 300455 

Intuition Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – Vista Flores, Mendoza, Argentina

Antucura’s Intuition Cabernet matches the Malbec for value. Garnet color leads to notes of plum, currant, lavender and spice on a medium framework with a supple finish.  It’s the perfect match for Argentina’s beef. $12.99; 300155

Justino 10-year Old Malvasia – Madeira, Portugal

The 10-year Madeira is a beauty for quality and value. Deep tawny color leads to notes of caramel, vanilla, figs, walnuts and apricots on a full body. The richness is nicely balanced by acidity. $47.99; 501155

Justino Rainwater Madeira – Madeira, Portugal

Rainwater is the most common Madeira. It’s not vintage-dated but is 100% Tinta Negra grape variety.  The wine opens with tea color followed by notes of citrus and caramel on a medium framework. $17.99; 501255

Justino Old Rich Madeira – Madeira, Portugal

The Old Rich Madeira has bright amber color, elegant complex notes of vanilla, tropical fruits, caramel and raisins. The wine is rich with a soft texture and well-balanced with a hint of chocolate on the finish. $17.99; 501355

Brad Lewis, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

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