Like a clutch baseball player in the midst of a red-hot hitting streak (spring training, anyone?), we here at ABCFWS have been on a figurative tear lately when it comes to piling up the “hits” in captivating finds from South America. Perhaps to frame things using another analogy, one could look to the guy who gets to wax and wane vis-à-vis the many solid wine values coming out of Chile and Argentina. The recent runaway success of Casas del Bosque has apparently lead to an all-star lineup of other tasty additions to our Direct-To-You portfolio.
Here’s a brief post highlighting a few of our newest prospects:
Let’s begin in Argentina with one of the most recognizable names in Mendoza, the venerable Bodegas Norton. The history of this estate dates back to 1895 when Englishman engineer, Edmund James Palmer Norton first planted vineyards south of the Mendoza River. The grapes sourced for Bodegas Norton Barrel Select Malbec ($13) come from 15 to 30 year old vineyard parcels within Mendoza’s Lujan de Cuyo district. Fermented on native yeasts and aged in French oak for 12 months, the wine bursts from the glass with juicy red fruit, complex spice and floral nuances, plus hints of mocha and toast; this wine is a solid, line-drive Malbec to try with dry aged beef.
From a more recent wine history (circa 1996), Caliterra was founded in Chile’s Colchagua Valley initially as a 50/50 partnership between the Chadwick family of Viña Errázuriz and Napa Valley icon Robert Mondavi. Today Viña Errázuriz owns a 100% stake in Caliterra with the goal of producing quality wines that reflect the granitic, clay and alluvial soils found at their estate. Caliterra Camenere Reserva ($14) highlights the typicity of Chile’s signature grape variety with notes of lush black fruit, loamy red spices, and bright, silky texture; a great matchup for a savory lamb stew.
The addition of 4% Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc gives their Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva ($14) pretty black raspberry and subtle cigar box nuances, complementing the prime component’s deep, black currant fruit. This one would be a real home run with a smoky rack of barbequed ribs.
So round the bases and pick up a triple-play of these new South American all-stars at the friendly confines of your hometown ABCFWS store! BTW baseball fans, pitchers and catchers report for spring training next month!
Jim Greeley, Wine Supervisor, SW Florida
Follow me on Twitter @ABCWineJimG