Hello, Wine Lovers!
I am so sorry! I took an unintended and unplanned hiatus. But I hope to be back now on a regular basis.
I will start by sharing with you a wine that I recently discovered. Well, I should really give the credit to my husband. One of the owners of the liquor store we frequent recommended this wine to him based on our consistent purchases of Apothic Red.
Southern Belle Red Wine 2011. A very flavorful wine from Jumilla, a town in Southeastern Spain. Its richness and dark fruitiness remind me a lot of Apothic. It is full-bodied, smooth and easy to drink. And I love the bottle’s artwork. Cost is $18-$20.
I could not find many details about this wine, but it sounds like it’s produced by Chris Ringland and is a “new” version of his previous Shiraz-based Southern Belle. I also saw a reference or two that the wine is aged in old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels, which is cool.
The liquor store owner told me that the winemaker only makes this blend about every three years so when it’s gone, it’s gone. I’m not sure how much truth there is to that. The Party Source website says they have this wine in stock, so it might be time to stock up.
Have you tried Southern Belle? Do you know much about it? Do tell.
The 2010 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon from California is an OK wine. It’s one of those wines that didn’t really excite me, but didn’t completely disappoint either.
For starters, this vino is much lighter than a classic Cab. Not really robust but not totally flat. Nothing really stood out to me in terms of a specific taste. It seemed like a generic Cab.
It has an overall smooth taste and not a bad finish, but it’s not full enough for me. And frankly, it’s kinda bland.
It is a bargain at under $10, but there are many other Cabs out there that I’d rather spend my money on.
I think I’m somewhere in between the frown and the flat, indifferent face.
What are some of your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon wines?
I honestly don’t remember where or when we got the 2009 Clos Du Bois Marlstone wine. I did not buy it, so it must have been a gift from someone.
Clos Du Bois Marlstone is a red Bordeaux blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 2% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. The Marlstone line is from Clos Du Bois’ proprietary series of higher-end wines. Select vineyards in California’s Alexander Valley were created specifically to make this series of wines.
It is a medium- to full-bodied red with flavors of blackberries and cherries. I also tasted a lot of oak. There is a nice balance between the fruit flavor and the acidity. This blend is fairly high in tannins and a little on the dry side.
I believe this wine is in the mid $40 price range. More than I usually spend. I liked the wine OK, but not enough to purchase on a regular basis, especially at that price point.
Or, Don’t Hate on the “Cute, Cheap” Wine
I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle today about the rise of Barefoot Cellars. Now, I’ve never discounted Barefoot. Primarily because I love a good mimosa and Barefoot, being not too expensive and in some iterations, not too sweet, is perfect for that. Mimosas every Sunday without breaking the bank!
But overall, I’m haven’t been a huge fan of Barefoot’s portfolio – until I read the article. Apparently, Barefoot is a rather common entry point into wine for millenial aged wine drinkers? Why? Because it’s approachable (a colorful bare foot on the label) and affordable ($6.99 – $14.99, roughly).
Take a moment, everyone who is not a millenial, and think back to when you were just starting in wine. I remember it vividly. I was away at college and for the first time, away from home. I spent way too much money on the Kentucky gem that is Purple Passion (some sort of grapey drink mixed with Everclear, handily packaged in a 2-liter) and beer. My New Year’s resolution that year was to drink only WINE. I figured I couldn’t really afford it, so I would drink less of it.
By the time I left college, I’d graduated (literally) to Beringer White Zinfandel and various iterations of Turning Leaf. Now those sound rather harsh to me now (and Beringer’s White Zin profits help them create some remarkable Reserve wines you rarely hear about), but it was definitely progress. My boyfriend at the time I graduated must have recognized something in me because he bought me a lovely, vine-detailed wine rack. In fact, I only recently parted from that wine rack, almost 20 years later.
My point is that, as educated wine folks, we tend to make fun or sneer at the lower end, animal/cute labeled wines. We shouldn’t. Those wines are the gateway drug, so to speak, for a younger generation. Just as I was hooked for a while on Beringer’s white zin, the millenials amongst us are drinking Barefoot.
I say, don’t judge. Because sooner than later, those millenials may be planning vacation trips to Sonoma and enjoying wine tastings every weekend at Party Town and Party Source.
Marie Antoinette supposedly said, “Let them eat cake.” Me? I say, “Let them drink anything.” Because the more folks who learn to appreciate wine, through any method, the better. And kudos to Barefoot, as they’re helping recruit a whole new generation of wine drinkers …
I probably shouldn’t write a about a wine that you may not be able to find in area stores, but Tucumen is a new line from Mendoza, Argentina recently shipped to the U.S. So it’s possible it will be more readily available in the near future. My bottle was from the wine club, and I have to say it was a great selection.
Tucumen Malbec 2012 is a delicious wine that combines the Argentinean regions of Tucumán (the sugar land in the North) and Mendoza (the land of vineyards).
The story behind the wine: Produced by the Budeguer family, a third generation farming family and the largest sugar cane producer in Argentina. After a century in Northern Argentina, the family moved south to start their own winery.
I am a fan of Malbec but I don’t usually buy it. Not sure why, but I seem to gravitate toward Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc or red blends. The Tucumen is not as robust as some Malbecs I have had, but it does have the typical bright blackberry and plum fruit flavors, along with a peppery spice. A tad dry but nicely balanced and easy to drink. And I really love the cool, colorful label.
Tucumen Malbec 2012 is in the $20 price range.
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