Wow, it’s been one month since I posted. Where does the time go? This year is flying by! This means it’s that time again, a roundup of some wines I’ve been tasting. This edition includes wines from Portugal to California to Pennsylvania, some outstanding price-to-quality sippers.
Esporão Alentejo Esporão Reserva Tinto 2012, $19.99 SRP (sample)
The 2012 Esporão Reserva, DOC Alentejo, is a great wine for under $20. A blend of Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira, and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s an intensely red wine, medium-bodied, with aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry, spice, cedar, and vanilla. The tannins and acidity play well together after the wine is open or decanted for a while.
Esporão Douro Assobio 2012, $12.99 SRP (sample)
This blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional is quintessential Duoro and is outstanding for under $15. It’s rich purple-ruby in color. It’s a medium-bodied wine with rich fruit flavors of blueberry and black cherry, a hint of oak influence, and lovely acidity on the finish. It’s a lot of wine for very little money.
Esporão Alentejano Monte Velho Tinto 2013, $9.99 SRP (sample)
This is not my first Portuguese red, but again, I’m amazed at the price-to-quality ratio of this wine. It’s a nice, everyday food-friendly red. I taste cranberry, raspberry, and black cherry, with some toasty notes, and nice acidity on the longer-than-expected finish. Only $10, you can’t lose. I’d pair this with a hearty meal like Thanksgiving, pizza, just about anything.
Esporão Alentejano Monte Velho Branco 2014, $9.99 SRP (sample)
Fragrant and crisp, with a mélange of melon, grapefruit, lime, and stone fruits on the palate. I would never know this was a $10 wine. I think this is also my first Portuguese white wine. Saúde!
Note: If you’re interested in the Portuguese wines, the United States importer is Aidil Wines & Liquors.
Iron Horse Brut Rosé 2007, Green Valley, Sonoma, $50 from the winery
(Wine Enthusiast 91, Robert Parker 93)
This is an exemplary brut rosé from Iron Horse. Gorgeous color, nose, mousse, and palate. It’s 63% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay, aged four years on the yeast, 2100 cases produced. The wine has yeasty, fruity notes, a crisp mouthfeel, luscious, ripe strawberry flavor, and finishes with a zing of acidity.
Ceja Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Adobe Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, $22 from the winery
This Sauvignon Blanc produced by Amelia Ceja and her family is made in the Fumé Blanc style, fermented in stainless and oak barrels, then aged 13 months in second-fill barrels. It’s very fruit-forward, with aromas and flavors of grapefruit, lemon, and lime, but with a creamier, textured mouthfeel due to the time spent in oak. Enjoy this with seafood and salads.
Penns Woods Bancroft Riesling 2013 , $22 at the winery
(Silver Medal: 2015 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition)
This pale, straw-colored Riesling from Penns Woods Winery is perfect spring sipper, with floral aromatics and a lovely balance of golden delicious apples, nectarine, honey, and a citrusy finish. Remember that Riesling pairs with almost any food due to its often vibrant acidity.