Just had a kick ass new white I’d like to pass along- Broadbent Vinho Verde NV. This non-vintage Portuguese offering comes from the noted British wine critic Michael Broadbent along with his son Bartholomew Broadbent. The Broadbents act as negociants- i.e. they don’t grow the grapes themselves but buy them and blend them to their satisfaction. Their website states that they ship all of this wine in refrigerated containers to “enable the wine to taste as fresh and spritzy as it would ever taste in Portugal.” Boy did they succeed. Someone once coined the term ‘picnic wine’ and I think that beautifully captures the essence of this bottling. It has biting acidity, and big flavors of lemon and lime. Slightly effervescent it is just a superb summer wine. It may not be complex or profound but it does what it is designed to do and does it perfectly. Serve cold and enjoy! Heck I wouldn’t even be adverse to dropping an ice-cube or two in it.
At 9% alcohol the wine is a blend of Loureiro, Trajadura and Pedernã. I purchased it at the Frederick Wine House for $8.99 but it shouldn’t be hard to find as they make several hundred thousand cases of this a year. Get a case and make it one of your go to whites for the summer. Vinho Verde is meant to be drunk young. The Broadbent is bottled as a non-vintage wine, but if you look in the upper left corner of the vinho verde stamp of authenticity on the back of the bottle you can see the year it was bottled. Right now you should be drinking the 2010’s.
Had the 2007 Alexander Vineyards Zinfandel Temptation Sunday night. In the Summer my tastes definitely turn towards light fare, both for food and drink. This Zin fit the bill. It was filled with lots of sour cherry and pepper flavors. Lighter and medium bodied it was definitely not one of the blockbuster mega-zins that seem to be all the rage today. While I might not have enjoyed this as much in the winter it was perfect for al fresco dining on paella on a hot June evening. Would go well with all sorts of barbeque as well. I rated it a solid 88.
Snagged a bottle of ChocoVine at a local wine store as a stocking stuffer for Mrs. F at Christmas. Billed as a silky smooth union of fine Cabernet and Dutch chocolate I thought for $13 it was worth a try. I was hoping for less expensive Bailey’s or maybe an alcoholic Yoohoo. Well we got around to trying it last week and in a word we both felt it was pretty gross. Had some wierd chemically flavors underneath the chocolate. Also looking at the ingredients on the bottle it only listed chocolate flavor and not chocolate which raised my suspicions. Anyway we have half a bottle left and I don’t think its going anywhere soon but down the sink.
Now that warmer weather is upon us I usually turn to those lighter summer wines. Top of my list are rosé wines. Rosé wines have been making resurgence in recent years and if you seek out some good ones you’ll know why. These are not the sweet cloying ‘white zin’ you may remember. Neither red nor white they make a terrific patio wine or as an accompaniment with a wide range of foods.
A recent one I found was the 2008 Estampa rosé. This is a Chilean wine made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Syrah. It had a nice deep red color- on the bolder side for a rosé. It had a strong nose of cherry jolly rancher. Lots of cherry and white peach on the palate, but not sweet at all. Nice crisp acidity with a surprisingly long finish. A terrific rosé! This was about $12 (I don’t remember exactly and I couldn’t find my receipt) from the Spirit Shoppe on 7th Street.
Wine School: Rosé wines are not meant to age. Look for the most recent vintage you can find. This means you should be drinking the 2007 or 2008 vintages now.
Had a bottle of this on Halloween. Picked it up at Frederick Wine House for $6.99. A rhone-syle blend (Grenache, Syrah & Mouvedre) OK- but too much oak for my taste. Not offensive with baked ziti, but nothing special. Worth what I paid for it, so no stand out value here.
Times are tough (or so the media keeps telling us) and you know I love a good bargain so I though I’d share a wine that consistently delivers a good value and we enjoy at stately Fred Manor. It is Panarroz Jumilla Red and we’ve drunk the last three or so releases under this label. The current release is 2006. Panarroz is a Spanish Red from the region of Jumilla. The majority grape is Mourvedre, with some Grenache and Shiraz thrown in for good measure. At 14% alcohol it is not too hot and it is unoaked, so there is no chance of the overwhelimg oak flavors (Oak Monster as Gary Vaynerchuck would say) that are the bane of cheaper Spanish Reds. It has lots of dark fruit flavors- plum, blackberry, black cherry and a hint of pepper on the finish. It’s medium bodied and has smooth, silky tannins. A terrific everyday food wine. The Emperor of Wine (I.E. Robert Parker) has listed the 2004, 2005 and 2006 as best values each year in his publication The Wine Advocate. He gave the 2006 release 90 points. Now it may be presumptuous of me to go against the almighty RP, but in the end as I always say you’ve got to trust your own palate. Anyway I don’t think its quite that good. I’d go 88-89 points, but whichever way you spit its still a great wine at a great price.
They make 1.2 million bottles of this stuff so it should be easy to find. The price is under $10 a bottle and I’ve seen it for as low as $6.28. Enjoy.