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Red Wine

Martin Ray Sonoma County Pinot Noir – 2016

MartinRayPinotThe current Martin Ray Vineyards and Winery was born when it’s founder stumbled on a warehouse full of wines from the orignal Martin Ray winery. Martin Ray operated from 1943 through 1972, and was known for making single  varietal wines in the Santa Cruz area.

This Sonoma County Pinot Noir carries on that single varietal tradition, and with the detailed vintage notes to go along with it. According to the winemaker, the grapes for this 2016 vintage saw ideal growing conditions. After a careful fermentation, this Pinot Noir is aged in oak barrels for 11 months.

The winemaker’s tasting notes include:

“freshly macerated raspberry, cherry bramble, and spicy cola,…a subtle touch of nutmeg….with hints of creamy vanilla.”

James Suckling awarded Martin Ray Sonoma County Pinot Noir an impressive score of 94 points, describing it as a “subtle and rich pinot with dried-cherry and strawberry character.”

 

The Prisoner – Napa Valley, California

the-prisonerThis month’s featured wine is The Prisoner from Napa Valley, California. According to the Prisoner Wine Company, this red blend is based on the “mixed blacks” made by Italian immigrant wine makers in the early days of Napa Valley.

The Winemaker notes include:

“…enticing aromas of Bing cherry, dark chocolate, clove, and roasted fig. Persistent flavors of ripe raspberry, boysenberry, pomegranate, and vanilla linger…”

The vineyard claims to have started a Napa Valley trend with this unique blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Charbono.
The Prisoner features a piece of art taken from Francisco Goya’s “The Disasters of War” engravings. If you’re in the mood for something new and exciting, consider The Prisoner!

 

Carlo & Sylvia Piemonte Brachetto

carlo-sylviaOur featured wine for July is 100% Brachetto, an Italian red wine grape from the north western Piedmont region. Brachetto may be still frizzante (lightly sparkling).

Carlo & Sylvia Piemonte Brachetto

Wine Maker Tasting Notes

“Floral and musky notes – with light nuances of forest fruits. Sweet, aromatic and balanced in the mouth, with an enjoyable savoury finish.”

Carlo & Sylvia Piemonte Brachetto is frizzante. The winemakers suggests serving Carlo & Sylvia Piemonte Brachetto as an apertif or with desserts and fruit.

We also have a Carlo & Sylvia Mosacto D’asti, a sparkling white wine, native to the same region. If you’re a dessert wine fan, Mosacto D’asti is a wine to consider.

 

Protea Dry Rosé & Cabernet Sauvignon

proteaFor June we’re featuring a pair of wines from South Africa’s Protea Wines, Dry Rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Protea Dry Rosé is made of 63% Mourvedre, 20% Shiraz, 16% Cinsault, 1% Grenache from South Africa’s Darling, Swartland and Wellington regions.

The vineyard describes Protea Dry Rosé  as:

“a vivacious mouthful of juicy strawberry and cherry flavor.”

Protea Cabernet Sauvignon is described by the winemaker’s as:

“A beautiful deep ruby…immediately shows aromatic notes of blackberry, espresso and spice. On the palate the wine is full and juicy.”

Both of these Protea wines come in beautiful clear glass bottles with frosted artwork. Visit the Protea Wines website for ideas on making use of the bottle when you’re finished.

Cantine San Marco ‘Romae’ Roma Rosso

Roma-wineOur featured wine for March comes from the Roma Region of Italy – Cantine San Marco ‘Romae’ Roma Rosso. Like most Roma wines, ‘Romae’ is a blend, made from 80% Montepulciano and 20% Sangiovese.

The wine maker describes Romae as “Intense ruby red,” with a “wide bouquet..and dry, round and persistent” flavor.

Cantine San Marco ‘Romae’ Roma Rosso consistently scores high with critics and fans alike. If you’re a fan of Italian wine, or just curious about Montepulciano grapes, consider giving this excellent wine a try, available in our Highly Recommended section.

 

Finca Sophenia 2016 Reserve Malbec

sopheniaOur featured wine for February, Finca Sophenia 2016 Reserve Malbec, comes from Argentina’s Mendoza Province.

The region is known for Malbec, and Finca Sophenia have reserved a special section of their vineyard for raising carefully selected Malbec clones from around the region.

Decanter awards Finca Sophenia 2016 Reserve Malbec 96 points, describing it as:

“Intense aromas of floral-tinged black cherry and blueberry fruit, with a beautiful length of elegance and herbal and floral black fruit on the palate.”

If you’re a fan of Malbec, or fine wines in general, this one to consider.

 

2015 Austin Hope Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

AustinHopeThe Hope family began growing grapes in the Paso Robles region of California in 1978. Charles Hope would go on to become one of the area’s top grape producers. Austin grew up amongst the grapes, and moved the family into winemaking in 1995.

According to Austin Hope, the picturesque terrain of Paso Robles present the ideal conditions for growing Cabernet. The wine maker describes their 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon as:

“…A big, powerful, modern-styled wine layered with heaps of juicy blackberry and cherry fruit, while nuances of cedar, clove, nutmeg and vanilla bean round out the long smooth finish. It’s full-bodied and rich, balanced by fresh acidity and firm, polished tannins.”

If you’re a fan of Cabernet, or just fine California wines, consider giving this one a try.

Contino Reserva 2010

continoOur featured wine for December comes from Spain’s Rioja region. Contino Reserva is made from 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazeulo y Garnacha. Due to an ideal growing season, the winemaker considers 2010 an “excellent vintage”.

James Suckling awarded Contino Reserva a score of 96 points. Suckling’s tasting notes include:

“Lots of plum character, chocolate, bay leaves and rosemary on the nose. Full body and lots of concentration, yet this delivers amazing freshness and balance. This is all about refreshment in combination with power.”

The winemaker’s tasting notes include:

“Deep red garnet. Intense nose of red fruits, some smoke, gloves, medium to full body palate, fresh, with a spiced finish. Well balanced, fine, very fresh, juicy.”
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