Red Wine

Castra Rubra Butterfly Rock

BUTTERFLYSROCK

Castra Rubra Butterfly Rock, our featured wine this month comes to us from the Telish Winery in Bulgaria’s Thracian Lowlands region. The area is in the south of Bulgaria, and known for red wine production, due to a Mediterranean style climate. Butterfly Rock is 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Syrah.

This delicious blend has consistently received professional ratings of 90 points and above. Robert Parker awards Butterfly Rock a 90 pt score, as does Decanter magazine, stating:

“The wood and tannins are well integrated into the dense juicy red fruit.”
-Decanter

Wine Enthusiast awards Butterfly Rock a 91 point score, and i-winereview.com comes in at 92 points. Haven’t tried a wine from Bulgaria before? Critics seem to agree, Butterfly Rock is a great place to start.

Vinaceous Snake Charmer Shiraz 2016

vinaceous-snake-charmer-shirazOur featured wine for January is a great choice for cold winter nights. An Australian Shiraz, described by the winemaker as “Deep purple and vivid in color with…lifted aromas of berries and spice. Intense black fruits, dark chocolate and mocha across mid palate.”

Snake Charmer hails from the Pieri Family Vineyard in the McLaren Vale. The region is renowned for growing top quality Shiraz.  Handpicked grapes are fermented in open top tanks, then aged in French and American oak barrels for 14 to 16 months. The bottling and finishing touches of Snake Charmer are handled by Vinaceous.

Wine & Spirits awards 2016 Vinaceous Snake Charmer Shiraz a score of 91 points, describing it as:

“Anise and violets, tangy black olives and salt all combine in this lean Shiraz with plenty of underlying richness. It’s bright and brisk, grounded by red-earth tones in the tannins.”

If you’re looking for a bottle of wine that stands up the winter chill, consider Snake Charmer!

Bodega’s Muriel Rioja Reserva 2014

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We featured Bodegas Muriel’s Rioja Reserva 2008 as our monthly wine feature way back in December 2014. For this November, we’re excited to feature the 2014 vintage of Bodega’s Muriel’s Rioja Reserva. The 2008 variety scored very well, and this vintage carries on in that tradition.

Decanter magazine awards Bodegas Muriel Reserva 2014 a scoure of 90 points, with tasting notes that include:

“ripe red and black fruit aromas and spicy oak notes. Rich fruity concentration, long and fresh finish.”

Like many wines produced in Spain’s Rioja Alvaesa region, Muriel Reserva is made entirely of tempranillo. Muriel Reserva is a great choice for fans of Spanish wine, or anyone looking for an introduction to the region.

Worthy Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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The “Worthy” line of wines is a secondary label of Axios Napa Valley. Our featured wine for October is Worthy Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. According to the winemaker, the Worthy line was an instant hit, quickly becoming a common name among wine followers. Critics seem to agree, with Wine Spectator awarding Worthy Cabernet Sauvignon  a score of 93 points, with tasting notes that include:

“…elegant black berry and black cherry, with touches of herb and olive, and pretty toasty oak flavors….”

If you’re a fan of California Cabernets, this one is not to be missed!

ÆRENA Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon

 

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If you’re a fan of California wines, you may have noticed Resolute Wines became  ÆRENA Wines in 2018. Branding aside, this Cabernet Sauvignon continues to score well with critics and fans alike, vintage after vintage. The wines for the ÆRENA label are produced by Blackbird Vineyards winemakers Aaron Pott and Kyle Mizuno.

The grapes for ÆRENA Cabernet Sauvignon are grown in a single vineyard in the Red Hills region of California’s Tuolumne County. The wine is aged in French oak for nine months. Tasting notes form ÆRENA Wines include:

“…enticing aromas of blackberry with hints of black licorice and graphite. Rich, concentrated notes of plum and black cherry on the mid palate leading to layers of dark chocolate with soft tannins that finish with cocoa and vanilla.”

Wine Enthusiast named ÆRENA Cabernet Sauvignon an Editor’s Choice, awarding it 90 points.

Pike Road 2016 Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley

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Erin Brooks of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate calls our featured wine for August – “Delicious and a great value.” Hailing from the west of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, we’re proud to present Pike Road 2016 Pinot Noir. Pike Road’s delicate process for Pinot Noir includes hand picking and sorting, small tank fermenting and 10 months in French oak barrels. The winemaker ntoes that weather conditions for this vintage created and longer growing season, resulting in “highly concentrated flavor”.

The Robert Parker review awards Pike Road 2016 Pinot Noir a 90 point score. And they’re not the only ones. Both James Suckling and Vinous agree, also awarding the vintage a 90 point score. The James Suckling rating scale also echoes Brooks sentiment, with 90 points or more equaling “a wine a want to drink a glass of and is an outstanding purchase.”

Pago De La Jaraba 2014

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This month’s featured wine comes from Pago De La Jaraba, an enclosed estate in Spain’s Villarrobledo region. Pago De La Jaraba produces single vineyard estate wines, extra virgin olive oil, artisan Manchego cheese, and more. Pago De La Jaraba produces their products in house, distributing everything proudly through their own brands. Our featured wine, Pago De La Jaraba 2014, is a Tempranillo dominant blend, consisting of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.

Wine Enthusiast awarded Pago De La Jaraba 2014 a score of 87 points, naming it a “Best Buy,” with tasting notes that included:

“Choppy berry aromas are earthy and contain notes of olive and dried leaves…Cherry, plum and dry spice flavors are steady on a finish with some flesh to it.”

If you’re a fan of Spanish Tempranillo, this an excellent blend. If you’re unfamiliar with the style, this is a worthy place to start.

 

Vinsacro Dioro Rioja

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Our featured wine for April 2019 comes from Bodegas Vinsacro of Spain’s Rioja region. Vinsacro is a self-described “château-style winery,” with a barrel-ageing hall beneath the garden of Castilian courtyard. Vinsacro ages all of their wines for approximately 18 months, employing their arsenal of American oak, French oak, and a few Romanian oak barrels.

VInsacro Dioro Rioja is made from a variety of grapes, referred to as “100% Vidau” by the winemaker. Dioro is a blend of Tem­pranil­lo, Gra­ciano, Mazue­lo and Gar­nacha.

Critics seem to agree that Vinsacro has a special wine in Dioro, with a 93 point score from Antonio Gailoni’s Vinous, and 92 point score from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.  Vinous describes Vinsacro Dioro Rioja so vividly you can almost taste it:

“Ripe black and blue fruits on the expansive spice and smoke-accented nose, along with suggestions of vanilla, candied flowers and cola. The oak qualities recede quickly on the palate… sappy, deeply concentrated boysenberry, black raspberry and spicecake flavors….”

A ringing endorsement indeed!

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