A. Rupert 2014 “Protea” Western Cape (South Africa) Chenin Blanc ($14.99)

Protea Chenin Blanc

Very clear straw color with just a hint of brass. Good, characteristic Chenin aromas, subtle and hard to pick out … white fruit, maybe a hint of pear and fig, a whiff of beeswax, a faint heavy-floral note; it’s pleasant and appealing overall. Mouth-filling and medium-bodied, coats the palate with tart, rich white-fruit flavors with citrus overtones. Good, firm acidity. 13% alcohol, and at least nearly dry, only the juicy fruit giving a slight impression of sweetness. Its mouth-coating nature imparts an extremely long finish with a citric orange-blossom impression that takes a long time to fade.

Check prices and find vendors for A. Rupert “Protea” Western Cape Chenin Blanc on Wine-Searcher.com. Read article.

Domaine des Rochelles 2013 “l’Ardoise” Anjou Rouge ($10.99)

Domaine des Rochelles 2013 "l'Ardoise" Anjou Rouge

This Loire Valley blend of 90% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon shows a clear, dark purple color with a thin garnet edge. Simple but attractive aromas and flavors, tart red plums and a whiff of cranberry on the nose and palate. Bright and acidic on first taste, with 13% alcohol, its palate-cleansing zing is soon joined by soft, fuzzy tannins that give a sense of body and structure. Crisp red fruit lingers in a long finish.

Wine-Searcher.com shows only a few U.S. vendors for Domaine Des Rochelles Anjou Rouge L’Ardoise.

Robert Kacher’s wines are widely distributed, however. You may be able to locate vendors in your area through this contact form on Kacher’s website. Read article.

Two Tempranillo-based Riojas

San Pedro Apostol "Campellares" and Bodegas Forcada "Flor de Baco"

San Pedro Apostol 2012 “Campellares” Alta Rioja Tempranillo ($12.99)
A single-varietal, 100% Tempranillo, this wine is dark reddish purple with a clear violet edge. Juicy red-plum and black-cherry aromas are joined by an earthy back note of leather. Flavors mirror the nose, bright and clean. Mouth-watering acidity surrounds fresh but subtle cherry-berry fruit with an earthy hint of leather; palate-cleansing and food-friendly, 13.5% alcohol stays in the background. Tart cherries linger in a long finish.

Bodegas Forcada 2010 “Flor de Baco” Crianza Rioja ($11.99)
A typical Rioja blend of Tempranillo (85%), Garnacha (10%), and Graciano (5%), this wine is dark purple in the glass, shading to garnet, transparent at the edge. There’s a lot of sweet, vanilla oak in the nose, as you might expect from a “Crianza,” a Rioja designation for wines aged at least 12 months in oak and 12 more in bottles. Lurking behind the oak, though, there’s subtle and complex red fruit, cherries and red berries, that carry over onto the palate with good, food-friendly acidity, 14% alcohol, and soft tannins. Read article.

Reserve de la Saurine 2014 Gard ($7.99)

Reserve de la Saurine

Dark ruby in color, it’s clear but not transparent. Its attractive aromas center on red fruit, raspberry and a little strawberry and plum. It’s not a “fruit bomb,” but fresh and appealing. Crisp and tart, good raspberry flavor fills the mouth with food-friendly acidity, modest 12.5% alcohol, and slightly rough yet palatable tannins. Light berries and a hint of stony minerality linger in a good, long finish. A bit “rustic,” but a great value at this price! U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections Inc., Mariemont, Ohio (March 16, 2016)

Compare prices and find vendors for a limited selection of Reserve de la Saurine Gard on Wine-Searcher.com.

To find other wines and producers from Gard, check the Gard page on Wine-Searcher.com and page down to the long list of wines at the foot of the page.
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