Recanati 2015 Galilee Israel “Yasmin Red”

Recanati Yasmin Red

A red blend of 80 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 20 percent Merlot, this Kosher for Passover and mevushal wine is a clear, medium-dark ruby color. There’s good ripe fruit on the nose, plums and mixed berries, with a hint of the stewed fruit scent that I often pick up in kosher wines subjected to the heat of the meshuval treatment. It’s not unpleasant, though, and the flavor is good and fresh, juicy red-berry fruit, brisk acidity, and a touch of tannic astringency. 13% alcohol

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Any Port in a storm

Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson

Who could blame us for feeling that these are not the best of times? Hurricane Irma has ravaged the Caribbean and is set to wallop Florida. Wildfires blanket the West in a shroud of smoke, and a gigantic earthquake shook Mexico last night.
Knowing all this makes it difficult for me to complain that it has been unseasonably chilly around here. On the other hand, the return of cooler weather brings certain benefits for the wine lover, whose thoughts may now shift from crisp, cooling summer whites to the possibility of an after-dinner glass, or two, of Port.

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Taylor Fladgate 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port ($26.99)

Taylor Fladgate

Deep purple, with ruby glints against the light. Classic Port scents of black and blue fruit, plums, blackberries and blueberries with a sense of heat on the nose from its fortified 20% alcohol. Full-bodied and sweet on first tasting, black fruit and a whiff of fennel, fresh and clean, fills the mouth with bright acidity, powerful tannins and alcoholic heat. For all of that power, it’s nicely rounded and balanced, with blackberry and plum fruit lingering with astringent tannins in a very long finish.

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Álvaro Castro 2013 Dâo ($16.99)

Álvaro Castro Dão

Purple, clear but very dark. Ripe plums and dried plums and more subtle hints of blackberries and blueberries on the nose. Fresh and full black-fruit flavors carry over on the palate, wrapped up in zippy, lemon-squirt acidity with a touch of soft tannic astringency showing up in a long finish with 13% alcohol. A blend of Portuguese Alfrocheiro (50%) with traditional Port grapes Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (25% each).

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Alamos 2015 Salta Torrontés ($9.99)

Alamos Torrontes

Light, transparent straw color with a faint greenish hue. Delicious citric aroma blends mandarin oranges and white grapefruit, which carry over on the palate in a flavor impression so vibrant and fruity that it almost seems sweet, but crisp, zippy fresh-fruit acidity holds it in balance. A touch of stone fruit and faint peach-pit bitterness join citrus in a very long finish. A claimed 13% alcohol level adds a little body, but it’s not out of line for a white.

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Famille Perrin 2016 Côtes du Rhône Blanc Réserve ($11.99)

Famille Perrin

Transparent straw color with a brassy hue. The floral and honeyed scent of Viognier dominates the aroma, as it typically does even when it’s a relatively small percentage of the blend (with Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne). Delicious citrus flavors, tangerine and a hint of lemon-lime, are primary in the crisp, mouth-watering flavor, lingering with an edge of intriguing “stony” minerality in a very long finish. 13% alcohol.

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