Château de Poncie Fleurie

Poncie

This is a clear, dark garnet Beaujolais, with reddish-orange glints against the light. Pleasant red-fruit aromas, subtle cherries and raspberries, are backed by a pleasant earthy sense of damp red clay. Delicious cherry-berry flavors are framed by surprising tannins for a Beaujolais, crisp, mouth-watering acidity and firm but not overwhelming 13.5 percent alcohol. A good wine that clearly shows the style of named-village Cru Beaujolais.

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Farmer’s Botanical Small Batch Organic Gin

Farmer's Botanical Small Batch Gin

Clear, watery pale with just a hint of buff color. If you’re used to the distinct juniper scent of more traditional gins, this American organic gin may surprise you: Juniper is there, but a pleasant soft citric vegetal scent of lemongrass dominates the scent for me, with earthy spicy notes of coriander seed and other subtle botanicals. It’s a bit warm on the palate at 93.4 proof, but its smooth, mellow character holds the heat under control and makes it an excellent mixer in negronis, martinis, gin and tonics or whatever you like.

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Julien Braud Muscadet Sèvre et Maine

Julien Braud

Transparent light gold color, a pretty hue in the glass. It’s a wine of surprising complexity and flavor interest for a relatively affordable white. Notes of pears and white flowers are accented by chalky notes on the nose and a distinct minerality in the dry, gently acidic, medium-bodied flavor.

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Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence

Mas de Gourgonnier

This Provence red is made with organically grown Cabernet Sauvignon (32%), Grenache (31%), Syrah (22%) and Carignan (15%), grapes, with the Cabernet, a bit surprisingly for a Provence red, bumped up as a major component in this vintage. It’s fairly dark reddish-purple in color, shading to a clear edge. Delicious but not overbearing mixed-fruit aromas bring black plums, cherries and red berries to the table carrying over on the palate in juicy, tart fruit shaped by crisp acidity and a soft edge of astringent tannins that work with modest 13% alcohol to keep it food-friendly.

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Barossa Valley Estate “GSM”

Barossa Valley GSM

This “GSM” blend of Grenache (35%), Shiraz (34%), Mourvèdre (31%) shows dark reddish-purple in the glass, not quite crystal-clear, with a pale edge. Plums and red berry aromas, with a touch of dried fruit to back it up. A burst of good red-fruit flavor fills the palate, cherries and berries framed by fresh-fruit acidity and soft tannins. Red fruit and brisk acidity linger in a tart, clean finish, and 14 percent alcohol is not intrusive, although it’s just warm enough to heighten the heat against lightly spicy food.

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Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon

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Clear, pale straw color with a distinct greenish hue. Attractive fresh-fruit aromas rise from the glass, focused on pears and apples at first, shifting to bright lime and lemon citrus scents as the wine warms from refrigerator temperature. Snappy citrus moves to the fore in the flavor, with a prickly touch that suggests light carbonation. It’s bone-dry and crisply acidic, medium weight and body likely contributed by the Semillon, with just a hint of stony minerality joining citrus notes in a long finish. Light 12 percent alcohol makes it an easy sipper.

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