Happy holidays! Still shopping?

Around the World in Eighty Wines

Happy winter solstice! I expect you’re busy this week, so let’s get right to it:
I’m sending out this early edition one day early to suggest a fine French red that would grace any holiday table, and a delightful new wine book that you can still get delivered from Amazon.com before Christmas.

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E. Guigal 2013 Gigondas

E. Guigal Gigondas

Dark ruby color, with reddish-violet glints against the light. Pleasant, typical Southern Rhone aromas, raspberries and black plums and just a hint of stewed plums lead into a full, ripe flavor of plums and berries, adding a bold, distinct impression of freshly ground black pepper that comes up and fills both the nose and palate. Good fresh-fruit acidity provides balance, and tannic astringency becomes increasingly obvious in the long finish. This is a very good, balanced, table wine, on a continuum with Chateauneuf-du-Pape and made from a similar blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. It carries its 14.5% alcohol with grace.

Find vendors and compare prices for E. Guigal Gigondas on Wine-Searcher.com.

For lots more wines from Gigondas, check out this Wine-Searcher info page and list of wines and vendors.
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Côté Mas 2016 “Rouge Intense”

Rouge Intense

Dark reddish-purple all the way to a thin, clear edge. Mixed red fruits, with hints of pomegranate and cranberry, plum and raspberry, pleasant but not overwhelming. Bright red fruits carry over on the palate in a fresh, medium-bodied flavor with food-friendly acidity, 13.5% alcohol, and a soft touch of tannic astringency on the tongue. An attractive Languedoc blend of Grenache Noir (45%), Carignan (25%), Cinsault (15%), Merlot (10%) and Syrah (5%).

Find vendors and check prices for Côté Mas “Rouge Intense” on Wine-Searcher.com. Read article.

Olivier Minot 2016 “La Boutanche” Gamay

La Boutanche

This interesting “natural” wine claims zero additives, including no sulfites. It’s a clear garnet color, reddish purple at the center and clear at the edge. Its intriguing scent is dominated by wild strawberries at first, then opens up to add a hint of Chambord raspberry liqueur. Strawberries and raspberries on the palate add tart red plums and an intriguing earthy minerality that evokes the scent of damp red clay. It’s light- to medium-bodied, but fresh-fruit acidity and soft but perceptible black-tea tannins round it out. Alcohol is not out of line, likely midway in the label’s generic 11-14% claim. Nicely balanced, a good food wine.

Wine-Searcher.com includes a couple of hits for the Olivier Minot in this longer list of French wines named “La Boutanche.”

Here’s a list of U.S. retailers that stock Selection Massale’s portfolio. Read article.

Party time! How much to buy?

The Wine Rack in Louisville

Good morning! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day. I’m enjoying the opportunity to relax a bit after enjoying two holiday feasts yesterday, joining a group of about 50 for lunch and about 15 for dinner.
When friends know you write about food and wine, they ask you to do wine things; and so it was that I loaded a couple of boxes of reds and whites into my car yesterday morning.

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Rochette 2017 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau

Domaine Rochette

Dark ruby color, shading to a clear purple edge. Fresh and clean aromas, plums and subtle raspberries, lead into a bright red-fruit flavor, full and ripe for a Nouveau, nicely balanced with crisp fresh-fruit acidity. Really one of the best Nouveaux I’ve tried over the years, enjoyable on its own and good with food, nicely balanced at 13% alcohol.

Look for vendors and check prices for Domaine Rochette 2017 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau on Wine-Searcher.com. Read article.

Georges Duboeuf 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau

Georges Duboeuf

Reddish-purple, fading to a clear garnet edge. Abundant fruit on the nose, but gone is the old “banana” or “artificial strawberry” aroma – a characteristic of its commercial yeast – that used to be an identifying marker for Duboeuf. It’s still fruity to be sure, but this is fresh, natural fruit, strawberries and raspberries and a whiff of raspberry liqueur. The aromas give a sweet impression, but the wine is nearly dry, with good fresh-fruit acidity to hold it in balance. Red fruit and crisp acidity linger in a fairly long finish. 13% alcohol.

Check prices and locate vendors for Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau on Wine-Searcher.com.

Click here for a list of the best Beaujolais Nouveau on Wine-Searcher.com. (It’s below the interesting article about Nouveau at the top of this page.) Read article.

Henry Fessy 2014 Château des Reyssiers Régnié

Domaine Rochette

Deeply hued clear garnet color. Attractive red-fruit scents over a base of loamy earth, an appealing minerality on the nose. The flavor wakes up to bright and fresh red-berry, plum and cranberry flavors nicely balanced by palate-cleansing acidity and moderate 12.5% alcohol, with soft tannins building gentle astringency harmonizing with tart red plums in the long finish. This shows the distance a Beaujolais can reach when a decent model stretches out.

Find vendors and compare prices for Henry Fessy Château des Reyssiers Régnié on Wine-Searcher.com.

Use this Wine-searcher link to browse all the wines of Henry Fessy and find vendors that carry them.

Finally, here is Wine-searcher’s list of many wines of Régnié, ranked by quality. Read through the short article discussing the region to get to the lengthy shop list. Read article.

Two for Thanksgiving

Wild turkey painted by John James Audubon.

It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the United States, that happy late autumn time when friends and families gather in the modern version of the traditional American harvest feast.
Many of us will sit down to an oversize platter bearing a whole turkey, roasted golden-brown.
But then comes the question: How do we find one wine to match them all?

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