Cucao 2014 “PX” Elqui Valley Pedro Ximenez Reserva ($9.99)

Cucao "PX"

Transparent straw color with a golden hue. It seems to show a nutty whiff of oxidation at first, but this blows off to reveal heavy and complex aromatics of pears, mangoes and green figs. It’s fresh and dry on the palate, a far cry from the intensely sweet PX Sherries, but a good, rich mouthfeel balanced by bright acidity, and aromatic white-fruit flavors that follow the nose. Gentle 12 percent alcohol with a hint of peach-pit bitterness in a long finish that works as a pleasant aperitif or versatile food wine.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE: doesn’t offer us much help on this one, with only one vendor found on the free service. You might try this link, though, for other Elqui Valley wines including a couple of Pedro Ximenez.

You might also check in with regional distributors Regal Wines and Vintner Select for information about retail sources near you.
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Sour Grapes: Not fake news, fake wine

An investigator takes a close look at a fake wine label in "Sour Grapes."

If you’d like some light movie watching for the holidays and you’d like it with a wine spin, take a look at “Sour Grapes.”
A documentary with the feel of a brisk modern detective drama, “Sour Grapes” tells the tale of Rudy Kuriawan, a young, Indonesian-born Los Angeles wine geek who faked out more than a few wine-industry luminaries, selling them thousands of bottles of counterfeit wine in very high-end bottles in private sales and at high-end auctions.

Archives | Subscribe (free!) | Previous article: A good Nouveau and a cheap Chianti
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Nino Franco “Rustico” Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore ($16.99)


Bright gold with a slight greenish-brassy hue. It pours up very foamy but falls back to reveal lasting, multiple streams of bubbles that last. Simple and fresh, its aromas and flavors evoke fresh pears and apples with a back note of orange peel. Carbonation adds structure in the mouth, with white-fruit flavors, light 11 percent alcohol, and sufficient acidity to serve at the table without being overly tart. Nicely balanced bubbly.

Check prices and find vendors for Nino Franco “Rustico” Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore on .
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Il Follo Prosecco Extra Dry ($12.99)

Il Follo

Clear light greenish-gold, a pale brass color; it foams up in a frothy mousse that falls back fast, leaving a steady shower of persistent bubbles. Fresh and appealing citrus aromas and flavors, it offers a mix of lemon-lime and juicy tangerine, bone-dry without a hint of sweetness. Frothy and fresh on the palate, mixed citrus flavors mingle with bright, zippy acidity in a long, clean finish.

Compare prices and find vendors for Il Follo Prosecco Extra Dry on Read article.

Wines of Umbria


Just to the east of Tuscany lies the beautiful region of Umbria – “well worth visiting as it generally lacks the bustle of tourists that can make Tuscany difficult at times,” writes Neil Duarte. “And the wine is very good.” Here’s his selections from among Umbria’s many wine choices. Read article.

Domaine Rochette 2016 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau ($12.99)

Domaine Rochette Beaujolais Nouveau

Dark reddish-purple with a clear garnet edge. The aroma is exuberantly fruity, as you would expect from a Nouveau, but it’s a fresh, clean fruit – juicy, ripe strawberries and tart black plums – in an aroma and flavor that’s indisputably “grapey,” but we’re talking about European-style Gamay grapes here, not your grandmother’s Concord. Abundant fruit pours over on the palate, too, crisp and freshly acidic, 13% alcohol, with a fresh, ripe and palate-cleansing finish that lasts and lasts. U.S. importer: Wines of France Inc., Mountainside, N.J.; Alain Junguenet Selections.

The production run for Domaine Rochette 2016 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau was apparently limited, with only a couple of U.S. vendors.

Try this link, though, for a broader selection of Beaujolais wines from Domaine Rochette. Also, Alain Junguenet’s portfolio is widely distributed, so it might be worth contacting the importer to ask about retailers near you who handle these wines. Read article.

Caposaldo 2014 Chianti ($8.99)

Caposaldo Chianti

Dark reddish-purple with a clear edge, showing bright ruby glints against the light. Abundant black-cherry aromas, a touch of fresh cherry and more obvious dried fruit. It’s fresh and bright on the palate, tart cherries and a hint of something like cedar wood, all framed with zippy acidity, moderate 12.5% alcohol, and just a hint of soft, fuzzy tannins. Fresh fruit and subtle aromatic cedar persist in a long finish. It’s not the most complex wine in the world, but it would be hard to find a Chianti of better value for well under 10 bucks. A blend of the traditional Sangiovese (75%) with the not-so-traditional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (10% each), and Malvasia (5%). U.S. importer: Kobrand Corp., NYC.

Check prices and find vendors for Caposaldo Chianti on Read article.

Saint-Hilaire 2014 Blanquette de Limoux Brut ($14.99)


A blend of Mauzac (“Mo-zock,”) the historical regional grape, with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, this Limoux sparkler foams up briefly, then falls back to a slight but persistent bubble stream. It shows a very light brass color, pale straw with a greenish hue. Its light, fresh-fruit aroma suggests a mix of delicate fruit and scents, hints of tangerine peel and kiwi fruit with a breath of acacia flower, an aroma reminiscent of wool. Creamy carbonation and fresh, brisk acidity come together on the palate, opening to citrus and floral notes that mirror the nose as the wine warms in the glass.

Look for vendors and compare prices for Saint-Hilaire 2014 Blanquette de Limoux Brut at
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