Ricardo Santos La Madras “El Malbec”

Santos El Malbec

Deep, dark purple, with just a thin line of lighter garnet at the edge. Plums and black cherries on the nose with a whiff of oaky spice. Tart and a distinct edge of heat on the palate, a claimed 14 percent alcohol (or perhaps a little more) making itself manifest in a gentle burn that gains more emphasis from distinct tannic astringency. This may sound less than pleasant, but it disappears in context with food and mellows as ripe blackberries and a touch of minerality become more evident along with the oaky spice in the finish.

Search for vendors and compare prices for “El Malbec” de Ricardo Santos La Madras Vineyard Mendoza Malbec on Wine-Searcher.com.

Want to browse more Argentine wines from Ricardo Santos Bodega y Vinedos? This Wine-Searcher.com page offers links to vendor information for all its wines.
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Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Rosé

Salvard Cheverny Rosé

Pretty, rather light copper color. Very pleasant and surprisingly complex for a rosé: Red berries and a distinct hint of lime on the nose. On the palate it’s bright and tart, bone-dry with fresh acidity. Light, appealing red-berry flavors add notes of melon, shifting subtly into an intriguing stony minerality that lasts into a very long, shimmering finish. Really an excellent rosé from the Loire Valley, a blend of 65 percent Pinot Noir and 35 percent Gamay in a modest 12% alcohol.

Check prices and compare vendors for Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Rosé on Wine-Searcher.com.
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Puglia’s surprisingly good wines

Map of the Puglia wine region from Decanter magazine's Travel Guide to Puglia

The region of Puglia, or Apuglia as it is sometimes written, is mostly on the Adriatic side of Italy stretching from the southeastern bottom side of the boot around to the Gulf of Taranto. With its miles if beaches and seashore, it is a summer refuge for Italians who flee the cities in the hot summer days. But if you visit outside of the months from June through August you will find some beautiful scenery, delicious food and surprisingly good wine. Read article.

Serious Rosé

Rosé d'été

Today is the first full day of summer, and the weather is playing its role, punctuating days of soggy heat with occasional noisy thunderstorms.
Also, World Cup is under way! Sure, it’s been hot for the past month or two, but now we’re moving into the lazy, hazy, steamy and even oppressive days of summer. Now, more than ever, it’s time for the cooling pleasures of rosé wine.

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Two serious rosés

Two serious rosés

Today let’s talk about two serious rosés: A rosato from Tuscany, home of Italy’s iconic Chianti, made from Chianti’s Sangiovese grape; and a pink sparkling Cremant from Bordeaux, made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc. Read article.

Wine grapes with a laugh

Godforsaken Grapes

I thought I was a wine-grape nerd beyond redemption, but I’ve more than met my match in the wine and spirits writer Jason Wilson. I’m chuckling and snorting my way through his delightful new book, Godforsaken Grapes: A Slightly Tipsy Journey through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine.

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Kings Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Kings Ridge

Clear dark ruby, with reddish-violet glints against the light. Fresh cherry-berry aromas are joined by an attractive scent of roses after a little time in the glass. Mouth-filling and ripe, cherry-berry fruit flavors follow the nose, well structured with bright acidity and just a whiff of soft tannins. Evolves in the glass into good Pinot Noir varietal character, a good value example of the Oregon style. Full but not overly alcoholic at 13.9 percent.

Check prices and find vendors for Union Wine Co. Kings Ridge Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir on Wine-Searcher.com.

You can also buy direct from the winery, where the law permits, by using this shopping cart link. Read article.

Gran Conti Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Gran Conti

Dark purple, almost black, shading to a thin garnet rim. high-tone cherries and blackberries on the nose with a hint of spice in the background. Tart plums and berries on the palate, shaped by zippy acidity, with a buzz of tannins becoming more evident in the finish. Alcohol not disclosed, but it’s clearly in the normal 12-13 percent range.

Only a few U.S. vendors currently offer Gran Conti 2016 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo on Wine-Searcher.com, but keep checking.

You can also browse Wine-Searcher.com for dozens of other good wines of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Read article.