Since the last wine tasting we hosted on June 10th, we have been tasting, sampling, and drinking a variety of wines. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it. So wimg? Let’s dig in, shall we?
(If you forget, this means: What’s in my glass?)
Celler del Roere Vermell 2019, Valencia, Spain
Pablo Calatayud of Celler del Roere transformed an ancient wine cellar on their property into a gold mine. Centuries-old amphorae remain embedded in the earth, and after being cleaned up and some repaired, they can still hold and age wine the way it was done hundreds of years ago. So what is old is now new again, and Celler del Roere is making some extraordinary wine. I previously mentioned their white wine, Cullerot, back in February. It is still a wine in my rotation, but now we have added Vermell.
Celler del Roere Vermell 2019 is a blend of two grapes that most folks have never heard of – 70% Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouchet) and 30% Mando.
Garnacha Tintorera is the Spanish name for Alicante Bouchet. This French grape was created through cross-pollination by Henri Bouchet in the Languedoc region of France and eventually made its way to Spain in the late 19th century. It is a Teinturier grape variety, which means that the juice from this grape is red versus clear, like the vast majority of grapes. Thus, wines made from Teinturier grapes are quite dark in color.
How would I describe wimg (what’s in my glass)? Delicious, red-fruited, mild tannins, juicy, chewy, lingering, and layered. This wine has or is coming in most of my concierge boxes because there is something in this wine for most to enjoy. This wine retails for $19.99.
Frontón De Oro, Gran Canaria Afrutado Blanco 2020, Canary Islands, Spain
Most folks have never had a wine from the Canary Islands. I imagine that most do not even know where the Canary Islands are, so let’s start there.
The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa ( off the coastal border between Morroco and Western Sahara), are rugged volcanic isles known for their black- and white-sand beaches. And if you are a wine nerd, delicious volcanic wines.
The primary white grape in Canary Island wines is Listàn Blanco, known as Palomino in Spain. However, with a completely different climate and soil, Listàn Blanco makes a very different style of wine than those in southern Spain. That said, this wine is a blend of Listán Blanco, Malvasía, Albillo, and Muscatel. It is grown at almost 4,000 feet above sea level. One hundred percent de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel tanks.
How would I describe wimg (what’s in my glass)? Off-dry, great at the pool on a sweltering day, fresh mix of citrus and orchard fruit aromas that follow to the palate, balanced and fresh acidity minimizing its slight sweetness. Easy to drink.
This wine retails for $27.99
WIMG: Clendenan Family Vineyards “G-15”
Valdiguié 2019, Highlands District, Paso Robles, California
Living in the southeast US means hot weather most of the year. For this reason, we drink a lot more “light” red wines. Valdiguié is one of my favorites, but I have found only twelve other producers and even fewer distributing to South Carolina.
Valdiguié is a think-skinned red grape variety that used to be widely planted in Languedoc-Roussillon in Southwest France. It grows as a minor varietal in Vin de Pays, Provence, and Languedoc. When brought to the US, it was thought to be Gamay and was known as Napa Gamay until DNA analysis proved otherwise. Until the 1970s, there were over 6,000 acres worldwide, and now it is estimated that less than 1,000 acres exist, mainly in California.
It produces light- to medium-bodied wines full of cherry, plum, and berry flavors and aromas, with mild spice and earthy notes. The wines are typically low in alcohol.
A nice chill makes it a summer shipper.
This bottling is classic Valdiguie, and I am in love. A case sits in the wine room, so it’s always there for me. This wine sells for $27.99 and is worth every penny.
Barone di Villagrande, Contrada Villagrande Etna Bianco Superiore 2017, Milo, Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy
When Gary and I were in Sicily, we visited Barone di Villagrande and even tasted the current vintage of this single vineyard wine. We loved it. I think it was the 2020 vintage. So when we got back and saw that the local distributor only offered the 2017 vintage, I was surprised. Yes, this is a more expensive wine than the regular bottle, almost double. But I would have thought that it would sell through a vintage quickly.
I ordered a bottle but held onto it for a special occasion because the retail price is upwards of $50.00 a bottle. The special occasion was a long weekend last June with family and dear friends in the NC mountains.
Ninety percent Carricante and 10% various interplanted indigenous varieties, this single vineyard wine is a gorgeous expression of the grape – even six years later.
Elegant, clean, bright, juicy and perfect acidity. This wine is chock full of stone fruit flavors, plenty of minerality with a touch of salinity and citrus, but not too much. I love the balance that this vintage expresses. When researching, I found a note in the technical data claiming that the winery guarantees that the wine will be good for up to 20 years after bottling – assuming proper storage, of course.
I also picked up a couple more bottles. I do not think it will last until 2027, though. Just saying!
The current sell price is $53.99