Duckhorn Vineyards is based in the town of Saint Helena in the Napa Valley region of California. In addition to wines produced under their flagship Duckhorn label, their portfolio also includes wines produced under their Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration, and Decoy labels.
The 2010 Duckhorn Vineyards Decoy Pinot Noir Sonoma County was 100% Pinot Noir. It was aged in French oak barrels (90% second vintage, 10% new) for 6 months. The wine was produced with grapes from 10 different vineyards. The label listed ABV was 14.5%.
In April of this year, I had the good fortune to attend a wine tasting dinner for Duckhorn Vineyards at Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, NJ. The wine selection that evening was interesting, but it did not include anything from the Decoy lineup. I came across the 2010 Decoy Pinot Noir in a local beverage store.
I’ve come to like many Duckhorn wines. I was hoping to add the Decoy Pinot Noir to the list.
Viña Montes is one of the largest and most well-known wineries in Chile. The winery produces a vast number of products utilizing many varietals, including Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah, to name a few. The winery is based in the Apalta region in Colchagua Valley in Chile.
The 2008 Montes Alpha Pinot Noir was 100% Pinot Noir. 60% of the wine was aged in French oak (80% old, 20% new) for 12 months. The remaining 40% was not oak aged. The grapes for this wine were sourced from Casablanca Valley. The label listed ABV was 14%.
I had previously tasted, enjoyed, and commented on the winery’s Purple Angel Carmenere product. When I came across their Pinot Noir in a local discount beverage store, I decided to give it a try.
Given the great experience with Purple Angel, expectations were fairly high.
The town of Cenicero in the Rioja region of Spain is home to Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres. The winery produces 5 red wines, 3 white wines, and 1 rose wine. The varietals they use for their wines include Tempranillo, Garnacha (Grenache), Graciano, and Malvasia.
The 2010 Marqués de Cáceres Rosado was 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks (no oak at all). The label listed ABV was 13.5%. The winemaker recommends consumption within 21 months from the date of its vintage.
With all the Italian Rosati I have been enjoying this summer, I was dying to try a good Spanish Rosado. Unfortunately, most of the local stores only had very old vintages available. Eventually, I was lucky enough to find the 2010 Marqués de Cáceres Rosado at a discount beverage store. I’ve known Marqués de Cáceres wines for many years and commented on their Gran Reserva a few months back.
I was looking forward to trying their Rosado.
Castello di Ama is based in the town of Ama in the province of Siena in the Tuscany region of Italy. In addition to red, white, and rose wines, they also produce olive oil.
The 2011 Castello di Ama Rosato was 93% Sangiovese and 7% Merlot. The wine was produced by means of the saingee method. It was aged in stainless steel tanks for 4 months. Its ABV was 13.5%. The wine was bottled in February of 2012 and had an IGT classification.
Although I was very pleased with the Caves de Donnas Larmes du Paradis, the kind people at Basil T’s, a local restaurant, insisted I try the 2011 Castello di Ama Rosato.
I was very glad they made the recommendation.
Kris Pinot Grigio is produced by the Franz Haas Winery in the Alto Adige section of northeast Italy. In addition to the Pinot Grigio, the winery produces a Pinot Noir and a red blend (Merlot, Montepulciano, and Cabernet Sauvignon).
The 2010 Kris Pinot Grigio was 100% Pinot Grigio. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for 3 to 6 months, and for an additional 3 to 4 months in the bottle prior to release. The labeled ABV was 12.5%. The wine carried a designation of IGT.
I have a few recipes that call for white wine. They usually use only 1 cup or less, so there is always something left over for the cook (me!) to sip. I was looking for a Pinot Grigio other than the large, commercial, overpriced brands *cough*SantaMargherita*cough*. The kind people at Wine Sellers recommended I try Kris Pinot Grigio.
I purchased a bottle and headed home. Several days later, I was preparing Swordfish Livornese, which just happened to require a cup of white wine (what a coincidence!).
Leone de Castris is based in the town of Salice Salentino in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. The winery produces no less than 26 red, white, and rose wines (that’s a lot of wine!), 3 sparkling wines, grappa, and olive oil.
The 2011 Leone de Castris Five Roses was 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia, more specifically, Black Malvasia from Lecce. The wine was aged for a minimum of one month in steel tanks, and for an additional month in the bottle prior to release. The listed ABV was 12.5%. The wine’s classification was IGT.
In my search for an Italian Rosati for the coming summer months, the kind gentlemen at Basil T’s, a local Italian restaurant, had recommended I try the Caves de Donnas Larmes du Paradis and the Leone de Castris Five Roses.
Leone de Castris lays claim to Five Roses being the first Rose bottled in Italy, back in 1943. With that reputation and the positive experience I had with the Larmes du Paradis, I was looking forward to tasting this wine.
Columbia Crest Winery is based in the town of Paterson, Washington, located on the northern banks of the Columbia River in the Columbia Valley. The winery produces a number of red and white wines using many different varietals.
The 2009 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon was a blend, comprised of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged in French oak barrels (40% new, 60% old) for 18 months. The listed ABV was 14.5%. The H3 stands for Horse Heaven Hills, vineyards utilized by Columbia Crest since 1983.
I first tasted the H3 at the Wine Spectator Grand Tour in NYC, where I met Juan Muñoz Oca, Columbia Crest’s head winemaker. The Grand Tour was packed with over 200 wineries and I wanted to revisit the H3 when I could give it my undivided attention. I was lucky enough to have sampled the 2007 Columbia Crest Reserve before I obtained some H3.
I purchased two bottles of the 2009 H3 and tasted them on separate evenings over the course of one week. My notes were consistent on both occasions.