Frog’s Leap Winery is based in the town of Rutherford, in Napa Valley, California. The winery produces a number of red and white wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel, to name a few.
The 2009 Frog’s Leap Merlot Rutherford was 100% Merlot. The wine was aged in French and American oak barrels for 18 months. The label listed ABV was 13.2%.
I had heard the Frog’s Leap name talked about frequently, but had never tried any of their wines. I came across their 2009 Merlot while shopping a local beverage store.
Purely out of curiosity about the brand, I picked up a bottle.
Rockledge Vineyards is located in the St. Helena section of Napa Valley in California. The winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.
The 2009 Rockledge Vineyards The Rocks Cabernet Sauvignon was a red blend composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot (percentages unavailable). The label listed ABV was 14.5%.
I first tasted The Rocks at a wine tasting at Restaurant Nicholas in 2011. I couldn’t recall my exact impressions so I decided to give the wine another try.
Cameron Hughes purchases excess wine inventory from wineries and resells them at discounted prices under the Cameron Hughes label. The company’s purchases are accompanied by non-disclosure agreements, whereby Cameron Hughes cannot reveal the name of the winery from which they made the purchase.
The 2009 Cameron Hughes Lot 278 Meritage was composed of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine was sourced from the Spring Mountain District in Napa, California. It carried an ABV of 14.2%. There were 3200 cases of this wine bottled.
While I knew of Cameron Hughes, I had never tasted any of their wines. This situation was remedied when I found a bottle of Lot 278 in a local beverage store.
Librandi is based in the town of Ciro Marina in the Calabria region of Italy. The winery produces a full line of red and white wines as well as olive oil and grappa. While they do harvest some Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Librandi primarily uses a number of lesser-known varietals that are common to the region.
The 2011 Librandi Ciro Rosato was 100% Gaglioppo. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks. The wine’s ABV was 13%. Its classification was DOC. There were 30,000 cases of this wine produced.
I had my first taste of Italian Rosati (plural of Rosato) last summer. I quickly became of fan of them. They were not the heavy, sweet, pink wines of years gone by. They were light, crisp, low in alcohol, and very refreshing. I found them to be a perfect drink for the heat of summer.
With the recent increase in temperature, here in the Northeast, I had my first Rosato sampling of the year, the Librandi Ciro Rosato.
Vina Cobos produces wines from the Lujan de Cuyo region in the province of Mendoza in Argentina. The winery produces a full line of red and white wines utilizing Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay varietals.
The 2008 Vina Cobos Bramere Malbec was 100% Malbec. The grapes for the wine were sourced from the Marchiori Vineyards, near the town of Pedriel in Lujan de Cuyo. The wine was aged in French and American oak (70% new, 30% old) for 18 months. The label listed ABV was 15.2%.
My previous Malbec samplings (2007 Zapata Argentino and 2007 Zapata Alta) went quite well. I really like the Malbec variety.
In search of something outside of Bodegas Catena Zapata (which is a fabulous winery), I came across Vina Cobos.
Bodegas Valduero is located in the small town of Burgos in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. The winery produces a white, a rose, and several red wines. The reds include Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva.
The 2004 Bodegas Valudero Reserva Premium 6 Anos was 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo). The wine was barrel aged in four different types of oak for 36 months, and then spent an additional 36 months aging in the bottle. The label listed ABV was 14%.
While I have enjoyed many wines from Ribera del Duero, I was not familiar with Bodegas Valduero. The six years of aging intrigued me.
I decided to give the wine a try.
In the Tuscany section of Italy, near the town of Siena, one can find Fattoria di Felsina. The winery produces a total of six red wines and one Chardonnay.
The 2006 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia was 100% Sangiovese. The wine was aged in new oak barrels for 16 to 18 months, and then spent an additional 6 to 8 months aging in the bottle. Its ABV was listed at 13.5% and the wine carried a DOCG classification.
I came across this wine while dining at Basil T’s in Red Bank, NJ. This restaurant has an extensive wine list (14 pages long with 12-20 wines per page – only Italian wines). I had success here in the past with a 2004 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico, so I thought I would give a new Chianti a try.