Because I can’t think about crisp summer wines without imagining a big hefty red with some of my evenings!
Casa Lapostolle’s Clos Apalta ’08 or ’09
(Heck, any well priced vintage will be fabulous)
Clos Apalta from the Colchagua Valley, is always one of Chile (and the world’s) top wines. The 2008 was fantastic, but Wine Spectator was one of the rare pubs that gave it a lower score for ‘08 than ‘09, and the ‘08 now becomes an outstanding buy! Seek it out!!
It’s really got all the complexity a lover of big wine looks for. Think of the ’08 Clos Apalta as Heitz Martha’s Vineyard on steroids. Yet it’s beautifully crafted with elegance, layers of flavor, deep lush and incredibly intricate.
’08 Wine Enthusiast : 95 points and ‘Top 100 Wine of 2012 (#49), “[$90 list] Clos Apalta, depending on your point of view, is arguably Chile’s best wine. And this vintage is outstanding! Earth, minty spice, ripe berry, minerality and smoky aromas cover the bases. It’s superbly structured, with a fine texture and depth. Tastes lush and complex, with blackberry, crème de cassis, fine herbs and tobacco. Finishes classy. Drink now through 2016. Alcohol 14.2%. (Feb 2012)”
’08 Wine Spectator 92 points: “[$90 list] Fine-tuned and expressive, yet focused, this red has terrific display of dark, racy blackberry, boysenberry and braised fig flavors finely woven with spice, mesquite and cured olive hints. Silky tannins frame the long finish, with an aftertaste of fruit and mocha. Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2017. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. (2/29/12)”
’08 -Woodland Hills Wine Co., LA $69.95
’08- Zachy’s NY $70
Abeja 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (their 10th Vintage Release)
Abeja is always one of my favorite American reds, making insanely good Merlot (which teaches Cab lovers not to sneer at great Merlot) and their standard bearing Cabernet Sauvignon. John Abbot is the man behind Abeja, and he is the man who made Canoe Ridge famous before this. Abeja is also an annual Best Buy, until it is reviewed, at which point it all sells out. For the cool 2010 harvest, ALL his best fruit went into this bottling…there was no Reserve Bottling.
The 2010 is truly unique, so seek it out before the reviews hit.
“The first aromas hit you with blackcurrant and blackberry, earthy notes of good clean soil, and barrel notes of smoke and oreo. When you get to the mid-palate, you’ll find it plump and pretty, with more dark fruit and minerals, cassis liqueur and dark chocolate shavings, and finishing with dry, ripe tannins that show mocha and English Breakfast tea.”
As is the norm with Abeja, the mouthfeel is transcendent. This is a silky wine that backs up the fruit with just enough tannin and acid to package it beautifully.
Woodland Hills Wine Co., LA $41.95
K&L, CA $44.95
Under $20…Best Buy
Do words like rich ripe fruit, tobacco, concentrated, cigar box, massive black berry fruit describe other wines you crave?
Then just look to the port houses for their blends, and pony up the money for the straight varietal bottling if you can afford the extra tab.
Companhia das Quintas 2009 Quinta da
Fronteira Selecção do Enólogo (Douro).
This is a blockbuster red. “Huge and rich, this offers ripe black fruits and a concentrated structure. It’s packed with a seemingly sweet blackberry flavor that serves as a counterpoint to the firm texture. With both density and a dark edge, this will age over several years.”
$19.99 Total Wine in Phoenix, LA etc…
If you’re in NYC, just suck it up and race to Zachy’s, where they have a smoking deal on the insanely good:
Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional Douro 2009…WS 95pts, #13 of the Wine Spectator Top 100, at Zachy’s for only $41.95.