JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS OF JUNE 2016

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have seen the sun finally peaking through the rain soaked clouds that have bombarded our community this past month.  The hot heat is upon us again with daily averages in the 90’s, so my picks begin to gear toward softer reds, white wines, and ROSE!  This month, I am showing off some wines with age that are peaking perfectly right now that you all would be wise to pounce on before they are all gone!

San Felice ‘Poggio Rosso’ Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2010

Tuscany, Italy

Cash Price $54.89

San Felice is one of the highest quality producers in Tuscany.  They are home to the geeky variety Pugnitello and make exquisite wines at all levels.   Poggio Rosso is a Riserva that is aged for 20 months in 500 Liter French oak barrels and another 15 months in bottle before release.  The wine is 80% Sangiovese with Pugnitello and Colorino making up the rest of the blend.  This wine has excellent aging potential, but is drinking absolutely beautifully right now.  Flavors of raspberry and plum pop deliciously into the palate with whiffs of black cherry throughout.  The mid palate offers medium plus tannins and acids that revolve around hints of sage, leather and hints of clove.  The finish is lingering and playful with touches of cinnamon, cedar and spices.  James Score: 95 Points

Blue Rock Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Alexander Valley, California

Cash Price $37.99

Blue Rock is an all estate produced winery that is located right next to Silver Oak’s Alexander Valley property.  The 2013 vintage was rock solid and I have talked to many that are preferring this vintage to the previous.  The winery  is focused on showing the quality of terroir and offering balanced wines that  reflect the soil.  This wine offers delicious flavors of blackberry and black cherry that sinew softly into integrated tannins and acids.  The wine is silky smooth with complex notes of cedar, vanilla and touches of spice.  The finish is rocking with blueberry cobbler sinking into a velvet finish.  James Score: 94 Points

Chateau D’Aussieres Red Blend 2009

Corbieres, France

Cash Price $29.79

Corbieres is a hidden gem for quality wine in France.  First Growth Bordeaux producer Lafite Rothschild purchased vineyards in this area with the intent of making ‘Grand Cru’ quality wine.  They have certainly achieved that feat with this wine.  The 2009 vintage smiled on the South of France with an exceptional harvest that has produced beautiful wines.  This wine is primarily Syrah based with Grenache and Mourvedre that has been aged for 16 months in oak and selected from only the finest plots in the vineyard.  Flavors of black cherry and black currant race through the palate with medium plus tannins and medium acids.  Notes of toasted cedar and licorice sinew harmoniously through the mid palate with exquisite complexity.  The finish offers hints of gingerbread, vanilla, and clove.  D’Aussieres is a tremendously sleek wine from one of the best producers in the world!  James Score: 91 Points

Domaine de la Guilloterie ‘Elegance’ Chenin Blanc 2014

Saumur, France

Cash Price $19.94

Saumur Champigny is one of the geekier regions in the world for wine lovers.  Located just south of the Loire River in the Loire Valley, The Duveau family has been producing wines in this picturesque region for six generations.  The region is chalked full of ‘tuffeau’ which is a chalky limestone soil that is perfectly suited for Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.  This wine screams to be a hot Houston weather companion!  Guilloterie is 100% Dry Chenin Blanc and offers flavors of brilliant white peach, white flowers and fleshy green apples that lay into medium plus acidity and absolutely no oak.  Notes of citrus lemon lime zest splash into the finish with touches of pear and gardenia.  I am very impressed with this winery for the price point.  Highly recommended!  James Score: 91 Points

Catena ‘La Consulta’ Malbec 2013

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $21.84

Catena is one of the highest quality producers in all of Mendoza.  They are known for making Malbec from higher elevation and having making wine in Mendoza since 1902.  Laura Catena is now at the helm of the winery and has continued the tradition of quality wines with wine maker Alejandro Vigil.  This wine is 100% Malbec produced at an elevation of 3,600 feet. The elevation gives the wine a concentration that can be lost at lower elevations.  Flavors of blackberry and black cherry bounce playfully through medium plus tannins and medium acids.  Notes of black pepper and kitchen sink spices are noticed on the mid palate through the thickly concentrated plum and raspberry.  The finish offers hints of toasted nuts, caramel and vanilla bean with 12 months of French oak aging.  James Score: 90 Points

Domaine Sorin ‘Terra Amata’ Rose 2015

Cotes de Provence, France

Cash Price $15.99

Rose season could not get here fast enough for me!  I am an ardent fan Rose all year long, but specifically crave it when the hot heat comes pounding at the door.  Domaine Sorin is exquisite with a blue wax top which shows the winery’s commitment to excellence.  The wine is a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault that explodes on the palate from the first sup.  Flavors of strawberry and bright red cherries sing loudly into the palate with medium plus acidity.  This wine is deliciously dry and can pair wonderfully with light fowl or seafood dishes.  Notes of white pepper and garrigue fall easily in line with hints of wild red berries and pomegranate.  The finish is crisp, clean and ready for another sip.  James Score: 90 Points

Dr. Pauly Bergweiler Dry Riesling 2014

Mosel, Germany

Cash Price $13.99

German Riesling sold to the American market typically has some sweetness in the bottle.  This wine is perfectly dry and highlights the flavor profile that is Riesling.  The Mosel Valley is one of the finest Riesling producing regions in the entire world and this wine is an absolute steal for the price.  The soil structure is Devonian slate and the region is cooler in climate which gives the ensuing wine a true sense of terroir.  This 100% Dry Riesling offers flavors of orange and citrus zing through medium plus acids.  The mid palate shows wild meadow flowers with lemon zest and granny smith apples.  The finish is pure with touches of slate minerality, honeysuckle and kisses of tropical stone fruits.  James Score: 91 Points

St Michael Eppan Pinot Noir 2014

Suditrol/Alto Adige, Italy

Cash Price $19.89

The innovative winery situated along the Wine Route, is considered one of the best wineries in South Tyrol and Italy with Hanz Terzer at the wine making helm.  I really enjoy Pinot Noir from this area because the climate and terroir produce expressive, balanced wines with beautifully acidity and fresh fruits.  This wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged in large oak barrels to preserve the fruit structure. Vibrant flavors of freshly picked red cherries and raspberry tickle through zesty medium plus acids.  The wine is organically farmed and it really expresses this aspect in this clean, yet precise wine.  The mid palate offers licks of cream with cranberry and a hints of minerality.  The finish is pure and clean with smidges of earthy terroir and wild berries.  James Score: 90 Points

Chateau Pegau ‘Cuvee Setier’ Red Blend 2013

Cotes du Rhone Villages, France

Cash Price $18.99

Chateau Pegau has always been one of my favorite Chateauneuf Du Pape producers.  The started making this wine several years ago as an entry level Rhone Village made just a smidge south but still implements low yield, hand harvesting and strict pruning criteria.  The wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 20% Mourvedre.  Setier offers flavors brambly blackberry and currant that flow seamlessly into medium tannins and acids.  Notes of garrigue and black pepper knock into hints of smoked tar and jammy blueberries.  This wine really over delivers!  James Score: 92 Points

Beppe Gold Moscato D’ Asti N/V

Asti, Italy

Cash Price $14.59

Moscato is a perfect white wine for the screaming heat in Texas.  It is light & refreshing with touches of sparkle and sweetness.  This wine is unpretentious and begs to be enjoyed poolside or for summer parties.  Flavors of green apples and honey suckle flow through the palate with just a touch of effervescence that clean the palate.  Notes of white peach and nectarines frolic through the mid palate with hints of white flowers and sweet candied stone fruits.  The wine is lower in alcohol and meant to be a refreshingly fun wine.  James Score: 88 Points

Paternina Banda Azul Crianza 2012

Rioja, Spain

Cash Price $11.99

I love a quality Spanish wine.  One typically doesn’t have to pay a lot for delicious Spanish wine and this wine is a testament to this thought process.  Founded in 1896 in Ollauri, Rioja Alta by Don Federico Paternina, this historic bodega is one of the classics of Rioja. Bodegas Federico Paternina joined the premium Marques de la Concordia Family of Wines in 2014, owner of Spain’s finest estates since 1812. 2014 also saw the return to Paternina of the renowned Rioja winemaker Carmelo Angulo. Carmelo began his career at Paternina where he worked for 14 years, before gaining expeience in the other great wine growing regions of Spain and today crafts the much-loved Federico Paternina ranges. Flavors of black currant and dark plums lead into medium plus tannins and medium acids.  Excellent notes of toasted oak, vanilla and dill flow into a fleshy fruit driven finish.  James Score: 89 Points

Oregon 99West Pinot Gris 2014

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Cash Price $11.99

Oregon Pinot Gris is often lost in the white wine world due to the popularity of its Italian counterpart.  Pinot Gris from Oregon is heavier with more viscosity and fleshier fruits than Italian Pinot Grigio.  This wine displays racy flavors of peach and apricot in a completely un oaked atmosphere.  The wine has a round mouthfeel with medium acids that sink into notes of citrus and pear blossoms.  The finish is mouth watering with hints of tropical fruits and apple blossoms.  James Score: 88 Points

 

Lockwood Chardonnay 2014

Monterey, California

Cash Price $10.99

I have really been impressed with the changes that the Boisset family made when they purchased Lockwood vineyards a couple of years ago.  They decided to give the wines a terroir driven flavor profile, which is unique in California. This wine is completely un oaked and aged in stainless steel tanks with lees aging.  Flavors of crisp green apple and citrus sinew easily into the palate with touches of pineapple and melon.  The mid palate displays medium acids with notes of hazelnuts.  The finish is clean and flavorful with hints of lemon cream pie and honeysuckle.  James Score: 87 Points

Thank You,

James C. Barlow

Certified Wine Educator

Certified Sommelier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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