JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS OF APRIL 2017 AND BORDEAUX 101 CLASS

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

What a beautiful month March turned out to be.  I hope we have more wonderful weather to follow in April.  I have picked a medley of wines for you to chose from that will ease your Easter family meal pairing anxiety as well as some rocking picks that I have had the joy to partake of.  Please join me for my next Wine Tasting and Pairing: Bordeaux 101, hosted at Pallotta’s Italian Grill in the Woodlands.  Please see the previous blog for instructions.  RSVP to jamesbarlow25@hotmail.com.  Enjoy!

Kapcsandy ‘Endre’ Red Blend 2009

Napa Valley, California

Usually Cash Price $74.99  but on sale for a limited time

Cash Price $54.97 (only 1 case left!)

I recently re-tasted after I had bought this vintage heavily.  I was giddy to find it drinking to its maximum potential right now.  I was wowed by the complexity of this Bordeaux style blend.  Every vintage has beautiful integrity with subtle, intricate differences that showed the stylistic growing seasons of the wines.  Endre is a Cabernet, Merlot blend that is built to please, but will become even more gorgeous with cellar aging.  This wine exudes brilliance of meticulous wine making by Lou Kapcsandy with the help of Denis Malbec of 1st Growth Chateau Latour fame.  Flavors of black currant and black cherry lay in a bed of red flowers that slowly melds into dark mocha and milk chocolate.  Divine notes of rustic earth and terrior slither gracefully through dried leather and tobacco with a core of toasted vanilla and spices that place perfectly on the palate for an immensely long time.  The acids are booming with amazingly integrated tannins that lick the outer palate and give a focused precision to the wine.  This wine is an absolutely stellar wine which shows that California is capable of producing age-worthy Bordeaux style wines.  James Score: 95 Points

Vincent Latour ‘Clos Des Magny’ Chardonnay 2014

Meursault, France

Cash Price $49.99

I just re-tasted Magny this weekend and gave it a higher score than last tasted.  Vincent Latour is new to our portfolio, focusing on high quality Chardonnay from one of the more iconic regions on Earth to produce the grape.  The wine is 100% Chardonnay from the area of Clos Des Magny, nestled at the foot of the town of Meursault.  Latour is aged on its lees for 12 months.  This gorgeous Chardonnay exudes flavors of lime, honeysuckle and green apples.  The mid palate is rich and complex with subtle hints of vanilla, cedar, and hazelnuts with medium plus acidity.  The finish is chalked full of minerality, fresh white flowers, and peach.  This is a Chardonnay lover delight!  James Score: 96 Points

Chateau Daugay Red Blend 2014

St. Emilion, France

Cash Price $28.39

I visited the quaint little Chateau named Daugay last year while touring through Bordeaux.  We had just passed the famed Chateau Angelus, some of the most prized vineyards in all of Bordeaux, and stopped on a hill overlooking the vines of Angelus.  Lo and behold, we were in the vineyards of Daugay.  It turns out that Angelus is a part owner of this old 14 acre estate that is dedicated to producing exemplary Merlot based wines.  This wine is 70% Merlot & 30% Cabernet.  Flavors of ripe wild red berries and cherry envelope the palate with integrated licks of vanilla bean, cream, and currant.  The mid palate shows off polished tannins and elegant acids that give this wine a great age ability. The finish offers hints of cedar, cinnamon, and blooming roses.  Beautiful wine.  James Score: 93 Points

Ulrich Langguth ‘GG’ Dry Riesling 2015

Mosel, Germany

Cash Price $26.29

Dry Riesling done well can be absolutely haunting.  These grapes were grown on the very slate strewn, deep soils of Goldtropfchen, which is considered some of the finest vineyard sites in all of Germany.  Most wines from this area are slightly sweet, but this wine is deliciously dry.  Amazing flavors of crisp green apple and pear tickle into medium plus acidity.  The mid palate offers notes of beeswax and a stony minerality that sinks into the core.  The finish is flush with wild meadow and white flowers that waft sensuously throughout the palate.  The ‘GG’ wines of the region are considered of the utmost quality and some of the finest in all the land.  It is rare to get this quality at such a great price point.  James Score: 94 Points

Pascal Lachoux Pinot Noir 2012

Bourgogne, France

Cash Price $26.59

The winery was formerly called Arnoux-Lachaux, but owner Pascal Lachaux, who has been producing the wine for twenty years, recently decided to put his final stamp on the wine with the transition to his name.  I have had this wine several times over the past couple of years and have been consistently impressed with its vibrancy and elegance in the glass.  He calls this wine Pinot Fin instead of Pinot Noir because this strain of Pinot Noir is of particularly high quality, so he wants to make sure the consumer understands its purity of character.  Flavors of dark cherry and raspberry pop into the palate with medium plus acids and soft, plush tannins.  The mid palate offers light earthy tones with hints of rhubarb and pepper.  The finish is flavorful, yet elegant with just enough curves to give the body character.  James Score: 90 Points

Catena ‘La Consulta’ Malbec 2014

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $24.89

I recently hosted a Chile vs. Argentina tasting.  I poured this wine and although Argentina lost the overall war, they completely won a battle with La Consutla.  Everyone was amazed at the silky complexity in the glass.  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 dark raspberry and black cherry bounce playfully through medium tannins and acids.  Notes of black pepper and pot pourri spices are noticed on the mid palate through the thickly concentrated blueberry and plum.  The finish offers hints of toasted nuts, caramel and vanilla bean with 12 months of French oak aging.  James Score: 92 Points

Bricco di Guazzi Gavi di Gavi 2015

Gavi, Italy

Cash Price $19.59

Bricco di Guazzi lies in the hills of Monferrato in the region of Piedmont.  Nebbiolo is king here for red wines, but the king of white is the grape, Cortese, used in the wines of Gavi.  Often overlooked, this style of wine shows more interesting flavors than most Pinot Grigios.  This 100% Cortese offers deliciously refreshing flavors of lemon lime citrus with zero oak.  Notes of melon and tinges of grapefruit zing through medium plus acidity and just a touch of wet stone.  The finish is clean and tantalizingly pure.  James Score: 89 Points

Le Monde Cabernet Franc 2013

Friuli Grave, Italy

Cash Price $17.89

The region of Friuli Grave offers some of the more terroir driven wines in all of Italy.  I have been consistently happy with the white wines offered from this winery, but had never tried the reds.  Most of you know that I am enamored with Cabernet Franc, so when this was offered I immediately went into wine geek mode.  It did not disappoint!  Light and elegant, yet with structure to hold, this wine is a great red to enjoy during the hot days of summer.  The wine offers flavors of bright strawberry and raspberry that waft into a core of medium plus acidity and a medley of curiously enticing spices.  Le Monde’s tannins never over step their boundaries, but in fact, enhance the acids and overall structure of the wine.  The finish offers whiffs of red roses and herbs without being encumbered by the heaviness of oak.  James Score: 90 Points

Ca’Momi Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $18.99

Ca’Momi is one Spec’s gem Cabernet’s for under $20.  This American winery with Italian roots produces excellent value wines across the board.  This 100% Cabernet is wonderfully complex with flavors of ripe plum and bing cherry.  The wine has been aged for 18 months in oak and it shows on the palate with a creamy vanilla core.  Notes of spice integrate through the balanced tannins and acids.  The finish offers plush hints of currant, cassis and toasted oak.  Chocolate mocha sits on the palate for a good long time.  James Score: 90 Points

Beppe Blue Prosecco N/V

Veneto, Italy

Cash Price $14.99

Beppe Blue has thrown down the gauntlet for deliciously refreshing every day bubbles for days that end with ‘Y’.  This wine is Glera based and meant to be fun and fresh.  Flavors of citrus and pear bounce gleefully through the palate with tinges of white flowers.  The finish offers just a tickle of tropical and stone fruits that leaves a pleasurably flavorful end to the party in your mouth.  James Score: 87 Points

Cantine di Ora ‘Amicone’ Red Blend 2013

Veneto, Italy

Cash Price $15.89

Have you ever tried Amarone?  If so, then you know how pricey those wines can get!  This little gem uses the same base grape, Corvina, but instead of being hung from the rafters like Amarone, these grapes are allowed to dry and ripen for longer amounts of time on the vine.  The wine is then fermented and aged in French oak for eight months.  The ensuing wine offers intensely ripe fruit flavors of black cherry and stewed plums that are enveloped by jammy hints of fig and dates.  The mid palate offers medium tannins and acids that give complexity to the delightful fruit bomb in the glass.  The finish shows hints of brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  James Score: 89 Points

Mourgues du Gres Red Blend 2012

Costieres de Nimes, France

Cash Price $13.99

The Rhone Valley is one of the best ‘value’ wine regions on earth. This Syrah/Grenache red blend is rock solid at a killer price point.  Located on the galet soils deposited by the Rhone River this wine shows excellent fruit, structure and minerality.  The wine is un-oaked and aged in concrete tanks for a year to offer maximum fruit and approachability.  Flavors of blackberry and bramble lead into sweet red berries.  The mid palate offers touches of garrigue and black pepper with medium tannins and acids.  The finish is lush and flavorful with silky fruit and hints of spice that lingers quite nicely.  James Score: 88 Points

Yalumba ‘Y series’ Viognier 2016

South Australia

Cash Price $9.99

This white is consistently one of my ‘go to’ inexpensive wines as the days begin to heat up.  The wine is a veritable fruit cocktail in the mouth.  Flavors of citrus are rounded out by guava and melon.  Hints of honeysuckle and fresh meadow flowers are layered with medium acids.  The wine sees no oak and explodes on the palate from start to finish.  James Score: 88 Points

Thank You,

James C. Barlow, CWE

 

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One Response to JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS OF APRIL 2017 AND BORDEAUX 101 CLASS

  1. Renee Hamilton says:

    Thank you…once again!

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