JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS OF OCTOBER 2019

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I walked my son to school this morning without breaking into a massive sweat!  Fall has finally arrived!  With the cooler weather, I have decided to review bigger wines for the most part. I am excited to show ya’ll new wines that we are offering for this holiday season! That said, I just re-tasted an older vintage of Tetra and My O My, it was a pure delight.

Tetra Red Blend 2010

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $59.84 BUT ON SALE FOR ONLY

$39.97 FOR A LIMITED TIME

Tetra is comprised of four ‘noble’ Bordeaux varietals grown in four distinct vineyards in Napa Valley.  This Cabernet Sauvignon based red was meticulously crafted. The grapes are sourced from Broken Rock, Coombsville, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and Suscol Bench.  Rich and full bodied, Tetra exudes brilliance from start to finish.  The opulent 2010 vintage really shows in the fruit structure of the wine.  Flavors of black cherry and raspberry combine with layers of ripe fruit and dense tannins.  The wine is deliciously complex and continues to unfold in the glass.  Notes of fresh leather and mocha sinew through hints of cedar, vanilla, and milk chocolate.  Barlow Score: 94     Only 6 bottles available

Vincent Chardonnay 2017

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Cash Price $39.89

As most of you know, I am constantly on the hunt for delicious Willamette wines.  The wines here are typically lighter in style with more complexity and terroir than many other places in the United States.  Vincent has good weight, but still offers a fluffy lightness.  Flavors of green apple, melon, and white peach flow through medium plus acidity.  The mid palate offers a beautiful minerality that wafts into touches of hazelnut, cream and butterscotch on the finish. Nice with a Burgundy-esque feel. Barlow Score: 92 Points

Montmirail ‘Beauchamps’ Red Blend 2017

Gigondas, France

Cash Price $26.99

The wine is a 75% Grenache/15% Syrah/10% Mourvedre blend of pure deliciousness.  Gigondas offers the quality of Chateauneuf du Pape, but without the exceedingly high prices. The wine was destemmed and fermented in cement tanks and stainless steel.  The wine is rich and concentrated showing plush red fruits with tickles of garrigue, spice and pepper.  Notes of smoked meat, graphite  and rhubarb flow easily into the mid palate and finish with medium tannins.  This wine is wonderful now, but will age gracefully for decades.  Barlow Score: 94 Points  Only 1 case available.

22 Pirates Red Blend 2016

California

Cash Price $22.79

Ready for a fun, accessible red blend for the holidays?  Look no further!  This Syrah/Petite Sirah blend is thick and unctuous with flavors of blackberry and blueberry racing through the palate with a creamy core of cobbler and pie.  Black cherry and currant flow easily through the mid palate with soft, plush tannins and acids.  The finish offers darker notes of jammy blackberry pie with licks of cinnamon, vanilla and cedar.  Barlow Score: 88 Points

Kenefick Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $19.94

I visited this vineyard when in Napa a couple of months ago and was surprised to see that they were located adjacent to Aurajo in Calistoga. Their fruit is considered some of the most prized in Napa Valley.  Kent Jarman is the winemaker for the iconic wines of this winery.  Citrus and white flowers are prevalent on the nose with nice aromatics.  Flavors of citrus, gooseberry, and tangerine pop into the palate with medium acidity.  The mid palate offers a refreshing softness with a hint of cream.  The finish is clean and pure with tinges of lychee and whiffs of almond.  Barlow Score: 91 Points

Trig Point Merlot 2017

Alexander Valley, California

Cash Price $18.99

Nick Goldschmidt is one of my favorite wine makers.  He consistently crafts wines of high quality in different climates and even hemispheres.  His father was a land surveyor and a ‘Trig’ is used to establish boundary lines.  Goldschmidt’s Trig Point wines show the unique soils of the area he gets the grapes from, namely Alexander Valley.  The vineyard is located on the southern (and cooler) end of Alexander Valley which makes it prime territory for producing low yield, high quality Merlot.  This 100% Merlot offers flavors of intense black cherry and rhubarb jump into easy acids and well rounded tannins.  Notes of strawberry and freshly picked plum meld into the core of the wine with touches of graphite and dusty minerality.  The finish is deliciously long with 12 months of French oak aging in 20% new barrels and just a touch of new American oak which gives hints of creamy vanilla bean, cinnamon, and cedar.  The finish smacks of blueberry pie!  Barlow Score: 90 Points

Tobias Chardonnay 2016

Mendocino, California

Cash Price $17.99 BUT WITH A $3.O0 KEY ONLY

$14.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME

The grapes from this wine come from the cooler climate of Mendocino county.  When searching for a Chardonnay, I try to find one that has balance which is not overly oaked or ‘malo-ed’.  Tobias only goes through 30% malolactic fermentation which gives the wine touches of butter and cream that do not over power the fruit or acidity.  This wine has medium acids with tropical fruits of pineapple and melon with citrus notes of green apples and lemon blossoms.  The finish shows touches of melted butter and almonds with just a kiss of oak. Tobias is beautifully balanced and integrated. Barlow Score: 89 Points

Del Fin Del Mundo Malbec Reserva 2017

Patagonia, Argentina

Cash Price $18.39

I find Malbec to be the perfect red wine for this weather.  It’s not as heady as Cabernet Sauvignon, but not as transparent as Pinot Noir.  The variety is a great balance of fruit and structure that is sure to please most palates.  Mundo offers flavors of violets and red fruits with hints of plum and red roses.  The mid palate offers medium tannins and acids that are enveloped by red cherry and currant.  The finish is pure and flavorful with notes of toasted oak, vanilla and butterscotch. Barlow Score: 89 Points

One Flock Red Blend 2016

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $14.99

I recently tasted this everyday slurper and thought that it’d be a big hit for value shoppers. The wine is a kitchen sink blend with Zinfandel and Cabernet making up the lion’s share. The wine was aged in both French and American oak.  Flock is deliciously supple with flavors of red cherry and jammy raspberry that sinks into soft tannins.  Hints of brioche, cinnamon and nutmeg flow through the finish with tinges of pipe tobacco and sweet clove.  Barlow Score: 89 Points

Chablisienne Chardonnay 2016

Burgundy, France

Cash Price $13.99

Chablisienne is one of the most well known and consistent cooperatives in Chablis.  They ventured out of Chablis with this wine, but still stayed within the confines of Burgundy.  This un-oaked beauty is raw and pure in its natural form. Flavors of perfectly ripe green apple and lemon citrus play into zesty acidity.  The mid palate shows ripe tree fruit with hints of nuttiness that carries through on the soft, pleasant finish. Light and bright!  Barlow Score: 89 Points

Illuminati ‘Riparosso’ Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2016

Abruzzo, Italy

Cash Price $14.79

Illuminati is a brand that has always been a great value wine.  This is their every day, value wine that has been aged small Slovenian oak barrels for twelve months.  It is 100% Montepulciano, which I often refer to as the Cabernet Sauvignon of Italy.  Flavors of roasted plum and blackberry combine with stewed red cherries throughout the core of the wine.  Notes of black pepper and sage give the wine a soft earthiness with savory tannins and easy acids.  The finish is smooth and balanced with bits of toasted pecans and just a kiss of licorice.  Great to pair with a thick, juicy steak! Barlow Score: 90 Points

Domaine Sorin Rose 2018

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 food pairing time comes pounding at the door.  Domaine Sorin is an exquisite winery that is committed 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.  Barlow Score: 90 Points

Shannon Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Lake County, California

Cash Price $12.99

Clay Shannon and I had dinner at his house located in the Red Hills AVA and tasted through his entire line. I was blown away by how delicious and value priced his Cabernet Sauvignon is.  They are located in the steep mountain slopes of Lake County and are dedicated to producing high quality, sustainably farmed wines at a great price.  This high elevation Cabernet is dangerously approachable from the first pop of the cork.  Supple flavors of black cherries and dark berries are encompassed by smooth, easy tannins and well balanced acids. The core offers notes of raspberry, plum and tobacco.  The finish is silky with touches of vanilla, all spice and licks of cedar.  Spectacular wine under $15.  Barlow Score: 89 Points

Thank you,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

 

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