Del Dotto Vineyards —1999 Giovanni's Tuscan Reserve
love small production wines and special custom cuvées.
With 1,500 cases of the Giovanni, you get a somewhat available
but special wine. Its price is not the best deal on the
market, but if you are seeking a Cabernet Sauvignon and
Sangiovese blend from Napa, it’s not a bad choice.
wine has good balance and will age for years to come. On
approach, a mix of rich red fruit flavors tickles your nose.
The robust and dark juice is pleasant in the mouth and delivers
additional complexity and flavors: more fruits and spice.
It is a tasty match to lightly barbecued meats, great for
your summer parties.
Red Blends we've tasted
Dotto Vineyards profile
For more information, visit www.deldottovineyards.com
The Little Penguin — White Shiraz 2005
its clear bottle and hot pink label, Little Penguin White
Shiraz will be hard to miss at your local wine store. The
brand’s fun, attractive packaging and signature icon
penguin stand out against most traditional labels, and is
aimed at social drinkers who simply want a good-tasting
wine at a great value.
semi-dry rosé wine is crafted from premium Shiraz
vineyards in southeastern Australia. It is surprisingly
tasty, with a good body and nose. Ariel Meyer, Little Penguin’s
brand manager, comments, “We wanted the Pink Penguin
to be fresh and soft, like a French-style summer rosé
with a hint of richness from the Shiraz fruit. I’m
happy with the result; the Pink Penguin is a standout—very
fresh, balanced and clean.”
is a refreshing summer wine, with bright berry aromas on
the nose and a creamy cherry flavor on the palate. There
is only a hint of sweetness in its soft, clean finish. Pair
it with Asian dishes or fish, or drink it as an aperitif.
Its price also makes it a good value choice for your next
picnic or pool party.
Rosés we've tasted
Visiting Australia? See our travel
For more information, visit www.thelittlepenguin.com
Grgich Hills — 2004 Fumé Blanc
have never not liked a Grgich Hills wine, and this Fumé
is no exception. This “Estate Grown” wine is
a winner. It is a seriously layered beverage, refreshing
with its true-to-type character. The 2004 harvest delivered
low yields, and as a result, the fruit concentration was
higher than in previous releases. To the drinker’s
benefit, there will be a floral bouquet with citrus tones,
grapefruit, honeysuckle and a cornucopia of tropical flavors.
Although well balanced, the wine packs 14.1 percent alcohol
and will be happy to pair up with some food. We tried it
with barbecued tri-tip and it worked.
Fume Blancs and Sauvignon Blancs we've tasted
Visiting Napa Valley? See our travel
For more information, visit www.grgich.com
Dievole — 2003 Fourplay N°1
The overall production of Dievole wines peaks at 14,000
cases, but quite a few bottlings are offered in much smaller
increments, such as our selection for this week: the Fourplay.
The winemaking team packed in four near-forgotten grape
varietals from Sicily: Nero d’Avola, Frappato Nero,
Nerello Mascalese and Cappicio. They come in together in
a playful manner to create a flexible wine that will take
you through a variety of different foods. The wine is alive,
juicy, fragrant and most original. We also like the price,
making it easy to pick up a few bottles for a nice evening
red blends we've tasted
See Dievole's winery profile
Visiting Italy? See our travel
For more information, visit www.dievole.it
CVNE — 1998 Imperial Reserva
guys (CVNE: Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana) have
been around for a while and produce quite a bit of wine
overall. As a brand, Imperial is quite large in Spain and
have produced this classic Rioja style since the 1920s.
The name comes from a special bottling for the English market
called an Imperial Pint, which is approximately 500 ml.
Reserva is only produced in exceptional vintage years. This
week’s selection is the 1998 vintage, with its elegant
red ruby robe and distinct Tempranillo scents. It consists
of 85 percent Tempranillo blended with 10 percent Graciano
and 5 percent Mazuelo, all of which are from Rioja, Spain
(the official appellation is D.O.C Rioja). Take in the licorice
and blackberry scent as the wine enters your mouth, and
taste the rich mature fruit with toasty notes on the palate.
A velvety and light beverage, it can be enjoyed on its own
or with fish or light meats.
Tempranillos we've tasted
Visiting Spain? See our travel
For more information, visit www.pasternakwine.com