Friday, May 19, 2006
Friday Wines - Blog Edition
Before the Holidays last year, I started sending out recommendations of red and white wines under $20.00. In honor of the new blog, I'm going to revise that tradition. From now on, though, I'm going to recommend four wines, not just two. Red and white under and over $20.00. And now a little economy of phrase (That means I'm going to shut up and go right to the wine recommendations).
White under $20
2005 Babich Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($12.99)
If you love unoaked white wine, New Zealand is the place for you. Babich shows why. Light to medium bodied, this wine glistens with passion fruit, pink grapefruit and gooseberry. There's a steely element behind all that fruit and it's tied off with a pretty, silvery ribbon of acidity. I'm not the only person who likes this one - it's on the 2005 Wine Spectator top 100 list.
Red under $20
2002 Cline Oakley Five Reds California ($10.99)
Let's face it - California just doesn't make many value priced reds. Five Reds will change your mind about that. Made from Zinfandel, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Grenache, this wine is $20.00 juice for 11 dollars. It's stuffed full of black cherries and black raspberries, but it's not one-dimensional. Swirl it around in the glass and notes of geranium and sweet, blonde tobacco will develop too. Medium body and silky texture round out the wine.
White over $20
2004 Frank Family Chardonnay Napa Valley ($26.99)
If you love that big, buttery, oaky Chardonnay from Napa, then this isn't your wine. But if you want to understand just how complex the Chardonnay grape can be, try the Frank Family. It has everything Chardonnay offers - a tower of tropical fruit, racy acidity, a touch of butter and sweet vanilla and honey element from the just right amount of oak. This is what I'd call "California-style Burgundian wine" (I can hear the French swearing from here). Try this if you're used to typical Cali Chard.
Who dares, wins.
Red over $20
2003 Mettler Family Vineyards Petite Sirah Lodi
If you haven't tried Petite Sirah, it's time. Petite is technically neither petite nor Sirah. It's originally a Northern Rhone grape, but like Zinfandel (which is from Croatia), it's a grape we can thank immigrants for. What's the wine like, you ask? Big. Bold. Black currant and blackberry fruit here. Lots of tannins but smooth as a billiard ball. Lurking below the deep fruit is a roasted coffee-raw cocoa-black topsoil earthiness. Did I mention this is big?
Have fun this weekend!