RANKS #5 OF THE 12 TOP BARGAINS FOR 2020 - Carmenere could be Chile’s signature grape, if winemakers there didn’t also do such a good job with cabernet sauvignon. This carmenere is impeccably balanced, with savory notes of tobacco leaf, black olives, dark cherry and spice. It shows exceptional elegance for the price and will partner well with grilled meats, though I would be tempted to hide some away for sipping alone after dinner. Lovely, and a tremendous value!
Savory black cherry, soy sauce and mushroom, with a whiff of lavender giving lift to the finish — a lovely Cotes du Rhone. Pair this with spring stews or meats off the grill. 3 Stars (EXCELLENT) - Dave McIntyre
The pure and unoaked 2019 Mencía is the essence of licorice, wild berries and flowers with an herbal twist. It's juicy, tasty, clean and expressive. It comes from a vineyard in the Valdetruchas paraje. This is a great introduction to the grape and region, reliable and a great value. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2019.
Sonoma County Plenty of orchard fruit flavors — green apple, pear and apricot — fill your palate, with just enough oak influence to add creamy lusciousness. I enjoyed this on its own, but this wine is built for seafood or chicken in a cream sauce. ABV: 13.5 percent.
Bottled just two weeks prior to my visit, the 2017 Chateau Grillet was still looking awfully good for having been fined, filtered and stuck into a confined space. It's a forward, opulent vintage, boasting flamboyant stone-fruit flavors dressed up with hints of jasmine and white pepper. While full-bodied and rich, it never seems heavy or oily, boasting a long, cool, refreshing finish. Wow! Dec. 2020
A little-known Côtes de Rhone from Ch Grillet, introduced because of stricter selection of grapes going into the main estate blend (something that has been happening since 2011, the year of purchase by Artemis), with this coming from a 3.5ha plot that they feel doesn't give the same complexity. The biggest difference that you find in the wine is more Viognier typicity, so you get a burst of juicy apricot backed up by rich citrus. A lovely wine with clear emphasis on well-controlled fruit and full of pleasure. Dec. 2020