Sparkling, White and Red Wine Winners

| February 1, 2016


Memorable meals in every choice


Casal Garcia Medium Dry Rosé Sparkling Wine Espumante de Vinho Verde Portugal non-vintage — Sprightly, pretty strawberry flavors with just the right touch of natural, residual sugar for sipping by itself or with hors d’oeuvres. Crazy good stuff. $10

Duval-Leroy Rosé Prestige Brut non-vintage — Successful use of the saigneé method — about 20 hours of maceration on destemmed Pinot Noir. Enticing, delicate salmon color and vibrant taste. Try with smoked salmon on little toasts with crème fraiche, capers and a squirt of fresh lemon. $80

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2006 — Only the 40th vintage rosé released since 1920, this is the first complete effort by chief winemaker Benoit Gouez. “Powerful, expansive and gracious.” Try with hors d’oeuvres or a chilled seafood appetizer. Or even a seafood or chicken entrée. $88



Aveleda Vinho Verde Portugal 2014—From a family winery operated since 1870. Exciting, new find from a blend of Loureire and Alvarinho (Albariño). Impossible to stop after one sip! $12

Kottmeir Pinot Grigio Alto Adige Sudtirol Italy 2014—Excellent rendition of this varietal. Fresh and satisfying. $14

MacRostie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2014 — One of the best in its price range. Excellent fruit/acid balance. Also, a top destination for a tasting with their new tasting room!! $25

Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2014 — Striking balance between richness and elegance, enhanced by the addition of 17% Semillon. Try with hors d’oeuvres or Fried oysters! $28

Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2014 — Another great perennial winner from 40% Napa County, 60% Sonoma County. All vineyards are either estate or small, family-owned. Delicious. $30

Lynmar Chardonnay Quail Hill Russian River Valley 2012 — Every vintage is a winner for this Quail Hill offering. Fabulous tasting room experience, with picnic lunch available at certain times. Call ahead. $50

Albatross Ridge Estate Chardonnay Carmel Valley Monterey County 2013 —Certainly the most delicious Chardonnay I’ve had from Carmel Valley. From a 1,250’-elevation vineyard, farmed with organic and sustainable practices. A new wine for me and a big surprise! $55

Patz & Hall Chardonnay Carneros Hyde Vineyard 2013 — Larry Hyde’s vineyard was planted in 1981. The wine is elegant and enticing — aged in 45% new Burgundian barrels and bottled without filtration. Try with red snapper topped with fresh crabmeat. $60



Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha 2014 — From Carinera, Aragon, Spain, fanciful label with el toro sipping a glass of red wine. Try with a roast beef sandwich. Best buy! $10

Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 815 California 2013 — From what Joel calls a vintage of a lifetime, this is a great bargain. Blueberries and chocolate-covered cherries. Complex and powerful beyond almost anything at this price point. A bacon cheeseburger should do nicely. $15

Colpetrone Montefalco Sagrantino 2011 — Sagantino is a native varietal of Umbria, enjoying a resurgence in the last 20 years or so. Aged 12 months in French oak, followed by two years in bottle prior to release. Delicious red fruits with a hint of vanilla. Try with roasted meats and game. $30

Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 — Wine maker Janet Myers has done a good job with this stunning 2013 vintage. Chocolate-covered cherries with intensity and concentration of flavors. $44

Paraduxx Syrah Howell Mountain 2012 — An intriguing and successful blend of Syrah and Grenache, this beauty comes from an 1,800’-elevaton vineyard and rivals many Chateauneuf-du-Papes in the same price range. Try with a roasted prime rib. $55

Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Chenowith Ranch Russian River Valley 2013 — From one of the prime locations in Russian River Valley, this vineyard was planted by iconic vineyard manager Charlie Chenowith. Patz & Hall has exclusivity for this site. Each vintage seems better than the last! $60

Benovia Pinot Noir Sonoma County Cohn Vineyard 2013 — Not just old vines, this vineyard was planted in 1970! The gnarled vines yield barely one ton per acre, organically farmed. Only 350 cases produced. $70

Paraduxx Napa Valley Red Wine Howell Mountain 2012 — “This wine frames the robust fruit character of Zinfandel with the structure and depth of Cabernet Sauvig­non,” says Don LaBorde, wine maker. Best Zin/Cab blend I’ve tasted to date! Deep, dark and hedonistic. $80

Cardinale 2012 — A combination of top vineyards in seven of the most prized appellations of Napa Valley, including Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Diamond Mountain, Spring Mountain, Stag’s Leap, St. Helena and Yountville, the complexity of the individual vineyards is reflected in this stylistically complete wine. $250

Tasting from Abagail Adams Collection

I was pleased to join a small group of professional tasters in Houston, sampling Beth Adams’ stable of wines. My favorites, and all recommended are: El Libre Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza 2014 $9.99; El Libertador Malbec Mendoza, from 20 year-old vines 2012 $16.99; Wolf Family Vineyards Phaedrus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2011 $40; Moffett Merlot and Moffett Petite Verdot 2011 $45 each; Pedras Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012, only 93 cases produced $75; Steltzner Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District 2012, made by Robert Pepi from a winery that has been producing since 1977 $68; August Briggs Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2012, only 700 cases produced $40; August Briggs Zinfandel Old Vines Napa Valley 2011 $35l

DENMAN MOODY USE DSC_0007Denman Moody was the Editor and Publisher of Moody’s Wine Review for six years and Con­tributing Editor on Rare Wine for International Wine Review in New York for six years. He has published or had published over 400 articles on wine, including The International Wine and Food Society Journal in London, Revue du Vin de France in Paris and The Robb Report in Malibu. He is or has been a member of The Inter­national Wine and Food Society, Confrerie Saint-Etienne d’Alsace, The German Wine Society, Commanderie de Bordeaux, Chaine des Rotisseurs, Les Amis d’Escoffier and The Knights of the Vine.

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Category: Wine Reviews by Denman Moody

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