Winning Wines

| October 1, 2015

Fijnbosch Vineyard - Stellenbosch Region - South Africa - Capensis

All varieties and a great range of prices


Bisol “Crede” Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Brut — Made from Pinot Bianco and two relatively unknown grapes, Glera and Verdiso, this is one of my favorite Proseccos. Brilliant light straw color with a bouquet of wild flowers. Fresh and elegant, and simply transcends most of the Proseccos on the market. I know the name is a mouthful, but it’s worth it, as the wine is a mouthful of pleasure! $25

Kim Crawford Fizz Small Parcels Sparkling Wine 2009 — A relatively new wine from this winery known for its excellent Sauvignon Blancs. Crisp and toasty with apple and peach aromas from a blend of 60 percent Pinot Noir and 40 percent Chardonnay. Aged 42 months prior to disgorgement. $27

Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee Brut Carneros Late Disgorged 2006 — The Royal Cuvee was first served to King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain during their first visit to California in 1987. Made in the Champagne method and only in noble vintages. A noticeable step up from the delightful Sonoma County Brut — which is always a good value — and competitive with the big boys. $35


Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Reserve White Wine 2013 — “Clean, crisp and fresh” nails this wine. For sipping, with hors d’oeuvres or light appetizers. Pretty label and surprisingly refreshing. $12

Schreckbichl Colterenzio Pinot Grigio Suditol Alto Adige 2014 — From the highest, coolest wine-growing area in Italy, this wine sings, “The hills are alive…” Attractive peach and honeydew, with rich texture and balancing acidity all the way through the finish. Try with grilled sea bass or chicken pasta. $14

Sequoia Grove Chardonnay Napa Valley 2013 — Eureka! An almost perfect Napa Chardonnay. No malolactic fermentation since the natural acidity is stunning. Citrus and guava with a creamy middle taste and luscious finish. A gem and a bargain. $26

MacRostie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2013 — A perennial best value, this wine came from numerous cool-climate vineyards offering distinct complex characteristics. Mostly barrel fermented and aged on the lees for 6 months. To emphasize the gorgeous 2013 fruit, select lots were fermented in stainless steel. For a 32,000-case production, this seems like something from a boutique! This winery just gets better and better. $26

Capensis Chardonnay Stellenbosch Fijnbosch Vineyard 2013 — Certainly the best wine I’ve tasted from South Africa. This seems to be similar to what Jess Jackson and French winemaker Pierre Seilan put together at Verite — producer of some of the best red wines in the world — in Sonoma County. Here, however, it is Jackson’s widow Barbara Banke and South African icon Antony Beck with Chardonnay. Winemaker Graham Weerts worked at Verite and Stonestreet in California and Mulderbosch in South Africa. The aromatics include peach, apple and pear, and the middle taste exhibits beautiful fruit, luscious complexity and subtle minerality. Competitive with the best Chardonnays the world has to offer. Only 1,000 cases produced. $80

Besieged Sonoma County 2012 — A blend of 35 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Petite Sirah, 18 percent Zinfandel, 12 percent Merlot, 9 percent Alicante and 5 percent Barbera. Joel Peterson of Ravenswood has produced a winner here. Bold plum and blackberry fruit. Rich and extremely happy with a cheeseburger! $12

Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Claret Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 — Perhaps it’s the vintage, and perhaps it’s that this is the flagship of the Coppola Diamond Collection, but whatever the reason, this is the best offering from the Diamond Collection I have experienced. Tasted at a “Diamonds on the Diamond” outing with winemakers from Coppola at a recent Astros/Dodgers game, all of the wines were good, but this was the best. And to top it off, the Astros won in a no hitter!!! Beautiful purple color with aromas of chocolate-covered black cherries, this is a greatly underpriced claret (the early British name for imported wines from Bordeaux). Could be twice the price and still be a good value! $13.99

Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 — Isn’t everyone looking for a good, affordable Napa Valley Cab? Well, you don’t need to guess on this one! Aged 12 months in French oak, this wine has ripe black currant and chocolate flavors. “Fun, approachable and food-friendly.” $20

Kunde Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2013 — From one of the best wineries still slightly under the radar, this super-sustainable family winery, established in 1904, has produced the best Zin I’ve tasted this year! “A broad tapestry of blackberry and raspberry are seamlessly woven with spicy notes of black pepper.” The winery recommends barbequed ribs or a fancy risotto; for me, burgers and pizzas. 6,000 cases produced. $22

Head High Red Wine 2013 — A very successful blend of 36 percent Malbec, 20 percent Merlot, 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 13 percent Zinfandel and 11 percent Grenache from carefully selected sites in Sonoma county (74 percent), Lake County (14 percent) and the rest Napa County. No thoughts of a specific terroir here, but no matter. This nice, rich, medium- to full-bodied red is a winner. Grilled flank steak sounds just about right! $30

Davis Bynum Pinot Noir Jane’s Vineyard Russian River Valley 2013 — Davis Bynum produced the first Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley in 1973 from the Rochioli Vineyard! An unusually hot August and early September accelerated the ripening, and the harvest was completed by mid-September. All blocks were hand-picked in early a.m., cold soaked and fermented in native yeasts. Aged in French oak (33 percent new). Aromas of cherry fruit, spice and earth. The winery recommends a truffle mushroom risotto or roasted pork with herbs and fennel. $35

Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Gowan Creek Vineyard 2012 — If you’re up for one of the best Pinot Noirs available at any price, seek this one out and buy it. Deep purple color with aromas of lavender and flavors of wild blackberry and dark cherries. “It is the richest and most abundantly fruit-driven of any of our Pinots,” says winemaker Michael Faye. Will just blow you away, especially with something like roasted duck with a dark cherry sauce. $82

Clos Abella Priorat 2009 — Out of over 1,000 wines blind-tasted in Hong Kong for Wine in China magazine, this amazing wine, tasted by a panel of 14 including Anthony Hanson MW and Jancis Robinson MW, was awarded 97 points and proclaimed “Best Wine in the World” for 2014. The Marco families have been winegrowers in Priorat since the 15th century. It is a blend of 50 percent Carignan, 39 percent Grenache and 11 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. This was an “Aha” moment for me regarding Carignan, just as the approximately 50 percent Cabernet Franc was, in the first, almost-perfect Maya (Napa Valley) I tasted. I could only find it in Houston at Truluck’s! $90

10_Claret_FNL 2012 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Gowan Creek Vineyard 2013 Capensis Label 2013 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay label large 2013ZinfandelFace 2014 Schreckbichl Colterenzio Pinot Grigio_label ED cabernet sauvign 2013

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Category: Wine Reviews by Denman Moody

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