Strawberry-flavored Rosé is a great porch sipper

May 12, 2014

Just wrapped up a family dinner of enchiladas, cucumber, avocado salad, and Tecate. The Cinco is full of cheese-crusted, soaking ramekins, and I remembered I’d forgotten to hunt and peck this column. Thank goodness for spell check and a friendly, expert, editorial crew. There’s quite a bit on this week’s agenda so let’s jump to it. Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2012 was an excellent product. WS and WA both awarded 91 points. It is a great value under $20, very dark purple-colored, with aromas of blackberries, red fruit, smoke and spices. Medium-bodied, minerals, grapey and silky with integrated tannin and alcohol. Will drink well thru 2018.

Go Figure Lot 22 Stags Leap District Red Blend is a decent meritage from Napa on sale at $240/case. Jon Visser, one of Gary’s buyers with whose palate I agree, says, “Medium saturated color, gorgeous bouquet of ripe cherry & raspberry, hints of tobacco and cedar. On the palate, Lot 22 is medium-bodied, ripe and youthful with excellent grip and mouth feel. This wine offers a layer of tannin (for cellaring). Long, consistent, lush, totally delicious finish.”

Coeur Esterelle Cotes de Provence Grenache Rosé 2013 is another great summer porch sipper. Redolent strawberry nose leads to wonderful strawberry and cherry flavors, all riding a juicy acid frame. The aroma, flavor and acidity are delicately balanced for a lovely, clean finish. Best of all, this can be found for $150/case.

For the first time ever, I was disappointed in an article from Snooth. Any who have started to reference their material due to my recommendation, please be advised, I disagree with the recent Sauvignon Blanc assessment that appeared April 29. Although I did not sample four of the nine written up, I thought the only fair assessment of the five I did sample was Frei Brothers Russian River Reserve 2012. The best deal I could find was $180/case plus shipping. I would rate the wine an average buy at that price and 88 points.

Good news just in from Zachys Wine E-Auction! All cellarers and speculators will be happy to learn the results were splendid. Estimated to come in between $260K and $371K, the auction of 673 lots sold 98 percent for a grand total of $368,774. Happily, for those who took my advice, these wines did well: Bruno Giocosa Faletto Barolo 2004 went for $1,041, recommended at $145; “89” CDP Beaucastel, six/bottles $1,384, recommended at $100/bottle on release and was on Garden Gourmet list; Haut Brion 2008, half case $2,695, recommended at $225/bottle in 2009 presale; Raveneau Chablis Les Clos 1999, three/$1,225, recommended at $58. As I have advised repeatedly, proper early buying in these highly regarded labels is a license to print money. However, it is not for those who can’t avoid sampling, and it requires proper cellaring with good humidity control if you live at the beach.

In February’s auction, Sine Qua Non The Petition white 2005, three/$1,041, recommended $1,000/case. Best of all, that Chateau Mouton 1998 and 1990 ,which I bought for my sons’ birthdays in ‘90 and ‘92 went off for over $6K/case. Unfortunately, we have consumed all of it at respective birthday parties. Barbara and I bought them for $126/bottle. If you wish to see a thorough listing on Zachys, email or call 914-313-2318 and Lydia Serrano will fill you in. Spring Auction online will run May 15 thru June 1.

Finally, regarding the cellaring issue, the 2010 Baroli are coming on the U.S. market in June. Some may have reached our sunny shores already. I strongly suggest you buy into them if you are a stinkin’ capitalist or you just happen to enjoy saying, “I told you so.” My oft-repeated caveat, only buy what you enjoy drinking. Beware the Ides of Bordeaux. Any who wish my advice on projected best cellared sellers, please feel free to email me. Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers who read here.