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Herb's Half Case Wine Club

April 2018

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This will be our last month of more reds than whites. It’s a good mix of everyday wines and two heartier options. Enjoy!

Cheers, Herb

Mark your calendars for the DPS/Pinewood Van Winkle Charity Tasting and Auction - April 8 & 9. Details and ticketing info coming shortly.

P.S. - My non-Wine Club selection for the month is the 2015 Tensley Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard. I chose this wine because it’s a great end of winter wine and a great example of the quality of Santa Barbara county Syrah. It’s a powerful wine with blueberry and blackberry fruit with light smoke and black pepper notes. The tannins are big, but ripe, and the finish is very lengthy. This is a stellar red!

2017 Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewürztraminer (Mendocino County, California)
Tasting Notes: As we head into spring, I wanted to feature a white that will rescue us from the winter doldrums. The Gewürz from Alexander Valley Vineyards is just the ticket. It has a fresh fruit cocktail aroma with a pleasant spice note. This white is clean on the palate with litchi, pear, and more fruit cocktail and spice flavors. The finish is expressive with hints of white flowers, crisp stone fruits, spice and nice length. This white is fresh and flavorful by itself or great to enjoy with spicy dishes.

Food Pairing: This wine has a ton of flavor and can be served by itself or as the starter wine for a party. Otherwise, I’d pair this with lighter dishes or salads.

2014 Windfinder Chardonnay (Monterey County, California)
Tasting Notes:This is a richer style of Chardonnay from Monterey and a perfect selection for the few remaining chilly days of winter. It has a dense aroma of ripe tropical fruits. This white has nice concentration on the palate with ripe tropical fruits – mangoes and guavas – and a hint of oak. The finish has ripe pineapple, mango and nice length. This is a superbly affordable Chardonnay with the bells and whistles of a pricier wine.

Food Pairing: This is a fuller bodied white, which can be paired with poultry or lighter pork dishes.

2015 Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone Rouge (Rhone, France)
Tasting Notes:This red from the Rhone Valley in southern France is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. I like that it has some complexity and isn’t a complete fruit bomb like some of its peers. On the palate, it starts with dark red berry fruit and hints of underbrush. It has ripe fruit, but has balancing acidity, which provides good structure and a regulator on the fruit. The finish is bright with cherry/berry fruit, medium tannins and good length. This Cotes du Rhone starts off with an abundance of fruit, then tempers and intrigues, so you’ll want another glass.

Food Pairing: This is a great everyday red for a variety of everyday meals. Burgers, pizza, even stews would work well with this red. You really can’t go wrong here.

2014 Inverted Red (Monterey County, California)
Tasting Notes: This Cabernet-heavy red blend from Monterey is a winner. It starts with a solid berry aroma that’s slightly dark. This red is medium-bodied with slightly bright, dark red fruits and a hint of spice. The Inverted has great structure for its price and the finish has lower tannins, ripe berry fruits and good length. This is a superb value and a great everyday drinking red!

Food Pairing: Here’s another solid everyday red, but with a bit more body than the Rhone above. Try this one with heavier dishes, but not too heavy, such as chili, stew, pork loin, burgers, etc.

2015 Old Pearl Cabernet Sauvignon (California)
Tasting Notes:California Cabernet is surprisingly hard to make. Or, more correctly, it’s hard to make with the balance of the Old Pearl Cabernet. This Cabernet has nice aromas of cherry and vanilla that are followed by medium-bright dried cherry fruit on the palate. I love the hint of acidity here, which I find lacking in most $10-$13 Cabs. Acidity can change a Cabernet from a cloying candied-cherry fruit bomb to a pleasant dried cherry quaffer. The finish is spicy with light clove notes, dark berry fruit and medium length.

Food Pairing: This Cabernet has a ton of flavor and enough acidity, so it will pair well with heavier, juicier meats.

2015 Dona Paula Estate Malbec (Uco Valley, Argentina)
Tasting Notes: : This higher elevation (4400 feet) Malbec from the Uco Valley is a joy for the palate. It has an intoxicating aroma of bright, fresh boysenberry fruit. There’s nice concentration on the palate with ripe black fruits and boysenberries. Acidity is present throughout and provides a good balance to the abundance of fresh-picked fruit. The finish has ripe tannins, dark boysenberry fruit and nice length. Uco Valley is a serious growing region for Malbec and the Dona Paula is a great testimonial.

Food Pairing: This is a heavier red, so you’re not going to overwhelm this wine. Pair with heavy beef, lamb or game dishes.