2004 Tomaresca Bocca di Lupo Castel del Monte Aglianico ($36). Wow! This is a gorgeous wine – generous, but with good structure, complex with moderate tannins, but easy to drink. From a grape indigenous to this region of Puglia, it carries none of the rustic qualities often associated with Italian native reds. Buy.
2007 Liberty School Central Coast Syrah (about $12). The Hope family for years supplied grapes for the Caymus brand, and now that they are teaching the School, they have added Syrah to the Cab and Chard selections. This is a solid one, not fancy or complex, but with firm flavors and a finish of Paso Robles neighborhood savory funk. Consider.
2006 Rocca Family Cabernet Sauvignon ($75). This wine didn’t knock me out, but it gave me a strong kiss on the cheek. It’s dark and murky the way Silverado Trail wines can be with a finish of Bakers chocolate and blackberries left to shrivel on the vine. It’s almost Syrah/Shiraz-like the same way some Barossa Cabs are. It has some rough edges when poured directly from the bottle, so decant a couple of hours before, not for accessibility but for table presence. Strongly Consider.
2008 Hess Select Lake County Sauvignon Blanc ($12). Although I’ve found the Hess line to be uneven in recent years, this is a nice, fruity but balanced Sauvignon in the California style. I liked the fact that when I went back to it a day later, then 2 days later, it held up quite well. In a crowded category, I would consider it A Possibility.
2006 Castellroig “Terroja” Penedes ($40). I wanted to like Chris Campbell’s line of C&P Spanish wines better than I did during a pairing this week at Domaine Hudson in Wilmington with Jason Barrowcliff’s cuisine (splendid again). But I did like this one. It’s a style that’s not in vogue – lots of mellowing oxygen as compared to crisp fruit freshness. It has that floral flavors coming from lees, and there’s melon rind in the finish. It’s not up to me to tell you whether it’s worth 40 bucks, but my feeling is that rank-and-file winos won’t think so. A Possibility.
2008 TempraTantrum Malpico ($10). The Osborne family has spot- marketed this line of Tempranillo blends in the U.S., and they should be coming to a wine shop near you soon. There are four Tempranillo blends – with Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz and Grenache – and I found all of them fresh, flavorful and good food wines. Definitely Try.
Until next time...