Herdade dos Outeiros Altos Vinho Biologico 2012 – Alentejo, Portugal

60% Alfrocheiro, 10% Trincadeira, 30% Aragonés certified organic. Another installment of the Portuguese table wine journey. This one, a blend of indigenous grapes and Aragonés (which is either Garnacha or Alicante Bouschet in drag, depending on who is talking, but Spanish regardless), attacks the front of the palate with juicy red and dark fruit with a floral punch. Violets and ripening raspberries on the nose followed across the tongue by the aforementioned fruits and slightly green plum, fig, cherry, mossy black rubber, and chewy tannins. These all sound rather dank, but the balance is good and body medium. I picked this one up at Brooklyn Wine Exchange for about $18-20 and it was a rockstar with goat cheese and mushroom tortellini.

  • Rating: Everyday Reds
  • Name: Vinho Biologico 2012
  • Winery: Herdade dos Outeiros Altos 
  • Region: DOC Alentejo
  • Country: Portugal
  • Varietals: 60% Alfrocheiro, 10% Trincadeira, 30% Aragonés
  • Price: $18-$20
  • Where to Buy: Brooklyn Wine Exchange, 138 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
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Rendezvous 2010 – Middleburg, Virginia

Nathan gave me this bottle as a gift and is much more qualified to give background information on the RdV Vineyard. This is a very impressive wine. Only the “very” part is attributable to the fact that it’s from Virginia – it would be impressive regardless. I’m writing now after having the bottle open for about an hour. Early going, it exhibited some nice mossy notes that I usually associate with some better French wines. Now as I taste it a nice tannic, melted strawberry ice cream note hits the front of the tongue. That’s a very specific flavor, but accurate. Strawberries, cherries, and flint on the nose. The tannin shores up any fruitiness and marries it well with a faint grassiness that goes well with the red fruits and faint leather, vanilla, and anise flavors. I might have liked a bit more body, perhaps more emphasis on the leather or raisiny chewiness, but this is a lovely, elegant wine that shows its distant French roots. Count me a skeptic on Virginia wine, but not if it’s labeled RdV.

  • Rating: Impressive 
  • Name: Rendezvous 2010
  • Winery: RdV Vineyards
  • Region: Middleburg, Virginia
  • Country: USA
  • Varietals: Bordeaux blend composing of Merlot 44%, Cabernet Sauvignon 24%, Petit Verdot 20%, Cabernet Franc 12%
  • Price: $85
  • Where to Buy: You can purchase this wine directly from RdV Vineyards

Chateau Pas du Cerf Cotes de Provence 2012 – Provence, France

A nice slate and herb nose, with a slight cheese-rind mustiness that works just right. Deep garnet coloring and medium to light body. Light white pepper and gentle juiciness come on early with a hint of grassiness. Cherries, brisk red fruits, plum and bright acidity blends well with the ease of structure and nearly non-existent tannins. This is an excellent light red when you’re not feeling like the usual punch in the mouth reds that I favor. Just the right amount of character – I don’t tend toward French wines, but I’m glad we got this one. Picked this one up at La Petite Jurassienne (56 Rue de la Buffa) cheese shop in Nice, France. I have no idea whether it’s available in the US or at what price.

  • Rating: Everyday Reds
  • Name: Cotes de Provence 2012
  • Winery: Chateau Pas du Cerf 
  • Region: Provence
  • Country: France
  • Varietals: N/A
  • Price: N/A
  • Where to Buy: La Petite Jurassienne, 56 Rue de la Buffa, Nice, France

Alanda Tinto 2011 – Galicia, Spain

IMG_6394-0Sheridan and I shared this the afternoon that we crushed the first vintage of our “estate” Barbera, proudly grown in Kensington, MD – more on that in a later post.

This one was subtle and refreshingly fruity with plums and berry fruits. It only had a hint of oak, which made the sense of place shine through. The wine and the three varietals that define it, Mencia, Bastardo, and Garnacha Tintorera, were grown in Galicia, Spain, which boarders Northern Portugal (no wonder this was a hit with the two of us). Not sure how much it goes for or how the heck to buy it here…Sheridan, any thoughts to offer on this?

  • Rating: Everyday Whites
  • Name: Alanda Tinto 2011
  • Winery: Quinta da Muradella
  • Region: Galicia 
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: 65% Mencia, 30% Bastardo, 5% Garnacha Tintorera
  • Price: N/A
  • Where to Buy: N/A