Peloro – Faro, Italy

Fresh flowers and moss on the nose.  Yep.  Fresh and mossy.  A light bodied red fruit explosion sneaks up on the front end, with a hint of vanilla.  Some pleasant green tannins bring this one to an abrupt close, and a lingering hit of that same freshness as it fades out to warm tannins.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Peloro Terre Siciliane Rosso 2014
  • Winery: Le Casematte SRL
  • Region: Faro (Sicily)
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: 70% Nerella Mascalese, 30% Nocera
  • Price: $21
  • Where to Buy: S&R Liquors
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Bruno Giacosa 2015 – Dolcetto d’Alba, Italy

A pretty little medium bodied red with no surprises.  Luscious, with red fruit and faint leather and grass notes.  This one is easy-drinking and plays well with a variety of foods and moods.  Don’t think, just drink.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d’Alba 2015
  • Winery: Bruno Giacosa
  • Region: Dolcetto d’Alba
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Dolcetto
  • Price: ~$25
  • Where to Buy: com

Brolio 2011 – Chianti, Italy

Toasted sugar and strawberry cake on the nose.  Grassy, fresh berries, with slate and cocoa on the front of the palate at first taste.  I have to admit being braced somewhat by the tannins – I did not expect them, so they seemed a bit overdone.  Almonds, marzipan, and a leathery chewiness, with a crisp, almost tart abrupt finish.  A fun ride.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Brolio 2011 Chianti Classico
  • Winery: Barone Ricasoli
  • Region: Chianti
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Sangiovese 80%, Merlot 15%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%
  • Price: $20

Cantaperdius – Tarragona, Spain

Ripe red fruits, strawberries, red plums, and, oddly, a hint of charcoal and leather on the nose.  Fascinating combination.  A fresh, acidic opening with more red fruit and grass.  This is a medium bodied beauty great for when you really want a red, but it’s hot and, therefore, everyone is trying to tell you to order white wine.  The finish is quick, spicy, and a bit leathery with a cherry aftertaste.  Light, fun, and summery, kinda like Tarragona itself.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Cantaperdius
  • Winery: Moises Virgili Rovira
  • Region: Tarragona
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: Sumoll, Ull de Llebre
  • Price: 8 Euros
  • Where to Buy: Zona d’Ombra, Barcelona

Borsao Berola 2011 – Campo de Borja, Spain

This one starts with musty mushrooms blended with lots of red fruit preserves and blackberries.  Strawberry and fresh sour plum hit the front of the palate, with white chocolate and hazelnuts following.  Everything comes together with a soft airy tannin finish reminiscent of burnt sugar, with hints of cocoa and coffee.  I’m putting this one as an everyday wine, though it borders on impressive.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Berola 2011
  • Winery: Borsao Bodegas
  • Region: Campo de Borja
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: 70% Garnacha, 20% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Price: $16
  • Where to Buy: Calvert Woodley Wines & Spirits

Tamaral Roble 2013 – Ribera del Duero, Spain

Fresh blackberry and currant on the nose, with faint nutmeg spice.  Violets and dark berries, laced with a faint strain of vanilla come together to finish with a solid, abrupt tannin finish.  A chewiness, with peppercorns and aromatic herbs, lingers after the finish.  A nifty little wine, well balanced and nimble, how a Mazda Miata might compare to a Ferrari.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Tamaral Roble 2013
  • Winery: Bodegas y Viñedos Tamaral
  • Region: Ribera del Duero
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: Tempranillo
  • Price: $17
  • Where to Buy: Calvert Woodley Wines & Spirits

Langhe DOC Rosso 2013 – Piedmont, Italy

IMG_3880Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Freisa, Pinot Noir, and Albarossa. Violet and mineral notes on the nose with just a hint of autumn mustiness. Fresh cherry, plum, and florals attack the palate on the front end, rounding quickly with brief tannins and a longer greenish mineral finish. This is a bright, acidic red just right for the onset of spring. I would call it light bodied, if not for some stubborn tannins on the backend that provide some depth and backbone. With toast and goat cheese, it’s stellar and I could not imagine a better foil. I picked this one up at Calvert Woodley for $16 on Mark’s recommendation. Verdict: Everyday Red.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Langhe DOC Rosso 2013
  • Winery: G.D. Vajra
  • Region: Piedmont
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Barbera blended with small quantities of Albarossa, Freisa and Pinot Noir
  • Price: $16
  • Where to Buy: Calvert Woodley, 4339 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

 

Bula 2013 – Montsant, Spain

IMG_3786Mazuelo, Garnacha, and Syrah. A powerful iteration of the Montsant DO. It comes on strong with bursting black fruit, currant, rose petals, and leather flavors and a full mouthfeel. The tannins are slighter than most Catalan wines, but present enough to provide some structure. Strawberry and flint notes on the nose are subtle, with everything stretching out into a nice, warm peppery finish. This is a great Everyday Red at $13-16 at your local Whole Foods.

  • Rating: Everyday Red
  • Name: Bula 2013
  • Winery: Aviva Vino
  • Region: Montsant
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: Mazuelo, Garnacha, and Syrah
  • Price: $13-$16
  • Where to Buy: Whole Foods, Washington D.C.

Castillo de Anna Gran Reserva 2005 – Valencia, Spain

This has all the hallmarks of a classic Spanish wine: flowers and red fruit on the nose, dark, chocolaty, leathery, and mossy notes with tight tannins on the finish. For whatever reason – perhaps in the traditional style – the bottle tells nothing about the varietals. I picked this one up at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill in DC for $15.

  • Rating: Everyday Reds
  • Name: Gran Reserva 2005
  • Winery: Castillo de Anna
  • Region: Valencia
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: N/A
  • Price: $15
  • Where to Buy: Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, 300 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Nirá Nero D’Avola 2012 – Sicily, Italy

img_3401Big vanilla chocolate raspberry cinnamon punch in the mouth. Sound jammy? Nope. Got the tannins to collect it all up nicely at the end of the palate. The mouth punch gives way later to familiar dark tarry notes of rubber, blackberry jam, and slate that Nero is known for. A nice, stubborn wine that gets a foothold on the palate. Believe I picked this one up at Schneider’s on the Hill for around $25.

 

 

  • Rating: Everyday Reds
  • Name: Nirá 2012
  • Winery: Terrelíade
  • Region: Sicily 
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Nero D’Avola
  • Price: $25
  • Where to Buy: Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, 300 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002