November definitely had some excitement to it. Between the start of the 3rd series, awell special for Thanksgiving, and breaking 10,000 views, there was certainly a lot to be thankful for. So before talking about the wines, a big thank you to all of our readers for the support! Of course the real thing that matters is which wines were good enough to make the top 5 for the month. So without further ado, the best of November 2011.
Dishonorable Mention: Arbor Mist Zinfandel Sangria – What exactly is this stuff. The nutritional label (yes, it has a nutritional label), claims that it’s made from Zinfandel grapes, but the sheer number of additional ingredients imply it’s some sort of malt beverage. To be honest, it’s basically strawberry soda that may or may not have been wine at one point. Don’t drink this, make your own sangria.
5. 2009 Epicuro Aglianico – While Aglianico is not the most well known varietal, this wine is helping to show this grape’s potential in the under $10 market. A wonderful set of blackberry and plum form the foundations for cedar, anise, and terroir to build a complex flavor in this moderate red. The finish isn’t perfect, but this wine has a lot of character and depth.
4. 2010 Fetzer Gewürztraminer – This wine was something of a surprise. Having seen it in a lot of stores, it didn’t seem that it was going to be as good as it is for mass distributed wine. Practically bursting with lychee and honeysuckle, it also gets compliments of minerality, apricot, and lemon. There’s also plenty of crisp acid, and a touch of sweetness
3. 2009 Tormaresca Neprica – This wine just steamrolls though. Built on a base of Negroamaro, with its powerful tannins and acidity, and given fruit forward finesse from Cabernet Sauvignon and Primitivo, this wine pulls out massive blackberry, plum, clove, and oak, with a background of smoke and bittersweet-chocolate. The mouth feel is beautifully rich and chewy.
2. 2009 Chateau St. Jean Fumé Blanc – Sauvignon Blanc only grows as large as it goes in California in a few places, and the fact that Chateau St. Jean is the maker is an added bonus. This wine shows how good Sauvignon Blanc can be with a touch of oak. Lemon, starfruit, and orange zest help balance a creamy vanilla, butter, and smoke background. Lots of nice natural acidity, and an impressively smooth mouth feel.
1. 2010 Le Campuget Grenache Viognier – This wine was mindblowingly good for $10. An extremely subtle sweetness leads of a crisp wine filled with honeysuckle, rose, pear, lemon, and melon. The mouth feel is more to the moderate side, and helps keep the wine feeling extremely well balanced.
Agree? Disagree? Know of a wine that could make next months Best of? Let us know in the comments!