Tag Archives: blend

Argiano Non Confunditur

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2009
Tuscany, Italy

Feeling my Italian roots this week. Too much going on at the moment for making gnocchi, so I contented myself with a bunch of vino courtesy of BevMo!’s 33% off sale. This was a great opportunity for some branching out — my recent pinot and shiraz addiction has kept me in a Transpacific rut between California and Australia for months. I know not every wine lover can appreciate the youthful exuberance of Italian varietals and styles (including most of my close wino buddies, who leave me to sip my chianti in solitude) but this one finds much to appreciate in what the Boot kicks stateside.

So without further ado…I present Non Confunditur from Argiano in Tuscany. The name comes from the Latin motto on the Argiano’s crest, and loosely translates to “don’t get confused.” I love that motto, but let’s be ┬áhonest: such playfulness attests to the trend of Italian winemakers looking to the New World more and more as they create their wines and marketing strategy. Not sure that’s a good thing, but que sera sera.

NC is a delicious blend of French and Italian grapes: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Syrah, 20% Sangiovese. It’s rich and full and very earthy, even a little musty. Even the color is kind of…dirty. There’s that smoky tobacco and leather in the long finish. Real grapy and oaky in the nose. But inside those layers is a nice plum and red fruit core that coats the tongue. I totally love this wine — it was worth the $18 (after discount; normally it retails for $27) and I’m enjoying every drop.

Dinner awaits. The pasta is not forthcoming due to aforementioned “stuff” so we’ll just have to see how NC holds up to hot dogs. Si, Nonna — hot dogs Americano; non salsiccia. I’m sorry Nonna.

On sale now at BevMo!

Vigilance Cimarron

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Vigilance Cimarron 20102010
Lake County, California

Fruit and spice, earth and oak–there’s something for everyone in this sparkling red blend, perfect for the holidays and sustainably farmed in Lake County. Berries and plums dance in the bouquet, and the pallet is full and lively with tart blackberry and allspice. There’s a chewy core of leathery oak, too, to back up those exuberant top notes. The finish is deep, rich and creamy. A seasonal celebration in every glass!

On sale now at BevMo! Stock up for Christmas and beyond! (I certainly intend to.)

Nistri Campi Salti Sangiovese-Syrah 2009

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CampiSalti Sangiovese Syrah2009
Tuscany, Italy

What a gem! Jewel-like garnet red, wonderfully rich from the 40% Syrah, bubbling with spirit from the 60% Sangiovese, and 100% yummers. Fruit-forward with blackberries, plums and dried cherries in the nose; plums, dark cherries, oak and cranberry in the mouth with a vague herbal note. The finish is soft and silky with firm but well structured tannins. I do recommend breathing to open it up–it was twice the wine after a few hours.

Red Guitar Old Vine Tempranillo Garnacha

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Red Guitar Old Vine Tempranillo Garnacha 2008
Navarra, Spain

This Spanish blend (52% Tempranillo, 48% Grenache) is harmonious and complex, with flavors that strike deep and long. Purple-red in color; rich, ripe scent of blackberries and spice; boysenberry on the tip of the tongue with oak and pepper in the middle. The finish has a bitter, mineral character that might be a bit off-putting for some, but also adds a welcome touch of spunk. $9 from Vons.

Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat Shiraz-Cabernet, 2009

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Penfolds Rawson's Retreat Shiraz Cabernet2009
Australia

KO! The deep, inky red color is the first thing that you’ll notice with this heavyweight contendah. It’s got some stout legs, too. Plums and raspberries in the nose with a tickle of nutmeg. A great spicy-sweet beginning gives way to a berry-licious center and a long, lingering cocoa finish. Gives a one-two punch with Shiraz (60%) boldness and Cab (40%) jamminess. If you like ’em big, this is your champion!