Shooting Star - August Offer
Three Distinctive European Reds
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2018 Paolo Marcarini "Zeroincondotta" Barbera - Piemonte, Italy SRP $20 Stellar Bottles Price $15
Low to High 0-5 Scale: Body/weight 3, Fruit Intensity 4, Acidity 3, Oak 0, Tannin 1
A wine needn't be complex to be enjoyable. This one sings with an expressive purity from start to finish. It's a 2018, it's super fresh, bright and lively. The color is purple and it fully extends to the rim of the glass, nothing dilute about this one. It reminds me a bit of a Cru Beaujolais, yet it's distinctly Italian.
Piemonte, in northwest Italy is best known for Barolo, Barbaresco and a whole lot of Moscato d'Asti, but Barbera (along with Dolcetto) is consumed most broadly by the locals. If Barbera were French in origins, it would be one of the most popular grape varieties on the planet. The vine is vigorous, low maintenance and it can be made into many styles. Moderating the vineyard yields is key, this one crops at about 3 tons per acre, which is quite low in the wine world.
I recently tasted my first wine from this producer. I'm impressed by the purity and refinement. A lot of oaked aged Barbera can be amazing, but during the warm summer months, this style is more satisfying and not at all too heavy.
- hand-harvested, certified USDA organic, no added sulfites, vegan
- It drinks great from the moment it's opened, holds up well into day two, also great with a slight chill, 20 mins in the fridge
- it's exuberantly youthful, meant for early consumption
- had it homemade gnocchi that went horribly wrong, no doubt paired with any pasta dish with red sauce would be a winner
Low to High 0-5 Scale: Body/weight 4, Fruit Intensity 3, Acidity 3, Oak 1, Tannin 2
Yes, it's true, I'm a big fan of this winery, liked everything that I've tasted from it. Primitivo is a close relative to California's Zin. That said, this one is distinctly Italian. A beautifully crafted wine.
Nice saturated ruby red color, deep dense, full, with an Asian Five Spice note, it develops more complexity with time in the glass. There's nothing whimpy about this wine. The color extends to the rim of the glass, nothing thin or washed out here. It weighs in at 14% alcohol, but everything is in balance.
This has to be one of the most eco-friendly wineries in the world. As for the wines, brilliantly made, consistently interesting and insanely good values.
- hand harvested, USDA organic, Demeter certified biodynamic, vegan-friendly, no added sulfites, eco-friendly paper labels, no capsule
- cork closure
- it's inviting from the time that it's opened, but it evolves with time in the glass, very good on day two, but the alcohol aromas become more apparent
- it could cellar for a few more years, but I like it now
- This could be a go to wine for any meat off the grill or baked, roasted of panfried, think paleo and it'll pair up well
2015 Domaine des Cedres Cotes du Rhone Villages - Rhone, France SRP $24 Stellar Bottles Price $18
Low to High 0-5 Scale: Body/weight 4, Fruit Intensity 3, Acidity 3, Oak 1, Tannin 3
My wine preferences have changed a lot over the years, but one constant has been my enjoyment of Rhone wines. From the low end to high, I find them some of the most interesting and diverse wines on the planet.
In recent years, two things have changed a lot for the Rhone Valley. The world has caught on to the appeal of the wines. This has led to crazy price hikes. Secondly, the region (like many others) has had some super hot growing seasons. Unless great care is taken, the end result is clumsy, over-blown wines that are clown shoes big.
This domaine gets it right. First, I like the blend. 80% Syrah to form the structure and weight of the wine, 20% Grenache to lend a savory spice and red fruit note. Even though the Syrah level is high, it reminds me of Chateauneuf du Pape, but at a fraction of the price. Speaking of price, this is one of the better values tasted in a while.
- hand harvested, Certified Ecocert organic vineyards, biodynamic practices, but not certified
- cork closure
- inviting from the moment it's opened, but better with about an hour of air, holding up well on day two
- it already has some aging, but the structure lends itself to a few more years if desired
- I had with a frozen pizza. It was late on a weeknight! Anything red meat, meaty mushrooms or full flavored cheese would be a match