It's been said time and time again that red wines are appropriate for the cooler months. I agree with this statement, so I'll take it one step further and point out that fruit-forward, oaky and full-bodied reds are also the perfect match for winter stews and soups; braised meats; curries and winter's comfort foods (hello, mac and cheese and sweet-potato casserole!).
Here are six red wines to look for the next time conditions drop below freezing.
Clautiere Vineyard 2004 "Mon Beau Rouge," Paso Robles, California ($29)
There's an incredible amount of richness and complexity in this wine, containing soft notes of blackberries and raspberries, with some cherries thrown in too. The jammy and fruit-forward wine is a blend of 50% Syrah, 20% Counoise, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache. Traces of coffee and cocoa introduce a bit of sweetness; if you have a slice of cheesecake lying around, or are itching to bake one, this would be the wine to drink it with.
Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves 2008 "Two Patch" Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, California ($38)
Zins can run the gamut from light-bodied to intense, and this one falls squarely in the intense camp. A beautiful, expressive nose is followed by blackberry and wild black-raspberry notes before coasting into a smooth, soft finish with barely-there tannins and a mild entrance of blueberries. The fruit to produce this wine was sourced from two neighboring vineyards in Zin-rich northern Sonoma County: Big River Ranch and Todd Brothers Ranch.
Beckmen Vineyards 2008 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache, Santa Ynez Valley, California ($48)
While Grenache is typically a blending grape, here it's 85% of the wine, with the remaining 15% Syrah (Estella clone) from the same vineyard, which is biodynamically certified. The Tablas Grenache clone was used to produce the wine, resulting in a red wine containing amazing mouth feel, pomegranate and cherry notes, and plush tannins.
EOS Estate Winery 2008 Petite Sirah Estate, Paso Robles, California ($18)
While brown-sugar notes add a sweetness to this wine, it's also packed with concentrated blackberry and blueberry flavors along with bright red fruit (raspberries) on the beginning of the palate.
Luca Vineyard & Winery 2007 Beso de Dante, Mendoza, Argentina ($41)
An inky indigo in the glass, this robust wine (of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Malbec grapes) expresses luscious boysenberry notes and only slight tannins on the finish, where some notes of blueberries are introduced.
Greg Norman Estates Wine 2007 Shiraz, Limestone Coast, Australia ($20)
This red-wine blend from the champion golfer has a spicy, oaky layer that would stand up quite well to heavy meat dishes. Its spicy black-cherry nose kicks into the palate with light body and excellent structure.
Filed Under: Drinks
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