Averaen Pinot Noir – $16.99 A wonderful Willamette selection for only $16.99, this is for those who don’t always want a big powerhouse of a wine. Cherry and boysenberry with hints of spice, full of character, smooth, and balanced, this wine is an excellent pairing for some of the lighter fares.
Clayhouse Petite Sirah – $13.99 This red from Paso Robles is bold and rich, with loads of dark fruits complemented by some notes of white pepper and chocolate. This is definitely a big red, and yet it still maintains a smooth texture and finish. This red will pair well with some of the heartier fares.
Cigarzin Zinfandel – $14.99 Aromas of woodsmoke and black pepper lead into flavors of spicy blackberry and black cherry, this full-bodied red from Lodi can be paired with a variety of hearty meals. However, enjoying it on its own to warm up the evening isn’t a bad idea either.
Ercavio Tempranillo – $11.99Another outstanding value out of Spain, this wine does not disappoint. Loaded with dark fruits and a subtle hint of tobacco, this bold Tempranillo is a great combination between berry and spice, earth, coffee, tobacco, and chocolate.
Rust en Vrede: Rich full body, luscious mouthfeel with hints of cassis and dark fruits. The richness is balanced with a grippy finish. Cab lovers will go nuts. Pair with a significant other and a cheese board.
Omen Cabernet: Rich velvety texture. Tons of chocolate and fruit. This is a crowd pleasing pleasure bomb. Must try on a cold evening, by the fire.
Bertrand Stehelin Gigondas: One of my favorite regions in France, to find a rich, full bodied red. Has all the qualities of a Chateauneuf-du-pape without the price tag. The dry finish helps balance the intense fruit. Amazing wine
Grahams Six Grapes, NV. What better sip by the fire on a cold evening. Six Grapes is a ruby port, bottled relatively young. It is full-bodied, with rich black fruit on the palate, and fragrant blackberry aromas. Reasonably priced everyday port.
Markham Merlot 2015. Markham has always been a great merlot house. The 2015 Merlot with black cherry and cassis aromas layered with hints of vanilla, mint and toasted nuts. Elegant and supple on the palate, the juicy plum and cherry fruit flavors are punctuated with cola and black pepper spice. Enjoy it with a bacon cheeseburger or with lamb for a delicious treat!
Bertrand Tautavel 2014. This wine is a special project of Georges Bertrand. He feels it sums up the special terrior of his village, Tautavel, in Roussillon. The wine is intensely fruity on the nose, with red fruit and raspberry aromas underpinned by complex, spicy notes. A wonderful combination of supple tannins and delicate notes of scrubland and spices on the palate.
Disruption wines, from local Andrew Latta, are living up to their name. The Red Blend has super ripe fruits with good acid balance, it’s a “spicy” blend of 60% Cab from thee Wahluke Slope, and 40% Malbec from Yakima that will leave winter outside.
Another suggestion is Gerard Bertrand’s Tautavel Grand Terroir, from the “cradle of humanity” this would be perfect with a white bean or mushroom cassoulet, or perhaps a roasted pork loin on a damp wintery night.
I also recommend any of the wines from Lagarde Winery located in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza. The Pescarmona sisters are still harvesting Malbec and Cab Franc grapes from vines that date back to the vineyard’s origins in1897. Their youthful Altas Cumbres Malbec and Cab Sauv. are great values, or better yet, the Henry Lagarde varietals or the Guarda, single vineyard wines are worthy of your attention. I particularly enjoyed the Guarda Cabernet Franc.
The Quinta do Portal Mural Reserva, from Duoro, Portugal is a blend that received an admirable 92 point rating, from Wine Enthusiast, it is comprised of Zin, Petite Syrah, Syrah, and Merlot. This wine suggestion, is not only elegant with deep red fruit, but has nice acidity to complement hearty winter food pairings.
Convento de Las Claras Tinto Fino 2012 – A bright, medium-bodied wine that carries a lot of heft with its earthy red-fruit flavors and light tannins. Made from 100% tempranillo.
Henry LaGarde Malbec 2011: Oak aging bulks up this high-altitude Malbec from one of Argentina’s first officially designated top-quality regions, and provides an extra dimension to the lovely black cherry flavors.