Selections for July 2016

A Tricky Year Yields an Opportunity . . .

2014 (Marchetti) CASTRO di SAN SILVESTRO – Rosso Conero, Marche, Italy

Wine Adventure Club members who spend a little more for their monthly selections have received previous vintages of this wine under a different, more ornate label.  In 2014 this part of Italy saw less wine-friendly weather than usual and Marchetti chose to “de-classify” their Montepulciano to a less recognizable label, suggesting this 2014 isn’t quite up to their regular specifications. 

-                 But it’s really good for the new low price! 

Here is 90% Montepulciano and 10% Sangiovese as grown in Rosso Conero, a sub-region of the Marche on Italy’s Adriatic (eastside) coast.  Montepulciano is one of Italy’s more friendly varietals delivering dark color and rich black fruit along with walnut skin astringency.  I often mention Sangiovese’s intentional mandate of acid.  Montepulciano is its alter-ego bearer of the tannin message; one better-understood by more American consumers.  For instance, Cabernet is tannin-driven, as are Syrah and Petite Sirah – all well-known varieties on this side of The Pond.  I’ve long felt that Montepulciano is a more friendly Italian missionary to the American preference. 

And this year it happens for less! 

Just Damn Good

SANTA JULIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON – Mendoza, Argentina

This is not stunning, complex, profound, exotic, or mindblowing Cabernet Sauvignon by any other definition.  What Zuccardi’s bargain level Santa Julia reds do provide is reliability.  We see the alternativeall the time:  Cab at this price is usually artificially souped-up with questionable winery processes OR just weird; vegetal or herbal with under-ripeness due to over cropping. 

Here instead is a Cabernet which delivers dark pleasure balanced with levitated refreshment.  The flavors are true.  The textures, while generous, aren’t generated via winery bells & whistles.  This is the result of thoughtfully (sustainably) –grown vines and a minimum of winemaking intervention.  It will please the crowd - honestly.