Cirelli Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC 2016 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: ITALY / Region: ABRUZZO / Appellation: TREBBIANO D'ABRUZZO DOC/ Varietal(s): TREBBIANO --- Trained as an economist, Francesco Cirelli left the profession to pursue a career in winemaking. He purchased his land in 2003 and devoted the property to organic farming, growing olives, garlic, spelt, barley, and figs, as well as the two-hectare vineyard of trebbiano used to produce this wine. It is rare we find a Trebbiano d'Abruzzo that excites us, but this wine did. It's fresh to be sure, but possesses a layer of complexity not typically found in these wines at this price point. Francesco's secret is lower yields for more concentrated fruit, but also lowering the amount of sulfur to avoid masking the terroir. Look for yellow orchard fruit notes along with a nutty finish. Notes of lemon zest, green apple skins, and refreshing acidity makes this a perfect white for linguine and pesto Genovese or a beautifully simple cacio e pepe.
Rafael Tirado Vistalago Mezcla Tinta Maule Valley DO 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: CHILE / Region: CENTRAL VALLEY / Appellation: MAULE VALLEY DO / Varietal(s): MERLOT+CABERNET FRANC+SYRAH --- Rafael Tirado has long been a pioneer in the Chilean wine scene. Whereas his twin brother, Enrique, has been winemaker since 1993 for Concha y Toro, Chile's largest producer, Rafael chose the road less traveled. He was one of the first to break with tradition 20 years ago, eschewing conventional flatland viticulture in favor of pushing wine to the extreme in terms of terroir and expression. In addition to his personal project, Laberinto (a nod to the labyrinth formation of his plantings in the Maule Valley), he was also a winemaker for many commercial projects and gained a formidable reputation as a consultant. His consulting work and focus on producing high-end, site-specific wines has also inspired a new generation of independent winemakers. Here he's taken the oft-maligned merlot and set it on a comeback course to its former glory. "Vistalago" is a blend of 59% merlot with 36% cabernet franc and 5% syrah. Aromas of plush plum, ripe black berries, and a dash of savory orange peel dance across a luscious velvet-textured palate. Enjoy with mushroom barbacoa tacos!
Bodegas Ochoa Navarra DO Reserva 2010
Country: SPAIN / Region: NAVARRA / Appellation: NAVARRA DO / Varietal(s): TEMPRANILLO+CABERNET SAUVIGNON+MERLOT --- Where is Navarra, you say? Well, it helps to remember that its capital is Pamplona, famed for the running of the bulls. At the foothills of the Pyrenees between Rioja and France, Navarra is distinctively Spanish, with a French twist. When phylloxera decimated Bordeaux and other regions, Navarra was one benefactor, as its wines gained demand, and international grapes such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot were planted to take advantage of the interest in these varietals. Ochoa is one of the oldest winemaking families in Navarra, dating back to the 14th century. Their reserva bottling is a blend of Spain (tempranillo) and France (cabernet sauvignon and merlot), but it is firmly on the Spanish terrain. Aged in American oak and French oak for 15 months, this aromatic, full-flavored red is complex and mature, perfect for pairing with roast duck, mushroom risotto or cheeses of medium to heavy intensity.