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Galicia Mare Tămâioasă Românească 2016

Galicia Mare Tămâioasă Românească 2016

On the day we visited Galicia Mare, the winery still under construction, it was frigidly cold-wind whipped, we huddled around a table just inside the barrel aging room, the doors left open the afternoon sunlight to filter in. It was difficult to taste at these temperatures, this bottle-Tămâioasă Românească or Romanian Muscatel, glinted pale gold and like a long-lost distant cousin, exuded Muscat family personality and charm. Dried chamomile, honey, wet straw, barley flour, pear, musk melon, and diffuse sweetness. Támâioasă Românească has been cultivated in Romania for at least two millennia. sample Vinul him Dinescu 8.9 Points...

Juvé & Camps Reserva Essential Xarello Brut 2014

Juvé & Camps Reserva Essential Xarello Brut 2014

The winemaker at Juvé & Camps attributes this Cava's round, rich mouthfeel to the presence of polysaccharides released during fermentation, as well as during the process of maturation on the lees. Indeed, all of the wines in this lineup display autolytic features to a greater or lesser degree. The 2014 Reserva Essential Xarello Brut also has a compelling herbal profile. Asian pear aromas. In the mouth, dry mint, fennel, and smoke swirl around a deliciously creamy mid-palate. 12.0% ABV | sample Juvé & Camps 9.0 Points...

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012

The color of onion skin, Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012 unfurls at a leisurely pace. Smoky, autolytic notes rise above decadently layered aromas of dried fruit, molasses, baked apple, forest honey, and almond skins. As fine, cascading bubbles dart to and fro, springing forth from a core that is softly textured and clean, endowed with stone fruit and citrus. That beguiling smoky note reemerges at the close. 7 g/l RS, 12.0% ABV | Sample Juvé & Camps 9.0 Points...

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature Reserva de la Familia 2012

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature Reserva de la Familia 2013

Another Cava from my visit to the region last year—according to the winemaker, 2013 was a cooler, wetter vintage in the region—in the lineup we tasted, this bottle, the Reserva Brut Nature Reserva de la Familia 2013 was appreciably leaner, but also fresher in its comportment. Fennel, white peach, lime, and grapefruit pith dominate the profile, rendered more complex by toast, puff pastry and smoke, amid a torrent of bubbles. 12.0% ABV | Sample Juvé & Camps 9.1 Points...

Juvé & Camps Penedès Gregal d'Espiells 2015

Juvé & Camps Penedès Gregal d’Espiells 2015

The only still wine I tasted on the day we visited Juvé & Camps. It was late spring and this blossomy white—the 2015 Penedès Gregal d'Espiells-is made from organically-grown Muscat Alexandria. It's surprisingly light and fresh with vivid tones of rose tea, chamomile crushed underfoot, mango and yellow peach. In the mouth, it's tarter than expected. Lemongrass, lime zest, and subtle minerality are extraordinarily long, seemingly brittle finish. Sample Juvé & Camps 8.8 Points...

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva La Capella 2006

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva La Capella 2006

My visit to Catalonia last spring proved to be an eye-opening experience. There, I would learn that some Cavas, with this monovarietal Xarel·lo, have the potential to age. The Cava Gran Reserva The Capella Brut Nature 2006 matured on its lees for 108 months, gracing it with enormous complexity and depth, as only the passage of time can do. Baked apple, walnut skins, and exotic curry powder round out the nose. A fine, creamy mousse fades into honeyed pastry-a sharp contrast to the pleasantly bitter, seductively earthy tones of celery root, lime zest, white grapefruit, and fleur de sel that emerge on the finish. 12.0% ABV | sample Juvé & Camps 9.3 Points...

Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc 2016

Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc 2016

A winsome blend of 60% White Grenache and 40% Clairette grown in clay lime soils, the 2016 Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc has a subtle nose of pear and dried yellow apple, followed by a lilting top note of jasmine. It's soft on entry, with flavors that match the nose, save for a suggestion of lees and lemon zest that wends its way through to a long, mouthwatering finish. Biodynamically-farmed. 13.5% ABV | Sample Ferraton Pere & Fils 8.9 Points ...

Château de Monbazan Grand Vin de Graves 2015

Château de Monbazan Grand Vin de Graves 2015

From Garagiste, a classic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec—in this case from a biodynamic producer (something of a rarity in Bordeaux), the 2015 Château de Monbazan Graves Rouge is plush on the nose and palate. The first impression is one of cherry pie, followed by vanilla, baking spices, and the merest suggestion of violets. It's easy going on the palate, with no hard edges. And while it lacks the earthy, leathery soulfulness that Graves is known for, it has charm. Drink now. 13.5% ABV Château de Monbazan 8.8 Points...

Prophecy Pinot Grigio 2016

Prophecy Pinot Grigio 2016

The color of pale green straw, like fresh alfalfa, the sort I used to buy for my sheep (when I had sheep, but that was a lifetime ago) the 2016 Prophecy Pinot Grigio is deliciously, lightly herbaceous, with wafting aromas of green apple and pear, and a twist of lemon zest. It's easy drinking, turning from orchard fruit to more tropical tones on the palate—underripe pineapple, star fruit, and glimmering minerality and fine persistence on the finish. 12.5% ABV | Sample Prophecy Wines 8.9 Points...

Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014

Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014

Another excellent vintage from Esporão, the 2014 Reserva Tinto is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French and American oak for 12 months. The nose is poetic: anise, violets, cigarette pack foil (a very specific aroma, my mother was a heavy smoker) black raspberry, and black cherry. And while there's no suggestion of the gamey-savory note on the nose that explodes on the palate like a caged tiger, it has lovely sueded tannins and a white pepper finish. 14.5% ABV | Sample Herdade do Esporão 9.0 Points ...