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Old World

Mont Gravet Pays d'Oc Rosé 2016

Mont Gravet Pays d’Oc Rosé 2016

Limpid salmon in the glass, 100% Pays d'Oc Counoise offers fresh, lilting aromas of crushed raspberry, white peach, and line-dried linen. In the mouth, limestone minerality shines through, lending texture and continuity, a single suspended note that starts and ends softly, unobtrusively. Mont Gravet has elements in it that are suggestive of a more expensive, complex Provençal rosé, certainly it can be enjoyed for what it is, at the humble price of $9 USD. 11.5% ABV | Sample Mont Gavet 87 Points...

Josep Masachs Cava Mas Fi Brut Rosé NV

Josep Masachs Mas Fi Cava Brut Rosé NV

From the Josep Masachs family, the Mas Fi Brut Rosé is a celebratory shade of salmon. Crafted with 100% estate-grown Trepat, delicate aromas of pie cherry, strawberry, apple blossom, and graham cracker are held aloft on a nose tickling net of fine buttles. It's fresh on the palate, with just a hint of autolysis—no doubt from eleven months en tirage—that comes through as wet dough, a flavor that quickly fades to a lively finish pink grapefruit pith. Another excellent value from Mas Fi. 11.5% ABV | Sample Cava Mas Fi 89 Points ...

Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats 2015

Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats 2015

Soft, plummy and plush, the 2015 Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats offers ample drinking pleasure. On opening, black cherries, ripe Damson plums, cedar, sweet tobacco and menthol. The palate takes its cues from the nose, with a uniform profile—juicy black fruit cozened in velvety, ripe tannins and tempered acidity. This is a wine I would, and am, happy to enjoy it on its own. 13.5% ABV | Sample Alain Jaume & Fils 89 Points...

Mas Fi Cava Brut NV

Josep Masachs Mas Fi Cava Brut NV

I'll be featuring affordable bubblies and rosé wines in the runup to Valentines, so stay tuned. The Josep Masachs Mas Fi Brut opens with a vinous nose that is classic Cava: white flowers, lemon drop, pear, and apple. More defining features can be sussed out on entry, with crisp bubbles set against an understated, autolytic backdrop. As it dwindles, a pleasant bitterness sneaks up on you—and evolves quietly, softly, and resolutely into white grapefruit sprinkled with sea salt. A lovely find for a mere $11 USD. 11.5% ABV | Sample Cava Mas Fi 89 Points  ...

Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich Dry Rosé 2016

Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich Dry Rosé 2016

Spring is on the way. Heirloom rose petal pink, Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich's 2016 Dry Rosé opens with vivid aromas of delicately spiced pie cherries, strawberries and apple blossom. Medium-bodied, this fresh organic rosé of Pinot Noir features a lean, tensile acid spine that crescendos with a burst of delicious pit fruit bitterness and oyster shell. 11.6% ABV | Sample Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich 88 Points  ...

Adega da Cartuxa Évora Colheita Tinto 2013

Adega da Cartuxa Évora Colheita Tinto 2013

Ruby hued, the 2013 Cartuxa Évora Colheita Tinto is, at least for this writer, more expressive on the second day, and is deeply perfumed with notes of Japanese plums, blueberries, balsam wood, and exotic spice. Softly textured on the palate with lovely purity of fruit, couched in black tea tannins, this traditional Alentejo blend of Trincadeira, Aragonez, Alfrocheiro, Periquita, Moreto, and Tinta Caiada culminates in a finish of plum skins and dried herbs. 14.5% ABV | Sample Adega da Cartuxa 91 Points...

Château des Fougères Graves Clos Montesquieu 2014

Château des Fougères Graves Clos Montesquieu 2014

An excellent Bordeaux value that will offer drinking pleasure over the next decade or so—this opaque beauty, the 2014 Château des Fougères Graves Clos Montesquieu, is richly perfumed with blackcurrants, blackberry jelly, cedar, juniper berry, crushed lavender, and dried mint. Grippy tannins gather at the fore-palate like storm clouds on the horizon, then dissipate, neatly segueing into an earthy undercurrent that terminates in a dusting of mineral splendor and bay leaf. Better with decanting. Château des Fougères 91 Points...

Domaine Amido Lirac 2014

Domaine Amido Lirac 2014

A splendidly perfumed nose that is so classic of Grenache: raspberry pastis, market strawberries, forest floor, black licorice candy, violets, and warm spice. The 2014 Domaine Amido Lirac is fresh and vibrant on the palate, with a sweet-fruited raspberry turnover core supported by ultra-fine tannins. The finish, while not lengthy, offers bay leaf and spice. I poured myself another glass without giving it a second thought, something I rarely do with samples. 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah | 13.0% ABV Domaine Amido 91 Points...

Alain Voge Les Vieilles Vignes Cornas 2014

Alain Voge Les Vieilles Vignes Cornas 2014

Crafted from 60 year-old biodynamically farmed Syrah, Alain Vogue's Les Vieilles Vignes Cornas 2014 is expressive, yet restrained. Blueberries and blackberries wind 'round earth, black olive, and pink peppercorn. As its opens, secondary aromas emerge: clove, cinnamon bark, cardamom, lanolin, spice, violets, incense. It’s poised, with all of the power Syrah commands, but there is freshness too. It ends on a decidedly mineral note, an arc of volcanic granite, long since decomposed. 13.5% ABV | Sample Alain Voge 91 Points...

M. Chapoutier Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc 2015

M. Chapoutier Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc 2015

M. Chapoutier's Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc 2015 opens with a smoky undertow that burns off like morning fog to reveal denser aromas of mandarin orange, lemon curd, poached pear, and a base note of grilled pineapple. In the mouth, this 100% Marsanne is round, silky, and wonderfully expressive—orchard fruit and orange pastille are enlivened by sonorous chords of pleasantly bitter pink grapefruit pith, baking spice, and crushed quartz. Incredible length. 13.5% ABV | Sample Maison M. Chapoutier 95 Points...