February 2013 The Oconee Wine Club
This month I went back to one of my favorite wine making countries, Spain. I believe Spain has some of the best values in the world! Just to prove my point, I have chosen two Spanish wines that retail for $14.99 and rate 91 respectively by Robert Parker! You can not find this type of value anywhere else. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Nisia Old Vine Verdejo from Rueda 2011 91 Rating Robert Parker!
The 2011 Nisia is made from 100% old vine Verdejo (the youngest vines were planted in 1942, and others are nearly 100 years of age). The wine is aged sur-lie, and fermented in both stainless steel and large format French oak. It is undeniably one of the finest Verdejos I have ever tasted. Yields were less than three tons of fruit per hectare, which is noticeable in the wine’s old vine intensity. Notions of caramelized white citrus and tropical fruit blossoms along with a naked, natural texture as well as finish make for a terrific dry white with loads of personality and complexity. This beauty sells for an absurdly low price. Enjoy it over the next year.
Production from the Rueda vineyard (38.3 acres) owned by Jorge Ordonez was begun in 2011. This well-known white wine appellation sits on the border of the province of Segovia. The 2010 and 2011 Zerran come from a vineyard planted at 1,500-1,800 feet altitude. They are blends of Grenache, Mazuelo and Syrah whose vines were planted between 1934 and 1942.
Tineta 2011 Ribera del Duero 91 Rating Robert Parker!
The grapes from this vineyard are used in the 2011 Tineta (100% Tinto Fino). It reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as copious notes of creme de cassis intermixed with hints of wood smoke and charcoal. Medium to full-bodied, juicy, succulent and sensual, it should drink nicely for 3-4 years.
Not far from the beautiful cathedral city of Pedrosa de Duero in the province of Burgos on the northern bank of the Duero River is the Bodegas Avante. Their south-facing vineyards were planted between 1975 and 1985 in alluvial, gravel, sand and clay soils.
Thirty years after planting our first vineyard, Girard continues our fine tradition of producing highly-rated wines. Gaining critical acclaim for excellent wines at great values, Girard Winery has been repeatedly hailed by the Wine Spectator & others as among the best in the region.
Longtime California vintner Pat Roney purchased the winery shortly after the new millennium. Roney’s career in wine began as a sommelier at Chicago’s renowned Pump Room, where he worked during and after college. Later he returned to his native California and eventually he took up the reins of two wineries: first as president of Chateau St. Jean, and later as president of Kunde, both in Sonoma Valley. Ultimately Roney took his management skills and wine knowledge to the specialty food purveyor Dean & DeLuca, where he helped grow the business from a small presence in New York and Washington to a national enterprise.
Girard Russian River Chardonnay 2011 $ 24.99
Hints of toasted hazelnuts, orange blossom, honey, and lemon curd on the nose. Follows with a palate of lime rind and tangerine that lingers with a balanced body of acid and stone fruit. Pair this wine with roasted chicken spiced with toasted spice rub & paired with herbed potatoes and wild mushrooms.
A wet winter and spring delayed bloom and hindered fruit set, resulting in shatter in some regions, which decreased the overall crop load. A generally cool summer prolonged the growing season and harvest started very late in most areas. Early autumn rains prompted us to selectively pick earlier in some vineyards. The Russian River Valley harvest showcased the bright acidity we have come to appreciate from this region.
Girard Napa Valley Cabernet 2010 $ 31.99
Aromas of pipe tobacco, ripe Bing cherry and wild marionberry appear on the nose with hints of soft and elegant baking spices. The palate expresses dark fruit infused with pomegranate, toasted oak and mocha. The finish lingers with satisfying flavors of graham cracker, plum and well-integrated tannins.