WEEKEND WINE PICKS
Planalto Vinho Branca Seco Reserva 2016,
Douro Valley, Portugal $15.99 I 87/100
A simple, pleasant, less-ismore white with freshness to beat the band. Citrus, apricot, nectarine notes dot the palate with bits of green apple in the fresh back end. It’s a mix of several indigenous varieties and is as fun to drink solo as it is with food. Real wine for wine lovers. Perfect with a mid-week, barbecued chicken dinner. No need to dwell on the viosinho, malvasia fina, gouveio, arinto, códega, rabigato and muscatel blend, just buy it.
Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2016, Luján de Cuyo, Northern Region, Mendoza, Argentina
$23.99 I 89/100
The nose is an attractive mix of florals and dark fruit with a touch of licorice. The attack is silky smooth suggesting an almost hypnotic balance throughout. On the palate the fruit is cool and peppery with bits of anise, blueberries, tobacco and dark blueberry with a touch of medicine chest. Solid value and a wine made for beef.
Tormaresca Trentangeli Castel del Monte Organic 2015, Puglia, Italy $17.99 I 90/100
A terrific year in Italy has resulted in a very fine Castel del Monte red. It’s a 70/20/10 mix of aleatico / Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah. The nose is an enticing fragrant mix of violets and ripe dark fruit aromas — a vertical Bruciato. The attack is full bodied and fresh, featuring sweetly spiced black raspberry and licorice with a streak of anise and dried herbs. The savoury, earthy notes really contribute to the mix, giving the wine a complex personality made for lamb osso buco. Drink or hold through 2023. Back up the truck.
Siduri Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2016, Willamette Valley, Oregon, U.S. $44.99 | 91/100
I have don’t have a long history with this Oregon Pinot that has been made for over two decades, but this is a quality drop of wine. It’s a terrific vintage and using a diverse mix of vineyards has woven a delicious complexity into this humble Pinot. This red/ black fruit jumps from the glass with a silky svelteness we don’t see in California. Flowers, minerals, forest floor and deliciously sour cherry fruit entice your palate with every sip. The finish is equally impressive with intense, long lasting flavours that linger forever.
Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port N/V, Douro Valley, Portugal $25.00 I 89/100
All the rain this week got me thinking about opening a bottle of sipping port to carry me through the month. After that I was thinking certified organic might be fun and that led me to revisit the Fonseca Terra Prima organic right down to the spirit used in its fortification. The style is drier and firmer than most ruby ports and who doesn’t like a bit of complexity in the glass. The attack is still sweet, mixing molasses, caramel, sweet cassis jam, pepper and pipe tobacco. Perfect on its own, with oven-warmed almonds or some early Christmas cake.