Holiday Wines Part Two

Iluri Pinot Grigio

This wine comes to us Veneto Italy, which is prime Pinot Grigio territory. The winery sources quality fruit and produces their wine in Abruzzo. A classic food wine this 100% Pinot Grigio will not disappoint, with Thanksgiving or any meal. An intense bouquet of white fruits, ripe golden apples, and pears compliment the gentle acidity of this wine. A palete of ripe peaches and spice round everything out. The finish has a slight almond note which is a tell tell sign of quality Pinot Grigio.
Montevento Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Perhaps you recall my mentioning Abruzzo in an email from a few weeks ago. Well in Abruzzo it’s all about Montepulciano. I quite like what Megan Handley from C-Ville magazine had to say a few years ago on the subject. “If ever there were a wine that could answer our prayers in this winter and economy of discontent, it would be Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. It’s red, alcoholic, consistently tasty, meant to be drunk young, divine with weeknight pasta, and best when it’s under $15.” This one scores all around, though it is not particularly high in alcohol. Montevento pours a lovely garnet red color. The nose show aromas of red plums, and blackberries. The palate is much the same story, with a juiciness and softness that is wonderful to have at this price point. Quaffable might be too strong, but it does go down smooth. Classic Italian acidity means food is an easy match.
Espelt Old Vine Garnacha

Now we’ve poured quite a few Spanish Garnacha’s lately. But you’ll recall from last week that I said Rhone reds are a classic pairing. This wine drinks more French in style to me than your typical Spanish Garnacha. You be the judge. This wine comes to us from Emporda, which is north of Priorat, in historical Catalonia. The vineyard sits almost directly on the overlook of the mediterranean sea. This microclimate is what gives this wine its unique character. From Robert Parker, “Made from 100% Grenache planted in decomposed granitic soils, and aged four months in new and used French oak, this deep ruby/purple-colored 2012 Garnacha Old Vines demonstrates what high quality can be found in obscure Spanish appellations. Aromas of kirsch, lavender and strawberries emerge from this medium-bodied, dense, rich 2012. Enjoy this delicious Spanish red wine over the next 3-4 years.”

90 points: Wine Advocate
90 points: Steven Tanzer’s Int. Wine Cellar