On a normal Friday, I post a few tasting notes from wines that I have received as samples. On occasion, there is some (albeit loose) connection between the wines, but in most cases, the relationship between the bottles is, well, random. In the last few weeks, I have noticed that a) my samples pile is a bit out of control and b) there are several that I have had for a while. Thus, this is an effort to get to those “Missing Samples” (another statistical reference).
2017 Cantina Produttori Bolzano St. Magdalener Classico Huck am Bach: Retail $25. 90% Schiava, 10% Lagrein. Although I have had Lagrein on several different occasions, this is my first shot at any Schiava, I believe. Fairly light and translucent in the glass, reminiscent of Pinot Noir. Mostly floral aromas: rose and violet with touches of cassis and anise. The palate is certainly on the light side, but with incredible tartness, each subsequent sip reveals a bit more fruit, leading to a lengthy finish. This really is delightful and quite versatile: from apéritif to grilled poultry or pork, even some light beef dishes. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2017 Ferraton Père & Fils Côtes du Rhône Samorëns: Retail $15. 30% Grenache Blanc, 30% Clairette, 20% Roussanne, 10% Viognier, 5% Bourboulenc, 5% Marsanne. A real kitchen sink blend of Rhône varieties with yellow delicious apple and pear emanating from the straw-colored white. The palate is subtlety balanced with soft fruit, a nice tanginess, and a bit of minerality. For the price? This is a tough wine to beat; stock up for the summer! Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2015 Feudi di San Gregorio Irpinia Rubrato: Retail $24. 100% Aglianico. Like a few other Italian varieties, I have had some Aglianico, so I am far from an expert, but the past iterations of wines I’ve tasted from this grape needed at least a few years to calm down. Might I venture to guess that the additional time in my cellar, not knowing this wine was there, actually did it some good? Good fruit, powerful acidity, and more than a couple hours of verve. Bravo. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
2015 Onward Malvasia Bianca CappInn Ranch, Suisun Valley, CA: Retail $20. Faith Armstrong is a force of nature. She has four young children and produces wines from all over Northern California. I have no idea how she does it: I can barely manage getting my kids to school on time and it is only three miles away. This wine, in a way, is a perfect reflection of my view of Faith: Initially a bit subdued, but with a bit of time, it really opens up. Subtle citrus fruit (lime and lemon) with fantastic tartness, the wine never overpowers, but lingers for what seems like minutes on the palate. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2018 Two Angels Sauvignon Blanc, High Valley, CA: Retail $18. Under screw. One of the more tropical wines I have had of late, with pineapple and guava, as well as melon and grapefruit. The palate is also fruit driven with an impressive array of flavors and a crisp acidity. When wanting a white, I rarely opt for a Sauvignon Blanc, and when I do, it is invariably from the Loire Valley. I might have to reassess. This is fantastic. Excellent. 91-93 Points.
2015 Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional Douro: Retail $60. 100% Touriga Nacional. Rather dark in the glass with dark fruit (cassis, blackberry, plum) and spice (anise, black pepper). The palate is remarkable: good fruit, tartness, spice, earth, all in balance. I do not have a ton of experience with Touriga as a dry varietal wine, but this is particularly compelling. Excellent to Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2017 Ventisquero Grey [Glacier] GCM Apalta Vineyard: Retail: $20. Grenache, Carménère, Mataro. Ever since I visited a couple of years ago, I have been in love with Chile and Chilean wines. I dare say that, across the board, Chile offers the best values in wine today. This is a great example: for around 20 bucks, this over performs. Red, fleshy blackberry fruit, a bit of black pepper, and some cassis. An exceedingly fur wine, which just happens to be under screw cap. Giddy-up. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.