When it comes to red wines, I am partial to lighter-style reds, usually from the Old World with less alcohol and more rusticity, such as Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese or Nebbiolo. Here are some favorites I’ve enjoyed the past few weeks.
Domaine du Penlois Heritage 2014
This Heritage Penlois Beaujolais-Village red, located between the Crus of Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent, stood up to its hype from the SommSelect folks. They claimed this Burgundy-esque Beaujolais would please, particularly with its $20 price point.
And they were right. The nose was a little funky, with earthy notes, but underneath the initial aromas was the tell-tale sign of Gamay – cranberry, strawberry, raspberries, savory herbs and a touch of forest floor. This will be on my Thanksgiving table.
De Forville, Nebbiolo d’Alba, “San Rocco” 2014
Love this Nebbiolo from De Forville, one of the great winemaking families in Barbaresco. This wine comes from a vineyard in the Langhe subregion, between Barolo and Barbaresco DOCGs, and has notes of black and red cherry, savory herb, leather, soft and sweet tannins. This beauty was a bargain at $24 from SommSelect.
Vaeni’s Naoussa Grand Reserve Xinomavro 2013
Xinomavro is the most important red grape in Greece, and this wines hails from Naoussa, one of Greece’s greatest wine appellations.
There is so much going on in this wine! Cherry and red currant on the nose and palate, with herbal, cola, spice, pepper and tobacco notes. Soft tannins and good acidity on this very balanced red. $24 from SommSelect.
Tenute Bosco, Etna Rosso, “Piano dei Dani” Sicily, Italy 2016
I have a huge crush on Etna Rosso wines and thrilled to get this Piano dei Dani from Tenute Bosco. Vineyards are planted around this still active volcano on the island of Sicily. Made from hard-to-pronounced grapes — 90% Nerello Mascalese and 10% Nerello Cappuccio — this wine offers notes of strawberry, cherry, and red flowers. Remember those cherry sweet+tart lollipops as a kid? That’s what I get on the front palate, followed by a dusty, crunchy, red dirt finish. About $35 from SommSelect.