Notable winter reds

At 17 degrees here in New York , some hearty reds I’ve enjoyed  in recent days come to mind.

From the far reaches of my wine collection, Chateau 48401Lagrezette’s 2000 Cahors “Le Pigeonnier” demonstrates what a few years of bottle age will do for malbec grown in Cahors in southwest France. Cahors is usually quite rough when young, but this one, at nine years old, had given up most of its rough edges when I served it with some steaks grilled in the fireplace the other night. Notes of blackberry, black cherry, mocha and cedar. A superb wine. When I looked for retailers that carried it on wine-searcher.com, there was exactly one listing: Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library in Springfield,  New Jersey,  which offers it at $154. Obviously a wine for special occasions.

From Italy’s Piedmont, Marchesi di Gresy’s 2006 Barbaresco “Martinenga” is an excellent wine from the famed Barbaresco appellation. Made from the region’s signature nebbiolo grape, I was surprised by its accessibility at this youthful stage. Light ruby in color, it’s softly tannic with delicious fruit, showing notes of raspberry, cherry, tobacco and  earth.  Irresistible. For all kinds of roasts (we enjoyed it with homemade spaghetti and meatballs). $55. Imported by Marchesi di Gresy USA, Napa, California.

From the south of France, Hecht & Bannier’s 2006 Cotes du Roussillon Village is a winning blend of mainly grenache with smaller amounts of syrah and carignan with notes of sweet blackberry, cherry and earth. Bright acids balance the 14.5 percent alcohol and make it an excellent partner for pan-seared pork chops, sirloin steak and lamb. The suggested price is $25. Imported by Frederick Wildman and Sons, New York.

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