The wines listed below represent excellent values for the money. They range in price from $14 to $28.
Cötes-du –Rhone Rosè “Samorens” 2017 Ferraton Pere & Fils made from 75% Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. The vineyards are situated on the right bank of the Rhöne. Alluvial soils: limestone, sand, pebbles and clay. Fermentation takes place for 15 days at a controlled temperature of 15 and 19C. The wine matures in vats. The wine is fresh and liverly with hints strawberries and rasberries with good minerality. $15
Les Vignes Rosé Bila- Haut 2017 Pays D’Oc Michel Chapoutier this is a blend of Cinsault and Grenache. Mr. Chapoutier went outside the Roussillon area to find a Cinsault from the Gard district that, when blended with Grenache, would produce a delicate and elegant rosé. The grapes are vinified at low even temperatures. The juice is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and aged in those tanks. After a short maceration on the skins, the pink hue is attained and the wine is racked and vinified. The wine is then blended prior to bottling. The wine has hints of citrus and red fruit with a floral aroma. $15
Urban Riesling 2017 Nik Weis Selection non-estate Mosel. 100% Mosel Riesling from vineyards around the town of Mehring. The Riesling is grown here on steep slopes with a perfect angle for the sun’s rays. The soil is blue, highly decomposed slate rocks that give the wine its minerality.
The owner/winemaker Nik Weis is a minimalist and traditionalist. The grapes are not destemmed, there is a slight maceration of the grapes, a gentle pressing and gravity-fed sedimentation. There is indigenous yeast fermentation. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks. There is a very gentle filtration. This is a complex wine with a smoky and floral bouquet, juicy fruit and minerality that finishes off dry. The wine in named for St. Urban, the patron saint of German winemakers. Alcohol is 9.5% and the residual sugar is 33g/l. $14
Cahors Malbec Prestige 2011 AOP Cahors Domaine du Théron 100% Malbec. Family owned and operated by Pelvillain Freres. The domaine was established in 1973 and is situated in the village of Prayssac in the valley of Lot. The soil is limestone and clay with cover grass planted between the rows. Grapes are harvested in the early morning, destemmed and lightly crushed. Maceration and fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Afterward, the wines are racked to different stainless steel tanks where malolactic fermentation is completed. The wines are aged in barriques for about 12 months, 1/3 of which is new wood. The best barrels are selected and blended into the Cuvée Prestige, which is the top of the line, and aged another year in bottle before release. This is a big dark wine with hints of spice and chocolate and a touch of blueberries with a smooth yet powerful finish. $19
Côtes–du-Rhône “Samorëns Rough 2015 Ferraton Pere & Fils made from 85% Granache, 10% Syrah and 5% Cinsault. The vineyards are on the left bank of the Rhone and the soil is alluvial and gravely. Maceration is for about 15 days. The grapes are destemmed and vinification takes place in thermo-regulated cement vats. Color and tannins are extracted by punching down. Maceration lasts for about 15 days. They are biodynamic. The wine has hints of blackberries and blueberries with a touch of licorice and a hint of spice on the finish. $15
Crozes- Hermitage “La Madiniere” 2015 made from 100% Syrah Ferraton Pere & Fils. The soil is glacial alluvial deposits with a lot of rounded pebbles, stones and gravel in the district of Beaumont –Monteux. The grapes are destemmed and temperature controlled vinification takes place in vats. Extraction by punching down and pumping over. Maceration lasts about 20 days. Part of the wine is aged in oak barrels before it is bottled. This is an intense wine with hints of cherry, raspberry and black currants. $23
Domaine de Bila-Haut Cötes du Roussillon Villages “L’esquerda” 2016 made from Syrah, Grenache and Carignane from a vineyard site on the French –Spanish border. The grapes are vinified at low, even temperatures. The juice is fermented in cement vats and the must is pumped over the cap periodically to improve skin contact. After a maceration of 3 to 4 weeks, the wine is racked from vat to vat which naturally clarifies the wine. Depending on the vintage, the wine is aged in large oak barrels but usually less than 10% of the wine receives this treatment. The wine is blended and aged before bottling. This is a full bodied wine with hits of plums, dried raspberries, with spice and mineral notes. $28
Bila- Haut Occultum Lapidem 2015 Michael Chapoutier made from Syrah, Grenache and Carignane. The soil is granite and schist and the vines are 40 to 60 years old. Vinification takes place at a low even temperature. The juice is fermented in cement vats and the must cap is punched down periodically to improve skin contact. After a long maceration of 3 to 4 weeks, the wine is racked from vat to vat which naturally clarifies the wine.
Depending on the vintage, the wine is aged in large oak barrels but usually less than half of the cuvee receives this treatment. The wine is then carefully blended and aged before bottling. This is an intense full-bodied wine with hints of spice, herbs, blackberries and plum. $26