From Nick Williams, The Co-op’s Wine Guru
In recognition of our pleading bank accounts and a general sense of wolves at the door, I present this cheap-and-cheerful satchel of wines to see you through to February and solvency. Four warming reds and two fruity whites, for a price of eminent reasonableness. Reg. $59.94/SALE $44.99 – 25% OFF!
Domaine Pastouret Blanc “Cuvee de Jeanne,” Costieres de Nimes, France, 2014
The white wines of Southern France are often big, bold, and rich, perfect for winter months when a “crisp” white wine won’t do. This offering from Jeanne and Michel Pastouret is no exception. A blend of Cairanne, Grenache Blanc, and Marsanne, the wine is full of spicy and exotic flavors like ginger and lychee, with heady floral aromas. Organically farmed and certified by Vin Biologique du France, one of the strictest certification boards in the world.
Vallevo Pecorino Terre di Chieti, Abruzzi, Italy, 2015
Pecorino is a fairly uncommon grape even by Italian standards but we are starting to see it more in the United States. This is a nicely representative version, with lemon-limey flavors, a round and soft texture, and a slight saline tang that makes it a perfect pairing for shellfish and hearty seafood dishes. Certified organic.
Domaine Pastouret Rouge “Cuvee de Michel,” Costieres de Nimes, France, 2015
Another organic selection from the Pastouret family, this is a classic example of what I like to call “lunch wine,” meaning you might find something similar served during a three hour lunch in the South of France, followed by a nap. Medium-bodied with bright, tangy red fruit and a mild pepperiness, this is easy-drinking and simple. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan.
Chateau Roustan Rouge, Costieres de Nimes, France, 2014
Another Costieres de Nimes Rouge, but one that is miles away from the lightness of the Pastouret. This is a rich, spicy, downright meaty wine deep black fruit and clove flavors and generous tannins. A blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache, it’s the Mourvedre that carries this wine and imparts its beastly characteristics.
La Riojana Malbec Reserva, La Rioja, Argentina, 2014
The winemakers and farmers of La Riojana are near and dear to us at the Co-op. We’ve built an almost familial relationship with them over the last two years, and we direct import their wines in order to provide as much economic assistance as we can to the 500 families that make-up their cooperative farm, and also so we can charge very low prices for very high quality wine. This is the first time they have made “Reserva” wines, meaning wines that are made from the choicest grapes and aged in oak barrels; I have to say it’s a success, big and bold but velvety smooth and filled with friendly ripe fruit and hints of vanilla. Certified Fair Trade and organic.
Vecchia Torre Salice Salentino, Puglia, Italy 2013
One of my favorite wines from vintage-to-vintage, and one of the best values in the store. This is a blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera, two workhorse grapes that effortlessly capture the sundrenched atmosphere of Southern Italy. This wine has satisfying flavors of blackberry and cherry, with more rustic aromas like cedar and herb for added complexity. Goes perfectly with grilled meats but also makes for a fabulous pairing for hearty vegetarian dishes from around the Mediterranean.