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Recommendations 

 

Each month Winelala will post wine recommendations on our site! We continuously strive to find the best up and coming wines that will satisfy all your taste buds. 

 
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Our Monthly Favorite

 

JAMIE SLONE PINOT NOIR 2014

This wine is brilliant. This wine is the current ruler of my heart and of my palate!! 

Jaime Slone's 2014 Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara is lighter in style, but complex, structured, juicy and elegant, all at once. The balance is mind blowing. Without hyperbole, this is one of the most satisfying wines I have had in a long time. 

Jamie Slone's 2014 Pinot Noir is Winelala's current favorite and is available to club members.

 

Everyday Gems are easy to find, approachable, and appropriate for most occasions and wine drinkers

2011 QUADRIO VALTELLINA SUPERIORE DOCG

Along comes a little surprise one day, that at the time, doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Then later, like the next day in this situation, you realize that what previously seemed like no big deal should actually go on Winelala's New Find! list. Nino Negri's Quadrio was just that wine. 

I wish I could take credit for this one, but my friend and mentor Marco Avigo brought me the bottle, cheerfully, as an example of a fresh and juicy, casual, every day 90% Chiavannasca (Nebbiolo) - 10% Merlot blend. The purposed of sampling the wine was to highlight the aging and production differences between it and three other more layered and intense wines.

The Quadrio lived up to Marco's introduction. Light, easy, full flavored, but not necessarily full bodied or long lasting, it was all red berries, violets, plum jam, and vanilla bean. Great for apps and chatting. Not everything has to be a complex powerhouse.

I brought the half bottle that remained to a friend the next day for a super casual chat, and poured it without much thought to the previous day's notes and was suprised to fine that overnight, the wine had transformed into something truly lovely. The flavors had deepened and melded. The red berries extended into chocolate covered cherries and cola. It was still easy and light, but what a sensation.

Buy this when you can. Taste it, let it sit and breathe, and then taste it again. It stays good and only gets better!!

 

RUPERT & ROTHSCHILD VIGNERONS 2012 CLASSIQUE

I don't often foray into South African wine, although after this bottle, I will definitely be starting to. Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons' Classique 2012 was a delightful, feminine find that deserves some press. And since Winelala is the most popular, famous wine blog ever, here it is!!

Classique is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, finished with low percentages of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. (Side note: I personally love always seeing tiny percentages in blends - like the 1% Petit Verdot in this - for me, tiny, finishing numbers signals real attention to detail by the winemaker...wine that is tweaked just so.)

I found the Classique to be lovely, light, and drinkable, even without food. No blow-your-face-off powerhouses here. Raspberries, green peppers, chocolate, vanilla, and graphite notes were supported by round, velvety tannins, which lead to an elegant and layered finish.

A definite 'buy' recommendation!

 

A LOIRE VALLEY GAMAY / PINOT NOIR BLEND!

Guys, this wine - I'm obsessed with it. In a completely healthy way. Domaine Gardien Frères Reserve du Domaine St. Pourcain 2014. You can find it in PA stores for about $18. It is imported by my friends at VinoBliss.

The Réserve du Domaine is a Gamay / Pinot Noir blend from the Loire Valley, France. It is a medium bodied, easy drinker, full of elegance and clean lines. Find red cherries, red roses, blackberries, bramble, violets, soft baking spices, and earth on the nose and palate. Easy tannins and bright acid provide a lovely finish that is all dark berries and spice. 

I was lucky enough to bring a bottle to a BYO with friends. The food was good; the wine was better. Unexpectedly so - it stole the show. This is a happy little treasure!

A fun note -- St. Pourçain is a very small AOC located almost exactly in the center of France. It is usually not included on maps of French wine regions, despite it being one of the oldest wine producing regions in France, dating back to the Middle Ages.

Highly recommend.

 
 

Winelala's lovely and luscious whites are all full bodied with lots of flavor. They offer clean, but persistent finishes. Perfect for light meats, grains, and greens.

 

DOMAINE RAYMOND USSEGLIO & FILS CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE BLANC PURE ROUSSANNE

Price: $40-$50 (Worth it!) 
2012 and 2013 were both great years, and reviews of 2014 look just as good. This wine is from the Southern Rhone Valley's famous Chateaneuf du Pape region and is made of 100% Roussanne. You can expect to find nectarine, pear, a touch of almond cream, warm baking spices, and flinty minerality in this rich and round, bright wine. 

 

JORDAN CHARDONNAY

Price: $35 -$40
Jordan advertises their Chard as 'not typical California Chardonnay'. Indeed, Jordan's white wines are more Burgundian in style with lots of layers and nuance. 2013 and 2014 were both great years in the Russian River Valley and resulted in flavors of Granny Smith apples, Meyer Lemons, passion fruit, baking spices, and a creamy mouthfeel. Jordan Chardonnays are  never oaky butter bombs, instead they balance weight and delicacy.

 

SUAVIA SOAVE CLASSICO

Price: $12
Suavia's Soave, made of 100% Garganega, shows apples, pears, almonds, minerals, and a fresh-herb finish. It has a very nice collection of descriptors for what could be instead be simple wine. The nice and full mouthfeel is emphasized by a subtle, lingering finish. Suavia's Soave is balanced and harmonious and will bring you back for more. This bottle is a steal at $12, and one that I was super happy to have found. I have surprised several wine professionals with Suavia's price to quality ratio.

 

THREE BROOMS SAUVIGNON BLANC

Price: $15
Three Brooms is bright and fresh, but backs down from the aggressive acidity for which New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are famous. On the palate you will find notes of lemon zest, mango, and dried herbs. The mouthfeel is simultaneously silky, almost powdery, and substantial. The clean finish is all fruit and herbs. Look for 2016 as this is not meant to age.

 
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TOURNON MATHILDA BY M. CHAPOUTIER

Price: $18
This Viognier and Marsanne blend is supple and smooth, with abundant peach, nectarine, and just-ripe pineapple notes. The Viognier gives aromatics of white flowers and honeysuckles, making M. Chapoutier's Mathilda the most sensory on our list. An extra cool feature is that the label is partially written in brail, which beautifully communicates the tactically of the wine.