Saturday, February 11, 2012
This recently launched label from Bronco Wine Co. with its bright pink color was meant for Valentine's Day. Especially for novice wine drinkers whose tastes fall on the sweeter side.
Sparkling moscatos are very popular right now. Made in a fashion similar to a sweet sparkling wine like asti, this wine features light carbonation and is nonvintage. That allows the winemaker to blend old and new wines. It's also not meant for aging, so don't set much aside for future special occasions.
There is plenty of orchard fruit and fresh flavors in this uncomplicated wine. It's light and versatile enough to be served with or without food.
Sherry: "Sweet apple, pear and honey." 3 stars
Chris: "Cotton candy bouquet with pear, cherry and honey flavors." 3 stars Available locally for about $10.
Coming next week: Bosco Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Three friends named Ready, Murphy and Goode started this California winery in 1985. In 2006, neighbor and friend Jess Jackson of Kendall-Jackson fame bought the winery, but it remains a family operation with Ready's son serving as the winemaker.
The name for this wine came from a dice game played for years at a nearby restaurant, where some of Sonoma County's finest zinfandel growers congregated. The sources for this vintage are Dry Creek and Alexander Valley, which result in a wonderfully balanced wine. Unlike some California zins, this wine is not overpowered with hot alcohol but has rich fruit flavors layered with spice.
Sherry: "Dry and full-bodied with black cherry and raspberry, with a floral rose finish." 3-1/2 stars
Chris: "Notes of fig with flavors of raspberry, cherry and a spicy bite." 3-1/2 stars
Available locally for about $18.
Coming next week: Allure Pink Moscato
Torres is a major exporter of Spanish wine and is the largest family-owned winery in Spain, with operations also in Chile and California.
This wine comes from the Catalonia region of Spain, located in the northeast part of the country. Wine has been produced there in the Mediterranean climate since the Roman times.
The Gran Reserva designation means that the wine has been aged for two years in oak and three years in the bottle.
This is a blend of grenache (60 percent), carignan (25 percent) and syrah (15 percent) that pours dark and inky yet is surprisingly light with well-balanced tannins.
Sherry: "Cocoa, raspberry and black cherry flavors." 3-1/2 stars
Chris: "Leather notes with dry raspberry and black cherry on the finish." 3-1/2 stars
Available locally for about $13.
Coming next week: Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel
Posh is a new wine in the market from Nexus Wines, a Denver company that has launched labels from around the world. This one comes from Mendocino County in California, where the grapes were sourced.
features zinfandel (39 percent), syrah (32 percent), petite sirah (26 percent) and 3 percent other varietals. The wines are fermented and aged individually in barrels for six to nine months before they are blended and aged for another three months before bottling.
This is a hefty wine that needs breathing time to display the spice and red fruit flavors.
Sherry: "Strong tannins with strawberry, raspberry and floral tones on the finish." 3 stars
Chris: "Menthol notes with flavors of strawberry and plum laced with pepper." 3 stars
Available locally for about $10.
Coming next week: Torres Gran Sangre de Toro Reserva
There are lots of blends available that mix wines after they have been fermented, but some winemakers prefer the process of co-fermentation. That's when you start the wine-making process with juice from different grapes.
The results of co-fermentation are much different than blending. It's akin to adding the ingredients to a stew at the beginning and letting them simmer together rather than cooking them separately and mixing at the end.
This Washington State syrah includes 4 percent viognier and 1 percent grenache - similar to a French Rhone. The white grape viognier helps soften the syrah and brings more fruit to the flavor.
Sherry: "Peppery black currant and dark cherry with a floral finish." 3 stars
Chris: "Raisin notes, flavors of rich black cherry and hints of vanilla on the finish." 3 1/2 stars
Available locally for about $8.
La Crosse Tribune wine of the week archives
Wine of the week reviews are property of the La Crosse Tribune. All other views on this blog are the opinion of Chris and Sherry Hardie