This month's top picks
Forbidden Fruit, Bubbles in Revolution and Other Things We Love.
February. Halfway from winter to mud season in some parts, a little more light, but perhaps as not much as we'd like in others. A dingy truck stop on the road between somewhere and somewhere else…unless your glass is half full. We can help with that. From Bruno Lafon's delicious, old vine, thoroughly unique, easy to love "Fruit Defendu" red and white, to the tinto and blanco Godelia duo from Northwest Spain's Bierzo region, to enchanting, savory sparkling bonarda from Italy's Oltrepo Pavese region, we have plenty of things to love in February!
Acinum Chianti — $10
Here's delicious proof that when it comes to Chianti, the words "inexpensive" and "generous" don't have to be mutually exclusive. Made 100% of sangiovese, this one is a lovely expression of both grape and region, with flavors and aromas of firm, ripe, dusty cherry fruit, tinged with notes of violets, spice and earth. Firm tannins and acidity give energy to the fruit, making this a great companion to full-flavored fare.
Domaine Magellan "Fruit Défendu" Blanc — $11
"Pleasure like that ought to be forbidden!”"Fruit Défendu (“Forbidden Fruit”) is woven on a fabric of bone-dry muscat, its exotic aromas tinged with the racy freshness of ugni blanc, to deliver a wine that's lively, refreshing and almost too easy to drink!
Domaine Magellan "Fruit Défendu" Rouge — $11
13 acres of old vines cinsault growing in well-situated parcels of sandstone. "Tear it out" said the consultants. Fortunately, Bruno went old school instead, lavishing passion and sweat equity on those fine old vines, and the result is this taste of pure, old world character. Red fruits, garrigues, sturdy fruit with notes of spice, great balance and a lovely freshness. We love it!
Vignerons d’Estezargues "Rive Droite – Rive Gauche" Côtes du Rhône — $11
There's nothing quite like having an adequate supply of good, sturdy, spicy Côtes du Rhône onhand for ensuring a ready source of instant pleasure on the home front. This one is just the ticket. It's sourced from vineyards on both sides of the river (hence the name) and delivers a torrent of sassy, bold red and dark cherry flavors, with notes of plum, sun-warmed stones, spice and herbs joining the chorus.
Domaine Magellan Pézenas Rouge — $13.75
From a hilltop vineyard in the gently rolling hills between the Mediterranean and the forbidding Montagne Noire, this wine shows all the energy, freshness and sturdy character of the Languedoc infused with an easy elegance and grace. Generous fruit with a raspberry theme is the star, with firm, sleek tannins and bright acidity lending balance and structure.
Lone Birch cabernet sauvignon — $12
Sometimes, your wishes (or, in this cases ours) do come true. This is it, a sturdy, full-bodied, but agile, well balanced, sturdily structured cabernet sauvignon. Complete with dark berry fruit, a lovely savory spice note that’s somewhere between sage, pine, eucalyptus and American oak, a mineral undercurrent, firm tannins and a price that makes it everyday affordable. Good stuff!
Godelia Bierzo blanco — $15
While the words "Spanish wine" are often nearly synonymous with "red wine", that shouldn't let keep you from enjoying some of the world's most singular, enchanting white wines (like this one). Made primarily of the indigenous godello and dona blanca grapes, it's vibrant, racy and edgy, while offering a generous texture of bright citrus fruit, accented with hints of apricot, chamomile and mountain herbs. An undercurrent of minerals rounds out a gorgeous bottle of wine.
Godelia Bierzo tinto — $17.75
We’re convinced that Bierzo should be the Next Big Thing—but are betting that it won't (it has way too much character for that). Think red fruits: cabernet franc–like edginess and brilliance married with seductive, pinot-like bright cherry notes. Add a minerally note, high harmonies of savory tones and muscular, agile energy and you're getting the idea. Wrap it all in a gorgeous texture that’s brimming with racy energy and you'll be pouring your second glass right away.
Castello di Luzzano "Sommossa" — $19.50
Rooted partly in Lombardy and part in Emiglia–Romagna, Castello di Luzzano marries the best of both worlds. Goccie in Tumulto — "Bubbles in Revolution" — is a deep, dark red wine veiled in lively effervescence. It offers intense black raspberry fruit and a nice hints of earth and savory herbs. Its intense fruit, firm tannins and fine bubbles make it perfect with charcuterier, cheeses – and the rest of the meal!
Thirsty for more?
Get to know PCC Beer and Wine Merchandiser Jeff Cox through Notes from the Cellar, a chronicle of his adventures in and ruminations on wine.
The fine print:
All tasting notes are written by the PCC wine team, except where attributed otherwise — and in those cases, we wholeheartedly agree, and simply couldn't say it any better ourselves.