This month’s first Top Pick is a no brainer. The 2009 Château Barreyre clearly stands out as an extraordinary example of what Bordeaux can deliver for a price most of us can afford. The prodigy of an overachieving Petit Château in a fabulous vintage the 2009 Château Barreyre delivers everything one could ask from a top notch Petit Château: an alluring aromatic profile, plenty of up front cassis fruit, a nuanced complex mid-palate, and just enough ripe tannins to further its development for several more years. Drink this wine happily now and over the next four or five years. My second Top is more problematic. The 2011 Vesevo Falanghina is a delicious white wine from Italy’s Campania and the finest Falanghina we have tasted from this excellent winery. However, two other outstanding features make this month’s second Top Pick a tough choice. Bisci’s 2011 Verdicchio Matelica remains a personal favorite because I find it simply hard to resist as an aperitif or accompaniment to seafood, but then there’s the exuberant 2011 Gormaz Ribera del Duero: it may just be the best value in Tempranillo from Spain’s legendary Ribera del Duero. So, who gets the crown? It truly depends upon one’s preferences and what accompanies the wine, but pushed to make a decision I have to opt for Vesevo’s 2011 Falanghina. Falanghina is an ancient varietal that is little known in America. It’s excellent with seafood and holds up well to spicy sauces. If you have never tried a Falanghina, it’s about time you did.
A votre santé.