Don’s April Collector Series Top Pick

fore-family-vineyards-carneros-pinot-noir-2009April’s Collector Series Top Pick belongs to an up-and-coming boutique California producer, Fore Family Vineyards.  The 2009 Fore Family Vineyard Napa Carneros Pinot Noir is a mere 208-case production and a true family affair.  I am tough on Pinots and rather particular about the ones I drink. With that said, the graceful, mouth-filling 2009 Fore Family Vineyards Carneros Napa Pinot Noir captures the essence of what draws people to Pinot Noir – elegance, complexity, and flavor.  For this reason, Fore Family Vineyards’ 2009 Pinot Napa Carneros shines and earns this month’s Top Pick.  Enjoy!

Don

Don’s April Premier Series Top Pick

donati-family-vineyard-paicines-claret-2012I really enjoy drinking good Bordeaux and the growing number of delicious Claret/Meritage offerings coming out of California. Claret, the English term for Bordeaux (an enviable union of Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, etc.), and Meritage, California’s more familiar name for Claret, always seem to offer more in the way of balance and complexity than straight varietal offerings from any single grape, and often at a more conducive price. Add the blessings of two great vintages and this month’s Top Pick becomes a toss-up. Donati’s 2012 Claret might be the best value in California Claret or Meritage on the market, as it offers plenty of delicious fruit along with excellent purity, body, and balance. At the same time, the 2010 Château Barreyre makes many overpriced, big-name Bordeaux seem wimpy and under-endowed. At 15% alcohol, it over-delivers and proves to be a crowd pleaser. Given its size and structure, the 2010 Château Barreyre is likely to continue to evolve. So, what’s this month’s Top Pick? I opt for the 2012 Donati Claret as this month’s Top Pick for immediate consumption, but you can be sure I will be stashing away the 2010 Château Barreyre for drinking later this year and next. In the interim, don’t miss this month’s exceptional white wines – Morgadio Albariño Rias Biaxas and Tamellini Soave – two of the very best wines from their respective appellations.

Don

Don’s March Collectors Series Top Pick

ClaretNVMy March Collectors Series Top Pick might be different if this were May or June, but it’s not. Very few California wineries make a Chardonnay equal to the Sonoma County Chardonnays that Benovia turns out in small batches. Beautiful could easily be a synonym for Benovia’s wines. And who makes better Rioja than Luis Valentin at Valenciso, whose 2007 Rioja Reserva made Decanter magazine’s Wine of the Year? I love these wines, but for the weather, the need for immediate gratification, and the fact that so many think that top notch California Cabernet must emanate from Napa Valley, I am going with Donati Family Vineyard’s 2011 Ezio Cabernet Sauvignon as this month’s Top Pick. Named for the founder and patriarch of the Donati Family, the 2011 Ezio pays tribute to a visionary and dispels the notion that Central Coast and Paso Robles Cabernets can’t hang with those from Napa Valley. In our panel tastings, Ezio actually blew away quite a few big name Napa Valley Cabs, so there it is. Enjoy!

Don

Don’s March Premier Series Top Pick

Artesana-Tannat-2013It’s always hard to choose just one Top Pick, especially when wines like Emile Beyer’s beautiful 2013 Pinot Blanc and Vigneau-Chevreau’s wonderful 2012 Vouvray are part of the monthly line-up. However, with winter still hanging around, my Top Pick has to be one of this month’s reds. El Pajaro Rojo’s youthful 2013 Bierzo Mencia is a classy, splendid red that makes me believe that the little known Mencia varietal truly deserves a lot more recognition. El Pajaro’s Mencia also makes for a wonderful dinner companion. On the other hand, Artesana’s 2013 Tannat provides a hearty mouthful of wine that is sure to fortify the blood and give courage to even the faintest of souls. And like Mencia, Tannat in the hands of an accomplished property like Artesana deserves to be better known. Maybe it’s the weather, but my Top Pick this month goes to Artesana’s beautiful, bold 2013 Tannat.

Don

 

 

 

Announcing Our “Bold Reds” Wine Sale

red wineTired of winter yet? How about some big, bold, red wines to help shake off the cold?!

We at The International Wine of the Month Club are very excited to announce a sale on 4 powerful, world-class red wines which blew us away at our recent Tasting Panels. We’re making each of these highly-rated red wines available at unbeatable values – up to 45% off retail price, plus extra discounts when you order 6 total bottles or more!

And, you don’t have to be a wine club member to take advantage of this Special Offer, so feel free to let all your wine-loving friends know, too!

High ratings, gold medals, super-limited production – and a huge thumbs up from our 30+ person tasting panel – these wines have it all. Check them out at www.winemonthclub.com/sale.