In November, The International Wine of the Month Club’s Premier Series is delighted to offer four illustrious wines, beginning with Dayne and Jill Sherwood’s beautiful 2020 Sherwood Estate Waipara Valley Pinot Noir. Hailing from another splendid vintage on New Zealand’s South Island, it is every bit as compelling as their expressive, highly touted 2019 Waipara Pinot Noir as it continues to outshine many Burgundy and New World Pinot Noirs selling for twice the price. The succulent 2020 Sherwood Waipara Valley Pinot Noir offers delicious aromatics, beginning with beguiling scents of ripe cherries, strawberries and crushed cranberries. Charming, simply elegant, and so easy to drink, this medium-bodied Pinot Noir follows on the palate, delivering a delightful mélange of fruit, exotic spices, and a welcome vinosity. The 2020 Sherwood Waipara Valley Pinot Noir provides all the attributes one can expect from well-made, cool weather Pinot Noir: a floral bouquet, a cache of aromatic spices, and crunchy acidity, which leaves the palate refreshed and ready for more. Enjoy!
Our next feature this month hails from France, the 2022 Chateâu la Genestière Les Petits Cailloux Viognier Pays d’Oc. This enchanted Viognier had us on the first sniff. “What a gorgeous nose!” uttered one tasting panel member. “This wine smells so good it’s almost a shame to drink it,” commented another. In true Viognier fashion, the aroma alone of the 2022 Les Petits Cailloux Viognier is worth the price of admission. Pure juicy peach and apricot aromas waft from the glass. Add a spray of spring flowers and the bouquet on this wine is nothing short of mildly intoxicating. In the mouth, the wine’s fruit and floral tones meld with fresh acidity and gentle mineral tones, delivering considerable palate pleasing pleasure. Stylish and utterly charming, the Chateâu la Genestière 2022 Les Petits Cailloux Viognier exits with grace, leaving all of us begging for more. Textured and pleasantly dry, it’s hard to ask more of this lovely Viognier.
This month’s next venture is the delicious and utterly fascinating 2020 Schwarz The Butcher Blaufränkisch. Just as one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the same can be said for a wine’s label. The label on Schwarz’s 2020 The Butcher Blaufränkisch elicits all kinds of reactions, everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. The wine on the other hand is nothing short of masterful. The 2020 Schwarz The Butcher woos the nose with juicy scents of crushed blackberries and currants laced with hints of sandalwood. In the mouth, the wine’s delicious fruit, spice, and herbal flavors fill the mouth and flow across the tongue, offering wonderful texture and energy. As one tasting panel member stated with a smile, “This wine drinks like Pinot Noir on steroids.” Perhaps, that isn’t how most tasters would put it, but the medium-bodied, boldly flavored 2020 Schwarz The Butcher Blaufränkisch has the juice and complexity of a good Pinot Noir but with more stuffing and a flavor profile of its own. Enjoy!
Rounding out this month’s Premier Series is the exuberant NV Gruber Röschitz By Nature Sparkling Grüner Veltliner. This Austrian beauty shines like the sun and brings a smile to every occasion. Not only does this sparkling wine have eye appeal, it offers an enticing aroma of freshly picked mountain apples, hints of citrus, ripe pears and more. A delicate mousse carries the wine’s lovely aroma through to the palate, offering a mélange of exotic fruits and deft touches of spice before exiting with a satisfying flourish. Enjoy the delightful NV Gruber Röschitz By Nature Sparkling Grüner Veltliner well chilled (37º-40º F) before imbibing. Prost!
The International Wine of the Month Club’s Collectors Series is proud to offer three exceptional wines from three of the planet’s finest appellations and producers. This month’s odyssey begins with the 2020 Arzuaga Ribera del Duero Crianza, a superlative offering from an excellent vintage as well as multiple 92+ Point ratings from James Suckling and European critics. The 2020 Arzuaga Ribera del Duero Crianza opens with heady aromatics. A deep draught of red and black fruits, roasted chestnuts, herbs, and aromatic wood smoke greet the nose. In the mouth, Arzuaga’s 2020 Ribera del Duero Crianza is deep and harmonious, offering plenty of rich fruit, dark chocolate, and coffee tones. Moreover, all of these flavors come wrapped in a firm core of well integrated tannins, which should afford those savvy enough to cellar a few bottles of Arzuaga’s Crianza a decade or more of drinking pleasure. Enjoy!
Next up is the delightful, highly rated (92 Points – Wine Enthusiast) NV Camille Braun Crémant d’Alsace Brut. Camille Braun’s Crémant delights the senses with its lively persistent mousse and expressive nose and flavor. Delicate hints of ripe autumn apples, freshly baked shortbread, and spring flowers delight the nose. In the mouth, the wine’s beautiful aromas re-emerge and expand on the palate. A delight to sip and savor or drink with abandon, Camille Braun’s Crémant d’Alsace Brut NV is subtle, pleasantly round, and delightfully balanced. From the first sip until the very last drop, Camille Braun’s Crémant d’Alsace Brut NV presents itself as a true crowd pleaser. Elegance, purity, and a delightfully graceful finish make Camille Braun’s organically grown Crémant d’Alsace Brut a welcome anytime companion. Salut!
Completing this month’s Collectors Series is the knockout 2020 Quinta Nova Reserva Terroir Blend (95 Points – Decanter). Purity and sophistication mark the regally robed 2020 Quinta Nova Reserva Terroir Blend. The wine’s brilliant ruby/purple robe first captures the eye before seducing the nose with dazzling aromatics. A bouquet of cherries, raspberries, roses, and violets along with the sensuous scent of rain washed woodlands immediately greets the nose. Ample and expansive on the palate, the 2020 Quinta Nova Reserva Terroir Blend reveals juicy berry flavors, delicate spice tones, and a delightful hint of forest floor. Sensuous and elegant, yet fully endowed, the 2020 Quinta Nova Reserva Terroir Blend combines the best of Old World Douro with today’s penchant for charm and complexity, while ripe tannins carry all this goodness to a smashing finish. Juicy, intense, crystalline, and complex, the 2020 Quinta Nova Reserva Terroir Blend is a stunning expression of the Douro and Portugal’s indigenous grape varieties. Enjoy!