Archive for February, 2015

Two Well-priced Loire Cabernet Francs

As a wine producing region, France’s Loire Valley flies under the radar of a lot of North American wine drinkers. I’m willing to bet that most would not recognize the names of any of the Loire appellations, with the possible exception of Sancerre, and many wouldn’t not know that region is located in the far eastern end of the 170 mile long river valley. While probably best known for the Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc produced there, there’s a good deal of red wine coming out of the area as well. We’ve been drinking a lot of Loire Cabernet Franc lately, one coming from Bourgueil and the other from Chinon. Both wines offer exceptional value, and are deserving of greater recognition. (Click image to enlarge.)

I first heard about the wines of Bourgueil, approved as an AOC in 1937, about 6 or 7 years ago; the buzz at that time was that these well-priced reds were all the rage in Paris bistros. We tried a few at that time, but never really found one that caught our fancy until we happened upon this little gem at Ferndale’s Western Market, from a cooperative that was founded in 1931.
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A Cornerstone Quartet

We got together not too long ago with our partner in crime, Alan Kerr aka Canadian Zinfan, to indulge in our favorite collective activity, that being eating and drinking great food and wine. We invaded Chez Kerr with four bottles sent to us for review from our friends at Cornerstone Cellars; we opened the two Cabs on the first night of our visit, and the Sauvignon and Bordeaux Blend on the second. We were joined by our old MoCool buddy Howie Hart and his friend Mary Jo Giambelluca on night one. Alan created a terrific dinner around a leg of lamb, which paired beautifully with the two Cabs. (Click images to enlarge.)

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Two Great QPR Sparklers From Rotari

Despite the fact that we both love fine wines of almost every kind, Kim and I have something of a disconnect when it comes to bubbly. I love them, while she can take them or leave them. Because of this, when a cork is pulled from a sparkler on any given occasion, she may have a glass, or opt for a still wine instead, so that the bubble-heads have more to enjoy. I mention this only because such was decidedly not the case with one of the two wines in this report.

I’m of the opinion that sparkling wine is not just for celebrations, but rather, they fit almost any occasion, much like most fine wines. I enjoy them at least twice a week, often more, and until very recently, my go to every day sparkler has been the Mionetto Prosecco, which I’ve been buying at our local Costco since 2009, for $9.99. It has remained remarkably consistent since then, and while I still enjoy it, I’ve found two selections from the Trentino producer Rotari that I like even more, and both are every bit as well-priced. (Click image to enlarge.)

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