- Publish Date: Oct 26, 2010
The best wines we drank last month.
Baseball playoffs, Monday Night Football, sweater weather: Autumn is officially upon us. October, though, is the ideal month since days can be warm enough for a short-sleeve T-shirt (and white wine), but you might also need an extra blanket on your bed (as well as a warming glass of red).
You, too, should enjoy the fall because you can feel comfortable buying and enjoying just about any type of wine. This month, crispy whites, tart and juicy reds and rich dessert wines were all among our favorites. Whatever fall mood you’re in is sure to be satisfied by one of our favorite picks from October.
Chateau Haut-Peyraguey Sauternes 2005 ($30 for a half bottle). This was the perfect coda to my birthday dinner at Quince in San Francisco. One of the most honeyed, caramel-colored Sauternes I’ve had in quite some time--and it paired perfectly with Reblochon cheese. Find it here.
Zind Humbrecht Pinot Blanc 2007 ($22). One of my favorite white-wine producers in the world. ZH's wines are always rich and complex. Much darker than a typical Pinot Blanc, this wine looks more like a Chardonnay. It has a lush and full mouth feel with apple, pineapple and hints of white peach--followed by a touch of acidity on the finish. Went perfectly with my whole branzino at Chaya in San Francisco. In general, this would go nicely with heavier seafood dishes or chicken. Find the wine here.
Chateau La Vieille Cure 1999, Fronsac ($30). Every vintage I find this to be a reliable Merlot-based Bordeaux blend--and since Fronsac isn’t well known, the price is very fair. I was stunned to see this decade-old wine on a couple store shelves and, though it’s a little past its prime, this is an inexpensive introduction to aged wines. Lots of dried fruit and leather characters, really tasty with funky cheese. Find it here.
2008 Grieve Family Sauvignon Blanc ($40). I first tried this wine at a tasting room called Sonoma Enoteca with a group of friends. This specific tasting room is the only location in which you can taste and purchase this wine. We learned from the wine-maker that the grapes for the 2008 vintage were picked a full three weeks apart. The wine has a rich, smooth grapefruit flavor with a hint of vanilla at the finish. It’s very a unique Sauvignon Blanc. Find the wine here.
Ben Marco Malbec 2007 ($17.99). I uncorked this earthy Malbec at recent BBQ. It went perfectly with burgers and grilled meats. It’s full bodied, with flavors of red fruits. Find the wine here.
Cimarossa Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Riva di Ponente Vineyard 2005 ($60). This Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa, California. It’s a beautiful Cab that is soft and velvety, yet quite complex. This red is full of classic Howell Mountain, big, dark fruit characteristics but has great acidity. It fills your mouth and leaves you happy. Find it here.
Occhipinti, Nero d’Avola & Frappato, SP68 Siciliy 2008 ($25). The SP68 is a blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola that is loaded with aromas of fresh raspberry. On the palate, festive tart cranberries and strawberries--along with some earthiness--make this wine clean and delicious, yet complex. This is fresh wine with deftness and precision, as well as bright acidity. I shared this bottle with a friend and, although we drank it with food, it stood on its own. Find it here.
Tried any of these wines? Tell us what you think about them below.