Our Wine Of The Year Is......
Here it is, the moment you have been waiting for all year! The announcement of our Wine Of The Year for 2022. We are pleased to present to you El Pedrosal Ribera del Duero 2019!
Every year we amass some of our favorite wines for our Wine of the Year blind tasting. We taste wines from the past year that have impressed us and really over-delivered for their respective price points. We place them in brown paper bags to remove any bias and taste.
Tasting blind can be quite humbling but also very educational, sometimes you are sure you are tasting a specific grape and it turns out you weren’t. This type of tasting allows you to really analyze the wine’s components, break it down, and see how well it stacks up against the competition.
Out of forty great wines tasted, El Pedrosal came out on top! It is no surprise that this crianza-styled Ribera del Duero beat out the competition, after all, it is crafted by Bodegas Hermanos Perez Pascuas. The Perez Pascuas brothers made their first wine two years before the Ribera del Duero D.O. was formed in 1982 and have been producing some of the region’s best wines ever since! Their long history in the area has helped them obtain some of the best vineyard sites in the region.
Bodegas Hermanos Perez Pascuas wines are uniquely structured, with great ability to age, while still displaying the full-bodied Tempranillo experience. This Crianza shows the depth and structure of other producers' Reservas at a fraction of their price!
1. Bodegas Hermanos Perez Pascuas El Pedrosal Ribera Del Duero 2019
Shelf Price $23.99
Sale Price $19.97
A more classical example of Ribera del Duero that will supply as much pleasure years from now as it does now. Rich, but not ripe, with lovely spice and red berry notes. The tannins are fine-grained resulting in a velvety mouthfeel. This is an absolute no-brainer at this price point!
100% Tempranillo from younger vines--under 20 years old. Grapes are hand-harvested, de-stemmed, and pressed. Long maceration about 24 days on skins. Fermentation done in stainless steel and aged 6 months in French Oak barrels, 6 months in American Oak barrels. 12 months in bottle before release.
“Hermanos Pérez Pascuas remains one of the most classical of the Ribera del Duero family wineries created in 1980, one of the oldest in the appellation.” - Luis Gutierrez of The Wine Advocate (6/2021)
Wine Of The Year - Second Place!!!
Second place went to Olga Raffault Les Picasses Chinon 2016. This classic Loire Valley red grabbed our attention instantly, with a complex bouquet of herbs and dried fruits. The body of the wine is of medium extraction, not overdone at all, which we agreed would be very food-friendly. The tannins were semi-firm but perfectly in balance with the fruit. This is an absolute beauty, we expect no less from one of the great producers of Cabernet Franc.
2. Olga Raffault Les Picasses Chinon 2016
Shelf Price $29.99
Sale Price $27.97
93 points Vinous
From a limestone-based plot on the Chinon plateau, the 2016 Chinon Les Picasses features intriguing warming spices, including garam masala, as well as piquant black cherry, all followed up with mouthwatering acidity. Like their other cuvées, it's not showy and extroverted but quiet, its joy being in its tender caress on the midpalate. It has grown up in large foudres (50hl) over a year but reveals little woody influence. The finish has fine sinew and refined chalky tannins that draw the palate out on the lengthy, tea-leaf-like and spiced finish.
100% Cabernet Franc. Les Picasses is the most famous Chinon lieu-dit, close to the village of Beaumont-En-Véron on the north bank of the Vienne River. It is a slope with full southern exposure and chalky clay-limestone soils, the combination resulting in fully ripened, structured wines. Raffault's mid-slope vines are at least 50 years old and are worked organically and harvested by hand. The fruit is destemmed and the whole, uncrushed berries are fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tank; fermentation and maceration last for 25-30 days, depending on the vintage. The wine is aged for 2-3 years in oak and chestnut foudres ranging from 30-50 hectoliters; it is then further aged in tank and bottle before release about four years after the vintage. Les Picasses is the fullest-bodied, most structured and most complex of the Raffault reds. - Importer
Wine of the Year - Third Place
Third place was a bit of a surprise, Saracina Vineyards Old Soul Red Blend 2019. Our tasting panel leans towards the “old world” in terms of wines we enjoy, however the appeal of this California red blend could not be denied. While tasting this we all shared a wide-eyed moment thinking, “people are going to love this.” This is a full-bodied lush blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane, and Malbec but what stood out to us was the drinkability. To get such a full-bodied wine to be this smooth and graceful truly takes talent making this a unique wine experience.
3. Saracina Vineyards Old Soul Red Blend 2019
Shelf Price $25.99
Sale Price $21.97
A sensational California red blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Malbec.Old Soul is a little different with every vintage—translating the story of Mendocino County’s unique terroir straight to your glass. In winemaker Alex’s words, the 2019 vintage was “a dream,” with early replenishing rains and a long, even growing season. Look for savory wild herbs and blackberry cobbler notes on the nose. The palate is rich but not too dense, with ripe tannins that wrap around a core of blue and black fruits which linger on the long, slightly toasty finish.