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Spier Wine Farm 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2016 W.O. Tygerberg, Stellenbosch 14.5% abv   Coastal Region South Africa

Tasting Notes: Chenin Blanc is a versatile white-wine grape variety that has been cultivated in France for nearly 1300 years. However, it has found a new home in the vineyards of South Africa. This country has surpassed France to become the largest grower and producer of Chenin, and it remains the most-planted variety there. This barrel fermented Chenin Blanc is created from vineyards that are over 40-years-old. Eye: lemon lime gold. Nose: honeysuckle, pear, gala apple, lemon olive oil, mango. Palate: very balanced, full bodied, complex, with pear, preserved lemon, tart apple sauce, beeswax, whisper of oak, shredded coconut, pineapple. delicious right now but will continue to develop until about 2024 and maybe longer in good cellar conditions. Pair with grilled fish, chicken, duck, pork, soft creamy cheeses, salads. Vegan Friendly, Fair Trade Accredited. A steal at $32!! A real winner!

Price: $ 31.99 750ml

 

Ken's Picks


Susana Balbo Crios Malbec 2018 14% abv.  Valle De Uco, Mendoza, Argentina

Tasting Notes: Throughout her career, acclaimed winemaker Susana Balbo has had the opportunity of working internationally. She was the first Argentinean woman hired as a consultant to wineries worldwide: Spain, Chile, Italy, Brazil, Australia, and California. Crios ('offsring') is her cutting edge line of products. Eye: vermillion, purple, garnet edge. Nose: big ripe fruit, with black cherry and black currant up front. Palate: full, with black currant, vanilla, cocoa powder. Medium grippy tannins show youthful muscles. Good pedigree. pairs with red meats on the grill ( Argentina, pampas, beef, si si), aged hard cheeses. Drink now - 4 or 5 years after vintage date.

Price: $18.99 750 ml.

 

Ken's Picks


Chai Du Grand Vaudasniere Vouvray Demi-Sec 2017 12% abv.  Loire Valley, France

Tasting Notes: Vouvray: even if you know little about wine you are likely to recognize this name. It is the proprietary name given to the many different styles of wine made in this region from the Chenin Blanc grape. Demi-Sec indicates an off dry style: not fully sweet like a dessert wine, but not bone dry. Eye: 15 karat gold, lime tints. Nose: dried peach, apple cider, washed stones, chalk, with time opens to clover and creamed honey. Palate: Smooth, round, full, dried apricot, peach, canned pears in syrup, good depth, medium length finish. Firm acid holds the fruit together. Drink now, although this wine will age for a period of time. Pairing: extremely versatile. It can handle spicy foods like enchiladas, and will also match roasted pork, fowl (Easter ham, Easter Turkey). It will pair with your macarons or biscotti for dessert, and will complement you showcase cheese board.

Price: $23.99 750 ml

 

Ken's Picks


Quail's Gate Fortified Vintage Foch 2015 17.5% abv  Okanagan Valley, B.C.

Tasting Notes: Marechal Foch is a hybrid varietal that does very well in continental climates. It is one of only a handful of wine grapes in which the flesh (as well as the skins) is deep red. The wine cannot be called 'Port' because it is not made in Portugal. Eye: molasses, dark coffee rim. Nose: rum raisin ice cream, black cherry jam, figs. Palate: viscous and unctuous, but not cloying, dried currants, dark raisins, plum reduction, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla extract. Pairs well with Valentine's Day dark chocolate, dried fruits (figs, dried cherries), blue cheese, cigars, contemplation in your favorite leather chair. Drink now, but will age for another 2-3 years and perhaps longer.

Price: $26.99 375 ml.

 

Ken's Picks


Primus Carmenere 2017 Apalta, Colchagua Valley 14% abv.  Chile

Tasting Notes: Carmenere, the grape that was once a staple in French Bordeaux vineyards, has found a new home in Chile, where the climate and geography provide almost ideal conditions for this late ripening sun lover. Eye: semi-opaque, black plum, crimson rim. Nose: cocoa, plum, dried dates, black cherry, black licorice, kirsch. Palate: plums confirmed, dark chocolate, black currants, vanilla, chewy tannins, but not unbalanced. This wine belies the price: lots of stuffing here. Drink now. Probably ageworthy for another 2 - 3 years in good conditions. Pair grilled meats, hard cheeses, sturdy pasta dishes with red sauce, burgers in the summer.

Price: $19.99 750 ml.

 

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