July Mix Six

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in Mix Six, Wine Blog | 0 comments

2011 Garnatxa Blanca, Herencia Artes, Terres Alta, Spain
$11.99/bottle     $9.59/bottle (mix six $)
This 100% Garnatxa (Grenache) Blanca comes from a combination of older and younger vines, and is vinified in a crisp, unoaked style with naturally fresh acidity and moderate alcohol. It exhibits fresh melon and tropical citrus aromas and flavors with honeysuckle accents. Honeyed notes inform the midpalate, which has a nice creamy texture balanced by juicy acidity. The refreshing finish is accented by notes of ginger and citrus peel.
Drink with calamari or squid.


2011 Garnatxa Negra, Herencia Artes, Terres Alta, Spain
$11.99/bottle     $9.59/bottle (mix six $)
Herencia Altes old vines were once dispatched to the local cooperative but no longer. The unoaked 2010 Garnatxa Negra (100%) was given some lees contact to enhance the richness and texture. Smoke, spice box, incense, mineral, and pure black cherry aromas are striking. Mouth-filling and elegant with enough structure to keep the wine for several years, this superb value finishes with no hard edges.
Great for burgers and bbq chicken.


2010 Vinho Verde, Famega, Portugal
$8.99/bottle $7.19/bottle (mix six $)
Vinho Verde is the prototype for a summer wine. It is very vibrant and dry with low alcohol. The wine is a blend of Arinto, Avesso and Azal, all local varieties. The DOC region for Vinho Verde is in Northwestern Portugal. Pale straw. Fresh pear, quince, anise and lime zest on the nose. Fizzy and bracingly crisp on the palate, the bright apple and citrus flavors showing impressive cut and energy. Finishes firm, long and delicious, with lingering notes of minerals and citrus peel.
Drink with seafood.


2010 Tempranillo, Campo Reales, La Mancha, Spain
$7.99/bottle     $6.39/bottle (mix six $)
Deep ruby color. Aromas of blackberry, meat, dark chocolate, and earth. Round, rich mouth of berries, spice, leather and brown sugar. Intense and complex for the price. Youthful with cherry and blackberry aromas tinged by cracked pepper. Fresh, juicy and spicy.
Great for burgers or steaks.


2010 Branco, Casa de Saima, Portugal
$10.99/bottle     $8.79/bottle (mix six $)
Casa de Saima is located in Sangalhos in the north of the Bairrada region. Here Graça Miranda and her husband Dr. Carlos Almeida e Silva tend 18 ha of vines. Bairrada is the region of the smallholder. There are a staggering 4700 registered growers, and the average plot size is a tiny 0.2 ha. Most of these sell their grapes to the cooperatives that dominate the region’s production, and make a lot of uninspiring wine. But some estimates of the potential of this region can be gained from the observation that more than two-thirds of the vineyards here are over 50 years old and Casa de Saima is probably the best producer in the region.
Casa de Saima Branco is a blend of three grapes, Bical, Cerceal and Arinto. Bical, which is native to Bairrada and its neighbor, Dao, has an angular brightness similar to Riesling in many ways. Cerceal is, rather annoyingly, not the same grape as the Sercial grown on the island of Madeira. Arinto is, perhaps, the most widely planted white variety in Portugal. It is also capable of producing high quality wine although no one is really specializing in the variety.
Great with shrimp on the barby.


2010 Tinto, Casa de Saima, Portugal
$10.99/bottle $8.79/bottle (mix six $) 
Baga is a unique Portuguese red grape variety has a reputation as a bit of a bugger, by all accounts. It’s thick skinned, with a tendency to make wines high in acidity and tannins. Combine this with the local practice of including the stems in the fermentation, and it has the potential to make challenging, tough wines. It’s also Bairrada’s key grape. Some 80% of wines from this region are red, and almost all of these (95%) are made from Baga. But while many Baga-dominated Bairradas are overly astringent, the fact that the better producers can do great things with it suggests that some of the blame lies at the door of the less competent producers rather than the grape itself.
The red wines are foot trodden and fermented in lagares (short, wide stone casks) before aging in old vats. The wine has quite a pungent, herby, savory nose with caramel notes. The palate shows attractive juicy cherry and raspberry fruit with a very lush, earthy edge. Tasty stuff: The wine is not too complex but has good acidity and dry tannins on the finish.
Great with beef dishes.

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