Thursday, February 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024
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What to Drink Now: Dad’s Day Wine

By Hayley Hamilton Cogill |

Still looking for the perfect prize to tell dad how much you love him?

Select Sigel’s locations have a plethora of stunning Cabernet Sauvignon on sale today through the 16th that would show any dad how much you care.  The selection is amazing!  From 99 point Colgin and Harlan to silky, lush 98 point Eisele from Araujo Estate in Napa, to favorite go-to wines from Joseph Phelps, Cade, Lail and Shafer.  Email Jasper Russo ([email protected])  or Randy McLaughlin ([email protected]) to confirm availability at your favorite Sigel’s location.

If dad likes something a little more unusual, consider a varietal or a region that is not as mainstream, but definitely delicious.  A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.

Col Solare, perched in Washington’s Red Mountain region produces their extraordinary  Cabernet based blend using grapes from throughout Columbia Valley.  Their latest release, the 2008, is filled with intense aromas of ripe, black fruit with dusty earthiness, tobacco and leather with a full body and long, velvety finish.

Washington State is also known for producing incredible Merlot and Northstar is one of the wineries in the area that does it best.  Their 2008 Walla Walla Merlot shows how elegant and expressive Merlot can be with layers of spice, chocolate, caramel and ripe red berries on the palate with subtle hints of earthiness.  Delicious with roast lamb and grilled meats.

I love a Syrah with character.  Often a difficult varietal to buy, as the flavor profile of the grape can change drastically from producer to producer, so when you find a good one, buy as much as you can.  Austin Hope makes a nice one, filled with spice and bright red fruit, as does Wrath with their Doctor’s Vineyard Syrah filled with floral and spice aromas complimented with red fruit and just a touch of smoky bacon notes that I love in Syrah.  Napa Cellars recently released their 2009 Dyer Vineyard Syrah from handpicked grapes that aged in 54% new French oak for 18 months.  Filled with blue and blackberry aromas with hints of anise, violets and just a touch of tobacco, this is a delicious food wine with soft palate and lingering finish.

Zinfandel can also be a little misunderstood, as sometimes the wine is overly jammy, or overly fruity, but there are some beautiful ones available as well.  Sbragia does well with this varietal, producing high quality Zins from vineyards that have been in the family since the 1930’s.  Ravenswood hits it out of the park year after year with their Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel made from old vines, fermented using native yeasts and aged 20 months in French oak.  Ripe red fruit is enhanced with aromas of coffee, chocolate and caramel.  Iconic California winemaker Richard Arrowood just released his 2009 Amapola Creek Monte Rosso Vineayard Zinfandel made from 100+year old Zinfandel vines grown in the mineral rich, mountainous vineyard.  This is a soft and supple wine filled with freshly cracked black pepper, ripe red cherries, dried berries and toffee with lingering aromas of violets and wild flowers on the finish.

If dad is a fan of Italian wines treat him to a classic Chianti from San Leonino.  Their 2008 Chianti Classico is made from low yielding, high quality Sangiovese with a touch of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon is aged 18 months in French oak.  Earthy and filled with herbal notes, deep red fruit and subtle spice with a well rounded palate.

If dad likes something a little heartier Argentine Malbec is always a fantastic choice. Walter Bressia continues to make some of the best from the region, often blending a bit of Cabernet and Merlot in to soften out the dense profile of the black grape, as in his Conjuro, creating an elegant, expressive wine with depth and character.  Cheval des Andes, the partnership in Argentina between Château Cheval Blanc and Terrazas de los Andes, also blends Malbec with Cab and Merlot, with a touch of Petit Sirah for a lush, balanced, savory wine with great texture and a silky finish.  For 100% Malbec Dona Paula Estate features high elevation fruit, 3700-4400 feet above sea level, from Mendoza’s Uco Valley.  Their sustainably farmed, hand picked fruit creates a wine filled with aromas of black fruit, baking spice and violets with leather, ripe cherry and plum and mineral flavors on the palate.

For something completely unusual, and completely wonderful, give dad a bottle of Xinomavro, the intense, tannic and expressive red wine from Northern Greece.  I just returned from Greece, traveling as a guest of New Wines of Greece, where I had a chance to taste this incredible grape in the region that does it best, Naoussa, especially when aged for several years allowing the elegance of the wine to shine and the tannins to soften.   The Boutari family is one of the oldest, and one of the best wine producers in Greece, making wine in their estates throughout the country.  Their Naoussa estate produces several different styles of the Xinomavro grape, with the Grande Reserve Naoussa being one of the best.  They only make it in select years when the grapes are exceptional, then by law the wine must be aged a minimum two years in barrel and two years in bottle, though often the aging is longer. This aging allows the expressive wine to soften a bit; but even with the aging prior to release these wines have an easy ability to age for 12-20 years.  I tried a 2000 and a 1993 while on the trip and was amazed at how fresh and vibrant both were, especially the 1993 almost 20 years later. The overall flavor profile reminded me of a nicely aged Barolo. Spec’s and select Goody Goody stores carry Boutari Grande Reserve Naoussa Xinomavro.

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