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2012 A A Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Chenin Blanc, Swartland (S. Africa) $13.99
“The 2012 Secateurs Chenin Blanc has a light but pure bouquet with lemon peel, grapefruit and hints of wet wool. The palate is crisp and vibrant on the entry with touches of lanolin and litchi nuts. This is so well balanced – uncomplicated but delicious. Drink now.” 92 Wine Advocate
2011 Graf Schönborn Silvaner Kabinett Trocken Alte Reben $21.99
This deliciously crisp and refreshing, dry (Trocken), unoaked white wine from Germany is made from the Silvaner grape, and it’s juicy and packed with lots of lively fruit. Zippy acidity, the vibrant flavors pop with a slight spritz. Quite light-bodied but it has ample aromas and flavors of stone fruit, citrus, yellow plum, with hints of fresh cut flowers and a subtle earthy minerality. The length is moderately long and the finish is bright and refreshing.
2011 Bodegas Breca Garnacha De Fuego Catalyud (Spain) $7.99
“The 2011 Garnacha de Fuego, a 100% Grenache cuvee, was aged in both stainless steel and neutral French oak. There are 10,000 cases for the United States. This amazing wine boasts a dark ruby/purple color along with a sweet kiss of jammy black cherries intertwined with crushed rock notes that give the wine an undeniable minerality. As it hits the palate, a full-bodied, voluptuous texture takes hold and the flavor profile moves towards blacker fruits (ripe raspberries and black currants) intermixed with camphor and forest floor. This full-bodied, rich, glycerin-filled effort should drink well for 4-5 years, perhaps longer.” 92 Robert Parker
2010 Tikves Vranec Special Selection (Macedonia) $8.99
“Made by consulting oenologist Philippe Cambie, who has been telling me for years, “Wait until you taste my wines from Macedonia,” this 100% Vranec (an indigenous varietal) reveals a high quality California Zinfandel-like, briery, raspberry, earthy, peppery fruit character as well as a southern Rhone garrigue and spice box note. The wine possesses gorgeous fruit, medium to full body, supple tannins and outstanding purity as well as length. This remarkable value exhibits a deep ruby/plum color, abundant black currant fruit, and an unmistakable personality. It comes from 30 to 60-year-old Vranec vines from the oldest winery in Macedonia, first established in 1885. How long will it last? I have no idea, but there is certainly enough fruit and body for it to hold up for at least 2-4 years. But, why wait?” 90 Robert Parker
2011 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes Vins de Pays des Cotes Catalanes, Languedoc Roussillon (France) $12.99
“There are 3,000 cases of the naked, virginal, unoaked 2011 Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes made from 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache aged in concrete. The difficult economic situation in the Languedoc-Roussillon corridor is being exploited to the maximum by importer Eric Solomon. The fact that wines such as this can be purchased is unbelievable. Largely an artisanal wine, it is brilliantly pure with a stunning nose of spring flowers, blackberries, cassis and earth. It is almost incomprehensible that something of this quality, complexity and richness can be purchased for $25 to $50, much less $10 to $12. The 3,000 cases should be gobbled up as quickly as they hit retailers’ shelves. I am honored to share my excitement about this amazing wine with readers.” 93 Robert Parker
2011 Bodegas Ordonez Zerran Montsant (Spain) $14.99
“Even more so is the 2011 Zerran, which ratchets up the level of concentration and ripe fruit. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort. Its completeness and overall equilibrium are impressive, and this great value should drink well for 5-6 years, possibly longer.” 92 Robert Parker
2010 A A Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Red Blend, Swartland (S. Africa) $14.99
“A blend of 74% Shiraz, 10% Cinsault plus Grenache, Carignan and Mourvedre aged for 14 months in old French casks, the entry-level 2010 Secateurs Red Blend has ripe raspberry, blackberry and wild hedgerow on the nose that is well defined and very natural. The palate is medium-bodied, supple on the entry with juicy bright red berries, raspberry, red currant and has a touch of citrus peel lending freshness and vitality.” 90 Wine Advocate