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Wine Buzz: November 2011 Edition

Posted on  | November 21, 2011   Bookmark and Share
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Named after the speed of cool marine wind that blasts through the vineyards during the hottest hours of the day, 24 Knots is a new Pinot Noir from Monterey County. Created in partnership with Scheid Vineyards, 24 Knots is crafted from fruit grown in the Viento, Riverview and Scheid Vineyards. By the time the wind approaches these vineyards, it reaches a velocity of 30 miles per hour, or 24 knots. The cool wind slows the sugar ripening process, allowing tannins to soften before harvest. Available nationwide for $16.99, 24 Knots Pinot Noir 2009 expresses its birthplace in both style and structure.



Established in 1882, Rioja Vega is one of the oldest wineries in the Rioja region. Recently introduced to the U.S. market by Constellation Wines U.S., the 2009 Rioja Vega Tempranillo is made from 90 percent Tempranillo and 10 percent Garnacha with minimal oak aging and a suggested retail price of $11.99. “The consumer demand for a quality Spanish wine at an approachable price in a vibrant, fruit forward style was unmistakable,” said Rebecca Stead, Marketing Manager for Rioja Vega.


Amberhill Wines has just released two new wines: the 2010 Amberhill Secret Blend Red and Secret Blend White. Though the precise percentage are not revealed, the grapes are playfully revealed upside-down on the back label. (Red is Syrah, Merlot, Grenache, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec; white is Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato.) Both California crafted in a fruit-forward style (SRP: $9.99). Up nearly 14% in 2010, red wine blends represent the U.S.’s fastest-growing wine category.



Temps de Flors, now available in the U.S., translates to “the time of flowers” and shares the moniker with the famous flower festival north of Barcelona which inspired the spirit of this wine from the nearby winemaking region of Penedès. The wine is made by the Sumarroca Winery, best-known for their sparkling wines, or Cavas. A blend of three grapes, Muscat, Xarello and Gewürztraminer, the 2010 Temps de Flors is available for $13.99.


In partnership with famed French vintner, Michel Chapoutier, Terlato Wines has introduced Marius, a new wine project from the Languedoc region. Named for Chapoutier’s greatgrandfather, the Marius wines are aimed at “adventurous Millennials.” Marius Red, a blend of Grenache and Syrah, and Marius White (Terret and Vermentino), will be available nationally beginning December, for approximately $12.99.



Root:1 has added a 2009 Pinot Noir from Chile’s cool climate Casablanca Valley to its lineup. Like all the brand’s wines, it’s grown on pure, ungrafted roots and hails from vineyards located less than 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Available nationwide, Root: 1 Pinot Noir will retail for approximately $13.99.



This white-hot Moscato grape is apparently getting mobilized, with the launch of Moscato Nation, a web-based organization aiming to unite people who enjoy a glass of Moscato, making it easy to find wineries who make Moscato and offering a platform to celebrate the grape. The group’s website, which adopts a hip-hoppish tone, invites both consumers and producers to join. Founding member wineries are all California-based (Benessere Vineyards, Bronco Wine Company, Moscato Allegro, Quady Winery) but Italian Moscato-makers and French/Australian Muscat-eers are encouraged as well.



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