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WineBuzz: February 2012 Edition

Posted on  | February 1, 2012   Bookmark and Share
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Some industry watchers call Malbec the new Shiraz, thanks to its red-hot sales and consumer-friendliness. As new brands continue to emerge, is anyone surprised to see labels display a little more attitude to complement the Andean altitude? The 100% varietal Battle Axe Malbec, imported by Liquid Brands, is sourced from estate vines that are between 80 and 100+ years old. Vivid rubypurple, the wine delivers intense red fruits, subtle spice and toasty notes from 12 months in new French oak barrels. SRP: $17.99



Targeting Moscato drinkers, Piedmont’s Ricossa Antica Casa, part of MGM Mondo del Vino, is releasing a new sparkling red from the Casorzo DOC in the U.S. market. The new entry, Ricossa “Casorzo” (5.5%-abv), is made from ripe, sweet Malvasia grapes in the low-alcohol (5.5%) style of Moscato. It joins a Ricossa Antica portfolio also including Barolo, Barbera d’Asti, Moscato d’Asti and Gavi wines. SRP: $15.99




Since its debut under the Saintsbury label back in 1983, Garnet has been a go-to name for people who love value in California Pinot Noir. Now, as part of Vintage Point (makers/marketers of brands including Hundred Acre, Layer Cake, Luna, Arnold Palmer and others), Garnet has undergone a makeover and line extension. Joining the flagship Carneros Pinot Noir (2010 SRP $20) are a 2009 Monterey Pinot Noir ($15), 2010 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($15) and a single-vineyard 2010 Rodgers Creek Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($30).



Given that Moscato and Brachetto vines both thrive in Italy’s Piedmont zone, and given that both are card-carrying sweeties in the bottle, the idea of combining these two grapes in one wine is quite natural. Imported by Napa-based Quintessential and dubbed Mochetto, grapes for the pink, gently sweet and slightly effervescent wine were sourced in the Venezie subzone of the Veneto; alcohol is 5.5%. Each variety’s signature fruit (peach and berry) is perceptible; the 10% portion of Brachetto adds a little richness. SRP: $16.99



As if Krug Champagne itself were not enough to say “luxury,” the iconic Champagne now has its very own carrying case. The Krug “Flanerie” is handcrafted from supple leather and conceals an insulated sleeve that keeps a pre-chilled bottle of Krug Grand Cuvée or Krug Rosé at perfect drinking temperature. Just the thing for high-end BYO occasions or a special gift. The Krug Flanerie retails for $190 and is in nationwide but limited release, from the same distributors that already carry the bubbly.


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