This week’s value wines contain a number of incredible and eclectic selections. We have some wonderful values from some of the most top tier names in the wine world: Two highly rated values from Paul Hobbs, a delicious white wine on sale from Dave Phinney of Orin Swift fame, a refreshing white rhone blend from Famille Perrin’s Paso Robles vineyards, and another blockbuster value red selection from the keen eye of Eric Solomon. Here are our five values of the week.
Eric Solomon has been winning the hearts of critics all over the world so far in 2015 again and this offering from Bodegas Castaño is another monumental, quality wine.
91 Points – Robert Parker
“The basic offering from proprietor Ramon Castano Santa, who owns a whopping 1,000 acres in Yecla, is the 2012 Hecula, which is sourced from a non-irrigated, single vineyard planted with 100% Monastrell. Aged in both tank and French oak, it comes from 60-80-year-old vines planted in limestone soils at a relatively high elevation of over 1,600 feet. Its opaque purple color is followed by copious aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, camphor, licorice, white flowers and a chalky limestone/dusty character. Full-bodied, rich and well-balanced, it is an incredible value. These two remarkable cuvees have been reviewed favorably in the past, but the 2012s seem to ratchet up the quality to even more impressive levels.”
Vina Cobos Felino
From Paul Hobbs
Felino is the entry-level tier from Viña Cobos, a celebrated Argentine label from California star winemaker Paul Hobbs.
Paul Hobbs is best known for making rich, powerful Napa Cabernets that sell for as much as $250 a bottle. But he also turns his hand to more affordable wines too, including this reliably terrific Mendoza Cab. It comes from Viña Cobos, the Mendoza label that he founded in 1997 with two respected Argentine wine wonks, spouses Andrea Marchiori (vineyards) and Luis Barraud (cellar). The 2013 Felino Cabernet Sauvignon delivers powerful, plush cherry and cedar flavors, but keeps them balanced despite their heft. (Translation: It drinks like a Cabernet twice its price.) Part of the secret to the wine’s intensity is incredibly low yields: Some of the vines for this wine yielded less than a third of the usual amount of fruit per vine, which concentrates flavors in the remaining grapes.
92 Points – James Suckling
“Extremely dark fruit on then nose with blackberries and wet earth. Full body, with a solid core of fruit and a mineral, blue slate and blueberry aftertaste. Black pepper and spice finish. So much wonderful wine for the money. Drink now.”
Vina Cobos Felino
From Paul Hobbs
91 Points – James Suckling
“This shows such beautiful fruit with currant, walnut and light chocolate character. Full body, with firm tannins and a fruity finish. Reserve and balanced. Drink now.”
90 Points – Natalie MacLean
“This Argentine red wine is rich, inviting and layered, like great conversation. Redolent of blackberry and plum with some dark spice on the finish. A prime candidate for grilled steaks, or roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary. finishes with mocha and dark chocolate from generous oak aging.”
Locations by Dave Phinney
The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when on a lark, David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying”. During that time, he was introduced to wine, how it was made, and got hooked. A few more years of university led to graduation and eventually a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. Deciding that if he was going to work this hard, it would eventually have to be for himself, so in 1998 he founded Orin Swift Cellars; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name. With two tons of zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the company into a multinational brand that now includes 300 acres of vineyards in the Southwest of France. This international ambition has led to projects in Spain, Italy, Corsica, Argentina and other locations around the globe.
This marks the first release of our white wine from Corsica, which has been a great deal of fun in the making. Three years of research and development went into finding the best vineyards and winery to partner with to make what we think is a true expression of Corsican Vermentino. The striking label represents the hand crafted Shepard’s knives that can be found all over the beautiful island.
Tank fermented and true to varietal. The profile of the wine is lively and crisp with blossoming floral aromatics jumping out of the glass. Flavors of fresh green apples, and bittersweet almond are complemented by undertones of Thai basil. This wine is perfect pair all year round as it is enjoyed with a multitude of cuisines and settings.
Tablas Creek Vineyard
Patelin de Tablas Blanc
Tablas Creek Vineyard is the result of a decades-long friendship between the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, longtime importer and founder of Vineyard Brands. The families created a partnership in 1985 and in 1989 purchased a 120-acre property in the hilly Las Tablas district of west Paso Robles for its similarities to Châteauneuf du Pape: limestone soils, a favorable climate, and rugged terrain.
91 Points -Wine Spectator
“The 2013 Patelin de Tablas Blanc shows fruity, floral aromas of honeysuckle, apricot and candied grapefruit, with a spicy mineral note emerging with air. In the mouth it’s mouth-filling with peach and lemon zest flavors and a creamy texture, but kept fresh by vibrant acids. The finish is long, rich and clean, with lingering flavors of peach and mineral. Drink now and for the next 2-3 years.”