John took some time from his busy schedule as head wine taster at Cheese Plus to share some of his picks for the holiday season. Here are his tasting notes on four big reds for little green.
2010 Coteaux des Travers Rasteau Reserve – $15.99
Southern Rhone Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. Bold, fruit-forward spicy but with enough structure and acid to keep it afloat. Tension and rocks galore.
2011 Antic Central Coast Pinot Noir – $17.99
Earthy, fruity, a real Pinot Noir. Natural yeast fermented, low sulfur, no new oak. Plums, dried flowers, autumnal spices.
2009 Tayerle Troubadour – $9.99
Old Vine Syrah and Valdiguie (old French varietal) from Suisun Valley just SE of Napa. Loren Tayerle lives in the neighborhood and makes great, honest wine in Napa sourced from vineyards up and down NorCal. Concentrated, black cherries, cinnamon and star anise. Exotic but from just next door.
2010 Bielsa Garnacha – $11.99
Old vine Garnacha (Grenache) from Eastern Spain. red and black pepper, rich red fruit, but with a dusty edge that speaks of the dry Spanish plains.