Wines of the Week: Oct. 24-30

Everyday: Looking for a white for all seasons at a reasonable price? The 2014 Maculan Pino & Toi Veneto Bianco ($12) macalunis all that and more, a righteous bargain packed with flavor. The name actually refers to the grapes: 25 percent pinot bianco, 15 percent pinot grigio, and 60 percent tocai friulano. The green-fruit notes sail across the palate thanks to uncommon crispness, with a great jolt of soft acidity on the midpalate and a clean, lean finish. Oh, I almost forgot the gorgeous floral and fruit aromas. This is a swell brunch wine, playing beautifully with eggs Benedict and omelettes, and a great match for pasta with seafood. The pristine vocals of Mike Scott and the Waterboys provide a perfect soundtrack

Occasion: The winery is beloved for its super-swell zinfandels, but every friggin’ vintage of the A. Rafanelli Dry Creek rafanelliValley Cabernet Sauvignon ($68, less if you get on the mailing list) I have ever tasted has been sublime. Maybe because it’s the kind of offering that reminds me of why I fell in love with wine in the first place; regardless, the perfect fruit/dried-herb/tannin amalgam is always present. Plus plenty of stuffing and focus and structure. There’s usually some black pepper, a bit o’ earth, more red than dark fruit, and a rustic, robust mouthfeel and finish. Autumnal stews and soups or rosemary-laden lamb chops are ideal accompaniments, along with the welcoming down-home genius of Mr. Willie Nelson.


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