Neil Ellis, 2006
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Pinotage is a grape variety that was created in South Africa in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University. Perold was attempting to combine the best qualities of the robust Cinsault with Pinot Noir, a grape that makes great wine but can be difficult to grow. Cinsaut is known as Hermitage in South Africa, hence the portmanteau name of Pinotage.
This particular red is obviously well-crafted, an easy-to-like new friend if you haven't yet played with Cape vino. It's medium-bodied and velvety smooth, with pure red raspberry and cherry fruit. A kiss of pepper spice and vanillin oak bring it close to a modern Rhône in style. No need to struggle with food affinities: its moderate weight and dryness make it an elegant all-purpose red.
$8.00 / glass
$32.00 / bottle
Red Diamond, 2004
Columbia Valley, Washington
Blend: 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
The 2004 season started hot and dry, which contributed to early ripening. Cool temperatures and intermittent light rain slowed ripening and allowed the grapes to enjoy extra hang time by mid-September. Warm temperatures and dry weather resumed in early fall through harvest’s end. Overall the 2004 harvest is characterized by small berry size and concentrated, quality fruit.
Our staff unanimously agrees: You will not find a better tasting, finer quality American “bargain” wine. Aromas of cherries and cola with hints of spice box introduce this Merlot. The silky palate displays flavors of red cherry, juicy berries and a touch of caramel and mocha.
Merlot for people who don’t drink Merlot.
$4.50 / glass
$18.00 / bottle