Varsity Liquors' Wines of the Month
We decided this month to examine three variations on the theme of Cabernet. To do this, we have selected a Cabernet Franc from France, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina, and a Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Blend from Washington State. They may have similarities in name, but stylistically they are all very different. Enjoy!
Pascal & Alain Lorieux Chinon 1998, Loire Valley France
Cabernet Franc, when grown in the Loire Valley of France, produces very flexible and accessible wines with hints of violet on the nose. The Lorieux family emphasizes the fruit aspect of the wine by using no new barrels in its production, letting the aromas of raspberry and earth come through unhindered. This wine pairs well with light and spicy cuisine and makes a very good choice when serving Japanese or Thai meals.
Etchart Rio de Plata Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, Mendoza Argentina
While Chile has been getting all the acclaim, we feel that the better bargains have been coming from Argentina (like last month's Flichman Malbec selection). Etchart is known as having planted vineyards at the highest elevation in the world. This wine is a fresh, easy drinking, Cabernet, that does not possess the vegetal aspect that many inexpensive Cabernets can have. This makes it a wonderful quaffing wine when multiple bottles are in order.
Hedges Columbia Valley Cabernet-Merlot 1998, Washington
This wine is also one that we feel has a great deal of "more for less". One aspect that sets Washington's wines apart is the rigorous conditions under which the grapes are grown. While the western side is temperate and mild, the eastern grape growing regions are known for their extreme heat in the summer and the extreme cold in the winter. This creates wines of great character, even in everyday bottlings. This particular wine is often lauded in wine publications as a best buy and it happens to make our list as well.
As a token of our appreciation, we're hosting a free tasting for our Wine Club members on January 21st at Alma Mater, across the street from our store, from 6-8 in the evening. Call Scott or Marc for details. Please try to let us know by Jan 14th if you can join us. Thanks again and Happy New Year from all of us here at Varsity Liquors.