Food & Drink

September 20, 2011

Indian summer wines, from Bodegas Montecillo, Un4Seen, Biltmore Reserve & Ca’Montini

As we transition from the dog days of summer to Indian summer we’re drinking more red wine as we grillheavier meats such as steaks versus burgers and continue on with the flavorful barbecue. We’re still sipping on white wine for those long hot weekend days at the pool here in South Florida. Below are some of the wines we’ve particularily enjoyed while hosting those last few backyard summer hurrahs.

The first three wines we are highlighting today are part of the sibling collection from Bodegas Montecillo, Crianza, Reserva and GranReserva. All three proved to be a fun tasting and pairing for us as webarbecued one Sunday afternoon. This trio of 100% Tempranillos from BodegasMonticello explains in taste the differentclassifications of Rioja. Theseclassifications mainly have to with the length of aging of the wine and qualityof the grapes.

Gran Reserva Rioja is made only in exceptional yearsfrom very select grapes that is aged for a long periods of time in both thecask and bottle before it is released. For this mellow sophisticated wine wegrilled center cut veal chops which was a great pairing, both equally enhancingeach other. The Montecillo Gran Reserva is smooth and melodic with its dominant darkcherry and blackberry fruits on both the nose and palate with hints of vanillaand sage. Retails under $25

TheReserva Rioja is made from more select grapes; is aged longer, both in thebarrel and the bottle. The Montecillo Reserva paired well with the skirt steakwe prepared with a chimichurri sauce. The Montecillo Reserva is more subtle and oaky comparedto its in-your-face fun and fruity younger sibling the Crianza. On the palatethere is a combination of notes ranging from the dark fruits to spices and earth. Retailsunder $15

Crianza is the youngest wine made from a cross sectionof grapes. The Montecillo Crianza went well with the spicy bbq ribs we preparedthis particular day. The bouquet of the wine was powerful and full of darkberry fruit and vanilla while on the palate there was a burst spice and ripered cherry flavors. The wine was thin enough to balance the spice and heat fromthe barbecue flavors. Retails under $15

Un4seen red is a blend of four very unique grapes Zinfandel, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot the combination is Un4seen, thus perhaps the name. This California value wine is highly quaffable and should not bedismissed for its name or price point. Alone, the wine boasts dark red fruit,cherries and raspberries with hints of leather but by adding a grilled ribeyeto the mix as we did the wine took on an “Un4seen” turn of complexity, ofmature fruit and earth tones making this wine a contender with any other at itsprice point and then some. Retails under $10.

TheCa’ Montini 2010 Pinot Grigio is a pleasant surprise of well balanced fruit andacidity versus the placid, albeit sweet Pinot Grigios’ that tend to make up themainstream Pinot market.Easy andrefreshing, this crisp vibrant wine shows off apples and citrus on the nose andpalate. Retails under $15

Un4SeenWhite Wine is the sister wine to the aforementioned Un4Seen red wine is equallyinteresting in its conceptualization with the combined white grape varietals ofChardonnay, Semillon, Moscato and Viognier. This sweet white wine is brimming with citrus aromas is a nice precursor or additioneven, to a dessert course in lieu of thetraditional 100% Moscato. Retails under $10.

ThisViognier from North Carolina is the bolt from the blue of the lot. If you tendto be traditional (France, Italy, Spain, California, Oregon, Washington) inyour wine drinking then wine from North Carolina may not be on your shoppinglist but definitely should not be discounted even to try for curiosity sake. This fruity and floral wine is both a finesipping wine and a food friendly wine. For all its honeysuckle, orange blossom, and violet nuances the finish on this particular Biltmore Viognier vintage willdisclose a unique spicy, white peppery surprise. Retails for under $20.

Eachof these bottles was received as samples for review purposes.

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