Taste of Wine: Top 10 wines tasted at this year’s third quarter

For the past week and a half my wine engine was around idle while I re-charged on slopes and the beaches of Kauai, where all you’ll find to beverage is Kauai coffee, a few craft beers and a Mai Tai.

But to here in the last complete week of September, the wine’s been flowing and I have been taking notes. The restaurants cranked up throughout the summer visitor season in San Diego with Pala Casino, Il Fornaio Del Mar and PAON Carlsbad minding some wines.

Michele Graber from Meritage Wine Market in Encinitas and Dustin Cano introduced Taste of Wine to La Bastide Saint-Dominique.

The 10 I have for you are diverse and flavorful . With fall and cooler weather upon us, all are lush and red that can warm up any palate. You will see two Italian, one French, one Washington and six .      

All wines are available on the current market, rated excellent and are displayed. Pricing is the best I could locate such as the wineries.

Argiano Brunello di Montalcino, Italy 2012. Brunellos are featured lately as one of the wines in all of Italy in Taste of Wine. Argiano is available and rated, sourced from the Sangiovese grapes using a naturally-occurring aging cycle. Stop by Argiano.net.

Cafaggio Chianti Classico, Tuscany Italy 2013, $19. Among many on this list which has a cost point which needs to be more than it is. More bang for you and I for the buck. This is so good I recommend you open it hours before you intend to consume it. Coat the inside of your glass using a swirl and savor that bouquet. Really Italian wine heaven. Stop by Cafaggio.wine.

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington 2014. No misprint, it is $7 at your nearby Costco. It’s less costly than some water! It’s good, and it is good for you and your wallet. Finest value on the planet. See Columbiacrest.com.

Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley, 2014, $44.99. Among the Merlots in Napa Valley since the winery was founded in 1976. Sixteen months in a year and walnut in the bottle before release. The texture is satin supporting layers of raspberry and black cherry. See Duckhornvineyards.com.

Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2014, $13. Here is still another value wine which gets its very best juice from estates in Washington, Oregon and California, blended for an elegance which tastes way more than its cost. This one’s an combo from Lake county, Napa, Santa Ynez, Happy Canyon, Paso Robles and Monterey. See Gotwines.com.

Keenan Cabernet Franc, Spring Mt. Napa Valley, 2013, $67.95. Estate grapes from the Spring Mt. district at 2,000 ft. After fermentation in steel tanks, the wine has been aged for 20 months in American and French oak barrels. Blueberry and raspberry taste with a rich body and a very distinct elegance compared to the “Cab” you are accustomed to. See Keenanwinery.com.

Laird Phantom Ranch Pinot Noir 2013. With the aid of Robert Mondavi, back in 1970, the Laird family prospered into a provider of wine grapes in Napa Valley to other more well-known wineries and began. That all changed when Laird turned into a best seller and set his name. This Pinot Noir is handpicked under the direction of this Paul Hobbs, a winemaker. See Lairdfamilyestate.com

La Bastide Saint-Dominique Chateauneuf–du-Pape, France, $38. Produced near Beaucaastel by the Bonnet family from the southern Rhone Valley of France, a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. The du Pape style is recorded as the elite mix from the south of France. The stony surface of the soil makes for a harvest of grape taste, kept heat for dirt concentration and a sweetness which resembles jam. Much of this wine varietal provides over 15 percent alcohol strength. See Europvin.com.

Pedroncelli Old Vine Zinfandel Mother Clone 2015, $19. A classic favorite, this classic Zin has plenty of cherry and berry taste with toasty oak, pepper and nutmeg notes. This Dry Creek locale in Sonoma typifies the acidity that the appellation provides. This style measures all Zins. See Pedroncelli.com.

Vina Robles Estate Petite Sirah 2014, $29. Black color displays an juicy fruit complexion and a finish.   Aged for 20 months in oak barrels. More extreme avocado, smaller, held longer in the harvest for higher concentration. See Vinarobles.com.

Wine Bytes will return.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur.   He’s one of the leading commentators on the internet.   View his columns at http://thecoastnews.com. Proceed to menu columns. Reach him at mangiompc@aol.com.

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