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Wine Review: Try some variety with your next purchase

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I can be a bit compulsive as I seem to enjoy devoting my columns to one variety or one producer at a time.

I now depart from my usual style and offer to the reader information on wines that I have recently sampled that are from different nations, different producers and different varieties.

Chateau Maubert 2020 Cotes de Bordeaux ($20)
Let us begin with an oddity. It is a fact that the French love heavy meats and prepare them with sauces of all types and descriptions and yet, they are known to have fewer cardiac problems than this country and many others of the world. Could the reason be that the French consume an average of 61 bottles of wine per person per year? The oddity for the Chateau Maubert 2020 Cotes de Bordeaux is that it is an excellent red merlot wine from organically grown grapes and is also vegan. While I can understand the organically grown grapes, a French vegan wine makes me scratch my head in disbelief. Has the vegan philosophy begun to creep into the normally carnivorous French diet? For whatever reason, this wine is not only vegan but also happens to be a fine example of a French Bordeaux merlot. The wine offers the flavors and aromas of blueberry, plum and raisin while cradling the under-flavors of spice and chocolate. The wine is elegant, easy to enjoy and, to top it off, affordable.

Fiddlehead Cellars 2022 La Pressa Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($36)
Sauvignon blanc wines are usually ho-hum beverages because there are so many uninteresting versions in the market. The Fiddlehead Cellars 2022 La Pressa Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is an easy- drinking wine and is typical of a California sauvignon blanc, but without accenting the freshly cut grass aroma that is often associated with the variety. Both the aroma and the flavor stress the melon and grapefruit characteristics of the grape. This wine raises the variety from the ordinary to the position of an impeccable sipping wine while being the perfect beverage to accompany shellfish and other lightly prepared seafood dishes. It also is a wine to serve with summer fresh fruit salads, with or without mild cheese, pasta dishes with light white sauces and Asian cuisine.

Belleruche 2022 Cotes-Du-Rhone Rose ($16)
From the heart of the French rose producing district, the Rhone Valley of France, a region that has been producing rose wines since Roman times, comes a perfect ambassador for the variety. As one might expect, the color is a vibrant pink that announces the flavors of cherry, orange peel and rose petals. That’s augmented by hints of cherry and pomegranate that follow through to a memorable finish. This wine is a great and affordable way to experience the grandmother of all rose wines from the land that made them.

Colosi 2021 Nero D’Avola ($18)
I like to call Nero D’Avola the “black wine of Sicily'' because of its very deep red color. The color foretells the fruit richness of the aroma, which stresses every summer black or red fruit that one can imagine. Cherry, prunes and blackberries, with a suggestion of the very Italian black olives, can be found here. The finish of this wine is almost beyond description as it covers the entire gamut of summer red fruits, among which are cherries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries and pomegranate. As one might expect, this wine is perfect for heavier Italian dishes, especially those topped with red tomato sauce. I found this wine to also be an excellent sipping wine when enjoying the outdoors on a summer day by a pool or just in the garden.

Wine columnist Bennet Bodenstein can be reached at


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