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6 Wines Picked by a Real Wine Expert

Posted by Meghan Guarino on January 13, 2018

In Cabernet Franc, Wine, French Wines, Italian Wines, Red Wines

There are "wine experts" and there are wine experts. "Wine experts" tell you that Bordeaux is split between the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Wine experts tell you the type of soil that is on each bank. Shayne Hebert is a wine expert. He's also a "fly-fisherman" and a "cook," but we won't get into that. Shayne has spent over 30 years in the wine business, learning the language, tasting the grapes and traveling everywhere--including to both Bordeaux banks. Sometimes you can find Shayne in ABC stores throughout Central Florida, managing the wine section, and sometimes you can find him doing things like this:

Wine expert Shayne Hebert in a room filled with Bordeaux red wine

That's Shayne holding a few bottles of v expensive red wine in a room filled with v expensive red wine.

In any case, Shayne is really good at picking out really good wines. We rely on him not only for professional purposes, but also to tell us what to drink with dinner that night. It's fantastic to have a wine expert on hand when you a rack of ribs on the grill.

This month we asked Shayne to do us a solid and pick 6 wines everyone should be drinking right now. Well, not like, right now right now, but right now this month. Here they are with a quick preview of each wine from Shayne.

Shayne's Picks

Michel Lynch Medoc Reserve
$17.99 $16.49

Michel Lynch wines pay homage to the knight who owned Château Lynch-Bages and was mayor of Pauillac during the French Revolution. The goal of the Michel Lynch is to capture the essence of each particular vintage in a forward, drinkable style. The Medoc Reserve is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak. Soft, warm and generous, it is a nice match with scallops, truffle, duck and tuna!

Octopoda Cabernet Franc
$24.99 $19.99

The Octopoda Cabernet Franc is sourced entirely from Lake County, California. The Cabernet Franc, which makes up 85% of the wine, is from a single vineyard site planted in red clay and volcanic soils, which offers excellent drainage. Petite Sirah, also from Lake County, is added for color and some weight. A lovely wine capturing the ripe side of the varietal, less herbal and leafy, more fruit and weight. Pairs quite well with Coq au vin, grilled and barbecue meats.

Trione Family Henry's Red Blend with a wood cutting board on marble

Trione Henry's Blend 
$42.99 $38.99

Trione is located in Geyserville, Sonoma County. They farm about 650 acres of vines in the Alexander Valley as well as 125 acres in the Russian River and 10 acres on the Sonoma Coast. All of their offerings capture purity of place and varietal essence. Deep and rich aromatics, with soft and silky texture, like a nice Pomerol, with mild tannins on the seamless finish. This is a filet mignon wine if ever there was one!

Santa Julia Mountain Red Blend
$12.99 $11.99

Looking for a mean red blend to match up to any meat? Here it is, a Malbec and Cabernet Franc blend from Santa Julia’s vineyards in Mendoza’s Uco Valley. High elevation plantings, about 1,000 feet, mean excellent drainage and vigorous vines, driven for their search for water and nutrients. Not only a lovely bottle of wine, but at this price its worth picking up a case! And I suppose I should mention Decanter Magazine liked it as well—they scored the 2015 vintage 95 points. Not bad for a $12 bottle!

Poggerino Il Labirinto Toscana Rosso
$16.99 $15.49

Piero Lanza has mastered the Chianti Classico wines of his estate in Radda, so why not think a little outside the box? The Poggerino Labirinto is pretty much a Chianti Classico, declassified by Piero because it comprises mostly younger vines. Aged one year in barrel, it captures the bright, fresh side of the Sangiovese grape. I like to match wines like this with Bolognese or braised short ribs.

Chateau Cotes de Bellevue
$10.99 $9.99

The 2014 vintage was a very good one in Bordeaux. The Cotes de Bellevue, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, is situated in the Cotes de Bourg, just across the Gironde from the commune of Margaux. Pretty currant aromas, with flavors of black fruits, oak and spice. It’s a meat wine—I recommend veal chops or strip steaks.

Sale prices valid through February 5, 2018.