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February Expert Picks

Posted by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits on February 18, 2018

In French Wines, South African Wine, Wine

This month we’re taking a little advice from Atanas Nechkov, resident wine expert at ABC. This globetrotting, Bulgarian-bred, level 2 Court of the Master Sommelier knows a few things about wonderful wine. Follow him on Twitter @abcwineatanas

Take a look at his suggestions below, chosen for the uniqueness, price and quality.

chateau de haute serre malbec on a wood background
Chateau de Haute-Serre Malbec is complex, powerful and structured with gorgeous dark fruit flavors. Click to shop.

DUNNING RESERVE GRENACHE | 750mL $41.99 $37.99

Dunning Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery located on the west side of Paso Robles in the Willow Creek AVA District. This estate is well known for producing premium quality estate wines. The 2014 Reserve Grenache, grown on mountainside vineyards, exhibits aromas and flavors of red berries, a generous mouthfeel and silky tannins. It was rated 88 Points by The Wine Advocate:

“Produced from 100% Grenache, the 2014 Grenache Reserve has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and slightly reduced/rubbery nose, opening out to notes of black cherries, mulberries and tar with touches of Indian spices and garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, with a chewy texture, it gives a good amount of earth and spice box flavors with a pepper-laced finish.” Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate, September 2017, 88 Points

CHÂTEAU TRILLOL RED | 750mL $13.99 $12.99

Corbières is the appellation bordering the Roussillon to the north in Southwest France. Inspired by the quality of the terroir in this area, the Sichels (châteaux Palmer and d’Angludet in Margaux) purchased Trillol in 1990, and are now producing world class wines there. The vineyards of Château Trillol are composed of mostly old vine Grenache and Syrah grown on limestone and clay soil. The vineyards are farmed sustainably (no use of herbicides at all). Currently, Trillol’s vineyard covers two distinct terroirs: The first, the silica-rich Terroir de Termenès is located high up in the hills. The second, Terroir de Qéribus, is in the middle of the valley that surrounds the village of Cucugnan.

The 2012 Château Trillol red, a blend of 24% Syrah, 24% Carignan and 52% Grenache, exhibits a saturated deep ruby color with aromas and flavors of blackberries, currant and spices with a touch of licorice. The palate is generous and smooth with good balance of fruit, tannins and freshness. This wine contains all the flavors and fragrances of the Mediterranean uplands, expressing the generosity and exuberance of this sun-soaked terroir. Serve with roasted red meats, barbecue, stews, mixed salads and aged cheeses.

GRAHAM BECK BRUT ROSÉ | 750mL $18.99 $16.99

Situated about 6 miles from the charming town of Robertson and only 87 miles from Cape Town, South Africa, the Graham Beck Robertson Cellar is a testimony to the inspired vision and foresight of the Beck family. The state-of-the-art cellars deliver Méthode Champenoise style wines worthy of their reputation as one of the best values of sparkling wine in the world. This nonvintage wine was rated 89 points by The Wine Advocate:

“Disgorged December 2016, the NV Brut Rosé is a blend of 54% Pinot Noir and 46% Chardonnay with 5.7 grams per liter of residual sugar. It offers attractive scents of red cherries and a punnet of strawberries on a summer’s day. Fine delineation and focus here, if not the complexity you might expect in a top-flight rosé. The palate is well balanced with commendable weight and volume in the mouth. This is not a shy retiring flower, but a flavor-packed sparkling rosé that should delight for the next 3-4 years.” Reviewed by Neal Martin, April 2017

There are three more picks you haven’t seen! Click here to get them!