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3143 Ponce De Leon St
New Orleans, LA, 70119
United States


swirl and savor

Under the Radar Wines

Beth Ribblett

Here's my latest on wines in the store right now that I think are really interesting, with distinct personalities that you should know about.  These aren't expensive, none of them are even rated by any of the industry mags, but just really good solid wines with a sense of place that deliver a lot for the money.

2009 Cuvelier Cuvee Maule - Hands down one of the most interesting, complex, unusual and absolutely tantalizing wines I've tasted in a while, and especially at this price point.  You find something different every time you put your nose in the glass and the palate just keeps you coming back for more and more...Made in Chile by Baptiste Cuvelier (whose family just happens to own Chateau Leoville Poyferre in Bordeaux...), one of many French winemakers enjoying the freedom that comes with making wine in South America.  The 2010 earthquake in Chile destroyed much of what was in barrels from the 2009 vintage, forcing Baptiste to make an unusual blend of the undamaged wine.  And what a blend it is!  Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot, Carignan, Cinsault and Pais are all blended to create a pure, dense, rich and incredibly balanced wine with spicy red and black fruits, herbs and fresh mint.  All organic fruit and natural wine making techniques, this is a stellar wine at twice the price, but at $17.99 a bottle...what can I say.  I tasted this with Baptiste last month in the shop and was extremely impressed with all of the wines, but this was the standout and a new favorite!

2009 Taburno Falanghina - If I had to pick a white in the shop that I could drink over and over again and not get bored (which is difficult for me...) this would be the wine.  Made in Campagnia near the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, the mineral ridden volcanic soils at 1,000 foot elevation produce a delightful Falanghina.  This grape is native to southern Italy and provides the perfect accompaniment to light meals or just by the glass sitting on the porch! Crisp and fruity, this is an absolutely delicious wine! The falanghina grape can be tasted in perfect purity, with notes of almond blossom, lemon, and fresh nectarine. Refreshing, clean, perfect!  $17.50

2009 Delas Freres Cotes du Ventoux - One of my favorites on the cheap and tasty rack, this red has a level of intensity and richness well beyond what one can usually find at $10!  The Ventoux is a sub appellation of the Rhone and produces wines of the same varieties, this being 80% Grenach and 20% Syrah.  It's got loads of texture and density, red and black fruits, with a bit of an olivey note and soft, velvety tannins.  Great with cheeses, light meat dishes and would really shine with a grilled pork loin!