Wednesday, February 9, 2022

These Romantic Red Wines Won Our Hearts

Want to be loved on Valentine’s Day? Open one of these four bottles.

If there is any day that calls for wine and roses, it’s Valentine’s Day. Or wine and chocolates, or wine and a gourmet dinner, or… you get the picture. Wine! We present to you four wine styles and four great wines to make your romantic evening a success.

Kara-Tara 2019 Pinot Noir, Western Cape, South Africa

We love Pinot Noir for special dinners. It is less bulky than say a Cabernet Sauvignon and has nuanced flavors that can pair well with salmon or lighter meat entrees. This Pinot Noir from South Africa comes with a twist. The grapes are sourced from three vineyards in the Western Cape, including Elgin. The vines are dry farmed (no irrigation) and 20% of the wine was whole-bunch fermented. We like that process (where the grape clusters aren’t destemmed) as it gives more complexity.

Never Miss A Beat – Follow Vino-Sphere On Facebook

In the glass, the wine is a pale ruby. On the nose, there are earthy aromas. When I first had this wine a year ago I had to check the label. It is so unique I had to make sure I was sipping Pinot Noir. On the palate strawberry and cherry components are evident along with earthiness and tea leaf. The attention-grabber is the chord of peppery spice, which I’ve never had in a Pinot Noir before but which is typical of Elgin. SRP $21.99.

Tinto Negro 2017 Limestone Block Malbec, Tunuyan-Mendoza

Soft, juicy and wonderful, Malbec is almost a no-brainer when it comes to selecting a wine loved by all. This Argentinian Malbec from the famed Mendoza region pushes all the right buttons. The vines come from an elevation of 4,000 feet at the foot of the Andes. The soil has rocky patches and a subsoil of round rocks, which give the wine a unique character.

Keep up with the latest. Follow us on Instagram!

In the glass, this is a purple of medium depth with a light rim variation. On the nose, there are wafts of jamminess. Sipping provides the mineral flavors imparted by limestone, plus delicious red fruit and sweet notes of oak. This is a dry wine with floral accents provided by a dash of Cabernet Franc in the mix. An all-around winner at $21.99.

Boekenhoutskloof 2019 The Chocolate Block, Swartland, South Africa

A great pick for your romantic meal is a Bordeaux-style blend (usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cab Franc) or a Rhone blend (Syrah and Grenache). The Chocolate Block has a special place in our hearts. We first tasted it while on safari in South Africa at a private camp near Kruger National Park. Being surrounded by wild animals always makes the wine taste better!

This wine leads with Syrah (71%) and Grenache (11%) but isn’t a true Rhone-style blend as it includes Cabernet Sauvignon. Cinsault and Viognier are also in the mix. Viognier is a white wine, but some amounts are sometimes added to Rhone wines for the aromatics.

The wine is deep garnet in color. This is a big wine both in terms of alcohol (14.5%) and tannins. It opens with flavors of plums and cocoa. Included in the spectrum of flavors are oak, dried herbs, and smoke. The flavors are intense but focused with layered elegance and a nice long finish. Of our four recommendations, this has the biggest body, and so would pair perfectly with a juicy steak. This safari-tested wine has an SRP of $37.99.

Borgo Scopeto 2018 Chianti Classico

For an outstanding dinner partner, all you really need to know is the Black Rooster. That is the symbol of Chianti Classico wines, crafted primarily from Sangiovese in the historic heart of the Chianti region. It is a wine that pairs perfectly with your pasta and Italian entrée. We paired this wine with Eggplant Parmigiana and Tortellini di Torino from a local Italian restaurant.  

The wine has intense flavors of cooked cherry with ample vanilla notes. Oak highlights the dry and elegant finish. There is plenty of fruit here and a smooth body. Chianti Classico is one of our “go-to” wines and this one is eminently pleasing. SRP is $20.99.

Full disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.

No comments: