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2009 Baptiste Cuvelier Cuvée Del Maule

In 2009 the Cauquenes region of Chile suffered a terrible earthquake, and therein lies a tale of temblors and terroir. The earthquake wrought significant destruction there, and the winery did not go untouched. Barrels were thrown everywhere. Winemaker Baptiste Cuvelier picked from surviving barrels, and made the best blend possible from what survived, producing a startlingly good wine. All the grapes are fair trade and are grown organically. The wine is very well balanced, with good tannins and bright acids dancing together, promising significant cellar time. It is spicy, rich, and minty. The spice is black pepper and a touch of cinnamon. Richness comes from a blend of black and red fruits, blackcurrant, mulberry, and raspberry together, along with a bit of tobacco leaf and coffee. It also has a very interesting touch of mint, like the inside stripe of an Andes (get it?) mint without the chocolate. Vanilla from the wood makes an appearance on the mid-palate. Tannins are very sweet, the finish quite long. This is a surprisingly good wine, carved from a tragedy, and some of the proceeds will be returned to the region for ongoing earthquake relief. And it just tastes delicious. Highly recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2008 Coca I Fitó

Here is a elegant and earthy red from Spain’s Catalonian region and the Montsant D.O. Very tight when first opened, with aromas of bittersweet chocolate and black tea. It gives up its secrets slowly and you’ll be rewarded by keeping it in the glass and returning to it. It slowly opens up on the palate with layers of dark blackberries and spice (cumin, for one). This wine would work well with grilled kebabs or even Indian food.
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2008 Coca I Fito

Here is a elegant and earthy red from Spain’s Catalonian region and the Montsant D.O. Very tight when first opened, with aromas of bittersweet chocolate and black tea. It gives up its secrets slowly and you’ll be rewarded by keeping it in the glass and returning to it. It slowly opens up on the palate with layers of dark blackberries and spice (cumin, for one). This wine would work well with grilled kebabs or even Indian food.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Bonny Doon Contra

A mix of elegance and muscle. Surprisingly dark ruby color in the glass. A nose of overripe raspberries and blackberries is almost misleading as this is not a fruit bomb. The fruit is not shy on the palate with some back hints of cinnamon and allspice, but the tannins play their supporting role very well. The majority carignane plays well with others in the blend. The finish is long but not extended. A really lovely and intriguing offering. Try it with roast duck.
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2009 Bonny Doon Contra

A mix of elegance and muscle. Surprisingly dark ruby color in the glass. A nose of overripe raspberries and blackberries is almost misleading as this is not a fruit bomb. The fruit is not shy on the palate w...
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2005 Valdivieso Eclat

Aromas of black fruit, blackberry, earth, plums, and a touch of red raspberry on the edges. The nose seems quite dark and the Syrah showed through as the most prominent component to me, even though it only comprises 20% of the blend. On the palate I found flavors reminiscent of black plum, cedar, earth, blackberry, smoke, spice, red currants, and herbs. Overall it has good acidity and structure. Personally I would have preferred a little less Carignan in the blend.
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An Ode to Rosé

A fine rosé is a wonderful thing. Not only does it massage the palate, but it’s also an intellectual exercise, a philosophical study, and a work of art. That’s a lot of gravitas for what’s often dismissed as a lightweight pink wine.