With all the holiday flurry here at Beltramo’s there was little time to put out the word on several outstanding wines that recently arrived. Now that there’s a little more time to breathe, here are a couple of new reds that I highly recommend.
2011 La Malkerida – 100% Bobal – Spain – ($14.99)
This wine is produced from 70 to 80 year Bobal vines, located in the south east of Spain near Valencia. It is unoaked, which I think gives the wine a nice lift of fresh dark fruit aromatics and flavors. It also has a weight somewhat similar to Pinot Noir, so it is versatile with a variety of dishes. Almost as interesting as the wine itself, is how it came to be. It was produced as a result of a collaboration between Bruno Murciano, an award winning sommelier, and the oenologist, David Sampedro, based in Rioja Alavesa. Bruno grew up in Valencia and was accustomed to Bobal from an early age. This wine reflects his belief that Bobal has long been overlooked, hence the name, La Malkerida, which translates to “unloved.” I suggest you give it a try, and I think you definitely won’t find it too hard to love. Speaking of love, this will work nicely for that upcoming Valentine’s Day dinner, too!
2009 Stepping Stone - 100% Cabernet Franc – Napa Valley – ($29.99)
For those of you who are fans of Cabernet Franc, or simply would like to try it sometime, give this one a go! Crafted by Cornerstone Cellars winemaker, Jeff Keene, this one is a real beauty displaying the varietal’s classic and intriguing combination of red and black fruit, slight herb and tobacco. The texture glides all the way through the lengthy finish. If you thought Cabernet Franc was reserved for the Right Bank of Bordeaux, or the Loire Valley, then I think this wine can convince you this varietal is quite at home here in California as well. And, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth for the price. Cook up a special dinner for this one!
Gary M., Beltramo’s Wine Consultant