Holiday Wines that are Budget Friendly
With the exception of the Robinot, all of these wines retail for under $25.
As the holiday season is in full swing, we’ve been receiving a steady stream of new wines in stock. This week we have four exciting wines to wine about, from the Czech Republic to Spain to France. With the exception of the Robinot, all of these wines retail for under $25, including a full liter of the Nestarec. With those price points, they are perfect for any holiday get together where adventurous wine drinkers are present. Though a good number of these varietals are well known, the use of blending and natural processing lends unexpected flavor notes and aromatics.
This blend of Zweigelt and Pinot Noir is what Milan Nestarec considers a table wine, compared to some of his other pricier single variety options. Though, as far as table wines go, this is one of the more nuanced examples we’ve tasted. On the nose, you’re greeted with a delightful, intense fruit punch smell. When the wine hits your tongue, you get zingy acid, lovely ripe, crunch blackberry notes and soft earth to follow. The finish yields an almost sweet, overripe berry flavor. It’s low in tannins, so, as you would expect, it goes down smoothly.
Robinot – l’opera des vines les années folles (2015)
Made from 60% Chenin Blanc and 40% Pineau d’Aunis, this Pet Nat is a real hit. It’s onion skin in color with delicate fruit and gentle yeast aromas. The initial taste on the palette is soft red fruit and acid with a bit of waxy roundness and funk. The wine quickly transitions into a much more mineral finish with a pronounced, and very pleasant, floral raciness that manages to build with each successive sip. This really has it a great balance going for it and is a strong indication that going off of AOC classifications can yield memorable, complex wines.
It doesn’t get any more natural than the wines from Fabio Bartolome of Spain. The Alba, made using the Albillo grape, is a vibrant orange color in the glass that makes it so Instagram worthy. Unlike many orange wines we’ve had, it is initially higher in acid and unmistakably floral. As the hours (and days) go on, it manages to have pronounced funky, earthy and savory notes. What is especially memorable is how the long, dry finish manages to include some atypical saline characteristics. The light saltiness is a great compliment to the robustness.
At only $20, this ’07 blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc is both beguiling and punches way ahead of its weight class in terms of value. On the nose, you get a classic Chardonnay richness but your palette is greeted by an explosion of crisp acid and wet stone minerality that soon transitions to the rounder tropical fruit notes with a touch of oak. Yet the tension of the acid remains through the finish and the clean minerality once again returns to linger for quite a while. On the second day, the Sauvignon Blanc zing is on full display but the Chardonnay heft lingers.
Join us next week as hop from Italy to Oregon and back to France again! Happy drinking.