By CJ Juntereal
Let’s talk about wine. Red wine in particular. Most won’t break your budget, but some might—depending on what you normally spend for a bottle of wine. But if you need a present for a man in your life, like your dad or husband, one of these would fit the bill. These wines aren’t the obvious ones that you would buy, if you normally make your purchases by grape variety, but I attended a trade event organized by Wine Depot the other month and did all the work and research for you—which means I talked to wine makers and took a sip of a staggering number of wines!
Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (P590). An entry level, very fruit forward wine. This is a very light Cabernet Sauvignon, fresh and jammy. It’s easy to drink and would do well with spicy food, something you can give to new wine drinkers.
Colombia Crest H3 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (P1,030). This wine received 90 points from Wine Spectator. It is smoky, with smooth tannins, and plum and black currant flavor. Another easy-to-drink wine. Let it breathe before serving.
Chateau Sainte Michelle Canoe Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (P1,920). The result of a lot of hot days and cold nights, this wine has a French elegance that balances out the exuberance of a typical American wine, and it will keep for another 10 years. It has tobacco aromas, fruit flavors of cherries and black currant, and elegant tannins to balance out all the fruit.
Cote-Rotie Brune et Blonde de Guigal (P4,010). Cote-Rotie is in the northernmost region of the Rhone Valley in France, and the grapes are grown on steep hillsides that catch the sun’s heat. The wine is a blend of Syrah (Shiraz) with a little bit of Viognier. The wine is complex with barnyard and leather aromas. It has dry tannins, and the flavors of dark berries and a hint of salty olive. It is what I would call a manly wine.
Ogier Heritages Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2016 (P790). A white wine that blends Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Rousanne, and Viogner grapes, it is fresh, fruity, with lime zest flavors and a crisp acidity. Perfect for summer days and sushi dinners, but not for those who like sweet white wines.
Chateauneuf du Pape Close de L’Oratoire des Papes 2015 (P2,900). Rated 92 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, this wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. Full-bodied, balanced, with dry tannins, it has a strong character. It’s flavor, mainly blackberries and black cherries, is balanced out with a hint of umami. The wine will keep up to 10 years after the vintage, best served decanted for at least an hour.
Chateau Saint-Jacques Pomerol 2013 (P1,790). Pomerol, a red wine appellation in Bordeaux, is one of the first wines that I learned to identify because of its barnyard and leather aromas. Pomerol, of course, is the appellation famous for the sublime Chateau Petrus. The Saint-Jacques is earthy, with the classic barnyard and leather smell, and lots of red fruit flavors. Make sure to decant before serving.
Gerard Bertrand TerroirMinervois 2015 (P890). An easy-drinking wine with smooth tannins, and lots of black currant flavor.
Mauro Molino Barolo 2013 (P2,040). Barolo is a red wine produced in the Piedmont region of Italy. It must be made only from Nebbiolo, a grape varietal that is small, thin-skinned, and high in acid and tannins, which lend themselves to the final product. The Mauro Molino is made from grapes from three different areas, and has notes of almond and eucalyptus, with lots of tannins.
Mauro Molino Barolo Gallinotto 2013 (P2,320). This is a single-vineyard wine that is lighter but still full-bodied, with lots of complexity. It has nutty aromas, and intense orange zest and berry flavors. Drink it in 2020 and beyond. The wine received 95 points from wine critic James Suckling, who wrote in an article that 2013 may be one of Barolo’s best vintages, showing bright fruit, clarity, and firm tannins. This vintage will be a wine that you can keep for aging, or drinking young.
Mauro Molino Barbera D’Alba (P850). Fresh and fruity, and very food friendly, this is an easy-to-drink wine for people just starting on their wine journey. It is very food friendly, fruity, with a lot of raspberry, plum, and green herb flavors. Tannins lend astringency and an edge of bitterness to the finish. Drink this wine with game meats, pork, and pastas.
And if the man in your life is more of a whiskey drinker, then Future Trade International, Inc. has something for you, with the launch of the Macallan No. 3 Edition Single Malt Whisky, an aroma-focused single malt made in partnership with British perfumer Roja Dove. It was a collaboration pairing Macallan master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno’s palate and extensive whisky knowledge, and Dove’s sensory knowledge and expert nose, to create a whisky that showcased the complexities of single malt character. Dove described the distinctive aromas in certain oak casks, and then Dalgarno selected whiskies to match those aromas to create Edition No. 3. I heard that only 250,000 bottles were released worldwide.
Macallan’s Edition No. 3 has a nose of vanilla, cream, orange oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate. On the palate, it is slightly sweetish, with vanilla, fruitcake, and dried apricot flavors. It has a full-mouth-feel, a very long and spicy finish, and pairs wonderfully with chocolate.
This article was first published in Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.