2016 Ferzo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($26)   This Montepulciano is from the southern Abruzzo region of Italy. It’s just being introduced to the U.S. and worth looking for.  The name, Ferzo, refers to patches of fabric that are stitched together to create a sail. And, that’s exactly what’s going on as this is a union of the finest viticultural ‘patches’ of southern Abruzzo.  The grapes are hand harvested from 20-year old vines and then spend 14 - 16 days fermenting in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature. Gentle extraction methods such as frequent pump-overs ensure rich color and allow for the development of gentle tannin.  This Montepulciano is delicate in flavor with great sour cherry and bright acidity. It’s a really nice wine and a great value. Another great wine that fits the  Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week  criteria of affordability and attainability. Look for this one. You’ll enjoy it! Cheers!   Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission:  I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.  Sample Provided by Donna White of Donna White Communications
  2017 Ventisquero Grey [Glacier] GCM Red Blend ($20)   This wonderful blend from Ventisquero comes from the La Roblería vineyard in the Apalta area of the Colchagua Valley.  It is a blend of 62% Garnacha, 19% Cariñena ( Carignan)  and 19% Mataro ( Mouvedre or Monastrell ). All three varieties are grown in the same plot with varying harvest times. The grapes undergo pre-fermentation for three to five days before a slow and gentle fermentation at cool temperatures and received regular pump-overs each day. The post-fermentation maceration lasted one to two weeks to ensure balanced tannins. Finally, the wine was aged in neutral French oak for six months.  The Garnacha yields bright cherry and raspberry flavors while the Cariñena and Mataro add acidity, color and complexity. Along with hints of black pepper, this wine also has nice cassis and plum flavors. This is still a young wine that exhibits firm tannin that smooths out with decanting.  There’s a lot of wonderful flavors and textures going on in this blend that should continue to develop with aging. Ventisquero is name to look for and this GCM blend is well worth a try. Another great value worthy of being featured as a  Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week . Cheers!   Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission:  I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.  Sample Provided by Donna White of Donna White Communications
  2017 Ferzo Pecorino Terre di Chieti ($26)   This wine from Ferzo is 100% Pecorino that is grown in the foothills of central Italy’s Abruzzo region in the Terre di Chieti IGT. The Indicazione Geografica Tipica is a relatively new wine classification introduced in 1992 as part of a general reorganization of the D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) Italian wine law.  If you are not familiar with this grape it may be because by the mid-20th Century, it was thought to be extinct. That is, until the 1980s, when a local Italian producer began researching native varieties in an overgrown vineyard. Having been ‘rediscovered', cuttings of Pecorino were taken and propagated, and are now once again growing enough grapes to make some very good wine.  This Pecorino from Ferzo has a wonderful sweet floral bouquet to go along with tropical fruit aromas. Flavors of green apple and pear go along with a waxy mouth-feel that leads to mouthwatering acidity on the finish.  All of these amazing flavors are preserved through cold-soaking on the skins for seven hours then undergoing 10-12 days of fermentation in stainless steel tanks. It is then aged three months in stainless steel tanks before bottling.  This is a really nice, crisp, refreshing wine that is very enjoyable to drink. If you haven’t ever heard of Pecorino or tried it, you need to find this one and give it a try. It’s really good and another great value featured here as a  Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week . Enjoy!   Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission:  I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.  Sample Provided by Donna White of Donna White Communications
  2016 Left Coast Cali’s Cuvée Pinot Noir ($24)   Left Coast Cellars is located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where Pinot is king. It’s 100% Pinot Noir, fermented in stainless steel and aged in 100% French oak for nine months.  The Pinot’s from Willamette Valley tend to be bigger, fuller flavors than a Sonoma Pinot. And, this one is no exception. It starts with forest-floor aromas and includes big black fruit flavors, especially black cherry. You also get dark raspberry, black tea and bitter chocolate along with mild tannin.  This one was on my Thanksgiving table and paired nicely with everything. Keep an eye out for it. Like all wines featured as a  Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week  it is quite attainable and affordable. Cheers!   Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission:  I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.  Sample Provided by Will Rogers of Donna White Communications
  2016 Inurrieta Mimaó Garnacha ($18)   The northern Spanish wine region of Navarra is known for its beauty and diverse terrior, with vineyard filled with Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and beyond. This Garnacha is just another fine example from this region.  This wine is cold soak for eight days at 5°C to heighten its aromas and texture. It is then fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve its bright fruit flavors. Malolactic conversion and refining were performed in slightly used French oak barrels for seven months. This results in cohesiveness of the aromatic intensity, as well as finesse, elegance and freshness of this wine.  This Garnacha exhibits deep, lively, and intense color with floral and fruit aromas. Its highly attractive aromas meet you upon entry while the mouthfeel is lively. Its wonderful red cherry flavors are mature yet fresh. The finish is long-lasting, with minerality and bright fruit. This is very typical of fresh, ripe Garnacha from the Navarra region.  The wine notes state that this is “…  a voluptuous wine, fresh, round, fruity and slightly spicy, it is the perfect companion to vegetables, meats, roasts and even lightly aged cow cheese. ” It’s as good as it sounds! And, it’s a great value. Enjoy!   Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission:  I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.  Sample Provided by Rebekah Polster, Navarra Media Consultant, 401westcomm.com
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