As Monday Magazine starts its new wine column, let’s commence at the always-popular California aisle with a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon named Woodwork. Aged on American oak, here’s a full-bodied Cabernet boasting intense berry fruit combined with hints of a chocolate-cherry liqueur that somehow outlasted the Christmas season. Tannic and lively and with a lick of sweetness, this would pair well with lamb or pepper steak. At just under $17, it offers serious competition for those overly forceful California red blends like Apothic.
Moving north a few thousand kilometers brings us to BC’s See Ya Later Ranch, a popular Okanagan winery that’s been run by dog lovers for many years. Some of their labels sport canine names and their 2013 Rover bottling merits “best in show” for blending Shiraz with a spritz of Viognier to sparkle up the aromas and flavours. A touch of oak frames luscious notes of dried cherry and dark fruits. This is an attractive drinking-now wine that merits its $26 price tag.
Over in Europe, we’ll begin in Sicily with the 2013 Cusumano, a Nero d’Avola that was awarded 90 points by renowned American wine critic James Suckling. This aromatic, medium-bodied red has attractive notes of plum, black cherry, and spice. Nero d’Avola is a pleasingly rustic varietal whose star is on the rise; it will appeal to wine drinkers who like to travel outside the norm. Definitely worth the $19.
After that “beaker full of the warm south” we head to Germany to sample the 2014 Leitz Dragon Stone Riesling Rheingau. Here is a dryer-style Riesling with charm and elegance to spare. Bright aromatics of white peach, pineapple, and citrus lead to a fruity and long finish that is grounded in a handsome minerality. This should be a crowd pleaser, and is fairly priced at just under $22. (All prices include tax.)