I HAD THE PRIVILEGE to being invited for the second year to the great TexSom event in Dallas last September. Thank you to my friends Steve and Kelly Katzman and the very nice Katrin Naelapaa from Wines from Spain, I was fortunate enough to walk through more that 250 wine exhibitors and hundreds of wines. A lot of restaurant sommeliers, wine buyers and wine reps were there to talk about their wines. This year I had a wonderful surprise from Achaval Ferrer, from Argentina; their "Finca Altamira" 2014 showed spectacular fruit notes, with tobacco, vanilla and sweet prune accents. Gigantic body with a super powerful structure and yet elegant and sublime. Another giveaway from South America was the hardly impossible to get Garzon "Balasto" 2016 from Uruguay, a unique and ever changing blend with Tannat, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. This magical wine was spiced, full of character with black fruit and some earthy/herbal hints. Worth cellaring for at least 20 years!
Other nice encounters were the Antinori Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon called "Antica" 2015 whose price ($50-$65) in retail make it a very good competitor of the big California Cabs. This one has some Tuscan style, but it shows its muscular Napa Cabernet personality with vanilla, black cherries and plum notes. Big body and balance, it opens very nicely after a couple of hours. I also tried the famous Insignia from Jospeh Phelps, but was not completely impressed. The wine is a beautiful wine, don't get me wrong; with fantastic fruit concentration, cinnamon and red currant notes on a toasted espresso bean background. But given the name it has made and the overvalued price, I was sincerely expecting more.
01 HARTFORD COURT "LAND'S EDGE VINEYARDS" PINOT NOIR 2014
* Region: Sonoma Coast
* Varietal: Pinot Noir
* Price: $40
* Aromas: Spice, cinnamon, earthy, ripe plum
* Flavors: Flowery, violet, black cherry marmalade
* Impression: Succulent
* Structure: Round and powerful
* Drink with: Chinese, Japanese Noodles, Pork Chops
* Why I loved this wine? Round, almost perfect balance!
* My Rating: 96 pts.
02 DOMAINE WEINBACH CLOS DE CAPUCINS GEWURZTRAMINER 2016 CUVEE LURENCE