Il Bastardo Sangiovese (2017) and La Bastarda Pinot Grigio (2017) are back again with the new vintage–but they are still the same old fun, easy-drinking and affordable wines from Bella Italia.
Il Bastardo Sangiovese comes from Tuscan grapes, while La Bastarda originates in Sicily. Both wines exhibit impressive varietal character at the bargain bin price. Momma Mia, Nine Bucks!? 9.00
The Legende wines collection includes four reds and one white. To start, I have only sampled the 2016 Legende Bordeaux Rouge and the 2015 Legende Paulliac–and what a start.
2016 Legende Bordeaux Rouge is a 60/40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot–a happy marriage. Great structure and fruit character, with just enough oak and smooth tannins to carry it to a long finish. A nice Bordeaux for under twenty bucks–hell yes! 18.00
2015 Legende Paulliac also combines Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (70/30) from the Medoc region. In fact, this Paulliac derives partially from grapes from Domaines Barons de Rothchild–premum fruit, if ever there was. Powerful and complex, Legende Paulliac displays nicely integrated tannins, and pepper/licorice on a lingering finish: Mon Deiu. 50.00
Portugal’s Douro Valley is home to some of the world’s most intriguing grape varietals. traditionally, many of the Douro’s grapes have gone into port, but the same grapes make wonderful rich red wines.
2015 Pombal do Vesuvio & 2016 Vale do Bomfim
Case in point is 2016 Vale do Bomfim–a field blend combined with Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional grapes. Red and black fruit dominate along with some spicy pepper–great BBQ red. 13.00
2015 Pombal do Vesuvio rich fruit character reminds of why I enjoy a good port–thanks to a combination of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Amarela, those rich, robust flavors come rolling out. Exceptional value: 28.00
2016 Plungerhead Old Vine Zin is a mouthful of rich, expressive Lodi fruit. Sweet cranberry and raspberry flavors swirl together. It’s a big guy, too, at 15% abv. $14.00
2016 Plungerhead Lodi Petite Sirah actually gets a bit of Tempranillo, Rubired, Ruby Cabernet, Zin, and Merlot to compliment the Petite Sirah. Nice chocolate and coffee emerge over smooth tannins. Great BBQ wine. $14.00