International Wine of the Month Club – A Great Wine Selection!

There are A LOT of wine clubs out there and it can be really tough to pick one that offers a thoughtful selection each and every month.  I was recently invited to taste a monthly selection from the International Wine of the Month Club and was really impressed with the red and white that was sent my way.

The International Wine of the Month Club has three different membership types (all based on the price points of the wine) that allow you to select either 1 or 2 red and white wines a month.  These wines are selected by a two-tiered tasting panel.  Tier one is comprised of 10 sommeliers, professional tasters, and winemakers. Only the top 10% are sent to the secondary panel, which includes upwards of thirty or more tasters.

Here are my thoughts on the wines that were sent my way.  The cost for the 2 bottle selection is $72.95.

The International Wine Club of the Month wine selection
The International Wine Club of the Month wine selection

2011 Bellingham “The Bernard Series” Small Barrel S.M.V. 

Bellingham is a South African winery that has roots dating back to 1693.  The winery has grown and evolved to become what it is today but they maintain a minimalist winemaking approach to assure the true character of the grapes shine through.  The 2011 Bellingham “The Bernard Series” Small Barrel S.M.V. is an excellent example of a hand-crafted, terroir-reflective wine.

The S.M.V. is a blend of 70% Shiraz, 22% Mourvedre, and 3% Viognier.  The wine pours a deep purple color in the glass.  You will notice abundant, rich aromas of dark fruit, lavender, and herbs.  The palate is flavorful with tastes of blackberry, violets, and hints of oak.  The Viognier adds a noticeably bright note that really elevates the wine.   An excellent choice for grilling and definitely something that I would uncork again! (14% alcohol)

2011 Domaine Marc Colin Saint-Aubin La Fontenotte

The second bottle included in my monthly shipment was 2011 Domaine Marc Colin Saint-Aubin La Fontenotte.  In keeping with the values that seem to be important to the International Wine of the Month Club, the wine is hand-crafted with minimal intervention in the winemaking process.  Domaine Marc Colin utilizes principles such as organic farming and native yeast fermentation to assure the wines are expressive and true to the grape.

The 2011 Domaine Marc Colin Saint-Aubin La Fontenotte is a White Burgundy (100% Chardonnay) that opens with aromas of pear and citrus surrounded by hints of oak.  The nose reminds me of a spring day and really enticed me to take a sip.  The plate is bright and lively with notes of lime, lemon, pear, and minerals.  The finish is long and zesty.  A fantastically refreshing wine that would be perfect with seafood! (13% alcohol)

*Media Samples

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A Luscious Blend from Penfolds!

I love when I get a few new wines from Wine Chateau…they always have great deals on a pretty impressive array of wines.  Last week I received a few wines from them and decided to uncork a bottle of Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre first.  A rich blend at a great price!

About the Wine- From the Winery

Penfolds Bin 2 2010 is a blend of 88% Shiraz and 12% Mourvedre from regions across Australia.  The wine has 14.5% alcohol and retails for $14.97 at www.winechateau.com.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Penfolds Bin 2 pours a deep, reddish plum color.  Rich aromas of blackberries, plums, and leather come from the glass.  The palate is packed full of dark berries, black cherries, plums, and warm spices.  A  luscious blend of intense flavors…great job by Penfolds!

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this blend with burgers, pork chops, or cheese and mushrooom quesadillas

*Media Sample

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Jacob’s Creek 2008 Reserve Barossa Shiraz- An Easy Everyday Sipper

Over the next week, I am going to be diving into the Jacob’s Creek brand of wines.  Jacob’s Creek began its long history in 1847 and was the first commercial vineyard planted in Australia’s Barossa Valley.  Over the years, they have grown into one of Australia’s largest producers and are known for offering approachable, value-driven wines.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Jacob’s Creek 2008 Reserve Barossa Shiraz is from the Barossa region of Australia.  It has 14.5% alcohol and retails for around $13.  For more information visit www.jacobscreek.us.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

This Shiraz pours a blackish purple in the glass and has attractive aromas of spicy dark fruit and sweet oak.  The palate is smooth and fruity with tastes of plum, jammy blackberries, oak, and vanilla.  There is a hint of pepper on the medium finish.  Jacob’s Creek Shiraz is a pretty straight forward wine.  Not a lot of complexity but a nice value and an easy, everyday sipper.

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair this Shiraz with a grilled steak, bison burger, or roasted duck.

*This wine was sent to me as a media sample

 

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Mini-Review- Williamson Wines 2006 Heritage Shiraz

I knew it was going to be a good night when dinner came out of the oven.  Braised short ribs with spinach and crème fraîche…I am drooling just thinking about it.  The wine of the evening was Williamson Wines 2006 Heritage Shiraz.  I had not heard of Williamson Wines before I received this bottle but it came from a friend who had a great tasting experience at their winery in Sonoma.

The wine pours a dark plum in the glass.  Rich aromas of blackberries, cherries, and vanilla are very inviting.  After decanting for around an hour, the wine has intense flavors of dark berries with silky tannins.  This Shiraz is voluptuous with a smooth finish of black pepper and lingering vanilla.  Very elegant for a Shiraz.  Pair with rack of lamb or short ribs.  (A-, 14.6% alcohol, $47)

 

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Weekend Mini-Review- 2009 Marquee Organic Shiraz/Cabernet

I am rounding out a week of organic wines with a new release from Marquee Selections.  Their 2009 Organic Shiraz/Cabernet is a single vineyard wine grown in South Australia.  The region is hot and the climate definitely shines through in this blend that features an abundance of ripe, dark fruit. 

The wine is a blend of 55% Shiraz and 45% Cabernet.  The warm nose has aromas of sweet tobacco, berries, and spice.  The palate is smooth and slightly jammy with tastes of dark berries, black cherries, and tobacco.  The fruitiness is followed by a slightly spicy finish.  This blend isn’t complex, but it is a solid, easy sipper that is well-priced at just under $15.  A great mid-week wine!  (B, $14.99, 13.5% alcohol)

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this wine with a sausage pizza, a grilled sirloin, or pork chop

*This wine was sent to me as a media sample

 

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Dry and Dynamic- Silver Wings Vincenzo’s Old Vine 2006 Mourvedre Shiraz

In continuing my tastings of Australian wines, I was able to enjoy a great blend from a small label sourced from Central Victoria.  Silver Wings Vincenzo’s Old Vine is a unique blend of Mourvedre and Shiraz (a combination I am seeing more of lately coming out of Australia) and the two varietals work beautifully together.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Silver Wings Vincenzo’s Old Vine 2006 Mourvedre Shiraz is a blend of 60% Mourvedre and 40% Shiraz from the Shepparton region of Australia.  It has 14% alcohol and retails for $29.99.  For more information see www.silverwingswines.com or www.marquee.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Silver Wings pours a blackish garnet in the glass.  It has an aromatic nose with notes of spicy berries, vanilla, liquorice, and tobacco.  The wine’s rich palate has tastes of dark cherries, blackberries, spice, and a hint of sweet oak.  The tannins are earthy and defined and are integrated into the dry, spicy finish.  This is a blend with many levels of flavors and the wine definitely benefits from decanting.  A dynamic wine that is aging gracefully.

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs nicely with a grilled filet, veal chops in a porcini sauce, or lamb kabobs.

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for the purpose of review

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