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 South African Bargain- Excelsior 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

I love exploring wine from lesser known regions and often find that you can get a lot bang for your buck if you are willing to seek them out.  Last week I had the chance to try a Cabernet from South Africa and was pretty pleased with what I tasted…especially considering the bottle costs less than $10.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Excelsior 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 90% Cabernet, 8% Syrah, and 2 % Petite Verdot.  It has 14.5% alcohol and retails for around $8.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Excelsior pours a blackish purple in the glass.  The nose is intensely fragrant with notes of cherries, cedar, and plum.  This wine is packed full of flavor.  Bright tastes of cherries, tart plum, and currants invade your palate.  The finish is spicy with lingering notes of espresso.  This Cabernet will entertain your taste buds while taking it easy on your wallet!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair with stronger meats such as lamb, beef, or venison.

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