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The Cellar: Two Wines You Should Always Have On Hand

Friday, September 19, 2014

 

A great red that's inexpensive and always drinkable, plus a perfect bottle of bubbly, should always be on hand. Stock up now.

This week’s wines are two bottles you should always have on hand; a great, every-day $10 red and of course a bottle of fantastic bubbles, which always comes in handy when you least expect it.

2009 Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno, Marche, Italy

This week’s first wine is a great, inexpensive Italian red table wine which was awarded 88 points, a solid score for a $10 wine, by Wine Critic Antonio Galloni, who writes for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. This wine is made by the Pilastri family, whose roots go back more than 1000 years, who lives in the town of Ascoli Piceno, located in the Marche region of Central-Eastern Italy.

The Pilastri family has been making wine for more than 300 years and produces red wines and white wines, as well as the fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy Grappa. Made primarily from the soft Montepulciano grape varietal, this week’s feature wine showcases ripe blackberries and spice with hints of Sangiovese’s freshness and signature acidity on the finish. This is a fantastic food wine that I can see go well with everything from meats and cheeses, stews and poultry.

Patrick Bottex "La Cueille" Rosé, Bugey-Cerdon, France - $20

This week’s second wine is an interesting sparkling Rosé from Savoie; a wine region located in the larger Savoy region in central-eastern France. More specifically, this wine is from the Bugey-Cerdon AOC. Cerdon is the

name of a vineyard site within Bugey, one of the major sub-appellations within the region. Wines from the Bugey can be red, white as well as sparkling. Wines from the Cerdon vineyards are considered a step up compared to a basic Bugey – known for being the source of some rather unusual pink and off-dry sparkling wines.

According to AOC requirements the sparkling wines labeled Bugey-Cerdon must be made either from 100% Gamay or a blend of Gamay and Poulsard. In addition, they must be made the traditional way (‘Méthode Ancéstrale’), meaning that the second fermentation, the fermentation that gives the wine its bubbles, must take place inside the individual bottle and not in steel tanks, which is how more basic bubbles, including Proseccos, are made. The “La Cueille” from Patrick Bottex is 80% Gamay and 20% Poulsard. It displays a delicious mix of ripe and slightly under-ripe crushed wild strawberries making it slightly sweet, but well-balanced with mouthwatering acidity on the finish.

Enjoy!

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 1, 2013.

 

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