A Moment in The Sun
One of the great pleasures of my wine education journey has been discovering some of the lesser-known grape varietals and blends from famous regions with iconic wines that usually hog the spotlight. As a new student, feeling massively overwhelmed by the sheer number of grapes, grape-growing countries, and winemaking techniques, learning these iconic wine-to-region associations felt like enough of a challenge and the perfect way to lay the groundwork for deeper understanding. Is there a more famous pairing than Tuscany and Chianti, for example? Likewise, Argentina goes hand in hand with lush, fruity Malbecs. Dig a little deeper, though, and both of these regions have some incredible producers making wines of comparable quality from entirely different grapes. Today, I’m sharing with you two of my favorite newly discovered wines from these classic regions - a beautiful white from Tuscany and a Cabernet Franc-dominant blend from Mendoza.

2018 Montenidoli ‘Carato’ Vernaccia di San Gimignano $38

Made from 100% Vernaccia, a vigorous white varietal that produces wines with great structure and minerality. ‘Carato’ is made using only the free run, first–press juice that is then fermented and aged 12 months in French oak before receiving a further 24 months in bottle. There is a heavy Burgundian influence, leading to a beautiful full, but dry, wine with a creamy texture and notes of honeysuckle, toasted nuts, and a bright zip of citrus peel. This is a perfect wine to enjoy with cheese or white truffles, or at the end of a meal to wind down an evening of great food and drink.

2018 Gran Enemigo ‘El Cepillo’ Single Vineyard $112

A blend of 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Malbec from a vineyard at southern end of Uco Valley in Mendoza. This desert site is quite high in elevation at the foot of the Andes mountains, lending a wild and rustic character to the wine. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave the 2018 vintage 97 points, saying: "The nose of the 2018 Gran Enemigo El Cepillo Single Vineyard, from a low-yielding and drier year, is full of curry, a note that was a constant across the three vintages I tasted together, but it tends to be stronger in low-yielding and dry years like this. It's also floral and comes through as aromatic and a little exotic, in a good way, with elegance, persistence and very pure flavors. It has fine-grained tannins, great acidity and balance...."

Did one (or more) of these wines pique your interest? There are multiple ways to order with us! If you place your purchase through our online store, we’ll be happy to package and hold your bottles for you to pick up at your convenience. You can also email us and ask us to set aside any bottles you’re interested in picking up at a later date. If you have any questions or would like to make special arrangements such as shipping, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (919) 644-1243.

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