Although cork pops and bubble streams define the New Year, there are some great bargain wine choices to ring in 2013. A rainbow of whites, rosés, and reds can make for a festive evening leading up to the sparkling midnight toast. Here’s a few ideas for your wine drinking pleasure, and budget friendly enough to host your friends and family.
The 2011 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a complex, mouthwatering white, with aromas of grapefruit, honeydew melon, lychee, mandarin orange and lime zest. This highly aromatic white has a flinty minerality, with balanced, persistent flavors of green apple, Meyer lemon, and grapefruit, with a long defined finish. This wine is #53 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 of 2012 list, made by the acclaimed winemaker Kevin Judd, formerly of Cloudy Bay wines. Under $20 a bottle at K & L Wines, and sold by Costco Burbank at a discount, this stylish, intense white pairs well with shellfish or goat cheese.
The Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé “Perle d’Aurore” is a delightful sparkling Rosé, made from 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay Noir. Made in the traditional method, it has bright strawberry and blackcurrant fruit, a floral scent, crisp acidity, a bit of earthiness, tiny bubbles, and a creaminess to the finish from the lees aging. This “Pearl of the Dawn” is an amazing bargain, tasting far richer than its price tag, $14 for the bottle at K & L Wines. You can afford to drink this brilliant salmon colored beauty all night long!
The 2007 Viña Eguía Reserva Rioja opens with a very attractive, aromatic bouquet of crusty berries, cola, licorice, leather, tobacco, and dried herbs, flaunting its old vine, oak aged charms. A smooth, supple palate of red plum, cherry, earth, spice, vanilla, and tobacco, this Rioja sells for $15 at K & L Wines, and at Burbank Costco for a discount, if it’s not already sold out, a very nice sipping wine and food pair.
It’s no secret that the 2009 Bordeaux vintage is one of the best deals in recent years. The 2009 Le Thil Comte Clary Pessac-Léognan is a ripe, polished Bordeaux, 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, showing lush blackberry and black cherry fruit, cassis, graphite and licorice notes. It’s an elegant, complex wine for the money, smooth tannins and mineral flavors, all to be drunk for $20 a bottle at K & L Wines.
And finally, to usher in the New Year, try Cremant de Limoux from the Languedoc region of southern France. K & L Wines offers two Blanc de Blancs, refined and tasty bubblies made from white grapes in the traditional champagne method. First, the 2009 Jean-Louis Denois Blanc de Blancs Cremant de Limoux is made up of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, with flavors of Fuji apple, quince, and biscuit, a refined wine with crisp acidity and nice texture, all for $15. Second, the J. Laurens Brut Cremant de Limoux, made with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Mauzac, has tiny persistent bubbles, and a nose of pear, orange, dried fruits, and rose petals. The palate is intriguing with delicate flavors of citrus, white flowers, and yeast, with some spice. This is an excellent non-vintage sparkler, selling for $14 a bottle.
Here’s toasting the New Year, with health, prosperity, and a wealth of excellent wines from around the globe, at a price that can be drunk often without a dint to the pocketbook!