10 wines under $25 for a hot day in July — By Marc Bona, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio – In July, we tried 10 wines from the last five vintages. All would be great on a hot day or night. This month’s batch comes from five countries, and all should be available in the Northeast Ohio retail market. We also choose one each month as our favorite. Cheers!
M. Chapoutier Belleruche
Cranberry, strawberry, light, not too dry or acidic, good balance. A very versatile wine. It’s primarily made from Grenache with smaller amounts of Cinsault and Syrah. Good value.
Virgen Cabernet Sauvignon
Domaine Bousquet, Mendoza, Argentina; Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019, $13
Very smooth, unripened blackberry and not very tannic. We would have guessed Merlot or red blend. All of us said great value at $13.
Virgen Red Blend
Domaine Bousquet, Mendoza, Argentina; red blend, 2019, $13
Smooth, light-bodied, organic and, like its Cab and Malbec counterparts, not very tannic at all. Definitely not sweet or jammy. If you are into organic wines, drink them soon. These are not meant to be laid down.
Dry Creek Chenin Blanc
Dry Creek Vineyard, California, Chenin Blanc, 2015, (the 2018 is about $13)
We tried an older version of this wine and picked up some nice aging. Floral notes with orange, white peach and unripe pineapple. A little saline/ocean as well. No oak. Deep gold, possibly from age. A tough find, but newer vintages are available. Venerable winery.
Predator Six Spot
Rutherford Ranch Winery, Lodi, California; red blend, 2017, $24
A rich milk chocolate bomb. Cherry notes, creamy, and a touch of sweetness. Versatile, would go with lots of different dishes — think barbecue or pizza. But $24 feels a little steep for this one.
Eberle Winery, Paso Robles, California; Chardonnay, 2017, $24
Slight candied apple in the aroma and a hint of lemon on the palate along with a buttery flavor and slight orange. Delicious. Went very well with roasted chicken, vegetables and potatoes, but also tastes great as a stand-alone.
Vina Pomal Crianza
Bodegas Bilbainas, Spain, Tempranillo, 2016, $16
Intriguing and tasty wine with notes of plum. With a hint of sweet tobacco in the aroma, it’s spicy and a bit smoky on the finish. “Crianza” on a label indicates the wine has spent a year spent in oak. “Rioja” is the region.