My Port of Wines Festival picks

The annual Port of Wines grand tastings are quite the event.  Getting to one of them is akin to Christmas for me with the chance to sample an unmentionable number of wines over a three hour period.  There were some really strong wines at this year’s show that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Among them: Lan Edicion Limitada (Spain, 2008, tempranillo, $55.29), Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (2009, $46.99), Two Hands Barney’s Block Shiraz (Austrailia, 2010, $89.79), Farnese Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (2008, Italy, $34.49).

With a focus on wines that we thought were particularly good value and worth a spot in the collection for home, here was what we picked up:

Port of Wines 2013

From left to right:

Mumm Napa Prestige Brut – This was the festival award winner for top sparkling wine.  Made in the traditional method, it was fresh and creamy.  I thought it was good value at $33.99 for a traditional method sparkling.  It also brings back great memories of a visit to the winery in 2008.

Luna Argenta Prosecco – Didn’t actually taste this wine, but you got the bottle free if you bought at least one other bottle.  Needless to say, my wife and I split up our purchase to get two off these.  Who doesn’t love free prosecco?

Hahn Pinot Noir – A 2012 from the hills above Napa Valley, we both found this to be an outstanding value wine at $22.29.  A bit fuller bodied than a traditional pinot, it too brings back memories for us.  We visited this winery during our wine tour of Sonoma and Napa back in 2008.  A bonus was speaking with a lovely lady pouring on Saturday who works at the winery.

Marin Old Vine Garnacha, 2012 – This was an almost accidental tasting that went very right.  On a second visit to the table for Spain, I picked this for a sample blindly.  Rich and full bodied, it is probably one of the best value for money wines ($16.29) I’ve tasted in recent years at the festival.

Chateau Senailhac Bordeaux Superieur, 2006 – This one was on everyone’s list as it was the top scoring  French table wine and $21.99.  It tastes like a bottle that could be priced around $35.  It is a real shame this wine was an exclusive to the festival or I’d be backing up a truck at the nearest NSLC to buy a case or two.

Trinchero Napa Cellar Zinfandel – Perhaps not a true value buy, but I can’t resist a wonderful zinfandel.  It was the award winner for the festival, was under $34, and is a truly great wine.  A very light hint of oak really set off the bold fruit flavours and spice in this one.


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