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Snooth User: ziffy

In a rut -- need recommendations!

Posted by ziffy, Nov 7, 2008.

Hey everyone. I'm pretty new around here, but I love wine and I'm trying to learn more about it. The problem is this: I've become pretty stuck as far as what I've been drinking and need some recommendations. I have tended to drink lots of really earthy red wines, Cotes du Rhone, Gigondas, Tempranillo, Monastrell and the like. I love all of these wines, but I'm looking to branch out. Maybe something from California of comparable character? I don't like very fruity, light reds, so I don't really know what that rules out, but in my experience, California reds tend to be fruitier than I usually like.

Any help is greatly appreciated!



Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 7, 2008.

Hey Ziffy,

where you located. So you want to branch out well if I was answering you question, and by golly it looks like I'm doing just that, i would send you to regions that produce other versions of the wines you already like. So instead of forcing you out of your comfort zone we're just going to stretch the envelope a bit.

Probably the best source for earthy, classically structured wines in the world today, Portugal is too frequently overlooked for anything other than ports but these table wines all are great values at their respective price points.

Many regions of Italy have wines that would be worth checking out, among them are

Sardinia with:

Ciro Rosso from Calabria

Falu Rosso From Apuglia

The Rosso Conero of the Marche

The montefalco rosso from Umbria

and Aglianico from Campania and Basilicata remains the gretest unknown grape in the world today!

One last one I'll throw in just for fun would be a great red from Lebanon. Yes Lebanon is a source for some impressive wines and the decades long history of Musar, a 67 tasted a few years ago was a revelation, just goes to show it's worth exploring unexpected places! The Kefraya breteches is a great introduction to the region's wines!

Reply by Philip James, Nov 9, 2008.

Ziffy - have you tried any of the Rhone Ranger wines from California?

They basically grow Rhone grapes in California...

Reply by Derek67, Nov 19, 2008.

Hi Ziffy,

I suggest drinking the wines of California's Dry Creek Valley. Many of the wineries in Dry Creek produce well-balanced reds that will knock your socks off. My favorites come from Unti, Preston of Dry Creek, Nalle and Pedroncelli. Zin and Petit Sirah are the dominant wines, but many of these wineries produce cal-itals and rhone varietals that are dynamite.


Reply by Adam Levin, Nov 19, 2008.

Preston has a great cheap red that is sold by the jug.

Reply by Portoisgood, Nov 19, 2008.

hi, new myself, have you tried a Lagrein from the Alto Adige Region in northern Italy? wonderful robust earthy wines from a place more known for their white wines the soils near the Alps help to give it a cool mineral undertow as well, great if you like your glass with some good ol' hearty pasta within reach....Elena Walsh,Alois Lagider and Lechthaler all make wonderful examples of this rather unknown Italian grape.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 20, 2008.

I love Lagrein and while the wines retain great minerality the growing season in the Alto-Adige is HOT! Frequently Bolzano, the provincial capitol records one of the highest temps in all of Italy. The region around Bolzano and Gries in particular is the heart of much lagrein production. Interestingly Gries was until fairly recently a distinct town separated from Bolzano by the Talvera river. The Lechthaler comes from the very northern edge of the province of Trentino where it abuts the Alto-Adige.

In any event Lagrein prodcues wonderful character filled reds with dark plummy fruit, black minerality and nuances of cocoa, soil and spice. They also age remarkably well. A great recommendation and absolutely worth a try!

Good cal Portisgood!

Reply by athenablu, Nov 21, 2008.


Knock your socks off with a Petite Syrah I had last weekend. Manzanita Creek 05 Handel Vineyard. Bold and vivacious. I am really interested in trying Piaz' suggested Lebanon wines

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 22, 2008.

Hey Athena,

I hope you enjoy them!

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