Three bargains from the Med
From around the rim of the Mediterranean basin we find three good bargains for well under $10 -- one each in this tasting group from Spain, France and Italy. While none inspires such terms as "fancy" or "elegant," each offers value well beyond its price tag; and all three are very well suited for grilled dishes and other summery fare.
Alma 1996 Navarra (Spain) Garnacha ($6.99)
Dark reddish-purple. Jammy red fruit on the nose and palate. A fruit-salad mix of apples and plums, as fruity as a summer punch, with sufficient acidity to hold it together. U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections, Cincinnati. (June 12, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: Grilled turkey burgers spiced with cumin.
E. Guigal 1996 Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc ($8.99)
Clear light greenish gold. Pleasant melon and floral scents, an appetizing aroma that invites a taste. Full, crisp and fresh, white fruit flavors consistent with the nose. Tart melon flavors linger in a long finish. U.S. importer: Classic Wine Imports Inc., Boston. (June 15, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: Grilled chicken.
Straccali 1996 Chianti ($6.99)
Very dark ruby color. Black cherry and spicy oak aromas; full, juicy black-fruit flavors, lemony acidity and just a touch of tannin. Very pleasant Chianti, more stylish than you'd expect for the low-end price. U.S. importer: Palm Bay Imports Inc., Boca Raton, Fla. (June 14, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: Spicy but not fiery pork carnitas with queso blanco.
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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.||