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By Michael Dresser | February 21, 2001
1998 Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone ($11). This meaty, chunky red wine from the south of France isn't designed to be cellared for years or studied to death. It's just a delight for uncomplicated drinking with hamburgers or pizza right now. A medium-bodied red, it offers flavors of black cherry, black currant, herbs and leather.
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September 2, 2014
From: Maule Valley, Chile Price: $16 Serve with: Grilled beef, lamb, goat I often find Chilean red wines to be a bit high on tannin and light on fruit, but this outstanding blend of 60 percent syrah and 40 percent malbec is an exception. It offers bright, syrah-dominated fruit right up front, the kind of flavor that jolts the palate awake. It offers a complex flavor mix including black cherry, raspberry, vanilla and black pepper. The malbec gives it structure, the syrah gives it charm.
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By Michael Dresser | December 20, 2006
This lush, ripe, smooth red wine from the Beaujolais region of France offers a penetrating mix of black cherry, blackberry, raspberry and herb flavors. This versatile and lively Brouilly can be served lightly chilled and needs no further aging. Serve with roast turkey, chicken, beef.
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June 3, 2014
From: North Coast, California Price: $15 Serve with: Steaks on the grill, leg of lamb With Father's Day coming up, what better choice than a bold, well-price cabernet sauvignon made as a tribute to the winemaker's father? Josh Cellars is named for Joseph Carr's dad, who bore that nickname. This full-bodied but smoothly textured wine delivers moderately complex flavors of black currant, black cherry, chocolate and spices. It's fully drinkable now but could age for at least five years.
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By Michael Dresser | December 28, 1994
This medium-bodied wine has heavyweight intensity in its pure pinot noir character -- black cherry and herbs. It's not a blockbuster pinot noir, but it's faithful to the idea of fine Burgundy, and it's a fine choice to serve with roast chicken or turkey.
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By Michael Dresser | December 1, 1996
The Jean Descombes estate regularly produces one of Duboeuf's finest Beaujolais wines. With its black cherry and raspberry flavors, it achieves a completeness and layered complexity that is rare in Beaujolais. This wine, coming in an excellent year for the region, is the quintessence of its genre.Pub Date: 12/01/96
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By Michael Dresser | April 3, 1996
So it's not particularly complex? This delightful Chianti has intense, ripe, black cherry and herb flavors, medium body and a long, lively finish. What more can you ask for? Bring on the pasta.Pub date: 4/03/96
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By Michael Dresser | May 11, 2005
2003 Waterbrook Melange, Columbia Valley ($16). This harmonious red blend from Washington state combines cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, merlot and cabernet franc. The result is a medium- to full-bodied wine with excellent grip and length. Flavors include blackberry, black cherry, chocolate and herbs. While this is accessible now, it has the structure to develop for the next three to five years - at least. It would go well with a wide range of red meat and pasta dishes. - Michael Dresser
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By Michael Dresser | September 28, 1994
This lovely, flavorful, medium-bodied nonvintage red is obviously declassified Barolo, probably from the difficult 1991 and 1992 vintages. Clerico has done its best with what nature gave it, fashioning a delicious wine for early consumption. The black cherry, blackberry and earth flavors have Barolo intensity but without the tannin or body weight. A Marc de Grazia selection, it is perfect for finer Italian restaurants. Drink over the next two years.
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By Michael Dresser | May 24, 1995
This rich, meaty, earthy Italian red is a wonderful value, with the concentration and grip of a far more expensive wine. Its finely honed acidity makes it a natural with tomato-based sauces. Elements of chocolate, coffee, black cherry and tomato give it more than the normal complexity of an inexpensive wine. I suspect it would age superbly.
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October 2, 2013
From: Coteaux du Languedoc, France Price: $15 Serve with: Grilled red meat, hearty stew This grenache-syrah red blend from the south of France delivers a lot of black cherry, blackberry and Mediterranean herb flavor. It's a full-bodied, moderately complex, earthy wine with enough tannic backbone to age and improve, but it's smooth enough to drink now. It's a Kysela Pere & Fils import, which is always a good sign. -- Michael Dresser
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June 11, 2013
From: Rioja, Spain Price: $13 Serve with: Grilled red meat, pasta dishes Spain's magnificent Rioja region continues to produce some of the world's finest values in red wine, and this gem imported by Kysela Pere & Fils is a splendid example. It's smooth, ripe and complex far beyond its price tag. While medium-bodied and accessible now, these well-made Rioja's have great aging potential, and this wine could be even better in five to 10 years. It offers vibrant flavors of vanilla, black cherry, Asian spices and Mediterranean herbs.
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May 15, 2013
From: Monterey, Calif. Price: $23 Serve with: Red meat, roast poultry, tuna steak Thus full-bodied, earthy red wine combines some of the best elements of Burgundian style and California ripeness. It's an earthy wine, with some of the gamy low notes that distinguish fine Burgundies, while the black cherry and cassis notes are bold up front. While it's a lush, opulent wine, it's also well-balanced and complex, with good acidity in the finish and no trace of alcoholic heat. It's a versatile wine that will pair with many foods and comparable to pinot noirs at twice the price.
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May 8, 2013
From: California Price: $9 Serve with: Hamburgers, pizza, simple stuff This red wine from the budget Rosso & Bianco (red and white) line from the winery founded by director Francis Ford Coppola is simply a good value. Billed as "a wine for everyday life," it lives up to that promise. It's not complex or elegant, but drinking a wine like this every day would not be a bad life to live. It's simple, fruity, medium- to full-bodied and offers winning black cherry and herbal flavors.
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April 9, 2013
2009 Ferrari-Carano Tresor From: Sonoma County, Calif. Price: $50 Serve with: Prime rib, rack of lamb Yes, it's expensive, but if you are looking for a special-occasion red wine that you can drink with pleasure now, this is a fine choice. It's a Bordeaux-style blend of exceptional elegance and style. It's complex and rounded, with flavors of black cherry, blackberry, vanilla and chocolate. It's structured to age well but there's really no need to wait. -- Michael Dresser
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By [Michael Dresser] | October 17, 2007
2005 Souverain Merlot From: Alexander Valley, Calif. Price: $19 Serve with: Red meat, roast chicken, game birds Many California merlots seem to have no reason to exist because they are so similar - though usually less satisfying - to the same producer's cabernet sauvignon. Souverain's merlot is smooth and creamy, well-differentiated from cabernet. There are real echoes of Bordeaux's Pomerol region in its lush flavors and its "steel fist in a velvet glove" texture. The black cherry and plum fruit is seasoned with Asian spice flavors such as clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, with a touch of vanilla.
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By MICHAEL DRESSER | December 13, 2006
This medium- to full-bodied unfiltered red wine from Tuscany, Italy, is bursting with life and character. It is elegantly structured and lingers on the palate with flavors of black cherry and herbs. The 40 percent cabernet in the blend gives it heft, while the 60 percent sangiovese adds an aromatic quality. Serve with Italian sausage, pasta dishes.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER and MICHAEL DRESSER,SUN REPORTER | November 2, 2005
There's a racy, wild-berry nuance to this wine that lifts it out of the ranks of the ordinary. An imaginative blend of merlot, sangiovese, zinfandel and grenache, it delivers vibrant flavors of black cherry and spices. It's a medium- to full-bodied wine that is well-suited for immediate consumption. SERVE WITH // grilled steak or lamb, pasta or pizza
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