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Wine Review: Warmer weather means discounts on winter varieties

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Wines, like clothing fashions, have distinct seasons. Now, it is the season that we move away from the heavier red wines of winter and move toward the lighter white and rose wines that are popular during the warmer seasons.

It is also a time when the prices of red wines go down while white wine prices go up, and therefore there are excellent red wines that become available at more affordable prices. I have found a few of these red wines that might be of interest and should be available at reduced prices.

My advice to wine enthusiasts is to take advantage of the seasonal price change by purchasing red wine now. This will give them a bit more bottle aging in your wine rack and at the more constant temperature of your home, all of which is good for red wines.

As a side note, the prices that I show are the manufacturer's suggested retail price and are by no means written in stone. Many stores and online retailers often offer the wines at considerably lower prices than the suggested retail price.

La Crema 2022 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($28)
A California pinot noir at this price is almost an impossibility and for it also to be of quality, quite unimaginable. This wine has therefore achieved the lofty position of being an unimaginable impossibility.

This wine is among many pinot noirs produced by La Crema, a winery that has become an excellent domestic source for the Burgundian wine varieties of pinot noir and chardonnay at affordable prices. The 2022 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir offers the aromas of raspberry, cranberry, pomegranates, licorice and tea. The flavor takes a different turn and features cherry, plum and boysenberry, with hints of espresso and cocoa. If you are a pinot noir aficionado and are shocked at some of their prices, this wine will be a pleasant reprieve for your taste buds and your wallet.

As a suggestion, serve this wine, and all red wines, with a bit of chilling by putting it in the refrigerator door for about 10 minutes prior to opening it.

Coen Classic 2019 Malbec ($25)
The deep red color alone tells you that you are in for something different with this wine, and you will not be disappointed. The price of this wine from Argentina belies the quality it offers and well illustrates why malbec is becoming one of America's most popular red wines. This full-bodied wine is alive with the flavors and aromas of cassis and cherries, with chocolate, coffee, plum and spice residing in the background. The finish is long, fruity and complex. Since tasting is believing, I recommend that you taste the Coen Classic 2019 Malbec and you just may become, as many have, a devout malbec lover.

Cantine Paolini Gurgo 2022 Frappato-Syrah ($23)
Here we have the well-known syrah grape that has been blended with the very Sicilian frappato grape, producing a red wine of unique character. The wine features the aromas of blackberries, cranberries and blueberries along with the ever-present Sicilian trademark of fresh spices. It carries the fruit aromas to the flavor and finish, where it remains on the palate for a long time. The wine's structure indicates it is also a fine wine for laying down for several years of aging where it will gain more character than it presently displays, if that is even possible.

Wine columnist Bennet Bodenstein can be reached at


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