Most wine lovers who are even mildly avid (can there be such a thing?) ones know their Bordeaux wine varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot – and some may even recognize Carmenère and the white varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
And even though wine producers around the world love to show off their indigenous varieties, the New World has few acceptable grapes, and growers in the Old World realize two important things about these “international varieties” – they make great wine individually and collectively, and they have great name recognition by wine buyers.
We have several such wines here from different countries, and even those from Rioja – made primarily with the native Tempranillo grape – are made “in the Bordeaux style,” as even many of the Spanish winemakers will tell you.
2022 White Haven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($18) – Pure Marlborough – very herbal, very crisp and quite good, with tight lime and green gooseberry flavors.
NV La Marca Prosecco ($19) – Creamy yet crisp with nectarine flavors – versatile, enjoyable.
2022 Simon Family Estate “Tigress” Napa Valley Rosé of Grenache ($35) – Full-bodied and strawberry fruity with a good, tart finish.
2016 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva ($15) – Muted but enjoyable dried blackberry flavors with lots of harmonious oak and a good, lean structure.
2019 Domaine Bousquet “Gaia” Gualtallary Malbec ($20) – Nice mix of ripe and dried blackberry fruit with good structure.
2019 Domaine Bousquet “Gaia” Gualtallary Red Blend ($20) – Very food-friendly bright red fruit followed by a crisp finish.
2015 Sartori “Reius” Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ($45) – Enjoyable dark, dried berry flavors with a lot of savory notes – an excellent wine pairing for aged cow’s milk cheeses. Decant for an hour or so before serving.
2019 Crosby Roamann “Aisling Vineyard” Los Carneros Pinot Noir ($42) – Toward the dark-fruited, more-savory side of Pinot with dark cherry flavors.
2020 Vara “Tinto Especial” Spanish Red Wine ($45) – Interesting blend of primarily Mencia and Carineña from different regions of Spain with prickly, savory notes wrapped around a core of red cherry fruit.
2019 Crosby Roamann “Fiadh Vineyard” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($48) – More open cherry flavors and less brooding than the Aisling (above), but more aggressive structure and flavors (in a good way).
2016 Errazuriz “Don Maximiano” Founder’s Reserve Valle de Aconcagua Red Wine ($86) – Warm and generous red fruits, some savory green herbal flavors and wonderful barrel notes.
2019 Crosby Roamann Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($85) – Aromas of casis and dark cherries, with mix of ripe and dried berry flavors, a little leathery and with good oak notes and lip-smacking tannins.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.