The 2010 vintage of Goulart’s “The Marshall” Malbec keeps this winery’s tradition of giving us a good Argentine Malbec at an exceptional price alive and well. This vintage will not disappoint the followers of “The Marshall” because it checks all the boxes that has made this wine a perennial favorite. If you are looking for a fruit forward wine with cherry and berry flavors this is not the wine for you. “The Marshall” has fruit but it is dark fruit that is integrated into the body of the wine. This classic Malbec has mid-range tannins contained in a firm structure that is carried from start to finish. The aroma is one of spice and there is oak to spare for those who prefer an exotic oak component in their Malbec. Malbec is a perfect pairing for grilled meat, especially beef, so if you are planning a cook out be sure to grab a couple of bottles of Goulart 2010 “The Marshall” Malbec to enjoy with your meal. This wine has been rated 88 points by Wine Spectator and 87 points by International Wine Cellar. P.L.C.B. stores are currently offering this wine as a “Chairman’s Selection” for $13.99 Product code 33356.
The Liquor Control Board of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday, February 19, 2014 that Tableleaf, their in-house brand of wine, will be discontinued. The remaining stock will be sold at discounts of $2 to $3 per bottle. Vinestone, another in-house brand was discontinued last year. The L.C.B. developed seven other in-house brands but the fate of those labels has yet to be determined.
This wine is an excellent example of a well made Malbec, it displays good body along with both red and black fruit flavors at a reasonable price. A glass of this Malbec can be equally enjoyed and savored with food or alone. I will be taking the advice of Dave De Simone, author and restaurateur, who suggests using your emotional reaction to a wine to describe its character and unique personality. My descriptive feelings about Achaval-Ferrer Malbec 2011 would be agreeable, pleasing, appetizing, rich and vigorous. Wine Spectator gave it a rating of 92 points in 2012 and it is available in P.L.C.B. stores for $29.99 but can be found online for under $25. This is a solid Malbec and worth the price.
May 8th thru May 10th will be the dates for three separate wine festivals presented by Fine Wine & Good Spirits, which is the retail arm of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (P.L.C.B.) who control and regulate all alcohol sales in Pennsylvania.
Wine Festival in Hershey will be held Wednesday May 8th on the Concourse at the Giant Center in Hershey Pa. V.I.P. Tasting is 5:00-6:30 P.M. with tickets $95 per person and Grand Tasting 6:30-8:30 P.M. with tickets $45 per person. Parking for the event will be free and festivities benefit Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. For more information, including a list of vintners go to http://www.winefestivalinhershey.com
Pittsburgh Wine Festival will be held Thursday May 9th at Heinz Field East & West Club Lounges with V.I.P. Tasting 5:00-7:00 P.M. and Grand Tasting 7:00-9:00 P.M.. Ticket prices for the V.I.P. Tasting are $250 per person and $125 per person for the Grand Tasting with the V.I.P. guests welcome to stay and enjoy the entire evening. This is the eleventh year for this event and will feature 165 vendors showcasing 500 different wines while benefiting innovation and discovery at U.P.M.C.. Pittsburgh Wine Festival is running a special limited time price offer of two Grand Tasting tickets for the price of one and can be accessed at http://www.pittsburghwinefestival.com.
The New Philadelphia Wine & Food Festival is Friday May 10th at Lincoln Financial Field SCA Club from 5:30-9:30P.M.. This year’s expanded program combines food, 600 different wines, access to wine makers and chefs coupled with demonstrations, educational sessions and intimate tastings. A silent auction will be held throughout the evening with the proceeds benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. V.I.P. Tasting with early entry 5:30-9:30 P.M. is $250 and Grand Tasting with general admission 7:00-9:30P.M. $125 per person. To purchase tickets and get more information go to www.phillymag.com/wineandfoodfest/index.hmtl
Did you know that you could have the chance to sample wine and spirits or even meet a celebrity at your PLCB store? To find out if any events are slated for your favorite store you must first find your stores ID number by visiting www.finewineandgoodspirits.com and using the store locator feature to identify the 4 digit number assigned to that store. Position the cursor over the Promotions tab, then point at the Events tab at the far right end of the drop down menu, lastly click on the In-Store Events. Enter your store ID number into the box marked Store then click Search and a directory of all the events scheduled for that store will appear with a description of each that can be expanded for more information when clicked.
In a totally unrelated matter I stopped at the Ripepi Winery last week and saw that picking had begun but I also noticed that there was a plentiful supply of fruit left to be harvested. I find that standing in a vineyard and seeing the ripe grapes hanging from the vines a truly awe-inspiring sight.
We often complain about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board that regulates alcohol sales here but there are times when they get it right. I have to say the Chairman Selection offering of 2007 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse for $39.99 (a savings of $ 35.01 from its quoted price of $75 ) is one of those times. This Oregon Pinot Noir was produced by the Knudson Vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA of the Williamette Valley. It is currently listed as Sold Out by the winery but that should be no surprise after Wine Advocate rated it 93 pts and Wine Spectator gave it a 90 pt rating in 2009 which means it has only gotten better since then. Spirithouse exhibits plenty of ripe fruit flavors especially raspberry and red cherry and just enough tannins with a smooth textured finished. This is a very good quality Pinot Noir that has more than sufficient acidity and the hint of pepper that is the signature of a good Pinot. I will tip my hat to the PLCB on this one and say “Job well done”. PLCB Code 32593
As we enter into the final weeks of summer you don’t want warm weather to pass before you try some light-bodied young wines. These fresh flavored immature wines are made from low-sugar early harvest grapes that yield a high-sugar and low-alcohol wine. You will find these wines to be sweeter than average and more acidic on your taste buds but lighter on your wallet. I think a good place to start would be with an Italian-Style Moscato so we can savor its delectable floral and fresh fruit aroma. Some interesting choices can be found including an offering from Cavit at $8.99 for 750ml PLCB code 3602 and Moscato D’ Asti Montefiore $11.99 for 750 ml PLCB code 5021. The 2010 Vintage of Moscato D’ Asti Montefiore was rated as the highest scoring Moscato under $15 by Wine Spectator. When pairing these wines you should think sweet foods, like desserts and local farm market fresh fruits. The French are excellent producers of this next category of wine and because of their skill I recommend sampling a French-Style Vouvray. Barton & Guestier Vouvray $11.99 PLCB code 5525 and Château de Montfort $14.99 PLCB code 8747 are the two most easily found examples at PLCB stores. These wines pair well with cheese plates, dried fruit and cold seafood appetizers. Before summer ends be certain to try some of these refreshing young white wines while conditions are ideal.