Exciting New Wine 'Select'ions

At The Wine Rack

with Christopher Reckord

Thursday, November 29, 2018

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Wine and Spirits distributor Select Brands recently hosted a grand event showcasing hundreds of wines, spirits and gourmet foods to prospective and existing customers.

I had the great opportunity to visit the event and do some of my favourite things: discover and taste new wines. While I did not get to taste them all, here are some highlights of what was new to the market:

First Drop Wines, Australia

This winery was created in 2004 by two friends, Matt 'Gantos' Gant and John 'JR' Retsas, with a desire to make wines to drink, not just appreciate, hence 'Mother's Milk'. Their approach is fun and simple; their labels are artistic, hilarious and tell stories. They make wines with grapes sourced from vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Barossa. On display from First Drop Wines was the 2016 Mother's Milk which is a soft, smooth Barossa Shiraz and the 'Mother's Ruin' which is a restrained, but balanced McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon.


Gnarly Head, Lodi, California

The Gnarly Head brand was launched in 2005 and takes its name from the gnarled free-standing “head trained” vines found in the Lodi region of California. They are best known for their Zinfandel wines which are sometimes made from vines which can be 80, 90, and even 100 years old. Ancient head trained vines produce fewer clusters and smaller berries than trellised vines, resulting in intensely flavoured, fruit forward wines with concentrated flavours. Gnarly Head is created by Delicato Family Vineyards (DFV), a family-owned California winery founded in 1924. On display was their Chardonnay, Old Vine Zinfandel and 1924 Limited Edition Red Vine Blend.


Nobile Vines, California

Noble Vines is a portfolio of wines also produced by DFV. The names of the six wines in the portfolio — 337, 181, 667, 446, 242, 1 — refer to the vine types and vineyard blocks used to make the wines. DFV is a fourth-generation family-owned company and one of the fastest growing top-10 wine companies in the USA. DFV produces a range of California wines including Bota Box, Gnarly Head, Black Stallion Estate Winery, Z Alexander Brown, Diora, Brazin, Irony, and Earth Wise.

Bodegas Muga, Rioja , Spain

Bodegas Muga is a family-owned winery established in 1922, now located in the historic wine district of Haro in Rioja Alta. Muga's offerings are rather extensive, containing at least 10 different wines, from the best-selling white, rosé, or Reserva red, to the more premium Torre Muga, the famous Prado Enea and Aro, as well as a few Cava sparkling wines. I tasted the Rioja Muga Reserva later that evening; after a few mins of air, it displayed all the classic Rioja characters: savoury, leathery aromas and strawberry but what I have come to link with Muga is that there was an under layer of richer darker fruit and more weight and power than most classic styles. One of my favourite wines from Rioja.

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