California - "...a jaw-dropping range of wines that one felt were archetypally Californian, wild and free..."
Washington - a wine "that shows the heights to which Cabernet Sauvignon can aspire"
Campania - "one of Italy’s most delicious and fascinating red wines"
Riesling - "about as fine as anything I have tasted in either a blue moon or a month of Sundays"
Bowes Wine clients may have noticed that, over the years, Californian wine is conspicuously under-represented in our offers and there are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, Cali wines don’t, in my view, present very good vfm. The qpr (quality price ratio) just seems all wrong, especially now such runty communes as the St Emilion and Pomerol satellites have put on both height and weight and are striding around like well-built athletes as if that’s always been the case. There’s a great deal of value about, but CA, it’s long appeared, don’t got none.
Another reason is the style of wines. Some countries just get on and make the sort of wine that they feel apposite for their landscape/geology/climate. Australia, for example, whilst traditionally making wines by the appliance of science, has always set out to make 'Australian wines'.
With California, one gets the sense that they look towards Europe, specifically France, for their role-models. Those harvsting Cabernet want to make Médoc-style wines; those growing Grenache and Syrah and Mourvèdre want to be bottling Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Hermitage or Côte Rôtie. What one gets is a Sonoma simulacrum, a Napa replication of those French wines they so admire.
Well that, it appears, is steadily changing. What I found at a tasting the other day was a jaw-dropping range of wines that one felt were archetypally Californian, wild and free, nodding not to Europe but rather the men who had planted well-sited vineyards in the distant past. The winery’s name is Bedrock. Remember it.
There are some observers who suggest that California, due to its climate, should really focus on Rhône grapes, more suited to the world’s hotter spots. And maybe its northern neighbour, Washington, is a better bet all ‘round for the production of fine Cabernet-based hooch.
I have long heard and read about the wine below. It has become something of a legend for the Washington state cognoscenti. And I tried it the other day and now I can understand why it commands such respect. If you’ve given Bordeaux primeurs releases a miss for a few years and would like an addition for your portfolio that shows the heights to which Cabernet Sauvignon can aspire, look no further.
We are big fans of under-the-radar wines here at Bowes Wine. It’s the raison d’être of our Daily Drinker service and with Bowes Wines, too, we like nothing better than surprising people with the unexpectedly fine.
There’s an Italian red wine so complex and age-worthy that its lack of celebrity makes one scratch one’s head in disbelief. We offered the wine below some years ago and those (few) that bought it sang its praises long and loud.
One of the world’s great red grapes, making one of Italy’s most delicious and fascinating red wines? It’s about time you knew about Taurasi!
The finest grape of them all? Yes, it’s Riesling isn’t it. You’ve heard me say it; you’ve heard others say it. Riesling just does that thing of sucking up bits of Planet Earth and delivering them into one’s stemware of choice clad in the most beautiful of fruit. And for the finest, one has to look no further than Germany. And for the finest of Germany, one has to look no further than the most recent harvests.
Below is a pair of wines – both wearing the brilliance and majesty of Riesling on their haut couture sleeves – that express all that is good about German wine today. One dry, one just off dry; as a pair they are about as fine as anything I have tasted in either a blue moon or a month of Sundays.
NB. If 12 bottles of any one wine is too much, please do get in touch to discuss. We might be able to split cases and repack 6 bottle boxes in plain cardboard, or indeed mix a case from several of these wines. Contact Caspar if interested.