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Benjamín Romeo is the owner of Bodega Contador which is one of the most prestigious wineries in La Rioja.  As vintner and winemaker, he supervises every detail in the production of his wines, in order to create wines of the finest quality.  A 2013 release was his most recent vintage sent out to the market.

With this Rioja blend, Mr. Romeo has created a profile commonly known among consumers as “The New Rioja Style”.  This formula consists of 96% Tempranillo, 2% Garnacha, 1% Graciano, and 1% Mazuelo.  “Predicador” exhibits a brilliant Red Garnet of medium density and crimson rim.  It offers an intriguing fragrance of Cherries, Rose Pedals, Raspberry and Raspberry Liqueur along with very subtle Smoke, Tree Bark, Cinnamon and Clove.  It summons bountiful red fruit flavors to the palate, with exotic Wild Berries, Pomegranate, and Rhubarb. All are combined with a velvety texture and perfect balance with its structure of sweet tannins and elegant acidity.  It finishes very dry, spicy, and exotic.  Pair this wine with rice dishes. 90 pts. The cost of a bottle is $31.

Donald Hess has been in the wine business since 1978.  The Hess Collection takes pride in presenting a large Constellation of fine wines that are family powered, exposing expressions of their privileged terroir in Mount Veeder (Napa Valley), and utilizing the best of modern winemaking techniques.

Their 2012 19 Block Mountain Cuvée is Avant-Garde and sophisticated.  This audacious blend of 60% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah results in an elegant and resourceful wine that is “Dressed-to-Impress” and to perform.  It is very Bordeaux-like in color but more brilliant.  Liqueur-like to the nose, showing cognac, Black Currant, Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon, and Vanilla.

Layers of flavor in this wine adorn its backbone of fine tannins, its minerality, and its palatable acidity.  Blueberry and Blackberry flavors in a silky complexity, driven on a long passage to a longer finish afford this wine the competence to pair well with ostentatious foods, like Steaks, Lamb, Pork, or Braised meats.  89 pts.  The cost of a bottle is $92.

Alpha series is the second category after the “Icons” by this important Chilean wine producer.  Montes Alpha Syrah delivers the quintessential expression of this varietal. It is juicy, palatable, well structured, providing good potential to pair with sophisticated dishes, and comes with an excellent quality to price ratio.  Its enjoyment starts before your eyes with its gorgeous display of intense ruby red color and violet rim.  It gives out a formidable bouquet of Black Cherry and fine Tobacco along with an added complexity of Blackberries, Pepper and Potpourri.

The 2013 vintage is young and full bodied, offering racy but chewable tannins and fresh expressions of terroir.  Evidently the 12 months of aging in French oak barrels have fulfilled its purpose of integrating all elements, having allowed some very interesting complexities to develop.  The wine shows good integration of flavors of Black Plums and Wild Berries, combining a fleshy consistency along with a nice grip from tannins.  Finishes are complex, dry, Smokey and long.  Pair it with stews or game.  89 pts. The cost of a bottle is  $18.50.

When every aspect of quality come together, the deserving result brings much valued harmony and satisfaction to the table.  Baron Eric de Rothschild, Manager of the very prestigious Château Lafite Rothschild of Bordeaux, acquired the Los Vascos estate in 1988, extending 2,200 hectares in the heart of the Colchagua Valley, in Chile.

This young 2015 Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc delivers pureness of fruit presented in remarkable elegance.  Its brilliant pale straw color, slightly golden, talks about its good character of Sauvignon Blanc, very carefully fermented and aged in stainless steel vats.

This wine shows beautiful aromatic expressions of Lemon, exotic Jasmine Flower and fresh Linen.  Very elegantly composed, this wine shows its structure to the palate from the very first sip. It also renders exquisite minerality and subtle flavors of Wax Apple and Grapefruit.  It delivers phenomenal, appetizing acidity in the third quarter that harmonizes very well, and leads to an engaging finish.  Pair this wine with fish, seafood, salads, or light pasta.  88 pts.  The cost of a bottle is $9.25.

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