Favorite ...this is made only in the best vintages and exclusively from an obscure grape called Callet. Fermented in small, open-top wood vats, it marries an ancient grape to artisanal winemaking to create a magnificently iconic wine. Elegant and racy, its flavors are deep and detailed, its impression profound.
Favorite - From Navarra, it actually reads unoaked and delivers the clean, refreshing flavors that only stainless-steel fermentation can muster. Better yet, it's an intense mix of apple, pear and white peach fruits, a glorious wine to match with fish, poultry and noodle dishes.
Favorite - This indigenous red grape from the Somontano region is hardly ever released as a varietal. It's a wine that sneaks up on you. At first you taste bright, crunchy cranberry and wild cherry fruit, but it lingers and resonates, morphing into a sleek and penetrating wine with a sensuous minerality.
Favorite - From Bodega Pirineos, this wine, from certified organically grown grapes, is a 50/50 blend. Tightly wound, its flavors are wild red berries set in a distinctly earthy, somewhat tannic frame.
Favorite - The Anima Negra wines, from largely obscure, indigenous old vines grown on the island of Mallorca, really lit up the tasting. The AN/2 blends Callet, Manto Negro, Fogoneu and Monastrell (mourvèdre). It's youthful, fresh and fruit-driven, with the accent on wild raspberry.
Favorite - ...this fresh blend of 90 percent tempranillo and 10 percent garnacha (grenache) delivered some surprisingly dense, chewy fruit, accented with black licorice. Well-structured and affordably priced.
Best Bets, Budget - A Bubbly Companion - This is an excellent introduction to prosecco; bone dry with lovely aromas of fruit, citrus peel and toasted almond. Note that Zefiro All'Ombra Dei Prosecco, the restaurant version of Zardetto, is the same wine in a prettier package.
Thoroughly delicious, concentrated and beautifully crafted, with sappy, tart red fruits in abundance. Layers of chalk, gravel, cranberry, cherry and plenty of tart acides keep it lively all the way through.