The Berkshire Tasting Panel’s
2nd Annual Winter Wine Challenge
Top 5 Winter Picks of 2014
Selected from a blind tasting of over 40+ wines!
2014 Winters Judges: Aurelien Telle, owner Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar, Phil Kampe, Wine Blogger & Member of the Wine Media Guild and Kollin Kozlowski, Wine Buyer @ Kelly’s & CSW International Society of Wine Educators
Berkshire Tasting Panel #1 Winter Red Wine
Passitivo Primitivo 2012 Apulia, Italy $16.99
The panel has once again selected an Italian red as its #1 pick! This time it’s from Apulia, a region known for its exceptionally fertile plains and for being one of Italy’s largest wine-producing regions. Until the 1970s most of Puglia’s wines were seen as fit only for blending or for making Vermouth. Within the last 10 years a renaissance has taken place where the modernization of the techniques has led us to fantastic value wines like this Primitvo, the region’s most important grape variety. Medium to full bodied, the wine offers up amazing aromas of raisin, fig & cinnamon. On the palate there are notes of fruit cake and lush black cherry and the finish is smooth, generous and supple. Perfect for hearty pasta dishes, ripe cheeses or grilled meats.
Berkshire Tasting Panel #2 Winter Red Wine
Easton Zinfandel Amador County 2012, CA $17.99 The panel has managed to pick a Zinfandel and a Primitivo this winter, both clones (a genetic mutation) of a little known grape variety from Croatia called Crljenak. This fabulous red is sourced from 40-60 year old head pruned vines, planted on Amador counties decomposed granite soil, perfect for growing Zin. Supple raspberry and exotic rhubarb fruit, beautiful balanced with sumptuous notes of new French oak. An absolutely delicious Zin!
Berkshire Tasting Panel #3 Winter Red Wine
Veramonte Primus Red Blend 2011 $19.99 This unique Chilean blend of Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cab Franc and Petite Verdot is big and bold with notes of white pepper, dense blackberry fruit, licorice and exotic spice. Primus is the richest and fullest wine of the Top 5, this unctuous red is sturdy enough for several years in the bottle or drink it tonight with a hearty steak.
Berkshire Tasting Panel #4 Winter Red Wine
Alexander Valley Vineyards Syrah 2012,CA $17.99 The Wetzel Family, owners of AVV, located in northern Sonoma County, started planting Rhone varietals in 1995. 2012 was a textbook growing season in Northern California, the favorable weather allowed the grapes to reach optimal flavor development. This is textbook Syrah showing classic bacon/smoked meat character with pure scents of wild strawberry, plum, blueberry, pepper and truffles. Perfect for a hearty lamb stew, gumbo or chili.
Berkshire Tasting Panel #5 Winter Red Wine
Decero Malbec 2011, Argentina $19.99 Decero Malbec was the first wine that was tasted in our Winter Wine Challenge. All of us where captivated with its overall balance and structure. The fruit is sourced from a single vineyard located at 3500 feet (same as Mt. Greylock!) in the renowned Mendoza appellation of Agrelo. This pure and voluptuous Malbec exhibits notes of violets, cassis and chocolate followed by a well-integrated backbone of oak and vanilla. A fantastic find!
All the BTP Winners can be found at Kelly’s Package Store.
Special Package Deal! “Buy and Try”
The Top 5 Wines for ONLY $75!
That’s 20% OFF the retail price!