Tim Vandergrift's Ten Favorite Wines
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Selection Limited Edition
Once per year, this series feature limited edition all-star selections at unparalleled value. Each season spotlights three reds—one with grapeskins—and two whites from the best growing regions and vineyards around the world. An excellent way to launch a rounded cellar, these premium kits offer quality far above their price. Look for new selections coming this fall!
World Vineyard California Moscato
Low in alcohol, but deep in flavour, this is my go-to sipping wine. Just off-dry, with luscious grapey-grape aroma it drinks beautifully--and quickly!
Vintner’s Reserve Diablo Rojo
This is my secret weapon for people who ‘don’t like wine’. Richly fruity, dark purple, jammy and creamy with vanilla and toast, it never fails to win over skeptics, and despite drinking fabulously right at bottling day, it ages very well.
World Vineyard Italian Pinot Grigio
Zesty, crisp and showing floral notes along with apples and pears this is an excellent food wine and a great alternative to Chardonnay, and great with seafood.
Selection Italian Amarone with Grape Skins
Amarone is one of the biggest and most intense red wines, a blockbuster of cherry, dry chocolate, prune plums, almond, dried fruit, and spice, blown up by powerful richness and knitted together by amazing tannins. I have friends who drink it extremely young (under three months!) but when they try my two and three year old bottles they’re convinced it’s a different wine, it develops so much elegant length.
Selection California Viognier
My overriding thought when I tried the very first glass of this wine was, ‘fruit salad in a glass!’. The bursting aromas of stone fruit, honeysuckle, apple blossoms, jasmine, mangos and many more exotic fruits trick you into thinking the wine must be sweet, but it’s dry, with a long, rich finish, perfect for a wide variety of food.
Eclipse Napa Valley Stag’s Leap Merlot with Grape Skins
Stag’s Leap produces some of the best grapes in the world, and this grape skin kit is spectacular: red fruit, berries, dark red cherry, supple toasty-vanilla oak notes and a lush, mouth filling finish make it a wine worthy of densely flavoured, rich foods like duck, game, or soft cheeses. Tempting as it is to drink young, I find it changes twice, almost abruptly, becoming far more open and full-bodied around 9 months, and again at 15-18 months when it becomes velvety and lush.
Eclipse New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
I can smell this wine all day: fresh-cut hay, guava, currant leaves, and zesty-tangy fruit notes pepper the aroma, Firm acidity and a crisp finish make it immensely satisfying and a knock-out with shellfish, especially oysters and prawns.
Eclipse Lodi Ranch 11 Cabernet Sauvignon with Grape Skins
Lodi consistently produces ripe, dense fruit with ease other regions envy. Classic Cabernet notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, cedar and rich red fruit are bolstered by a firmly gripping hand of tannins, layered over vanilla, spice and excellent structure. Despite showing well young, this is also a brilliant long-haul wine. If you’re a griller, you’ll want this with steaks and roasted lamb, but it’s equally excellent with a great hamburger.
Eclipse Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir
Where the Amarone is a monstrous blockbuster of a wine, the Sonoma Pinot Noir is as elegant and sophisticated as a ballerina, and dances as well. Immediately silky in the mouth, it’s firm but supple tannins show off bright raspberry and red-cherry notes that slide alongside spice, a hint of truffle and herbs and a beguiling finish that manages to evade precise description even as it delights and lingers. The killer use for this wine is with high-cacao chocolate, the finer the better--you’ll make friends instantly with the combination.