Ronco delle Betulle  Ribolla Gialla, Friuli, Italy 2020

The Winery – As early as 1068 the Augustinian monks first, and later the Benedictines and Dominicans, understood the generous essence of the hills surrounding the Abbey and introduced the cultivation of vines and olives.  In 1967 Giovanbattista Adami bought a small farm in Rosazzo; with passion for the land and respect for tradition he laid the foundations of today’s Ronco delle Betulle.

Winemaking – Ronco Delle Betulle Friuli Colli Orientali Ribolla Gialla is a wine aged 5-6 months 90% in steel and 10% in oak barrels for a few months in bottles. Great pairing with fish – think sushi, aperitif, vegetable based soups, roasted chicken and most cream type cheese.

The Grape and Taste – Ribolla is a white wine grape variety that is widely planted in the northeastern Italian province of Friuli. It can be found in neighboring Slovenia, where it is known as Rebula.

The wines are often characterized by their firm acidity, peach, citrus and apple notes, and a faint floral aromatic profile.  Kevin – This has been one my favorite white wines of 2022.  The color is exciting with its long skin contact and the flavor complexity unfounded in most white wines – it’s just so darn cool.  Personally, Sharon and I have shared 5 bottles of this wine, we love it.  Cooper’s Price $17.99 Mix & Match 3 btls $16.19/btl

Fogscape Pinot Noir 2019 Arroyo Secco, CA

The 2019 vintage is of excellent quality. Cool weather in August through September extended the growing season, with most Pinot Noir blocks picked later than usual, with grapes reaching full maturity while retaining crispness.

Winemaking – Field destemmed, 4 days cold-soaked, 7-10 days open top fermentation with Free-run juice from individual vineyard blocks, fermented in separate lot.  Its then aged for ten months in new & seasoned French oak barrels, racked once prior to bottling.

Winery Tasting Notes – Aromatics are; Floral, crushed red cherries, ripe cranberry, blackberries while the texture is Medium-bodied, silky, and complex. The finish is long and extended, with licorice, dried flowers, and lingering blackberry notes.

Kevin’s Notes – I spent over 3 months looking for the best Pinot Noir at $17.99.  I am extremely critical when it comes to Pinot at this price as the quality can REALLY vary, but NOT here.  Cooper’s Price $17.99 Mix & Match 3 btls $16.19/btl

Riporta Nero d’Avola, Sicily

Winemaker’s Notes – “This is a rich and complex Nero d’Avola from the area around Sambuca, a town in the south of Sicily. A wine with a strong personality and an intense and harmonic character. After maceration and fermentation, the wine is aged in French and American oak barrels for at least six months. It is rich, full of black cherries, plums and redcurrants, all accompanied by elegant spice and some delicate oak flavours.”

The Grape – Nero d’Avola is the most important and widely planted red wine grape variety in Sicily. The dark-skinned grape is of great historical importance to Sicily and takes its present-day name from the town of Avola on the island’s southeast coast. The area was a hotbed of trade and population movement during the Middle Ages and Nero d’Avola was frequently used to add color and body to lesser wines in mainland Italy.  Kevin – Great wine for the money – no-brainer!  Cooper’s Price $12.99 Mix & Match 3 btls $11.69/btl

Muga Reserva Rioja, Spain 2018

The Wine and Winemaking – The grapes are Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinta, Mazuelo and Graciano

They are harvested by hand and fermentation is done with indigenous yeast in wooden vats. Aged for 24 months in oak casks.  The wood is sourced in a proportion of 80% French oak and 20% oak from America. Before bottling the wine is fined using fresh egg whites. It is then left to refine in our bottle cellar for a minimum of 12 months before release for sale.

Winery Tasting Notes

The wine has a bright ruby-red colour with medium depth and a garnet rim. Intense and complex on the nose, where you can find primary fruit aromas of raspberry and blackberry, secondary aromas of vanilla and liquorice and a subtle hint of tertiary aromas such as chocolate and ripe fruit.
Very well-balanced on the palate, with good acidity and soft tannins. The finish is long and fruity. Perfect for enjoying now, but also thanks to its great balance and structure, a wine you can lay down for a number of years.

Kevin’s Notes – Although I never sold this wine as a wholesaler, I have been drinking it for over 30 years.  It has been and continues to be, one of my favorite Spanish reds!  Cooper’s Price $36.99 Mix & Match 3 btls $33.29/btl