Recycle Bin, Week of Feb 17

It's a total hodgepodge of bottles this week, including an old, old port, a new, fresh malbec/syrah, and a few other odd birds that I picked up on closeout sale.  Cheers!

2018 Domaine Bousquet Gaia Red Blend Uco Valley $20
Yowza! Dark and inky in the glass, which is no surprise given the malbec/syrah dominance of this blend, but the aromatic vibrancy is unexpected. That energy carries through to the palate where soaring, fragrant notes sit atop a balanced body framed by crunchy acidity. A big wine that manages to dance with agility.  Wow. Really pretty and easygoing. SRP is $20, but you may well find it closer to $15 in your market, which makes it a good value to boot. 

2017 Domaine de Verquière Rasteau $17
This 70/30 grenache/syrah is  a classic Rhone red showcasing its beautifully-perfumed grenache in a style that's midway between classic and modern.  Versatile and lovely without being boastful.  Well made and tough to put down.

2017 Conceito Branco 'Contraste' Douro $14
Portugal is home to some of the world's most sensational white wine values.  It's such a terrific source that one need only throw a dart (at any price point) to find a winner.  This one, however, is a bit weird.  Minerals, flint, wet rocks, and a funky fruit element make for a wine that is unlikely to be a crowd-pleaser, but one that wine geeks will spend a lot of time analyzing.

1985 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port $?
At 35 years old, the youthfulness and grace of this wine are difficult to fathom.  It's also hard to imagine that it doesn't still have decades of good life ahead of it.  After filtering out the considerable sediment, the fruit sits poised in elegant balance with a refined structure and subdued vigor.  One more thing that's hard to wrap your mind around: you can still find bottles of this stuff out there for under $100.  Insane.
2016 Montresor Valpolicella Ripasso 'Capitel della Crosara' $17
A lot of ripassos attempt to achieve Amarone-like intensity, often missing the mark and ending up flabby and/or over-heated.  Not this one.  It's a terrific representation of a Valpolicella that leans towards savory while still expressing characterisitc, shining fruit.  All this is cloaked in lovely acidity.

2017 Bodegas Norton Malbec Reserva $13
Really nice malbec without the rough edges or sloppy winemaking that plagues so many these days.  Picked it up on sale and enjoyed with burgers - which is exactly what this wine needs.

2016 Hess Select Red Blend 'Treo' California $11
Another wine I picked up on a closeout sale.  Simple California red blend that's appealing for its simplicity, price tag, and lack of overblown extraaction/alcohol.  (Suggested retail is $19, which I would not have paid.)

2013 Nipozzano Chianti Ruffina Riserva $15
At close to six years old, this is a great lesson in both the longevity of Chianti and the value of looking beyond the Classico zone.  A terrific value that offers everything you'd want in a Chianti: food-friendly acids, moderate body, and a seamless texture.