Time for a quick look at some wines I’ve enjoyed in the last few days. Two of the three I found in Central Indiana. The other would be hard to find.
Ocaso 2008 Bonarda-Syrah – I picked this wine up on a whim because it was a 50-50 blend and it caught my eye in an Indianapolis 21st Amendment Liquor Store. 21st Amendment, for those outside Indianapolis, is one of those big mega stores with lots of wine, beer, and liquor. But they’re wine selection is quite good.

I have had various Argentian blends with one of my favorite, if not slightly obscure, grapes – Bonarda. I liked this one a lot. I was very much medium bodied with nice dark fruit. The Syrah provided big fruit while the Bonarda brought some nice soft and smoky round palate feel. It was an enjoyable and easy-to-drink wine.

Winemaker Patricio Gouguenheim makes an affordable wine that drinks well above it’s price. It’s hard to image a better glass of wine under $10. (Ocaso 2008 Bonarda Syrah, $9.98, Recommended.)

PasoPort 2010 Vinho Verde – I got this wine from a Paso Robles wine club so you’re unlikely to find it at your neighborhood shop or liquor store. The point in even reviewing it is to promote Albarino. Albarino is grown largely in Spain and Portugal but continues to make inroads in California.

This 100 percent PasoPort Albarino is a really nice representation of the grape. It’s bright and crisp without overpowering acidity. I found it to be a delightfully fresh glass of wine. The price point is $28 but you can find many Albarino wines between $10-$15. This would be great with seafood or sitting on the porch.

(PasoPort 2010 Vinho Verde, $28, Highly Recommended.)

Domaine de Noire 2009 Chinon – This is Cabernet Franc for you newcomers. Chinon is in France’s Loire Valley and produces marvelous white wines, primarily Chenin Blanc. Their primary red wine is Cab Franc. Franc is used often as a blending wine but can be a really nice glass of softer red wine with a hint of a spicy finish.

This one is a good one and I’ve seen it in several Central Indiana wine stores. It has rich fruit and a nice fall spicy flavor – much like cider or a pumpkin pie. You know, it has the kind of spice in mild flavors that fully complement the fruit.

Look for this grape from Michigan and some Indiana producers. It does well in the midwest.

(Domaine de Noire, $16, Recommended, Grapevine Cottage, Zionsville)

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