Embracing Value in the Southern Hemisphere

Embracing the Value of the Southern Hemisphere

While we continue to fight alongside our winemakers each and every day to reshape public perception of the Southern Hemisphere and afford them proper recognition for the terroir-driven wines they produce, the current health crisis we’re enduring here in New York City and around the world has us simply appreciative of the incredible values we have in our portfolio.

You’ll certainly experience a sense of place when drinking these wines, but in uncertain times, we could always use a few more dollars in our bank accounts. Whether you’re fascinated by minimal-intervention winemaking, insistent on organic farming, or interested in supporting female winemakers, there’s plenty to love here – all under $20 on your local retail shelf!

Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc ‘Marlborough’ 2019

In the increasingly commercial landscape of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it’s become very difficult to find wineries that remain family-owned or that own their vineyards, but Mount Riley offers both. Now in its second generation, owner John Buchanan’s son-in-law Matt Murphy is the head winemaker and his daughter Amy manages the business.

This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from 80% estate vineyards and manages to fully embrace that classic Marlborough character of tropical fruit and grassiness while maintaining subtlety. We think it’s the perfect complement to the warming weather!


 

Roto Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Maule Valley’ 2019

Winemaker David Marcel arrived to Chile fresh off the boat from France after graduating with his wine degree from Montplelier. After falling in love with and marrying a Chileño, he eventually decided to make Chile his home.

David’s Vina Maitia project had focused solely on Pais and Carignan from some of Chile’s oldest heritage vines in the Maule Valley up until the addition of Roto Cabernet Sauvignon in 2018.

Like David himself, his wines are understated and this sustainably farmed Cabernet-blend is no exception, as it expertly balances its bright fruit with soft tannins to make it one of the most drinkable Cabernet Sauvignons at this price from any country.


 

Colonia Las Liebres Malbec 2018

Altos Las Hormigas has produced certified organic examples of Bonarda under its Colonia Las Liebres label for over a decade now, but Malbec is new endeavor for them here… luckily they have a little experience with the grape variety.

Wine Advocate’s Luis Gutierrez writes:

The first vintage of the 2018 Colonia Las Liebres Malbec was produced with fruit from the Altos Las Hormigas vineyard in Luján, with some 30% full cluster in the tanks during the fermentation and then matured in concrete. It’s also certified organic. It’s very elegant, floral and tasty. It’s an organic wine at the same price as the Clásico, and it’s really very good in 2018, a year that feels like classical Mendoza, with good ripeness and balance.

 

Happs Pinot Noir ‘Margaret River’ 2019

If you’re at all familiar with the Margaret River, Australia’s premier region for Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, value would not be the first adjective that comes to mind, but Erl and Ros Happs have focused on offering just that since they founded the winery in 1977.

The current cellar door used to serve as their ceramic studio and if you arrive on the right day, you might catch one of the septuagenarian pair skinny dipping in the pond out back.

This single vineyard Pinot Noir is sourced from a cooler site in a Southern corner of this legendary region and here they utilize both dry farming and organic vineyard management. This wine is designed to be drinkable early so there’s no guilt in opening it right when your delivery arrives.


 

Kloof Street Swartland Rouge 2017

The entry-level wine from an esteemed producer remains one of the best value propositions in the world of wine, like getting your hands on a bottle of Bourgogne Blanc from Francois Mikulski or Olivier LeFlaive, and the Kloof Street bottlings from Andrea and Chris Mullineux in the Swartland are no different.

Their Swartland Rouge is a blend of 90% Syrah, 4% Carignan, 2% Cinsault, 2% Grenache, 1% Tinta Barocca, and 1% Mourvedre, sourced from eight sustainably farmed vineyard parcels in the Swartland (12-40 years in age). They ferment the wine with native yeasts like the rest of their offerings, employ 25% whole cluster for fermentation, and then let it age for 11 months in 3rd and 4th fill French oak.

This isn’t to say that their higher end wines aren’t worthy of consideration, but you should look at this as wallet-friendly introduction to the region and to their style.


 

Prisma Rosé of Pinot Noir 2019

Chile’s Casablanca Valley has become one of the country’s most popular wine regions and with this popularity, it’s increasingly difficult to find the exceptional values that long defined it. Prisma winemaker Ricardo Baettig continues to defy this trend by offering inconceivably reasonable prices for the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc produced from his estate vineyards in the Lo Ovalle subregion.

Both the vineyards and his winery are certified sustainable, with the Pinot Noir coming from a single hillside vineyard. Strawberry fruit and high acid define this easy drinking rose that’s always a perennial favorite in our office and this vintage is no different!