What We're Drinking: Top 5 wines from our cellar (June)

The focus of this blog is for us to select the five best bottles of wine we opened from the previous month.

We buy, drink and collect a lot of wine each month, and we enjoy sharing our finds with you, our readers. We’re not all North Carolina wine like others out there, but we try to include a local wine or two in the mix each month as we sip and taste our way through our collection of wines.

June was a horrible month here at the Triangle Around Town household. But we still had time to grab some amazing wines from out of our cellar. From Italy to Michigan, we found some nice delights to share with you from the month of June.

If you have a recommendation, please be sure to let us know. Email us at trianglearoundtown@gmail.com. If you’d like for us to try your wine, please send a bottle to our office and we’ll add it to our rotation.

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GRAFFETTA 2015 HYSPA RED (TERRE SICILIANE)

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc – and each one of these grapes are pronounced in this brilliant wine. Aromas of underbrush and dark berries make this a great sipping wine, although very easygoing. Palate gives way to a lot of dried fruit and smooth tannins.

Average price: $14-$16

Location purchased: Falls Village Wine & Beer, Raleigh

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POGGIO BONELLI CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA

This was Dathan’s favorite for the month. If you love an earthy wine, then this is the one for you! Aromas of dark cherry, old leather, tobacco, earth and toss in a little iron – and this is your classic Old World-style red wine. A great vibrant finish, high in tannins with a lingering earthy and fruity finish. This is what we think of when we think of Italian reserve reds.

Average price: $34

Location purchased: Falls Village Wine & Beer (during a high-end wine tasting event)

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WILLIAMSBURG WINERY 2017 LIMITED RELEASE NORTON

You know the wine is good at this winery, when we’ve been wine club members for close to 5 years. Just about everything produced by winemaker Matthew Meyer is amazing. This is a full-bodied red wine that has notes of dark fruits and some hints of raspberry. We also got some spice, star anise and a good tannin on the inside of the cheeks. Nose has lilac and spice.

Average price: $36

Location Purchased: Wine club membership

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SANDHILL CRANE VINEYARDS 2016 CABERNET FRANC

This is a prime example of it doesn’t have to be the most expensive bottle on the list to be stellar. We were in Michigan this past month and stopped by our favorite wine shop, Michigan by the Bottle, for its “Call me a Cab” tasting. In a collection of 5 Cab Sauvs and Francs, this was our favorite. It has the typical spice a Cabernet Franc is known for but really mellows out after a couple of sips. Everything is well-balanced, from taste to finish. It beat out other wines in the $20 to $35 price range. A trip to the winery is in the works during our next visit up north.

Average price: $25 (very limited quantity at the bottle shop)

Location Purchased: Michigan by the Bottle, Shelby Township, Michigan

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MEDALONI CELLARS ARTIST SERIES

Medaloni Cellars collaboration with California winemaker Markus Niggli, this Carignan is a perfect wine to enjoy with a protein coming straight off the grill. We got dominant flavors of dried cranberries, spices and licorice with each sip. Body and tannins are sitting in the medium range, while acidity, alcohol and fruit are in the high to medium-high range. Now if you want to consider yourself a North Carolina wine purist, read the label here. Fruit and production of this wine was produced in California. But as we always say, who cares?!?! If it’s good wine, stop complaining about if it’s not made 100 percent in your state!

Average cost: $30

Location purchased: Medaloni Wine Club