Grape-growing regions around the world are renowned for one or two varietals: grapes that grow better in that region, and the wines made from those grapes, that are better than those made anywhere else in the world. Consider taking a trip around the world, one fine wine at a time, with these regional gems.
From Argentina, the Malbecs are rich and full-bodied, with a lovely deep purple color and blackberry and cherry notes. This Bodega Budeguer Malbec, called Cuatro Mil, is a 2010 vintage.
The Pinot Noir grape grows in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Chile, both coastal regions with unique terroir, one in the upper hemisphere and one in the lower. Compare these excellent regional wines: The Veramonte Ritual Pinot is grown in the Colchagua Valley.
The Eola-Amity Hills Pinot from the Willamette Valley in Oregon comes from a vineyard renowned for their soil and the meticulous biodynamic care of their grapes. This is a truly exceptional pinot.
Germany is making some subtle and balanced Rieslings, a white with a great deal of terroir if made with skill. The Dr. Von Bassermann-Jordan Riesling is a dry riesling with excellent acidity and balance, and apple and pear nuances.
Italy makes a number of world-class regional reds, including this Barolo from Alessandro Veglio. This wine can be cellared or enjoyed now; this vintage is from one of the most interesting young winemakers in Italy.
New Zealand grows Sauvignon Blanc, and Mount Beautiful's 2011 vintage is a complex, full-bodied, and dry white with surprising balance for so much complexity.
France is a complicated region because of the wealth and riches of the wines they produce. Consider an unusual choice, a classic French champagne, such as Billecart-Salmon's Brut Reserve. This wine is a lovely champagne with rich pear and cut hay flavors.
The Benziger Tribute Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderfully California wine, showing the best of the terroir of the rich volcanic soil on Sonoma Mountain. This wine is complex and subtle, with fruit and herb notes, made at the vineyard by hand with grapes grown using biodynamic farming. Very little wine is made in the modern world with this degree of attention and human touch.