Wine Tariffs Loom

Saint-Roch Chimeres
This $12 wine could be $24 in the coming months

Will there be a new tariff on wines?

A wine tariff is not good news for readers of GoodCheapVino. A new tariff is looming for wines that are imported from the E.U. Last October, a tariff of 25% was implemented on wines from France, Germany, and Spain. Now we face another tariff, up to an additional 100% on imported wines from Europe. At issue is the Trump Administration’s response to a dispute because of two factors. One is an E.U. subsidy to Airbus and the other is a disagreement about digital revenue taxes in France.

If this does go into effect, it means you will pay more, perhaps as much as twice more, for your favorite French wines and those from other E.U. countries. Almost the entire American wine industry is in opposition to this tariff. Go to these links to get additional information on the wine tariff situation. Find out what you can do as a consumer.

Wines we like now

Steven Kent Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Excellent Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore

The Steven Kent Winery is in Livermore wine country and well known for its lineup of Cabernet Sauvignon wines. One you will not find for sale at the winery is the Steven Kent Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. The wine is a Costco special. Only 500 cases were made, and all are in Costco Stores. I purchased a few bottles at the Foster City Costco Store for $16.99 each.

Costco has its Kirkland Signature wines, but is also making negotiated deals with various wineries. It seems like a Win-Win for both Costco and the winery.

This Cab is medium bodied and elegant on the palate. There is a lot of dark fruit to enjoy. Match the wine with red meat off the grill. At $17, it is a terrific buy. I rate it 89 Points. Try a Napa Cab like this, and you will be paying around $40.

Note from Steven Kent on the Barrel Select Cab

I called the Steven Kent Winery and received this note from Steven Kent.

The 2016 vintage is a blend of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made from the Home Ranch, Ghielmetti Vineyard, and Lencioni Vineyard – all located in the Livermore Valley, and all of which are made into wines for our Single Vineyard Series of Cabs for Steven Kent.

This proprietary blend – about 450 cases were made in this vintage – is the second vintage of this tier of wine made exclusively for our wholesale store partners and will not be available in our tasting rooms. 

Zolo Cabernet Franc 2017

Watch for this wine! It is delicious

Bodegas Tapiz is a favorite Argentine winery of ours. They make wines under the label Tapiz and Zolo. We have reviewed many wines in the past from this Argentine producer of excellent and value-priced wines.

The Zolo Cabernet Franc 2017 is a new endeavor. The Zolo Cab Franc is winemaker Jean Claude Berrouet’s attempt to make a fantastic Cab Franc from high-altitude vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo of Mendoza, Argentina. You may not know who Jean Claude Berrouet is, but he is one of France’s most notable winemakers. He was the winemaker at Petrus. Now he is the winemaker, along with Fabian Valenzuela, at Tapiz.

I was sent a sample of the Zolo Cabernet Franc 2017 and tasted the wine with two of my fellow Vintage Wine Tasters. The wine has deep, dark fruit. It is smooth, but flavorful, with plenty of “oomph.” The taste is quite different from a Cab Sauvignon, more floral and herbal. The price of $19 is fantastic for this complex wine. Great with red meat, mushrooms, and even a hearty minestrone. It is an excellent Cabernet Franc, 90 Points.

The wine is so new that the Zolo is just now making its way to wine shops. I’m not sure where the Zolo wine will be sold in our area. I do know that BevMo and Total Wines, and sometimes K&L Wines, carry Tapiz and Zolo wines.

Principi di Butera Nero d’Avola 2014

Nero d’Avola is “the” grape of Sicily. Have you tried this historic Sicilian grape variety? Like the Zolo above, the Principi di Butera Nero d’Avola 2014 was sent to me as a sample. It also is not available as yet in our local stores. The wine will sell for $16. This is another excellent wine buy. The Principi di Butera is marked by a wonderful dark red cherry characteristic. It is a medium-bodied wine and a nice food-friendly wine. If you love Italian foods, especially pasta and pizza, try this wine or any other Nero d’Avola you can find. A Nero d’Avola can be found in all wine shops. Put a few in your wine cellar or collection.

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