Seeing red 

This year’s crop includes both affordable and moderately expensive bottles.

Canard Vineyard has sold its Napa Valley fruit to the Ravenswood and Mondavi vineyards for nearly two decades. The Zinfandel comes from vines more than 100 years old. The acres of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc were planted in the 1980s.

Canard (French for “duck”) used to be a private label shared only with friends and family. Beginning in 2006, however, the Czapleski family sold its wines to a wider market, now including Oklahoma City.

Stan Stack, owner of Beau’s Wine Bin & Spirit Shoppe, 2810 W. Country Club Drive, was one of the first local sellers to appreciate the excellent quality.

“These wines are fabulous,” Stack said. “There are already too many $50 reds on shelves in Oklahoma City. I could fill a store with them, but this one is different.”

Stack said the Canard Cabernet is ready to drink now, but will keep for another five years if cellared. The flavor profile is classic Napa: red and black currant, tobacco, spice and cloves. He also carries the Canard Zinfandel, a rich, fruit-forward wine.

From halfway around the world and way down the price spectrum comes Tellus Marche Rosso. The Marche, a hilly region on Italy’s central Adriatic coast, was one of the last refuges of the Etruscans fleeing Rome’s conquest of the Italian peninsula.

The Tellus is a blend of Montepulciano, Cabernet and Merlot with modern style, featuring smooth tannins and tons of dark fruit. At around $15, it’s an excellent value. It’s an easy-to-drink red, perfect for fall, and available by the glass at The Mantel, 201 E. Sheridan.

For the adventurous, wines from the French island of Corsica are popping up in the metro. Don’t let the odd names and unknown varietals put you off; these are high-quality, affordable wines that deliver on taste.

Ian Bennett, sommelier at Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson, has added two Corsican reds to his list: Domaine Maestracci E Prove Rouge and Abatucci Vin de France.

The Abatucci is 100 percent Sciacarello (“shock-a-rello”), an astounding and unique wine for about $20. The Prove is a blend of Coriscan varietals, including Grenache and Syrah. The quality of both is hard to overstate.

Fortunately, Bennett is pouring them by the glass, so you can try before you buy.

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Greg Horton

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