5 to Try: Coly Den Haan’s Mexican Wine Recs
Long hovering on the periphery of the popular, Mexican wine is increasingly gaining the attention it deserves. “A new generation of Mexican wine is turning the heads of importers, sommeliers, wine store owners, and, most importantly, consumers,” writes Jennifer Fiedler in her feature for the March/April 2023 issue. One such wine shop owner is Coly Den Haan, who has long advocated for wines from Mexico and stocks a multitude of bottles in her Los Angeles shop, Vinovore. Here, Den Haan offers some recs for bottles that provide an introduction to the makers and flavors of Mexican wine.
Casta de Vinos Natura Garnacha
A 100-percent Garnacha from winemaker Claudia Horta Meza in Baja, Mexico, this one is as natural as it gets, made with native yeasts and malolactic fermentation in stainless steel. The result is unfiltered with no added sulfur. Den Haan loves its lush bouquet of aromas and flavors, from blueberry and licorice to dried herbs and cherry vanilla cola. $26, vinovore.com
El VINO Sauvignon Blanc
Female-founded wine brand el VINO, produced in the Valle de Guadalupe, launched in the summer of 2021. Their portfolio currently includes a Sauvignon Blanc, a Tempranillo, and a rosé. Den Haan goes for the Sauv Blanc, describing the citrusy, herbal wine as “fresh guava dripping down lush passion fruit lips getting lapped up by a lover’s Meyer lemon and tangerine tongue.” Oh my. $28 (rolling availability but worth the wait), elvino.shop
Santo Tomás ST Merlot
“Don’t listen to Sideways, Merlot is fricking awesome!” says Den Haan. She recommends this 100-percent Merlot by winemaker Cristina Pino from Santo Tomás, the oldest winery in the Baja region. “It’s naked and stripped down to bare and bright fruit and zippy minerals, with red peppercorns and tingly mint,” she says. $18.99, mexicanwine.us
Sierra Vita Rosé 9
This rosé from Sierra Vita is made from a blend of 75 percent Mission and 25 percent Grenache from 80-year-old vines in Baja. Winemaker Anna Sofia Vazquez crafts a wine “so juicy it will sizzle on a hot mineral road,” according to Den Haan, with notes of cherry and peach blowing on the valley winds. $23, vinovore.com
TRESOMM Touriga Nacional
Former Sommelier Taylor Grant partnered with longtime Baja winemakers Bodegas Magoni to produce the TreSomm line, made with organically farmed varietals like Grignoliño, Aligoté, and Touriga Nacional. Den Haan recommends the Touriga Nacional, describing the flavorful red as “salty sea spray splashing against boysenberries on ocean cliffs,” with a body that is “slick and oily like a wine Slip ‘N Slide.” $35, wallywine.com
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