Tangley Oaks Wines

home11I have been a fan of Anthony Terlato and his company, Terlato Wines International (TWI), for my entire wine career.  I have respected him as a member of the Italian American community, a wine enthusiast, his business savvy, and am currently reading his memoir entitled "Taste".  It is also great to see one of Chicago's own on the international wine scene.  I recently contacted TWI, hoping for an interview with Mr. Terlato, and I was informed he is staying at his estate in Napa Valley, but will be available in the spring (stay tuned for the interview!).  In the meantime, they wanted the Windy City Wine Guy to review their Tangley Oaks wines.The Tangley Oaks wines were created to give wine newcomers a "luxury" line of wines from select vineyards in Napa Valley and Santa Barbara County at an affordable price ($15-20).  They are name after Mr. Terlato's Tangley Oaks Estate  in Lake Bluff, IL., and meant to offer value and reflect the terroir of their respective regions.  TWI offers three different varietals, and here is how they rate:

  • 2005 Tangley Oaks Chardonnay Lot #3.  A light golden color gives way to smells of honey cream and golden apple.  Flavors of ripe pears and apples, slightly charred oak, cinnamon and vanilla spices.  A full body and a medium length.  This is a very nice chardonnay for the price, without all the typical California oak.  88 pts. WG

  • 2005 Tangley Oaks Merlot Lot #7.  Very light ruby color with a very cherry bouquet: cherrywood, cherry pie, cherry cough syrup, cherries!  The tannins are very light, making an extremely easy drinking wine.  The texture is smooth with a flavor profile consistent with the bouquet, but with a touch of cocoa.  I like a bit more from my Merlots, and the length was lacking.  82 pts. WG

  • 2005 Tangley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon Lot #9.  The color was a bit more intense on this red, with purple on the meniscus.  Smells of sugar plums, cedar, and potpourri were clearly evident.  Medium tannic grip on the gums gave way to juicy plum and cherry flesh, along with some tobacco on its medium finish.  Another easy drinking wine, but with a bit more structure and body.  85 pts. WG

These wines offer some definite value, as it can be hard to find vineyard specific Napa Valley reds in this price range.  The chardonnay was my favorite, and can see myself having it with some lemon marinated grilled bass.  Overall, a pleasing experience.  A hint from the WCWG in regard to Terlato wines: you have to try Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz- Viognier.  The winery itself is a joint effort by the Chapoutier (of French Rhône fame) and Terlato families in Australia.  The grapes for the Shiraz (95%) Viognier (5%) come from central Victoria, and the wine exhibits excellent dark fruit flavor, spice, and body to go with its rich, dark color.  It retails for around $19, making it a great buy.  

Try one of these wines, or some of the many in TWIs portfolio- over 13% of all wines priced over $14 in the US are marketed by Terlato!