: 2008 MARQUES DE GRINON 'CALIZA' DOMINIO DE VALDEPUSA
2010 CA'STELLA PINOT GRIGIO FRIULI
Picking out an Italian Pinot Grigio these days
can be a bit of an unrewarding chore sometimes. It's a bit cliche,
but a good one really IS a beautiful thing to have, especially
at this time of year. But there are just SO MANY brands out there,
and the majority of them serve up a great big glass of 'Yawn!'
To avoid generic wines we recommend looking for brands that carry
a more distinct DOC than the generic and all encompassing Veneto,
like this one from the hilly Italy/Slovenia border region of Friuli.
You stand a much better chance of getting something from a smaller
producer working more distinctive vineyards and getting much more
for your money. Beautiful white flower and soft fruit aromas on
both the nose and palate are kept awake by bright fresh acidity
that gives each sip a mountain spring sort of refreshing character.
A perfect wine to have on hand as the temperature and humidity
Regular price $11.99, $10.19/case
2011 MAS DE CADENET COTES DE PROVENCE ROSE 'SAINTE VICTOIRE'
Rose can be so versatile, we use it as both a white wine AND a
red wine option in our Select Six's! Among the great Rose regions
in Southern France, Provence is among the most storied and serious.
The region provides oceans of salmon colored wines that get consumed
by millions of visitors to the French Riviera, but can also produce
intensive and high quality ones that go against the expected grain
and can actually cellar fairly decently. The main distinction
is their extensive use of Cinsault in the blend, which provides
a much firmer acidity and earthy edge to the wines as well as
the pale color. When compared to a more Grenache based rose like
the ones from Tavel in the Rhone, the nose here much more savory,
full of dry rose petals, lavender and rosemarry and seems very
delicate at first. In the mouth the body is full with the penetrating
acidity of a red wine and has a long sturdy finish. This will
easily hold up to lunch meats and can even stand up to a summertime
rack of lamb.
Regular price $17.99, $15.29/case
2010 VEGA TOLOSA '11 PINOS' OLD VINE BOBAL
Most Spanish wine drinkers are familiar with the hearty, full
throttle red wines emerging from the Mediter-ranean region of
Levant, most famously those from Jumilla, Yecla and Valencia.
This wine hails from Manchuela, which is a transitional climate
zone from these coastal regions to the high central plains of
the Meseta and New Castile, but also a transition for wine grapes.
The native grape Bobal dominates here, which has a heartiness
and durability similar to Monastrell or Garnacha and is more than
capable of surviving the blistering hot conditions here. Older
vines are important here as they can handle the stress and still
ripen the grapes efficiently, and this bottling comes from a vineyard
with an average vine age of 80 years, and it delivers a lot of
flavor for the money. Deep and fleshy with plummy red and black
fruit with background notes of cassis, spice and leather on the
nose and palate. The tannins for Bobal can be a bit chewy or coarse
for some people, but there is lots of juicy texture here to help
swallow them up some. A big wine but not a fruit bomb that works
great with hearty dishes and slow cooked meats.
Regular price $12.99, $11.04/case
2010 BARBI ORVIETTO CLASSICO ABBOCCATO
The white wines from the ancient city of Orvietto in southwestern
Umbria are almost as well known in history as those from Vernaccia
in Tuscany. The region went through a period of relative stagnation
since the '50s and '60s as more producers went for quantity over
quality and devoted more of the blend in the wines to the high
volume producing Trebbiano grape versus more distinctive and unique
local grapes. In recent years better artisan producers have emerged
and both the quality and reputation of the region have improved
greatly. This one in particular is unique as it is made in the
'Abboccato' style, or with a slight touch of sweetness. Don't
thing sweet as in a Moscato d'Asti, however. This is more like
biting into a fresh peach or pear, where the sweetness isn't concentrated.
There are still notes of citrus and minerality through the finish,
keeping the sweetness very well disguised and a match for light
seafood as well as a fruit plate for a summertime picnic.
Regular price $11.99, $10.19/case
2011 CHATEAU LESTRILLE ENTRE-DEUX-MERS BLANC
Knowing the blend of grapes used can be the most
important factor when picking a White Bordeaux. A high percentage
of Sauvignon Blanc will make the wine crisper, lighter, and grassier,
whereas more Semillon will make the wine richer, creamier and
more honeyed. The third 'wild card' variety is Muscadelle, which
is not used nearly as often as the other two, but provides a distinctly
perfumed and floral wine with even the slightest appearance. This
tank aged beauty is primarily Sauvignon Blanc and shows loads
of fresh cut grass and green apple aromas from the first pour,
but picks up notes of pear and honeysuckle from the Muscadelle
as it opens up. There is a juicy texture on the palate as well
showing more white fruits than the grassy sharpness, but never
shows any sweeter sides as well, maintaining itself as a perfect
match with lighter seafoods.
Regular price $16.99, $14.44/case
2010 PARIDE IARETTI UVENERE
Most wine fans know of the great Nebbiolo based wines from Barolo
and Barbaresco in the Piedmont. Further to the North in Novara
and the Vercelli Hills west of Milan they are making fantastic
Nebbiolos as well, but toil in greater obscurity. With the exceptions
of the top wines from the Gattinata and Ghemme, many people aren't
even aware wine is even made up there. Not only is this charming
little wine a great introduction to the style of the region, it's
a ridiculous value no matter where it's from. Primarily Nebbiolo
with equal portions of local varieties Bonarda, Vespalina, and
Croatina, this has a softness and approachability like a good
Beaujolais Villages, but with more earth and black fruit fragrance
and hints of leather. There are hints of Nebbiolo's penetrating
acidity and fine tannins, but the other grapes soften the palate
and bring out delicate lilac and purple flower subtleties. An
outstanding everyday wine for those that favor finesse over power.
Regular price $14.99, $12.749/case