July 11, 2008

June Wines We Love

June Wines We Love!!!

Whites

Pichon Viognier 2007 (France) $13.99 - Viognier has rocketed to popularity in recent years. This version from Southwest France manages to combine the aromatic apricot and honeysuckle qualities typical of the grape with a bright, fresh acidity and finish. Fermented in stainless steel with temperature control (keeping the temmps cooler) to preserve the fruit inherent to the grape. Food pairing - just drinking on a warm day! Poultry, seafood, grilled chicken, grilled pork, tuna, salmon, etc. Lighter pasta dishes. Veggie pasta dishes.

Star Lane Sauvignon Blanc Santa Ynez 2006 (CA) $22.99 - This is one of the wines we are "jacked" about! Brand-new to Maine! crisp, bold.....bigger Sauv Blanc....The Star Lane Ranch in eastern Santa Barbara is a great mountaintop vineyard with lots of exposure to sun light. The wine maker, Nick de Lucca worked at Highfield in New Zealand and has a lot of experience with Sauvignon Blanc. This is a very balanced version. He works hard to keep the wine from being too aggressive. And it results in a more complex food friendly wine. The winery is completely gravity fed - this means the grapes are handled more gently - resulting in brighter, better flavors. They use yeasts that bring forth aromas and flavors reminiscent of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume. A small portion of this wine sees time in neutral oak barrels (most ferments and ages in stainless steel vats). Aromas and flavors of flowers. gooseberries, citrus (orange, lemon and grapefruit). The barrel aging adds a richer, softer mouthfeel to the wine. Food pairing - seafood, lobster, poultry. Oysters, mussels.

Rose

La Ferme St. Pierre Rose 2007 (France) - $13.99 - Hooray! It's arrived! Again! For the last 4 summers, this has been our FAVORITE rose in this price range! We LOVE THIS! Ned received about 10-12 cases a month ago or so.....those are gone. He's received another 40 cases this year. 2 summers ago, he received 130-150 cases of this (so, we were able to get it all summer long). Last summer, Ned received about 50-60 cases. They were all gone by mid-July or so. He has less this year and demand for French roses keeps going up! This will be gone SOON! This rose from the Southern Rhone is made in very small quantities and is only available for a limited time in the summer. 50/50 Grenache and Syrah. Made from the exact same crush as they make their Cotes du Ventoux Rouge - this just sees a lot less skin contact (color for red wines is in the skin)! It's made from Grenache and Syrah in a very fresh grapefruit/watermelon kind of way. Dry, crisp and fruity (yes....a wine can be dry and fruity!). Food pairing - It's a great versatile wine that is a sublime match with roast chicken, chicken salad, and potato salad....anything poultry and/or grilled lighter meats - salmon, pork, chicken, tuna....stuffed mushrooms will work!

Reds

Erste & Neue Kalterer See Schiava Auslese D.O.C. "Leuchtenberg" 2006 (Italy) $19.99 - This is a UNIQUE lighter red wine from the Lake Kalterer (Kalterer See - think Zurich See) region up in the far north of Italy (the Sudtirol - we are in Southern Austria in terms of "Germanic" culture and influences). This is made from the Schiava grape and is kind of reminiscient of a Cabernet Franc. It has floral cherry fruit and a hint of black pepper and spice. The best Schiava grapes come from the Kalterer region. Food pairing - awesome with prosciutto and other cured meats. Smoked salmon. Drink this young. You're okay for the next 12-24 months, but they don't make this wine to age. Only three cases have ever, EVER entered Maine! What's left is here tonight! If Ned and I are good for only one thing.....together....we'll show you some unique wines!

Jelu Syrah 2005 (Argentina) $12.99 - GREAT VALUE and just awfully good at the price! Jelu is located in the dry, sun drenched Zonda valley of Argentina. The lack of rain, but abundance of meltwater from the mountains makes for a near perfect climate for growing wine grapes. This is a full bodied chewy wine packing a lot of dense berry fruit. Mouthfilling with a smooth easy drinking texture. A little pepper and spice in the nose.....lots of red and dark berry aromas. Excellent red and dark berry flavors.....plus a subtle hint of pepper, earth and minerals. Moderate, softer tannins in the middle and on the finish. Long, pleasing finish. Well-balanced. Aged 9 months in oak. Food pairing - Drinks well with rich grilled meats, aged cheeses such as Grana Padano, Parmesan or Piave Vecchio. Now, here's where Ned and I disagree.....he says, "This is great for Barbecued pork..." Well, I'm from North Carolina. It's barbecue.....now, you can abbreviate it to 'que or 'cue......regardless, it is ALWAYS pork. 'Cue is PORK. One doesn't barbecue.....one doesn't have friends over for a barbecue......'cue is the pork......you grill....you roast.....you fry.....you don't barbecue.....it's NOT a verb! Beef is not 'cue. Pork is 'cue! It's simple!

Domaine de L'Harmas Cotes du Rhone 2004 (France) $16.99 - Think of this as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Domaine de L'Harmas is located in CNP and this is their second wine to their CNP. The wine is made in the same fashion as their CNP from old vine Grenache with a bit of Syrah and Mourvedre added to the blend. Aged in oak barrels for about a year....a little longer. It is a very concentrated dense red wine that is stuffed to bursting with dried cherry and raspberry fruit interwoven with white pepper. A little bit of smokiness to this wine. Give this a little more age and it will wow you even more! This benefits from decanting. Food pairing - Good with steak and other grilled meat, roast pork and lamb, other hearty meals.

Three Saints Syrah Santa Ynez 2005 (CA) $19.99 - big and bold....really good! Brand-new to Maine! This is one of the wines we are "jacked" about! Three Saints is the second label of the Star Lane Winery out in Santa Barbara. The grapes and wine receive all the same care and winemaking as their top of the line Syrah and the decision about which label to bottle it under isn't made until the wine is done. I am very impressed by the price of this wine. It has all the concentration and blueberry, pepper and refinement of much higher end Santa Barbara Syrah but for half the price. This is a steal. Only 3 cases into are in Maine and that is all we will see!

Tenuta di Trinoro Le Cupole 2005 (Italy) $36.99 - Super Tuscan. BAD, BAD wine.....we're talking "Bad, Bad LeRoy Brown" Bad! Wonderful wine! Andrea Franchetti tried all kinds of other professions before settling on winemaking, but when you're fabulously wealthy, you can afford a mistake or a dozen. He bought land in the middle of nowhere on the border with Umbria down in Southern Tuscany and started planting Bordeaux grapes. Not just any Bordeaux gapes....Cabernet Franc, mostly. That's going out on a limb right there! He patterned this wine on a St. Emilion Bordeaux and it really shows through that you are drinking a very well-made, polished Cab. Franc blended with Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon. But it still has a hot, rich earthiness that is undeniably Tuscany. Franchetti is rightly regarded as one of the top five producers of Bordeaux blends in Tuscany. This is GROUNDZERO for Super Tuscans.....while we're at it....ask Ned and I about what's up with Brunello (big rumors - well, not really rumors, that some winemakers have been playing fast-and-loose with the grapes that are allowed!)......Given the prices of Super Tuscans....we're not sure why they played so loose and free with such a great brand as Brunello, but they did....a Super Tuscan is basically a red made from non-traditional grapes or methods.

Dessert

Samos Muscat "Vin Doux" 2004 (Greece) $21.99 - Samos is a tiny volcanic Isle off the coast of Greece in the Aegean Sea. The grapes are grown on mountain slopes that give the grapes more sunshine and better drainage. The influences of the ocean keep the vineyards from getting too warm (this is CRITICAL). A classic old world Muscat! This is a beautiful lighter dessert wine that is loaded with apricot and honeysuckle aromas and flavors.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

We lived in Bavaria from 1970-73. Kalterer See light red (rose) was plentiful there then, and quite inexpensive, $4.00 a bottle. It quickly became our favorite table wine. It is too bad that not enough is produced to export it out of its local area. I envy you those three cases.

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