August 14, 2008

August Wines We Love

August Wines We Love

The wines:

The Sparkler:

  • Conde de Subirats Cava Rosé (Spain) $11.99 - this is a bright, fresh, crisp and delicious sparkler from Spain…….90% Trepat and 10% Pinot Noir……this wine is made from grapes grown in the heart of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, the HOME of Cava. They harvest the grapes early to preserve the fresh fruit aromas and flavors…..it’s fermented in stainless steel to help keep the wine bright and fresh…..aged in bottle for 18 months on lees before “disgorging” (this is where they dump the yeast sediment from each bottle and add the “dosage” that makes the wine bubbly!)…..Trepat is a grape grown mostly to make Cava….it produces a smooth rosé wine that has notes of strawberries, raspberries and red cherries…..and fresh bread!

White Wines

  • Conde de Subirats Cava Rosé (Spain) $11.99 - this is a bright, fresh, crisp and delicious sparkler from Spain…….90% Trepat and 10% Pinot Noir……this wine is made from grapes grown in the heart of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, the HOME of Cava. They harvest the grapes early to preserve the fresh fruit aromas and flavors…..it’s fermented in stainless steel to help keep the wine bright and fresh…..aged in bottle for 18 months on lees before “disgorging” (this is where they dump the yeast sediment from each bottle and add the “dosage” that makes the wine bubbly!)…..Trepat is a grape grown mostly to make Cava….it produces a smooth rosé wine that has notes of strawberries, raspberries and red cherries…..and fresh bread!
  • Nigl Kremser Freiheit Gruner Veltliner 2007 (Austria) $19.99 – One of the GREAT, GREAT values in the Michael Skurnik portfolio of wines…..the legendary Terry Theise heads up the German and Austrian and Alsatian selections…….this winery is sublime……AWESOME……this balances tartness, fruitiness and spice….one of Austria’s best……minerally driven…..green apples, spice, herbs, kiwi or sorrel (or wild strawberries)……beautiful wine that I just love! Plus, the first day I tasted this I played poker with Doug from SOPO and, I think, despite his “Good Luck” poker shirt….I won a fair amount of money from him AND drank his wine! Food pairing – A big plate of mussels, Thanksgiving Dinner….Lobster….a nice chair and friends and some time! David Schildknecht, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 89 points
  • Some Young Punks "Monsters, Monsters, ATTACK" Riesling 2008 (Australia) $22.99 – 3 cases – that would be THREE, THREE cases in Maine…..10 cases in the Northeast….and 56 cases in the USA…..I HAD 2 of them at the START of Friday…..I have less than one now….The newest wine from the brilliant winemakers at Adelina. You've tasted some of their other wines at our tastings - "Naked On Roller Skates," "Passion Has Red Lips," "Quickie," etc. 150 cases made. BRAND NEW to MAINE! This is an AWESOME wine……rich, loads of texture to it…..smooth…..lots of aromas…..it has a touch of sweetness….DELICIOUS! Wonderful wine!
  • Tomero Torrentes 2007 (Argentina) $12.99 – I’d never had this before Friday…..Doug from SOPO said, “We’re doing this…..it’s awesome!” Well, it is…..Rich, vibrant texture and feel when you are sipping it…..lush and smooth…..finishes with a nice crispness…..aromas and flavors of white flowers, roses, oranges, tropical fruit……this has a nice zippy acidity to it…..POPS in your mouth at the start and then finishes smooth and easy! Food pairing - seafood, poultry…..lobster…..shellfish….drinks well without food!
  • Vinum Cellars Chard-No-Way Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2006 (California) $11.99 - Delicious, dry Chenin Blanc! Aromas of pears, honey, vanilla beans and spices. Richly textured – velvety. Flavors of pineapple, limes, honey, stony minerals. Zesty acidity. Finishes bone dry. 100% Chenin Blanc. Single vineyard. Barrel aged for 9 months in older French oak. Only 6% undergoes malolactic fermentation. 7,000 cases. Food pairing – simply prepared seafood. Great with asparagus and artichokes. Wine Enthusiast, 87 points, “Best Buy”

Red Wines

  • Ramblin’ Red Cuvée One California $10.99 - We just love this & it was a huge hit at our July tasting! Aromas of mocha, red berries & cherries, cedar & dark chocolate. Flavors of cherries, minerals, hints of leather, strawberries, baking spices & anise. Soft tannins (enough to work with meat, but they don't dominate the flavors). Well-balanced acidity. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), Syrah (30%), with Zinfandel (22%) & touches of Merlot (2%) & Petite Verdot (1%). Fermented & aged in stainless steel & old & new French & American oak. Not "oaky" at all. Food pairing - grilled meats, stews, lamb, tomato-sauce pasta dishes, pizza & hard cheeses.
  • Von Schleinitz Pinot Noir 2006 (Germany) $19.99 - Yes! A German Pinot Noir! This is light, earthy with nice minerality and acidity. This is an AUSTERE wine and I mean that as a compliment! If you are looking for a big fruitbomb of a Pinot Noir, this is not for you! If you are looking for a more nuanced, layered wine with lots of subtleties......try this! Definitely a food wine. Food pairing – pork tenderloin, duck, dark meat chicken, grilled salmon….
  • Vistalba Corte C 2005 (Argentina) $13.99 - Red blend from South America. 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot. Aged in older oak barrels (20% in new French oak) for 12 months. Aromas of red berries and dried figs. I pick up notes of mint and eucalyptus in the aromas…..as this opens up in the glass you get loads of dark and red fruits……the tannins are soft and smooth……nice length on the finish…..Easy drinking! Food pairing – well…..when in Rome….this is an Argentine wine….steak, lamb, etc. Mushroom dishes, etc.

The Whites:

  • Poema Cava "Extra Dry" (Spain) $11.99
  • Stellina di Nolte Pinot Grigio 2006 (Italy) $11.99 - Wonderful Pinot Grigio that balances the fruit and minerality that can make this wine so good! Aromas of tropical fruit (pineapple, melon, kiwis) and minerals. Flavors of pineapple, minerals, melon & lime. Refreshing and smooth, with a crisp, silky, dry & long finish. Stellina di Nolte – “little night star.” This is a wonderful summertime white! Food pairing – lighter foods, grilled or roasted poultry or pork, white meat fish, shellfish, lobster, risotto dishes, many soups….drinks well on its own!
  • Cave de Turckheim Pinot Gris 2006 (Alsace, France) $17.99 - Dry (Trocken) Pinot Gris from a growers' co-op in Alsace. BRAND NEW to MAINE! This is an AWESOME wine! It’s dry, rich and has nice fruit. We tasted this about a year ago for the 1st time….we’ve been WAITING and WAITING until it arrived……so has Geoff….each week, Geoff and I go back and forth….”Cave de Turckheim Pinot Gris……nope……not yet……AAAARRRGGGH!” Well, it is here now! Aromas and flavors of peaches and apricots, minerals and just this nice richness! Food pairing – smoked fish, seafood, grilled fish, etc
  • Croney Estates "Three Ton" Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (New Zealand) $13.99 - “Three Ton” refers to the “green harvesting” this winery does early in the season – they cut off tons of grapes from all the vines to reduce the yield to “three tons” per acre…..this means the vines put more “effort” into fewer grapes……the result…..better grapes…..Classic New Zealand aromas of freshly mown grass, lime, pink grapefruit, gooseberries and minerals. Flavors of lemons, limes, kiwi, pineapple and pears. Nice acidity. Full-bodied style of a “Kiwi” Sauvignon Blanc. BRAND NEW to MAINE!

The Reds:

  • Croney Estates "Two Ton" Pinot Noir 2006 (New Zealand) $18.99 - – Contrary to popular opinion, the Baldy Vineyard (where most of these grapes are grown) is not named after Greg Crone’s balding pate! “Two Ton” refers to the “green harvesting” this winery does early in the season – they cut off tons of grapes from all the vines to reduce the yield to “two tons” per acre…..this means the vines put more “effort” into fewer grapes……the result…..better grapes…..hand-harvested grapes…..100% destemmed before crushing….aged in oak barrels (30% new)…..lightly fined before bottling…..Pale red in color…..aromas of black cherries, pepper and spice. Flavors of red berries (strawberries) and plums…..soft, smooth texture……soft tannins….nice acidity. Food pairing – duck, poultry, salmon. BRAND NEW to MAINE!
  • Legado Munoz Garnacha 2006 (Spain) $9.99 - Big and vibrant fruit in this wine! Loads of red and dark berry aromas (hey, it’s Grenache…..that is what it is supposed to do!)….subtle aromas and flavors of mint, herbs and raspberries…..this is medium-bodied…..shows some spice throughout……easy to drink! Food pairing – just sip this! Or pair it with grilled chicken, salmon or tuna!
  • Tommasi Viticoltori Romeo 2007 (Italy) $13.99 - Bright and fresh Italian! Dark, rich, smooth and easy to drink! Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Blend of 43% Corvina, 32% Rondinella and 25% Merlot. The first 2 grapes are used to make Valpolicella, Ripassos and Amarone. Merlot is an unusual blending grape for the Veneto......think of this as a "Super Venetian!" Food pairing – pasta, pizza, fresh veggies, etc.
  • Terra Andina Altos Malbec - Petite Verdot 2004 (Chile) $19.99 - Bordeaux-style blend from 2 of Bordeaux's more obscure grapes. Aromas of ripe fruits such as figs and plums, licorice, vanilla, toasted nuts and mocha. Soft, smooth tannins. Great velvet-like texture. Smooth and rich! BRAND NEW to MAINE! 100% destammed grapes. 70% Malbec/30% Petite Verdot. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged 12-14 months in French (70%) and American (30%) oak barrels. Food pairing - steak, lamb, beef or lamb stews, Filet Mignon.....rich, mature cheeses.
  • Bennett Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (CA) $28.99 - We love this! We just tasted it in July and it wowed us! Rich aromas of currants, cassis, plums, cedar, vanilla and spice. Flavors of dark berries, rosemary, ripe fruit, plums, toast and vanilla. Soft, well-integrated tannins. Good length on the finish. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels (60% new). 12,300 cases made. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2015. Food pairing - Great choice for a steak or lamb meal. Drinks well with or without food.

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