February 2015

Discovery

DSCN08032013 Pieroth Burg Layer Riesling Trocken

One of the most common misconceptions in the wine world is that all Rieslings are sweet. Germany produces oceans of dry Riesling, indicated by the word trocken (“dry”). Peaches, lemon zest and zingy acidity make this wine great with rich, spicy Thai panang curry.

Cleopatra’s Pearls

DSCN0799NV Rock Point River Rock White

A refreshing Oregon white blend of Riesling and Muscat, co-fermented in stainless steel to preserve freshness and acidity, then aged 5 months in steel before bottling. Intense fruit aromas of peach and apple with hints of white flowers. Crisp and balanced on the palate, with light sweetness countered by bright acidity. Wine this aromatic begs for rich, spicy north Indian cuisine.

Treasured Rubies

DSCN08012013 Placido Chianti

From the Tuscan hills of the Chianti DOCG zone, this bottling is primarily Sangiovese with small amounts of Canaiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon. A hint of violets lurks behind aromas of ripe cherry, cranberry, plum, leather and savory spice. There’s a rustic edge to the tannins that will play nicely with pork chops marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cracked black pepper.

Patrician

DSCN08042011 Bernier Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most popular white wine grape in the world, but in France’s Loire Valley it is used primarily as a blending grape. This rare varietal bottling shares more in common with Chablis than any of the Loire’s famed addresses. It’s crisp, steely and citrusy, with elegant minerality and structure. Pair it with freshly shucked oysters or king crab legs and let it shine.

Wondrous Whites

DSCN08022013 Casas del Bosque Sauvignon Blanc

Delicious Sauvignon Blanc from the coolest, westernmost reaches of Chile’s Casablanca Valley. Aromas of key lime, guava and sea salt dominate with hints of white pepper, ginger and citrus zest. Fresh acidity makes this a terrific accompaniment to salmon.

Regal Reds

DSCN08052011 Tormaresca Neprica Red Blend

A blend of Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon from Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot. After stainless-steel fermentation, the wine ages 8 months in steel and 4 months in bottle. Intense aromas of red plum, Marasca cherry and violet. Soft and harmonious on the palate, with integrated acidity and tannin. Try it with lamb burgers.

Aristocrat

DSCN07962012 Lalande Sauvignon Blanc

Lalande’s estate vineyards are located in Gascony, a region in southwest France best-known for producing fine Armagnac brandies from the Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes. This bottling, however, is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, a rarity in the region. Crisp and light-bodied, with lovely citrus and tropical fruit. Try it with shrimp, arugula and minced garlic sautéed in olive oil.

American Beauties

DSCN07972011 Five Rows Merlot

100% Merlot from select vineyards across California. Aged entirely in French oak, it shows seductive flavors of plums, currants and sweet cherries. Ripe, soft tannins and a touch of toasted oak complete the gentle finish. There’s a lot to like in this wine, especially if you’re serving it with hearty beef stew.

European Classics

DSCN07952012 Ausonia Machaon Pecorino

Pecorino was thought extinct until the mid-1980’s, when it was discovered growing in a forgotten vineyard in Italy’s Abruzzo region. Like its namesake, the Old World Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon), this Pecorino is elegant and graceful, from its golden highlights in the glass to the ripe tropical fruit and white floral aromas. A wonderful companion for scallops.

Ultimate

DSCN07982010 WildAire Reserve Pinot Noir

Terrific Oregon Pinot Noir aged 10 months in 33% new French oak. Intense, concentrated aromas of cherry, violet, clove, anise and baking spice woven with touches of toasted oak. Fine tannins linger on the finish under enduring flavors of ripe cherry, clove and vanilla. Enjoy this small-production beauty with something appropriately indulgent, like venison tenderloin.

The Bubbles

DSCN08002012 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs

Not only was it the first wine Schramsberg produced in 1965, their Blanc de Blancs Brut was America’s first 100%-Chardonnay bubbles. Aged on the lees in-bottle for two years prior to disgorgement, picking up loads of character along the way. Vibrant, fruity and crisp, with Granny Smith apple, pear and lime zest.

Cellar Master

DSCN08062009 Castelli Martinozzi Brunello di Montalcino

Classic Brunello from the heart of Tuscany. Nuanced aromas of violets, tobacco and clove. The palate shows dense black cherry punctuated by nutmeg, eucalyptus and truffle. You could lay this bottle down for 10-15 years, or enjoy it now with braised lamb shanks.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: