May 2014

Discovery

2012 Franco Serra Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato

100% Cortese from Italy’s Piedmont region, where it is used most famously in the white wines of Gavi. Light, elegant wine, fragrant and delicately fruity, with green apples, citrus and honeysuckle on the nose and palate. Delicious with seafood, especially steamed mussels.

Cleopatra’s Pearls

2013 Versus Crisp and Fruity White

Says it right there on the label: “Crisp and Fruity.” Believe the package, people! An easy-drinking, totally quaffable blend of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa’s Western Cape. Vivacious tropical and citrus notes lead to a luxurious palate of grapefruit and pineapple. Delicious by itself on a sunny afternoon, it also plays well with lighter seafood dishes.

Treasured Rubies

2011 Tavolo Matto Rosso delle Venezie

In northern Italy’s Veneto region, Corvina is the red king. It’s the grape behind Valpolicella and its big brother, Amarone della Valpolicella. This Corvina-based blend is a wine meant for early enjoyment, full of spice and red fruit. Got pasta or pizza? Open and enjoy.

Patrician

2013 Domaine de la Fruitière Vignes Blanches White

A blend of Melon de Bourgogne, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the lower Loire Valley in western France. Intense aromas of dried fruit, date, almond and sweet lime. Supple yet strong on the palate, a mélange of citrus, minerality and stone fruit. Please pass the oysters!

Wondrous Whites

2012 Palacio de Vivero Rueda

60% Verdejo and 40% Viura from Rueda, in northwest Spain. Daytime temperatures in the region get hot enough to warrant nighttime harvests, as cooler grapes are less apt to oxidize and spoil their delicately floral, intensely fruity character. Aromatic prickly pear and key lime lead to the full palate, where nice acidity balances ripe kiwi and pear. Put some fish on the grill and enjoy!

Regal Reds

2011 Château de Campuget Tradition de Campuget Rouge

A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre from Costières de Nîmes at the southern end of France’s Rhône Valley. Aromas of black currants and peppery spice introduce a palate of red and black berries. Smooth tannins make it a great match for grilled pork chops.

Aristocrat

2011 Boroli Quattro Fratelli Barbera d’Alba

100% Barbera from northwest Italy’s Piedmont region, with 6 months in oak casks adding spice, balance and maturity. Aromas of ripe forest fruits with undertones of vanilla lead to lush, mouth-filling raspberries and blackberries. Pop a bottle with char-grilled lamb kebabs.

American Beauties

2012 Guild Winemakers Lot #7 White

An enigmatic blend of Pinot Gris (60%), Riesling (25%) and Chardonnay (15%) from the Oregon side of the Columbia Valley AVA. Steely, zesty aromas of ripe honeydew melon and fresh-cut citrus tease the laser-dry palate of lemon, lychee and Granny Smith apples. This is some beautiful white wine for the patio, but it’ll really sing with salmon or a washed-rind cheese like Taleggio.

European Classics

2013 Avinyó Petillant Vi d’Agulla

Those with expansive vocabularies will note that this wine from Catalonia, Spain bears two names meaning the same thing: pétillant means “lightly effervescent” in French, and the Catalan vi d’agulla is literally “wine with a prickle.” Bright honeysuckle and almond grace the nose. Bracingly dry, with lemon peel and a faint brininess on the fine bubbles. Perfect with smoked fish.

Ultimate

2012 D. Ventura Viña do Burato

A unique red wine from Ribeira Sacra, in the northwest Spanish region of Galicia. 100% Mencia fermented and aged in stainless steel, with no oak to mute the vibrant floral aromas that speak of the wet climate in this verdant region known as “Green Spain.” Rose petals and red berries swim along the palate over fresh tannins. A real treat with rustic roast chicken and wild mushrooms.

The Bubbles

2009 Weingut Steininger Grüner Veltliner Sekt

Steininger, in Austria’s Kamptal Valley, have made a specialty out of single-variety, single-vintage sparkling wine, or “Sekt.” Their bubbly Grüner shows tantalizing aromas of fresh-cut green apple, Darjeeling tea and orange blossom honey. Ideal alongside spicy Asian fare.

Cellar Master

2012 Migration Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

The folks at Migration scoured California’s Russian River Valley for exceptional Pinot Noir sites. Perfumed aromatics of orange zest, candied violets and cherry introduce flavors of strawberry, cranberry and cinnamon spice. Pan-sear some duck breasts and enjoy!

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