When I tried this wine with Barry I was in love at first sip. Here is a northern Rhône Syrah that is priced like Côtes du Rhône, but it still provides the smoky berry spice you would expect from the north. From the village of St. Joseph, it delivers pure fruit and a forward drink-ability for half the price of its neighbors. This is one of my picks for a fall red that I will drink by the case.
I tried and enjoyed this wine when it first came in a few months ago; I had been meaning to sit down with a bottle of it for a while now, and decided this month's wine pick would be the perfect opportunity to do so. First of all, it comes from the southern part of Burgundy, south of the Côte de Beaune, near the town of Mâcon. There are no Grand Cru or Premiere Cru vineyards in this region, but what you will find are some very good wines at very reasonable prices. This is an excellent entry level white Burgundy (aka Chardonnay) from the 2015 vintage, which is showing us some very nice wines that are ready to drink now. It’s unoaked Chardonnay, aged entirely in stainless steel tanks which helps to showcase the fruit. On the nose, the wine is very straight forward, showing notes of lemon and green apple, but on the palate, the complexity increases. And along with the lemon and green apple, you'll find a baked apple spice and a touch of minerality. The wine has great mouthfeel and texture. This is not a wine to be cellared—buy it now and drink/gulp it over the next year or two! A perfect crowd pleaser for the upcoming holidays!
Many, if not most of the Txakoli I have tasted have been oh-so-crisp, lean and lively wines something like a Vinho Verde. They are the perfect thirst quenching choice on a hot summer day. This is not one of those. I’ve tried other Txakolina from this winery, and they are a step above and beyond the more typical style. This one takes it to another level still. Extraordinarily fragrant with creamy citrus, green apple, spice, mineral and a light salinity. The palate is surprisingly fruit forward for a Txakoli, offering lively lime, apple and even apricot. For all that rich fruit, it still has the bracing acidity you expect from this region, making for a perfect match with most seafood. Still a great choice for summer, but with its richness, balance and complexity, it’s a white for all seasons, and just the thing as we segue into autumn.
For the people who insist that Old World Wines are too earthy, dusty and without fruit, this is the wine for you. For the people who insist that all New World Wines are fruit bombs with no character, this is the wine for you! Yes, this Portuguese blend is a balance of both the Old and the New World. Pronounced aromas of red leather and August dust give way to bright cherry fruit and rhubarb acidity. The finish again takes us back to the home country with garden shovel minerality. Great price, too! Portugal is what I call an emerging market. Not a whole lot of people are familiar with how great these wines are; so the supply and demand side is more weighted on the supply side, ergo, lower prices. Enjoy this great 'bridge' wine with medium cheeses, Jamon and meat sauces.
Have you ever heard a wine described as sexy? Dirty? This one is. Most of the big gun Shiraz from Australia hails from the Barossa and the McClaren Vale. In that area the soil is a burnt brick red developing wines (especially Shiraz) that are big, fruit expressive and often jammy. This wine, from only about forty miles away comes from a vineyard planted on an ancient riverbed (Langhorne Creek). The roots for these vines sink into ten feet of black, black river silt! Yes, it has the signature fruit of an Aussie Shiraz, but with added notes of tar and earth, black earth. Sexy? Yeah. Dirty? You bet! This is a glass to curl up with and linger over; but don't let your mother know.
This month I am picking a wine that should surprise no one as I have been a fan of this producer for more than a decade. Run by Thierry Sabon, the estate makes a beautiful Chateauneuf du Pape, but the bargain is this Côtes Du Rhône with its dusty red berry fruit and supple texture. It’s made from 80 percent old vine Grenache, with the rest split between Syrah and Carignan. Less brawny than the Clos Du Caillou, (another favorite) I like this for its subtlety and charm, the pretty side of Côtes Du Rhône that drinks like a charm.
First, the 2016 rosés from southern France are a very different animal from the past few vintages. Those were lean and lively charmers, while most of the 2016s I’ve tasted have been bigger and bolder wines, but not without their own appeal. The Fondreche is no exception. When it first showed up, the wine was a bit closed in, but time heals most, if not all wounds. That’s definitely the case here. This rosé has really come around. The nose is a mix of rich berry and ripe citrus and the flavors follow suit. A fuller bodied style than in the past, but it has the acidity to balance, and to play nice when paired with food. It’s a great choice as we segue into cooler fall weather and would be a perfect choice for the Thanksgiving feast.
First of all, you may not be familiar with Jasnieres, and that's okay because there's not much wine coming out of this Loire valley appellation. Situated farther north than any other viticultural area in the Loire, it is also the coldest. This particular wine is made from Chenin Blanc grapes harvested from vines that are 35 to 40 years old in soil that consists of clay, flint and limestone. The aromatics are so pretty, displaying tons of Rainier cherry and some attractive citrus notes as well. On the palate these same flavors join a flinty minerality that must come from the flinty soil the vines are grown in. It’s a very fruit-forward, pretty wine that can be consumed on its own or with many different foods. Every employee of the Wineshop (and a few customers as well) that has tried this wine agree that it is not only delicious and interesting, but that it delivers quite a bit of bang for your buck. Get it while you can!