Friday Wine Tasting: Wines for Yet Another Summer Day
Another hot one. We’ve got a bevy of wines to beat the summer heat: sparkling, white, rose, and even a chilled red!
Downtown, 5-7:30 pm, Friday, 19 May 2017
Dibon, Cava Brut Reserve NV – $11.99
Wine of the Week on sale for $8.96
(Xarel-lo, Parellada, Macabeo; Penedes, Spain)
Cava, Spanish sparkling wine, is one of the great wonders of the world. How can they offer a sparkling wine that is fermented in the bottle, like Champagne, for $12? Crafted from the traditional Penedes blend of Xarel-lo, Parellada and Macabeo, the Dibon cava has aromas of brioche and marzipan, with a palate full of baked apples and pears. It’s not just a solid bubbly from start to finish, it’s also an affordable modern miracle.
l’Hortus, Coteaux de Languedoc Rosé “Bergerie de Hortus” 2016 – $16.99
(60% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah; Pic St. Loup, France)
In the Languedoc of the south of France north of Montpellier lies a hidden valley nestled between limestone cliffs where winemaker/owner Jean Orliac found this extraordinary site for a winery. The site is known locally as “Bergerie L’Hortus,” The Garden of Hortus. Crafted from a traditional blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre from estate-grown fruit that grows at the base of the looming Montagne de l’Hortus, this outstanding dry Rosé is made from directly pressing the grapes. While this is certainly a more costly way to produce Rosé when compared with the widely spread saignée method, it produces a far superior, more robust, briery and complex Rosé with plenty of spice and ample terroir.
Pasqua, Veneto Bianco “Passimento” 2015 – $17.99
(100% Gaganega; Verona, Italy)
Grown in the Valpolicella area, these Garganega grapes are partially dried, losing 20 to 30% of their weight, before fermentation. The result is a very unique wine full of dried apricot and honey flavors, with a creamy and rich mouthfeel but balanced by the bright acidity.
“Every day, three thousand love notes tell stories of passion, similar to that of Romeo and Juliet, for which Verona is the unforgettable setting. In the courtyard of Juliet’s house in Via Mazzini, where it overlooks the famous ‘Juliet’s balcony’, one of the most visited destinations of our city, the signatures of visitors adorn the home of the most famous lovers in the world. All this is told in the label: a photo taken by Giò Martorana, Unesco Prize for Photography, which portrays the daily messages left by lovers on the walls of the famous Courtyard.” –winery
Viña Maitia, Pipeño 2016 – $12.99
(80% Pais (aka Mission), 20% Carignan; Maule Valley, Chile)
“Pipeño is the traditional method of winemaking in Chile, which dates back to the late 16th century. The Aupa Pipeño from Viña Maitia is an old school blend of 80% País (aka Mission/Listan Negro/Criolla Grande) and 20% Carignan from a 10 hectare, 120-year-old, dry farmed vineyard in the Maule Valley of Chile. This valley benefits from a Mediterranean-like climate where high temperatures in the summer are cooled by the breeze from the Humboldt Current in the Pacific Ocean. Pipeño is a very rustic wine, especially when produced with País, a sacramental grape which was the first grape planted in the Americas, brought here by the Spanish.” –importer Michael Skurnik
Botalcura Codorniz, Merlot Central Valley- $10.99
Wine of the Week – $8.96
(100% Merlot; Central Valley, Chile)
Merlot gets a bad rap, particularly after being bad-mouthed in the movie sideways. In fact, that caused a drop in Merlot sales and a huge rise in Pinot Sales. Did you know that in the movie’s final scene where Miles is drinking his expensive Red Bordeaux with his hamburger. That said wine is a Saint Emilion and is almost 100% Merlot? True fact. Soft and smooth, this Merlot has a whisper of an herbal note for intrigue.
Atalaya, Almansa “Laya” 2015 – $9.99
(70% Garnacha Tintorera, 30% Monastrell; Almansa, Spain)
Almansa is a Spanish town in the province of Albacete, part of the Castile-La Mancha region. Good things come from this high central plateau of Spain, and wines from Almansa are remarkable values. This smooth, lush red blends the two most popular grapes of Almansa, Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet) and Monastrell. A cross of Garnacha and Petit Bouschet, Alicante Bouschet is exceedingly dark, with dark fruit character. It is one of the few red grapes to have color all the way through. Monastrell, another very dark grape, is best known as the main component in wines from Yecla and Jumilla to the south, and Provence in France.