Summer days are upon us and we’re delighted to be sipping this Pinot Blanc from Trimbach. Dry and fresh, it’s perfect with seafood – think shellfish – quiches and light seasonal dishes. The Trimbach estate has been making wine for a very long time – nearly 400 years since 1626. This soft, fruity, yet dry white is ideal for the season and year-round, paired with seafood and light meals. It is 13 percent ABV and offers the refreshment we seek in warmer weather. The winemaker calls it “a wine for pure pleasure,” and with a modest suggested retail price of around $14, it’s an excellent value. Check it out at www.trimbach.fr/en/trimbach-estate/
We’re big fans of South African wines because of the quality and value they represent for both a restaurant’s wine list and for the consumer who chooses either a glass or a bottle. Two wines we like this winter are the Kanonkop Kadette Cape Blend ’13, a dry and full-bodied option that blends Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Stellenbosch, east of Cape Town. It’s 14% alcohol by volume and aged 12 to 14 months in French oak. It’s name comes from “kopje” which means hill, referring to the cannon fired to alert nearby farmers of trading ships coming into port 300 years ago. It’s a delicious choice with hints of berries, cherries, and banana and a spicy finish.
The Raats Family Cabernet Franc ’13 is made with Bruwer Raats’ handpicked grapes that are grown in decomposed dolomite granite. Also in Stellenbosch, these vines are known for their high quality and were brought to the continent by Raats’ ancestors. The nose is rich with rosemary, thyme and lavender and the there are notes of spices (nutmeg, clove and star anise), along with fruits and licorice. It’s complex with good tannins against the berry notes (blueberry, blackberry) and you may even detect dark chocolate. Both are distributed by Cape Classics.
BOSTON – Summer is the season to explore new rosés and we did exactly that at a media tasting at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel here for food and lifestyle bloggers and even trade publications such as foodserviceeast.com!
The rosé served was an Aitzalde Txakoli from the Basque Country in Spain where the slopes of the vineyard go down to the Atlantic Ocean.The grapes are harvested by hand and the must is fermented naturally, turning it into txakoli (pronounced chock-a-lee). After a long rest for several months, the resulting wine is aromatic and dry with high acidity.
This is a wine for rosé haters who think all rosés are sickly sweet. Not so! This slightly effervescent wine is poured from a Porron, a glass pitcher with a spout, so it’s poured from an elevated position to aerate the wine as it comes out of the bottle into the glass.
In the U.S., the wine is available from Scorpetta Importing – The Marchetti Company. It is the result of using 50 percent Hondarrabi Zuri (white grapes) and 50 percent Hondarrabi Beltza (red).
At the tasting, servers stayed true to the Basque tradition, pouring from their pitchers at a distance which allowed a bit of bubbles. Guests feasted on fresh oysters and a platter of various veggies, served with their own tasty sauce for dipping.
As a sweet treat, Pastry Chef Robert Differ offered platters of a wide variety of different cookies – a delicious ending to a delightful event.
From Redwood Valley, CA, Gloria’s “Old Vines” produces wines from exclusively “old” vineyards. This 2012 Chardonnay Mendocino comes from one chosen for its vines, which are a minimum of 30 years old. Those for this vintage were 39.
We tend to think of winter as a time for red wines, but this Chardonnay is well worth sipping for its intriguing richness and minerality. It has Chardonnay’s characteristic crispness and more. Hand crafted, it will stand the test of time if you have the patience to keep it on your wine rack, but it is worth opening and enjoying now for its elegance and quality. The wines have limited production – 320 cases – and come from John K. Callaghan, a winemaker who dedicates them to the “elegance and refinement of Gloria Baum and her sincere love of wine.” Check the wine out at http://www.dosfamilias.com
Join L’Aventure Languedoc in Boston throughout June when retail stores and restaurants will be celebrating the wines of the region, on the Mediterranean cost with hot, dry weather and rocky soil, Jacques de la Jugie is a cooperative made up of many of the region’s top growers. This Minervois exemplifies the qualities the region is best known for – great value wines at moderate prices, delivering spicy, robust, rich blends of the grapes of the area – Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvedre. These wines pair well with food but also offer top value options by the glass. Introduce your customers to the Languedoc this month and offer a toast!
We’re seeing more and more excellent and value-priced offerings from Chilean winemaker, Concha y Toro. This crisp white charmer, Casillero del Diablo 2011, is a lemony light yellow with citrus notes, tropical fruit (pineapple) and hints of vanilla. With good acidity, it makes a good choice for fish and seafood and with a suggested retail price of $11.99, a fine value for wine by the glass lists. Visit http://www.conchaytoro.com/web/