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/
Dry, cool, refreshing white wines rule on hot summer days. From California’s Russian River Valley to the Loire Valley, we’ve recently discovered two that enhance the day and deliver pleasure.
Balletto 2015 Chardonnay, Teresa’s Unoaked comes from the Russian River Valley in California’s Sonoma County with its cool, foggy climate. It’s been consistent gold medal winner in various competitions.
John Balletto began making wine after starting out as a farmer right after high school and his dad’s untimely death. In 1998, three El Nino storms destroyed several plantings, each of which cost several million dollars. The home ranch had plantings of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, and Balletto began converting his vegetable acres to vineyards. Check out http://www.BallettoVineyards.com.
This Chardonnay was grown in the Sebastopol Hills area with its steep 800 ft. elevation where the winery’s goal was expressive and pure offerings. Seeking to capture the essence of Chardonnay which it calls “pure, crisp and pretty,” and this vintage does that well. It’s 13.7% ABV with bright fruit aromas and earthy notes. Nicely structured, it’s a treat.
From the Loire Valley comes M De Mulonniére Chenin Blanc from Anjou. The Chateau has been making excellent wines since 1860. The Saget family acquired it in 2000.
This 12.5% ABV Chenin Blanc is bright and almost tingles. It’s soft and fresh, well balanced with notes of almond and acacia, grape and honey. It’s subtle and enchanting. Visit http://www.PasternakWine.com or http://www.Mulonniére.com. Serve as an aperitif – we think you’ll want more after the very first sip!
May 16 is Sauvignon Blanc Day although we like to celebrate Sauvignon Blanc on warm Spring days, and also hot Summer days and through the Fall and Winter! These beautiful sippers include a range – from France’s Loire Valley to far away New Zealand, with aothers from Chile.
They are expressions of their winemakers’ approach to the grapes and each is lovely, crisp and delicious in its own way. In France, the Saget La Perriére wines come from a ninth generation owned and managed winery that seeks to explore the best expressions of the grape. Domaine de la Perriére Sancerre 2013 has no added yeast and is aged three months on fine lees, bottled and aged three more months.
In contrast, a ‘sister’ wine, La Petite Perriére Sauvignon Blanc has special yeasts chosen for their Sauvignon Blanc qualities added, ages on the lees and is bottled and sold for optimal freshness. All four are imported by Pasternak Wine.
The Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2013 comes from the Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite) estate in Chile in the Casablanca region where a cold spring and early summer led to a late harvest. The grapes were sorted before being chilled and macerated for several hours. To preserve aroma, they were fermented at low temperatures.
New Zealand is home to numerous Sauvignon Blanc producers and Dashwood creates wines that reflect the Marlborough region. The wines are certified as NZ Sustainable. Dashwood seeks to preserve the deep aromatic and sparkling structure of the wine, keeping the fruit as cool as possible to retain it bright, fresh flavors. Gentle crushing and cool fermentation in stainless steel tanks help retain those characteristics of the fruit.
Try all four – compare and contrast – they differ from one another but are all Sauvignon Blanc – let’s celebrate it!
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/