The Furmint grape has been dazzling poets, czars, and wine lovers alike for centuries – now it’s your turn! Though Furmint’s grand reputation is built on its role within the luscious Aszu wines of Hungary’s Tokaj region, today’s Hungarian vintners are exploiting the grape’s capacity to shine in a dry white wine. This fine example of the dry style displays aromas of lemon blossom and ripe stone fruit, leading to a medium-bodied wine filled with white peach, lemon curd, and wonderfully zesty acidity. A small dose of Muscat lends aromatic interest and rounds out the shimmering intensity of the Furmint. This wine will work very nicely with all manner of raw seafood, and don’t hesitate to let it play the ‘squeeze of lemon’ role alongside your next plate of roasted garlic chicken with cream sauce. Egészségére!
Regular price $14.99
Sale price $11.99
Cinquante-Cinq Viognier (pronounced “Sank-on-sank Vee-own-yay”) is such a great summer wine! It is 100% Viognier aged on its lees for six months which adds a slightly creamy component. Unsurprisingly, the aromatic intensity of this wine spills from the bottle the second you pop the cork. Sauvignon Blanc lovers should definitely give this one a try! It smells like a peach and tangerine orchard in bloom with hints of honey dusted on the fruit. With the weight of a Chardonnay and slightly lower acid than one, Viognier can be really fun to pair with food, but be careful not to overpower the delicate notes of this wine. Something like clementine and honey glazed pork chops over creamy polenta would be an amazing pairing.
It is rare to find Grüner Veltliner from anywhere but Austria, where it makes a light, refreshing and spicy style of white wine, but Peter Rosback is doing a great job with this varietal grown in the Pearblossom Vineyard in the western-most part of the Columbia Gorge. Peter got his start making delicious Pinot Noir and is now considered one of the great winemakers of the Pacific Northwest. His passion for making wines he loves has led him to broaden his portfolio with other varietals. His Grüner Veltliner is a delicious example of this varietal. It has more stone fruit than its Austrian sibling, but the underlying limey citrus and minerality will remind you of its ‘old world’ heritage. It’s broad mouthfeel has an intense peachy fruit character that is nicely balanced by acidity. This food friendly style is just as wonderful on its own. Cheers!
Reserva Especial Chardonnay 2017
Regular Price: $21.99
Sale Price: $11.99
My last wine of the week was a Pinot Noir from the Casablanca Valley in Chile, this week I’m featuring a Chardonnay from the iconic Maipo Valley. This is not your run-of-the-mill Chilean Chardonnay, La Misión is a project from famed Chablis producer William Fèvre. After retiring in 1998 from one of the great domaines in Burgundy, Fèvre began searching for a new terroir to support world-class Chardonnay vines. He quickly fell in love with a parcel in the foothills of the Andes above the Maipo Valley. The Burgundian influence is evident in this bottle’s bracing acidity and subtle use of well-integrated oak. Aromas of golden apple cider, meyer lemon, and sea spray minerality, are delicately wrapped in a floral bouquet. This wine will pair beautifully with seafood fettuccine alfredo or Alaskan king crab with lemon and butter.
Aupa – Pipeño 2017
Sale Price: $9.99
Reg Price: $12.99
This week, I picked a really fun, light red wine to review. Aupa Pipeño is a light red wine from the Maule Valley in Chile that is just perfect for hot summer days and is best served with a little chill. Pipeño is an old traditional style made from an old school blend of dry farmed Pais and Carignan that is allowed to spontaneously ferment in large cement vats. The resulting rustic wine shows a lot of raspberry and cherry with a little bit of spice, herbs and floral tones. Fresh and easy to drink, the 2017 vintage has a nice brightness and low tannins making it a fantastic red to pair with chicken, salmon and vegetable dishes. Cheers!
Pinot Noir 2016
Regular Price: $15.99
Sale Price: $11.99
These dog days of summer call for light, lifted red wines. Chilean viticulture regions continue to impress me with refined and sophisticated wines that offer a unique perspective on staple varietals. Though technically from the New World, Prisma Pinot Noir showcases an Old World earthy element without that green bell pepper quality that is too often associated with Chilean wines. All the fruit for this bottle is grown in a single vineyard that is certified sustainably farmed within the Casablanca Valley of Chile. Three different clones of Pinot Noir grown in clay and granite soils complimented by a cool, coastal climate combine to create a wine that is fresh and aromatic. Pair a glass of Prisma with cranberry spinach salad topped with toasted almonds or beet salad with arugula and balsamic vinaigrette.
Les Granges Saint-Martin – Saint Chinian 2017
Sale Price: $9.99
Reg Price: $12.99
Happy 4th of July, everyone! I couldn’t help but think about great value red wines that go really well with grilled red meat and even game. My thoughts turned to southern France where you can still get nice quality without having to spend a fortune. Roquebrun’s Les Granges Saint-Martin Saint Chinian 2017 comes from grapes grown in the oldest winemaking area of the old Languedoc. Wines have been made here since ancient times, and after a period of overproduction, there has been a shift in focus to higher quality with lower production. The 2017 Saint-Chinian is a bold blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan with a dark and saturated color. The dark ripe fruits with spicy and slightly gamey aromas follow through to the full palate of ripe and spicy plum and blackberry. This rich and bold style with good tannic structure is fantastic with any meats you’ll be pulling off the grill! Cheers!
Sometimes wines experience a hiatus of sorts. Whether it’s a new label design that the winery is waiting on or the release of the next vintage that we’re waiting on, delays along the production line can cause empty spaces on retail shelves and brand loyalists wondering where their favorite wine has gone. I’m happy to say that the wait is over for this well-known staple from Spain. Casamaro Rueda is back! This crisp white made predominantly of Verdejo is bursting with apricot, meyer lemon, white peach, and heaps of minerality. The winery sits on deep, sandy soils and utilizes organic farming practices in the vineyards. Pour yourself a full glass of this beautiful Summer sipper with salads, fish, or appetizers!
Wow, it got hot quickly this year! To cool off a little this weekend, I picked up a delicious, refreshing rosé to review. While most of you are familiar with the white and red wines of Bordeaux, rosés are a little more difficult to find from there. The Cuvée Prestige from Chateau Cantelaudette is an invigorating blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc that emits berries and and pomegranate mixed with peppery notes and minerality. The mouthwatering acidity and spice on the palate is incredibly refreshing and there is even a touch of tannic structure on the palate, making it a fantastic and versatile pairing for your summer patio meals. Grab a bottle and check out how it compares to your favorite rosé from Provence. You might have just found a new favorite! Cheers!
With 90 degree days on the horizon, it’s about time I shared one of my favorite affordable rosés with you. Forget Provence. My rosé exploration has been focused on Austria for the last few Summers. What I’ve found is there is no better value in this category than Pratsch Rosé. The Pratch family takes the utmost care in their small estate comprised of 13 single vineyards. The vines and wine made from their fruit have been organically certified for over ten years now. And it shows through the wine’s focused expression of the alluvial soils found in the glacier formed hills of the South Austrian estate. Aromas of wild sun ripened strawberries and peach, with hints of apple flow from the glass. A slight effervescence brings texture to the palate complimented by citrus and fresh minerality. Dare I say, this is the best rosé of the 2017 vintage I’ve had yet! Cheers!
Domaine Félines Jourdan
Picpoul de Pinet 2016
Regular Price: $12.99
Sale Price: $10.99
I know here in Colorado, surrounded by all these mountains, we don’t have access to the freshest seafood. I also know that doesn’t stop me from eating as much fish as I can get my hands on. Well, step aside Sauvignon Blanc! And move over Albariño! Picpoul de Pinet should be your go-to white wine for all fish fare this Summer. Zingy acidity is complemented by citrus and green fruit flavors with surprising weight on the palate. The sea breeze minerality of this particular Picpoul makes it even more versatile by neutralizing salt and iodine flavors in shellfish and crustaceans. If fish isn’t the food for you, this wine has the ability to cut through soft cheeses and will pair lovely with light summer salads.
I hope you all had a great Memorial Day and are ready for a fantastic summer! I tasted a really great French red this past week to see what one of the newest additions to the French Appellations has to offer. Cabardès is located just outside the medieval city of Carcassonne at the southern slopes of the Montagne Noir. This area features a unique climatic situation with both cooler Atlantic and warmer Mediterranean influences. Even the grapes allowed by appellation regulations mandate 40 percent Atlantic and 40 percent Mediterranean varieties. This beautifully aromatic red blended from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Grenache features red and black fruits with a dusty minerality and underlying spice. Its medium body and fresh acidity make this a versatile, easy drinking red wine, perfect for almost every meal, especially burgers off the grill. Cheers!
Regular Price: $17.99
Sale Price: $13.99
Whenever I get the opportunity to be in other markets I like to check out what's going on in retail there. Well, my uncle got married over the weekend in Tucson so I poked around a bit while we were in between activities. The bottom line from what I discovered was that in Colorado we are SO lucky to have such a selection at our fingertips! Adrian, Jamie and I are very grateful to be able to bring in a wide variety of wines and especially have the huge selection of rosé that we do! This Coeur Clementine Rose 2017 is just one amazing example in a sea of pink! It checks all the boxes of a great rose from Provence. Bone-dry, with wonderful minerality and distinct floral notes only found in wine from this region. The blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre and Tibouren is a great sipper and pairs best with poultry or perhaps a smoked salmon. My mouth is now watering! -Cheers
Pinot Noir is one of those varietals that seems to go with everything. You can pair it with a vast array of food, and its light, low tannin profile makes it an easy choice to sip on its own. I get requests for Pinot recommendations under $15 all the time, and it is tricky to find one at that price point that stays true to the varietal. I am a big fan of the Esser Vineyard wines because they have accomplished just this; capturing extraordinary varietal character and an Old World essence. Grown on sustainably farmed vineyards in the Central Coast region of California, this Pinot Noir has a cool climate feel expressing dark cherries, sweet tobacco, and the slightest touch of oak. Warm weather or rain, this is the everyday red that should be swirling in your glass!
Sale Price: $11.99
Reg Price: $15.99
We have a big weekend coming up! Some of you will be celebrating Graduation or Mother's Day and some of you might also be getting into your flower and vegetable gardens to get ready for the growing season. A great alternative to the sparkling wine Jamie wrote about is this fun dry rosé from organic wine producer Bonterra that previously has only been available from the winery! This Grenache-based wine is a delicious, fresh and lively style that is perfect for these beautiful sunny days. The strawberry, citrus and rose petal aromas are followed on the palate with refreshing watermelon and hints of stone fruits in a fresh and lively style. Have a great weekend everyone and congratulations to all the Mothers and Graduates out there! Cheers!