It is summertime and what better time to enjoy all those white wines and Rosés you have been saving up. At the same time while you are grilling on the barbeque we must not forget those luscious reds that are perfect with steaks or grilled lamb. Here are some summer finds to put on your list to try.
The first is from Kim Crawford Wines, the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc. This New Zealand wine shows off the quality of Sauvignon Blanc that comes from both Marlborough’s Wairau and Awatere Valleys. The aromas are that of grass and wet stone. One will find refreshing tropical flavors of pineapple mixed with the citrus and grapefruit. There is a bit of an herbaceous quality to the wine. This wine is the epitome of a summer wine.
Moving to France the next two are from Domaine de Bila-Haut where Rhone winemaker Michel Chapoutier owns this Roussillon Estate. Located very close the border of Spain, this estate sits on the slopes of the Agly Valley in the commune of Latour-de-France. Here the climate from the Mediterranean Sea and the Mistral wind influence the wine along with the soils, which are a mix of schist, gneiss and clay.
Les Vignes De Bila-Haut Blanc Côtes Du Roussillon 2014 is an unusual blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Vermentino and Macabeo. The combination makes this a very good crisp and dry wine with citrusy melon flavors and a savory finish. Similar to the 2013 one will also find notes of tropical fruit, stone fruit and a hint of spice.
Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rosé Pay D’Oc 2014 is also similar to its 2013 vintage. It is a delicate light Provence styled Rose. This rosé blends Cinsault with Grenache. The Cinsault brings out the red fruit, primarily strawberries while the Grenache conveys the citrus qualities of the wine. Together there are hints of peach. The marriage of these two varieties conveys a crisp minerality that is wonderful on a hot summers eve.
Following the Minstral wind even further southeast to Cogolin, which is about 10 kilometers from Saint-Tropez you will find yourself at the winery of Château Saint-Maur Cru Classe. The Rosés with their marvelous yet subtle elegance are the essence of Côtes de Provence. The unique heavy bottles set this wine apart from other Rosés. The 2014 L’Excellence Rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvédre and Rolle. This is a refreshing Rosé with flavors of peaches and strawberries and dried herbs. . Although it is not typical to describe Rosé as fruit forward, L’Excellence would be just that. This is a dry Rosé created in the marvelous and fresh Côtes De Provence style.
The 2014 Clos De Capelune Rosé is also from Château Saint-Maur. The aromas are those of citrus, tropical fruit like Mango and dried herbs. This elegant feminine Rosé is also a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvédre and Rolle. In this case the wine exudes flavors of apricots and other stone fruits along with mango.
Traveling thousands of miles south of the equator one must not forget the wines of Mendoza, Argentina. Achaval-Ferrer’s Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent example of the Argentine style that can be achieved with Cabernet Sauvignon. This 2013 vintage is big and rich exemplifying old world traditions and new world practices. The wine is fermented in concrete tanks and than aged for 9 months in neutral French oak. The winemaking process utilizes low intervention, allowing the grapes to speak for themselves. One might describe the wine as heavy in body with flavors of currants, dark cherry and plums. The wine is fruit forward, smooth and balanced. This is a wine that speaks of grilled meat.
Finally we move back home to California for two Chardonnays from Castello di Amorosa. Comparing their 2013 Napa Valley Chardonnay to the 2013 Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay one can see how the terroir influences the wine. The winemaking process on each was the same. The Napa Chardonnay was heavier in texture with aroma of toasty oak. The wine was butterier. As the wine sat it lost some of the buttery quality giving way to flavors of pears. The Bien Nacido Chardonnay was lighter and more European in style. The aromas were those of citrus and florals. The wine was softer and fruitier with flavors of tropical fruit, melon and pear and hints of dried herbs.
Any of the wines mentioned would compliment any summertime meal as you partake in a journey tasting different grape varietals from all over the world.