2015 M De Mulonniere Chenin Blanc

2015 M De Mulonniere Chenin Blanc

2015 M De Mulonniere Chening BlancNutty, citrus nose on this Chenin Blanc. The palate of this medium-bodied wine offers peach/pear flavors with honey and citrus notes. Just a bit of sweetness on the finish with nice acidity.

Pairings: Seafood, grilled fish, spicy Asian food.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Chenin Blanc

Region: Anjou (Loire Valley), France

Price: $17

2013 Vincent Girardin Bourgogne Blanc Cuvee Saint Vincent

Ken Wright 2013Floral, citrus nose on this French Chardonnay. The palate of this medium-bodied wine is rich with peach, ripe apple and Meyer lemon flavors. Creamy texture with nice minerality.

This is the entry-level Chardonnay by this prestigious wine house and at $16, it’s not only a nice example of French white Burgundy, it’s a very good value.

Pairings: Seafood, grilled fish, white meat and mild cheese.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Chardonnay Region: Burgundy, France

Price: $16

2013 Ken Wright Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

2013 Ken Wright Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Ken Wright 2013Fruity, spiced nose, bright red in the glass. The palate of this medium-bodied wine is rich with cherry/tart berry flavors and some peppery notes. Smooth, silky texture and a slightly-peppery finish.

This wine is a blend of grapes from blocks of Ken Wright’s best single vineyard sites.

Pairings: Roasted poultry, grilled salmon, mushroom risotto.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA

Price: $23

Top Rosé Wines for the Summer

Top Rosé Wines for the Summer

Rose WinesSummer’s finally here and warm days are among us. While sipping rosé wines during the summer isn’t anything new, what I’m really enjoying is how food-friendly rosés have become. Rosé, French for ‘pink’, describes a genre of refreshing wines, in various hue of pink and that are made using red grapes.

Here are some rosé wines I’ve sampled recently that range in price from value to special occasions.

  • 2015 Los Vascos Rosé ($13.99) – Bright, pale pink color. On the nose, aromas of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and pomegranates underscored by white chocolate and sugar syrup. The palate is fresh, balanced and persistent. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah.
  • Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé Cremant D’Alsace ($22) – Coral/pink in color with fine and small bubbles. Light strawberry intensity with a hint of yeast. Juicy strawberry continues with a hint of sweetness that’s balanced by bright acidity. Creamy yet crisp mouthfeel.
  • 2014 Tavel Rosé, Prieuré de Montézargues ($23.99) – Bright pink in the glass, this Rhone valley rosé offers big strawberry aromas and strawberry/raspberry flavors with just a touch of citrus. 55% Grenaches (red & white), 30% Cinsault, 13% Clairette, 2% others.
  • Pierre Sparr Crémant D’Alsace Brut Rosé NV ($15.99) – Bright pink in the glass with strawberry aromas that carry over in the mouth. Laced with citrus and a little clove, Creamy and silky texture with nice level of acidity and a clean, dry finish. 100% Pinot Noir.
  • 2015 Domaine du Gros Noré Bandol Rosé ($26.99) – This rosé is salmon-colored in the glass and offers aromas of ripe peach with floral notes. Lovely delicate flavors of juicy melon and a nice level of acidity on the finish. 40% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 40% Cinsault.
  • 2015 Wilde Farm Rosé North Coast ($29.99) – Dark pink in the glass, this wine has citrus and floral aromas and ripe pear/peach flavors. Bit of sweetness then a perfect pop of acidity on the finish. Very limited quantities, but worth the search. 100% Dolcetto.
  • 2014 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé ($35.99) – Intense floral nose with a bit of strawberry. It has incredible peaches and juicy, ripe cantaloupe flavors with bright acidity and a long pleasantly dry finish. 50% Mourvèdre, 28% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 2% Carignan.
  • Champagne Drappier Brut Rosé ($54.99) – Bright orangey-pink in the glass, this is some of the best pink champagne I’ve tasted of late. Floral and red berry aromas with raspberry flavors laced with pumpkin pie spice and yeasty notes. Fresh, crisp, delicious. 100% Pinot Noir.

What are some of your favorite rosé wines? Have you tried any of the above? Please let me and other readers know.

Cheers,

Veronique

2014 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay

2014 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay

2014 Au Bon Climat ChardonnayOn the nose apricot and citrus with flinty notes. The palate of this medium to full-bodied wine brings more citrus with a decent level of acidity on the finish. A great value for a California Chardonnay of this caliber.

I’m a big fan of Jim Clendenen, Au Bon Climat’s winemaker, who’s been making high quality wines in Santa Barbara County since the early 1980s.

Pairings: Grilled fish or seafood, poultry.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Chardonnay

Region: Santa Barbara County, California, USA

Price: $22

2012 Evesham Wood Le Puits Sec Pinot Noir

2012 Evesham Wood Le Puits Sec Pinot Noir

2012 Evesham Wood “Le Puits Sec” Pinot NoirThe 2012 Evesham Wood Le Puits Sec Pinot Noir is just a lovely, lovely Pinot Noir.

In the glass, it’s dark raspberry in color. The nose is of dark, ripe berries and cherry with some peppery notes. Hard to stop sniffing to take that first sip! This medium-bodied Oregon Pinot Noir offers raspberry and stone fruit flavors laced with some peppery sweet notes on the velvety finish. Blind tasters could easily be fooled into thinking this was a Burgundy.

Pairings: Duck, roasted poultry, grilled salmon.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA

Price: $45.99

Getting to Know Gigondas Wines

Getting to Know Gigondas Wines

GigondasA couple weeks ago, I attended a wine tasting focused on Gigondas wines. I’m not well-versed on these wines so really enjoyed the 10 wines we sampled and the open discussion from the group.

About Wines of Gigondas (Wikipedia):

“Gigondas is a French wine Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in the southern Rhône wine region of France. It is primarily a Red wine region, with a very small amount of rosé wine produced. No white wines carry the Gigondas appellation. Being a little brother of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the wine is moderately prestigious and can yield beautiful results when treated with care. Gigondas AOC wine is produced exclusively in the commune of Gigondas, in Vaucluse”.

Here are three of the wines we sampled that were my favorites along with my tasting notes.

2012 Domaine du Cayron ($35) – This wine was bright ruby in the glass. Big raspberry aromas with earthy notes. On the palate, this medium-bodied Rhone wine offered intense red fruit, black pepper and a bit of stone fruit flavors. Low to medium tannins, dry medium finish. 

2003 Domaine Santa Duc ($30) – This wine’s best days were likely behind it but it still offered nice dark raspberry aromas with dark berry continuing on the palate but not in a powerful way. Tobacco, leather and pepper were still present on the finish but not in a powerful way like the others in the tasting did.

2010 Pierre Henri Morel ($30) – This wine was dark purple in the glass. Big dark berry aroma with woodsy, leather notes. On the palate there were big cassis/blackberry/stone fruit flavors with a bit of pepper and pumpkin pie spice on the medium finish.  

There are two things to keep in mind with Gigondas wines: 1) let them age or decant the heck out of them 2) drink them with food, they need it and will be at their deliciousness apex with it.

Cheers,

Veronique

10 Provocatively-Named Wines for Valentine’s Day

Drink-Chilean-Red-WineFor those looking for wine suggestions for Valentine’s Day, I want to share my latest Jersey Bites compilation of 10 Provocatively-Named Wines for Valentine’s Day.

Whether you’re staying home to enjoy a home-made dinner or going out to a restaurant that allows you to bring wine, I hope you try one of these ten wines and leave me a comment about them.

Cheers,

Veronique

10 Rosé Wines to Enjoy this Winter

10 Rosé Wines to Enjoy this Winter

Rosé wine sales are booming on the American market with 3.3 million cases estimated to have been sold in 2015, up from 500,000 cases sold in 2008 (source: Nielson).

Rose Wine WinterWhat was once considered a summer patio wine, rosé has become popular year-around due primarily to its food-friendliness. While there are numerous light-bodied rosés best served as aperitifs, many can hold up to hearty foods served in the winter.

Here are 10 rosé wines to enjoy this winter:

Valdo Rosé Brut ($13.99) – Deep pink in the glass, this wine offers fruity aromas and floral and raspberry flavors very fine bubbles. Nerello Mascalese, Glera.

Paul Cheneau Brut Rosé ($13.99) – Very bright cherry-pink color with well-developed small and constant bubbles forming a gentle rosary. Intense notes of fresh red fruits and hints of fine lees and dried berries, together with subtle, yet very attractive fragrances of fresh strawberries. 85% Trepat, 15% Pinot Noir.

2014 La Petite Perrière Rosé ($13.99) – Bright, pale pink with light raspberry colored highlights. On the nose, the wine develops subtle aromas of raspberry and morello cherry with hints of rose petals. 100% Pinot Noir.

2015 Los Vascos Rosé ($13.99) – Bright, pale pink color. On the nose, aromas of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and pomegranates underscored by white chocolate and sugar syrup. The palate is fresh, balanced and persistent. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah.

Pierre Sparr Crémant D’Alsace Brut Rosé NV ($15.99) – Bright pink in the glass with strawberry aromas that carry over in the mouth. Laced with citrus and a little clove, Creamy and silky texture with nice level of acidity and a clean, dry finish. 100% Pinot Noir.

2013 Esporao Vinha da Defesa Rosé ($15.99) – In the glass, the color is festive and bright pink. The nose is of intense red berry and cherry aromas. The bright fruity aromas continue on the palate. There’s good acidity and minerality with a slightly tart medium finish. Syrah, Aragones.

Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Rosé ($21.99) – The flavors display nice strawberry and wild cherry fruit, with a touch of richness on the mid palate. It is balanced with dry, crisp acidity and complimented with a creamy texture and long finish. 100% Pinot Noir.

2014 Prieuré de Montézargues Tavel AOC ($23.99) – A pretty rosé wine with violet tints and a nice salmon color. The nose is intense with tones of red currant, raspberry and white flowers. 55% Grenaches (red & white), 30% Cinsault, 13% Clairette, 2% Others (Syrah, Mourvédre, Carignan, Bourboulenc).

2014 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé ($35.99) – Intense floral nose with a bit of strawberry. It has incredible peaches and juicy, ripe cantaloupe flavors with bright acidity and a long pleasantly dry finish. 50% Mourvèdre, 28% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 2% Carignan.

Champagne Drappier Brut Rosé ($54.99) – Very well structured, with exemplary purity of red fruits. Striking Champagne on the nose offering similar sensations on the palate. Warm and satiny, lightly spiced with balanced hints of stoned fruits thanks to a lovely freshness in the finish. 100% Pinot Noir.

Cheers,

Veronique

2010 Okto Lyrarakis Wines Red Wine

2010 Okto Lyrarakis Wines Red Wine

2010 Okto Red WineDeep ruby color in the glass. Red berry and tart cherries on the nose that carry over to the palate. Light tannins and good acidity. Spicy/sweet finish.

Pairings: Grilled red meat, game, hard cheeses.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Blend of Syrah, Kotsifali and Mandilari

Region: Crete, Greece

Price: $12