Delectable Whites by Heron Hill Winery

Delectable Whites by Heron Hill Winery

Even with the frigid weather we experienced this week, I cooked food ultra conducive to white wine. The Finger Lakes winery I opted to pour at two of those meals is Heron Hill Winery, one of my very favorite FLX wineries.

2014 Heron Hill Semi-Dry Riesling

I served this off-dry Riesling with spicy Indian food I prepared and it stood up to the heat beautifully while maintaining its fresh, fruit-forward flavors. On the nose, this wine offers big Asian apple aromas. On the palate, the sweet apple continues but combined with lovely floral notes. Nice level of acidity on the finish. Great value at $15/bottle.

2015 Heron Hill Reserve Morris Vineyard Pinot Blanc

Aromas of Meyer lemon and juicy pear in the glass on this crisp Finger Lakes Pinot Blanc. Green apple and peach on the palate with some sweetness followed by great acidity on a finish that resonates with minerality. Hated to share it with the mister, it’s so easy drinking. Just a wonderful Pinot Blanc at an affordable price of $20/bottle.

 

Cheers to the Finger Lakes!

Veronique

2013 Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

2013 Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

2013 Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest GewürztraminerIt’s the first time I’d bought this dessert wine in my Williams Selyem allocation and won’t miss that opportunity again!

Classic ultra floral / tropical fruit Gewürztraminer aromas. In the mouth, this wine has lovely Asian pear, ripe sweet melon flavors with non-cloying sweet notes. Perfect level of acidity to balance out the sweetness, which dessert winemakers don’t always successfully accomplish.

Pairings: Pear/peach tart, foie gras, crème brulée. 

Style: Dessert Wine

Grape Type(s): Gewürztraminer

Region: San Benito County, California, USA

Price: $40

2006 Santenay Bouchard Pere & Fils

2006 Santenay Bouchard Pere & Fils

2006 Santenay Bouchard Pere & FilsPale ruby in the glass but with an earthy, deep ripe cherry nose. The palate of this medium-bodied wine is of cherry/juicy berry flavors and some mineral notes. Smooth, silky texture and an earthy/mushroomy finish.

This southern Cote de Beaune wine was uncorked at my father’s home in Quebec and could be difficult to find.

Pairings: Roasted poultry, grilled salmon, mushroom risotto.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Cote de Beaune, Burgundy, France

Price: $25

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