2012 Joseph Drouhin Santenay

2012 Joseph Drouhin Santenay

Brought this lovely Pinot Noir to my favorite gourmet pizzeria in anticipation of having forest mushroom pizza and it was a stellar pairing.

Looks: Deep ruby in the glass.

Smell: Wild strawberries with some earthy notes on the nose.

Taste: Raspberry and cherry flavors with woodsy notes.

Texture and Finish: Round, nicely-balanced with medium tannins and medium finish.

Young wine but very drinkable and enjoyable Burgundy. Good price point.

Pairings: Mushroom-based dishes, roasted/grilled salmon, pork, turkey.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Cote de Beaune, Burgundy, France

Price: $29

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Petite Sirah

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Petite Sirah

I decanted this California Petite Sirah for 45 minutes before drinking, drank it over 60 minutes and it opened up beautifully.

Looks: Darkest purple in the glass.

Smell: Dark fruit/berries with some peppery notes on the nose.

Taste: Blackberry flavors with plum, tobacco and leather notes.

Texture and Finish: Well-structured, balanced and elegant. Long finish with peppery notes.

This is still a young wine but delicious after some decanting. This proves once again that there’s not a bad Jean Edwards Cellars wine to be had.

Pairings: Beef short ribs, roasted lamb, grilled steaks.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Petite Sirah

Region: Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA

Price: $35

Top Rosé Wines Under $15

Top Rosé Wines Under $15

Those of us living in a cold climate are eager to get the rosé uncorked, marking the unofficial start of the Spring-Summer season. I enjoy rosé wines year-around – heavier in the winter and lighter in the summer and below are examples of nice, accessible rosé wines for under $15.

2015 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes du Rhône Rosé (Rhone Valley, France, $10.99)

Fresh and bright floral aromas with some saline notes on this medium-bodied French rosé. In the mouth, the flavors are of raspberries and bright citrus followed by a dry finish. 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Cinsault.

2015 E. Guigal – Côtes du Rhône Rosé (Rhone Valley, France, $12.99)

Bright salmon color in the glass, this French rosé wine has raspberry and ripe strawberry aromas that carry over to the palate. Elegant wine with great balance and structure. This family has been making rose since the ‘40s and know what it’s doing. 60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 10% Syrah.

Gruet Rosé Brut NV (New Mexico, $12.99)

Bright deep pink in the glass, this New Mexico rosé has a fine mousse bubbles and big ripe strawberry flavors. The floral nose has berry notes. Nice level of acidity on the finish. 100% Pinot Noir.

2015 Marques de Caceres Rioja Rosado (Rioja, Spain, $12.99)

Bright strawberry-peach color in the glass. Big floral and red berries aromas. On the palate, this Rioja rosé offers flavors of red berries and cherries with licorice notes. 96% Tempranillo, 4% Garnacha Tinta.

2015 Chateauneuf de Pierrevert – Domaine La Blaque Rosé (Provence, France, $14.99)

Pale peach color in the glass with citrus, floral aromas. This dry Provence rosé wine has berry and citrus zest flavors with lots of acidity and minerality on the finish. 50% Grenache, 50% Syrah.

Happy rose drinking!

Veronique

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

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

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

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

1994 Chateau Troplong Mondot Grand Cru

1994 Chateau Troplong Mondot Grand Cru

1994 Chateau Troplong Mondot Grand CruIn the glass, the 1994 Chateau Troplong Mondot Grand Cru is the darkest of ruby with a bit of brick notes from the age of the wine. It was difficult to stop sniffing the spice-laced berry aromas to move on to take a sip – lovely, lovely nose. The palate offers berry, plummy and licorice driven with a roundness on the finish which offers just a bit of minerality.

This medium-bodied wine is likely near its peak with great structure and balance. I thank my friend Harry for sharing this beauty with us.

Pairings: Grilled meat, cheese course.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Red Bordeaux Blend

Region: Bordeaux, France

Price: $65