Just opened this pretty E. Guigal Tavel Rose — great strawberry, pomegranate and lime flavors, with great acidity to give it a nice lift. Made from Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette, and Syrah, this is one of my go-to rose wines. Less than $20.
Opened this beautiful Texas wine tonight — the McPherson Cellars 2012 Roussanne Reserve. With tons of tart pineapple and stone fruit on the nose, it surprises with citrus (lemon and lime) on the palate. A full-bodied white with tons of acidity, this is a terrific wine to wind down the night.
Weszell Gruner Veltliner - love this citrusy, minerally white from Kamstal, Austria. The bottle has a glass cork - totally awesome. $19 from Appellation Wines. NYC.
One of my favorite Texas wines that you will find frequently in my fridge is the Duchman Family Winery Vermentino. Lots of citrus, underripe white peach, and mineral notes. Nice acidity makes this such a refreshing wine. Whole Foods Market for about $17.
I have heard that winemaker Dave Reilly thinks this is their best Vermentino ever. We can also thank the Bingham Family for providing these terrific grapes from their High Plains vineyard.
No matter the time of year, I always crave white wines — particularly the super racy, high mineral whites. Here’s a look at some recent beauties.
Gerard Tremblay Chablis — a solid, under $20 Chablis that is dry, stony and crisp.
Bret Brothers 2011 Pouilly-Fuisse — terrific minerality, with a round mouthfeel. Around $23 at Austin Wine Merchant.
Give me a wine from Alsace any day and I’ll be happy, and Trimbach wines never disappoint. I usually get the Riesling but this Pinot Blanc is a little softer with a bit more body. About $18 at Austin Wine Merchant.
And this terrific Jean Collet Petit Chablis on the wine list at Josephine House.
Me, I’m not much of a Cab girl, particularly those stereotypical hot (high alcohol), oak bombs from Napa. But this weekend, I was pleasantly surprised (and actually quite delighted) with this 2007 Darioush.
And I knew it must be special when the winery website still has archived the wine’s tasting notes. While the dark fruit (blackberry, blueberry) dominated the aromas, it was equally matched on the palate with lots of minerality (tasting notes spell out graphite), earth and tobacco. Soft tannins made this a very pleasant, drinkable wine.
So while I have a love-hate relationship with not only Napa Cabs, but also California wines in general because of the overuse of oak and high alcohol levels, I was encouraged to read the WSJ’s story this week on the efforts by some California winemakers (who are part of IPOB - In Search of Balance) to make more Burgundian style Chardonay and Pinot Noir.
Rajat Parr describes this new breed of wines as having “freshness, vibrancy, acidity and crunchiness.” I’m hoping these IPOB wineries come to Austin soon for a tasting.
As I’ve written before — finally a terrific wine and tapas bar in South Austin. Winebelly is a small, cozy restaurant with a stellar wine list and delicious food. Last night’s evening out with a friend resulted in a mini-tasting, thanks to the half-off specials on Monday.
We started the night with this Fleur de Coucou Sauvignon from Touraine (a neighbor to Sancerre in the Loire Valley), with notes of citrus and underripe white peach with terrific flinty minerality.
This BonAnno Cab from Napa is a heavy, juicy, fruit forward Cab without being ruined with a ton of oak.
We capped the night with a taste of the Perles Fines Brut with a light peach color, soft bubbles and crisp acidity.
I’m on a streak of French wines and last night’s were terrific. I found a champagne that I could drink right away, without swirling away the carbonation, because of the super fine, gentle bubbles. A party in the mouth as sommelier June Rodil would say.
This grower champagne, NV Vilmart & Cie Champagne Cuvee Rubis, was a gorgeous salmon pink color with hints of strawberry, raspberry and yeast on the nose, with a minerally finish and, of course, beautiful acid. It was such a creamy, beautiful champagne to kick off a beautiful night.
And check out the cork — it’s a keeper!
Next up a 2010 Michel & Marc Rossignol Les Teurons, Beaune Premier Cru. A little tight at first, it opened up throughout the night offering notes of tart cherry and cranberry, with subtle hints of some earth and minerality.
Both wines from Austin Wine Merchant.
Thank you Arro and MS Craig Collins for the lovely French wine list — tonight’ s number from Marsannay (2010 Domaine Charles Audoin Marsannay Les Longeroies) was a lovely Pinot Noir with terrific red cherry fruit with subtle notes of earth and minerality.
Tonight’s mussels also made my night — with a creamy, tarragon and onion broth — topped with crispy pomme frites.
And let’s not forget our starters: we kicked off the night with a Trimbach Riesling Reserve (dry and crisp with wicked acidity) and a Grenache Blanc/Roussanne/Viognier blend (lush floral notes on the nose and beautiful stone fruit on the palate).
This delicate, slightly effervescent Moscato from Spain will make your sweetheart smile. With peach, honeydew and white flowers on the nose, the Piquitos Valentino finishes with tangerine notes. It’s off-dry, with a kiss of sweetness, perfect for to kick off your Valentine’s Day celebration.
Thanks to Jessica for sharing this pretty number with me tonight while we studied spirits. Available at Whole Foods Market.