Your first reaction is probably “what the hell is Sauvignon Gris?” Think of it as a good, cool climate Sauvignon Blanc (in its citrusy, tropical, and herbal aromatics) meets a good, cool climate Chardonnay (in its creamy structure and full body), with a lemon-rind finish thrown in for good measure. The cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean help this wine to retain its vibrant, acidic verve while still appealing to the Chardonnay lovers out there. Savuignon Gris might just be poised as the next “breakout” variety from South America.
A fairly traditional winery in Rioja produces this wine from 50-year-old viura vines, blended with a little malvasia. The nose is aromatic, as you’d expect. On the palate it is reminiscent of Chablis, but the flavors are more gentle and rounder, especially toward the end. A bit of steeliness re-awakens in a slightly citric finish; very dry. Recommended.
Clear, bright, medium-light intensity, watermelon pink. Clean, medium-low intensity aromas of strawberry, melon rind, under ripe cherry, apple skin; a little heat on the nose (14.7 abv). Dry, medium body, medium-high acidity, medium-high alcohol, medium intensity flavors: citrus, tart apple, raspberry, stone fruit; noticeable heat on the palate. Refreshing and easy drinking; pair with baked ham. Recommended.
Clear, bright, gold color. Clean nose with medium-light intensity aromas of white flowers, jasmine, peach, pineapple, and some honey. Dry on the palate, medium acidity, medium body, lemon peel, orange, floral, yellow apple, pear, slight yeastiness adding texture and a medium finish. Pair grilled Tilapia and mango salsa. Recommended.
Last time I was in Sicily, there was great excitement in the local wine community about the creation of the island’s first DOCG, its first highly denominated wine classification (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). Amongst the rest of us, there was a bit of puzzlement. The new DOCG would define a traditional, blended wine from the southwest corner of this triangular island, a fairly obscure wine from an international perspective: Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
The first foray for this producer from Pinot Noir and Riesling—and just in time for summer. Bright, medium intensity golden color. Clean on the nose and incredibly aromatic—jumps out of the glass—bright grapefruit, pineapple, green apple, fresh herbs, and the sweet smell of freshly cut grass in the summer. Medium-high acidity on the palate, but with a lot of fruit sweetness. Clean flavors including pineapple, mango, Granny Smith apple, peach, grapefruit, watermelon rind, lime zest, herbs, and grass. Pair with grilled summer vegetables, scallops in cream sauce, or citrus glazed pork loin. Highly recommended.
A new release from Trisaetum Winery, located in the Willamette Valley’s Ribbon Ridge AVA. The color is clear, pale pink with just a touch of copper. On the nose, aromas are clean and light to medium intensity, including orange zest, crisp apples, strawberry, and cherry. Light bodied and dry on the palate with medium acidity, and gentle flavors including fresh apple, plum, raspberry, cherry, and strawberry; simple and refreshing with a mild finish. Keep the pairings simple too—fresh fruit, poached salmon, or chicken salad. Recommended.
Founded by two former sommeliers, Joie Farm is one of the most exciting producers in British Columbia’s Okanagan valley. Their Pure Grape Muscat is a great example of their fresh, clean and always controlled style of wines. Clocking in at barely over 11% alcohol, this wine made from Moscato Giallo strikes a great balance between crisp freshness and aromatic amplitude, with a dangerously high drinkability combined with all the floral and peachy aromatics of muscat. A pale, crystalline white that can pair well with oysters, sushi or some spicy Asian foods. Highly recommended.