new wines for Friday that are Fabulous and Fun!

It’s FRIDAY, and that means it’s high time we chatted about some new juice.  Well, technically any day of the week is perfect for that, but today’s the day.  These three puppies are really, truly fantastic and individualistic.  They truly each deserve a post of their own, but multi-wine posts are a little easier to pull off on a Friday afternoon.  So let’s take a peek…

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A total of five grapes and three countries!  One grape of which you probably have never heard of.  One brand-new to SC Pinot Noir.  And one freaking excellent Malbec blend from a forgotten place for Malbec- France!  Eeek, what fun!

First up is one of my favorite finds of the last few weeks: Cederberg Bukettraube, 2012 South Africa:

Buke-what?  Buke-who?

Buke-what? Buke-who?

When I first met this wine, I knew we would be fast friends.  I’m widely known as a weird white wine nerd, so it wasn’t exactly a shock that I took a liking to this one.  However, just cause you weird, don’t mean you good- but this one is!  To me, when I first smelled it, it reminded me of a really pretty Vouvray.  Which, when you consider that South Africa does really well with Chenin Blanc, isn’t too far of a stretch.  However, this Bukettraube (buke–rhymes with nuke–uh-traube) is not related to Chenin, as far as I could Google.  Apparently it is a grape of German origin.  It is a cross of Silvaner and Schiavia.  Not much else to be found on this one, but you shouldn’t be phased by that.  There’s only so much background info we really need.  What we do need to know is how incredibly TASTY it is!

An incredibly aromatic wine, it bursts with smells that are similar to a Muscat; ripe apricot, lychee, rose petals, peaches and prickly pineapple.  Nice floral accents set it off, the mouthfeel is soft and plush but not overbearing, and the finish clenches with a nice pop of citrus zest.  Truly a gorgeous and unique wine.  Who will like it?  Well, probably other white wine nerds like me.  But if you like Riesling, Chenin Blanc or even a Sauvignon Blanc (minus a little citrus), you will want to give this one a try.  It would be to DIE with spicy cuisine.  The 2010 vintage of this wine got a little press; 90 Points form Steven Tanzer and 89 points from Wine Enthusiast.  I’d not be shocked if this one earned itself a rating, too, so keep your eyes peeled.  Or don’t, if you don’t care.  This wine is a ridiculous value at $13 retail!

What’s next?  A personal fave.  Omero Cellars Pinot Noir, 2011 Willamette Valley, Oregon.  I actually had this wine prior to my trip to Oregon in June and was quite tickled by it.  My appreciation grew after the trip, where I tasted approximately 10,000 (okay, slight exaggeration) Oregon Pinot Noirs.  We just picked up this wine as a by-the-glass pour last week (hat tip- only the second account in SC to do such…).

serious Oregon juice.

serious Oregon juice.

So why do I like this particular one?  Well, an Oregon Pinot that is artfully made tends to really stand out.  When that wine offers what I perceive to be a great value, they stand out even more.  This is the first distribution vintage for this winery; they are very small and only 1500 cases of this 2011 were made.  It’s everything Oregon Pinot Noir should be: bright acidity, a nice mix of ripe red fruit on the forefront, followed by some sour cherry, pomegranate, wild strawberry and raspberry.  There is a nice softness and a flowery suggestion in the finish, and a touch of mild vanilla.  This wine tastes freaking phenomenal the second day after opening!  In and of itself, this is an indicator that this wine is a great candidate for a bit of time in the Cellar.  For a cooler vintage like 2011, this is a great quality for a wine to have.  The winemakers are pretty legit, making it their goal to express the true nature of Willamette’s climate and soil.  Their winery is located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA of Willamette, which is where the majority of this fruit is sourced.  This wine is currently available for tasting purposes and as a glass pour!  It’s retail cost is a modest $24.  (Side note: their single Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir is exemplary, too).  You will not find this on any other wine list in Columbia- BOO-YAH!

What’s the last thing on my mind today?  A little Frenchie!  From one of my favorite regions in France, Cahors.  Cahors is relatively close to the Bordeaux region.  Malbec is a grape that is considered a true Bordeaux varietal, but it is often seen in Cahors as a single varietal, or in this case used in a cool blend of 80% Malbec with a splash of Merlot and Tannat:

mmmmmm.

mmmmmm.

Chateau de Gaudou, 2011 retails for a sweet $15.  It is as close to a perfect house French red as you could find.  In my mind, approach this wine as 1.) a great value French red and then 2.) as a Malbec.  It will not taste like the Argentinian Malbec you had last week.  Sure, there are some definitive grape characteristics that are similar, but they’re treated much differently in each country.  I like both, but I find Cahors Malbecs to have density, color and depth that are quite striking.  A deep purple, almost black color, it has a whopper of a nose of blackberry liqueur, blackcurrant, toasty oak, black cherries, violets, and undertones of roasted sage and thyme.  Some higher notes of red raspberry are found if you search for them, too.  The mouthfeel is smooth with a little bite of tannin that makes it great with food.  Grilled or roasted game.  Maybe a beef or lamb tartare to make the mineral content pop a bit.  It’s quite versatile and great on it’s own.  This wine is also currently a glass pour at Cellar, so should you desire a taste, just stop on in!  Or have a glass with your next dinner!

Thanks for reading and HAPPY DRINKIN!

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Domaine Sainte Lucie “MiP” Rose, 2012 France

In case you haven’t noticed—

photo (34)

This makes me happy.  Why?  Because Rose is good.  And I like good things.  Pretty much every wine person I know has a special affinity for a good dry Rose.  Why is this, exactly?  Why do we all freak out over Rose?  Why do we become like fiends, trying to find the absolute most perfect one ever made (that year)?

There are a variety of factors, not all of which necessitate a long conversation.  But I should start, of course, with reminding you that if you’re still one of those people that THINK they don’t like Rose, I plea with you; try this one.  Especially if you like white wine.  If you like white, chances are you like Rose too.  You just don’t know it yet.  If you think you don’t like white wine?!  Well, I’ll work on YOU later…

photo 1 (14)

Allow me to introduce you to my new baby, Domaine Sainte Lucie “MiP” Rose, 2012 vintage from the Provence region of France.  “MiP” stands for “Made in Provence”, giving this wine an accessible and memorable package.  This picture doesn’t really do it justice; although it does look frosty and inviting, you really have to see this wine in person to appreciate it’s beautiful color.  Pale, pale, pale rose petal pink.  This is a blend of mostly Cinsault, with a bit of Grenache and Syrah.  My favorite thing about this wine is the nose- you’d have to be a crazy not to realize you’re in for something special when you get your first inhale of this wine.  It is completely alive, vibrant, and bursting with fresh notes of wildflowers, passionfruit, a little prickly pineapple, wild strawberries and a minerally touch of wet stone.  The mouthfeel is silky and addicting.  A pleasantly dry body, and a finish that lingers, refreshes, and cleanses.  It feels like satin.  In my opinion, there is something nothing short of magical in this wine.  That which cannot be explained.  Must be experienced.  But that IS the point of drinking wine, isn’t it?

Which brings me back to my original question- why does Rose captivate us wine-lovers?  In essence, I believe it to be because Rose is just fun.  Rose reminds us that wine is meant to be enjoyed- today.  It’s pink color is flirtatious and suggests an air of frivolity that is not present in other wines.  It is inviting.  It doesn’t just ask to be drunk, it begs to be.  It’s not serious or heavy handed (although, there are of course serious Rose drinkers), it just invites you to come play.  NOW.

My Google search yielded no quality results, so that’s as good of an explanation as I think we are going to get:

photo (36)So, in closing, YOU NEED THIS WINE.  And you need it now!  It is $17 a bottle and will be in residence at Cellar on Greene and available for sampling until it runs out!  Which it will, at some point.  So hop to it.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

Verdier & Logel Gamay, 2009 Cotes du Forez

Here is the latest in my “unusual fall reds” quest for Fall 2011!  Gamay.  Yes, yes- the same grape that will forever be linked with the phenomenon that is Beaujolais Nouveau.  A phenomenon that has never really grabbed ahold of me, personally.  But its a fun celebration none-the-less.  But let’s not talk about that; let’s instead discuss this particular Fun Fall Red!  

The latest Cellar on Greene acquisition from Sour Grapes Wine is this Domaine Verdier-Logel “Cuvee des Gourmets”, 2009 France.  So what exactly is so fun about this ‘lil guy?  DUH- it tastes good!  And DUH number two- it’s inexpensive!  $12 retail, to be exact.  But back to the tasting good part.  This wine is magnificently vibrant, which is what I enjoy most about it.  There’s so much excitement going on in this bottle.  Its pure and clear aromas of cherry blossoms, violets, and a hint of something metallic are inviting.  A delicious, tart palate of sour cherry, dried raisins and blackcurrants, and no shortage of black peppery spice.  All that spice, coupled with high acidity and low alcohol make this a truly perfect food wine!  Any kind of poultry (quail, anyone?!), a sharp cheese… I’m even thinking this wine could take on a light cream sauce?  mmmm.

purty

I even took this wine for a little stroll with my camera earlier, to try to capture its really beautiful color!  It was a short walk, but I managed to get a decent picture.  Thanks iPhone!

Forez. Not Fez.

So what about this place on the label, Cotes du Forez?  No, not Cotes du Fez.  Turns out it’s a relatively new AOC (aka officially recognized wine region), roughly located in the Loire Valley, but also fairly close to Burgundy.  It’s fairly small and Gamay is its only planted grape.  Legend holds there is some Gamay Rose to be found there- which really intrigues me.  The producer of this wine, Domaine Verdier-Logel, is apparently one of the better known producers in this little region, and they seem fairly legit- Organic winemaking to boot.  Pretty cool.  This wine is particularly true to it’s nature, in my book- something very common in much of Sour Grapes Wine’s portfolio.  Now their SC salesperson, however…  Also, I came across this very well-written post about the 2010 vintage of this wine here, for anyone interested!

So feel free to grab a wee taste of this the next time you’re in our neck of the woods!  It’s currently by the glass, so it’ll be open for the tasting for the foreseeable future.  Before I dip out for the day, allow me to digress for a minute with a small rant to this site, who linked my Zweigelt post a few weeks ago.  Mind you, this is a wordpress site created by a marketing team.  Which should be fairly evident, but in case there was any doubt.  Hey peeps- thanks for the ping.  However, there is a definite sort of back-handed compliment air floating around.  My blog is designed to take strange things (like Zweigelt, which IS strange to my intended audience) and make them fun and accessible.  Sorry if my “rendition” of the history of Zweigelt wasn’t up to par.  The information I provided was not false.  Is there more to it?  Maybe.  My intention was to make the history of the grape memorable and fun.  I find people remember things better when they have a humorous association to go along with it.  At least normal people.

Also, they presumed me a “he”.  Which is never really appreciated by we “she’s”.  You can go ahead and fix that anytime.