Remember the movie “Groundhog Day” where Bill Murray lived the same day over and over again (and each day kept getting better)? Sometimes we too fall into the same trap with wine by drinking the same things repeatedly. In honor of the hog, here are 6 different wines to try so that you can bust out of the “same day” mentality.
The 2012 Morandé Vigno, Santa Elena Carignan ($26) from Maule is a melange of warm red berry, plum, and spice with lively tannins and full body just begging for a fireplace. This 78% Carignan, 18% Syrah, and 5% Chardonnay blend is from the Entre Cordilleras region (means “between the mountains”) which offers warmer growing conditions. This is evident from the robust nature of this wine which shows dense fruit flavors on top of toasty yet subtle oak.
Also from Chile, try a Sauvignon Blanc such as the 2015 Garcés Silva Amayna from Leyda ($21). This herbaceous-styled wine offers up intense flavors of bell pepper and jalapeño nestled in vibrant acid. While not for everyone, this wine presents an alternative style to the more tropical fruit of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Leyda is only 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean which lends salinity via cool sea breezes to intensify this wine’s acidity and flavors.
Try the 2009 Stony Hill Vineyard Chardonnay ($58) from Spring Mountain in Napa, California. Elegant in style and depth from 10 months of neutral-oak aging, this zesty wine expresses pure apple and citrus fruit with slate-driven mineral notes. This wine offers a potential middle ground for Chardonnay lovers who prefer oaky styles and those that don’t due to its rich complexity. Lack of malolactic fermentation (which converts tart apple-like acid to softer milk-like acid) preserves the acidic backbone and highlights the layered fruit.
Also from Napa, try the 2009 Ceja Vineyards Late Harvest/Dessert “Dulce Beso” ($50). This sweet dessert wine made from 94% Chardonnay and 6% Sauvignon Blanc is lush in peach and apricot flavors with a long viscous finish. This unique wine is not made every year as the grapes need to be infected with botrytis which only occurs in particular conditions of humidity and alternating dry spells. Botrytis is a special fungus that removes water from the grapes which further concentrates the rich flavors notable in this wine. Dulce Beso incidentally means “sweet kiss”.
Austria’s leading white grape, Gruner Veltliner comes alive in this organic and biodynamic wine from Burgenland, Austria. The 2015 Biokult Gruner Veltliner ($15) hints of early spring with its tingly acidity and clean flavors of white pepper, grapefruit, and grassy minerality. This bone-dry wine is aged 7 months in stainless steel which helps to maintain its crisp style and refreshing palate.
Start dreaming of summer with this 2015 Muga Rosado ($14). Made from 60% Grenache, 30% Viura, and 10% Tempranillo, this elegant rosé (Rosado in Spanish) macerates 12 hours on its skins to gain its delicate pale salmon-orange color. Tart green apple and citrus flavors are dominant resulting from grapes grown on cool slopes as well as cool fermentation temperatures during wine-making. Lees aging (time on dead yeasts) creates a complex and textural palate that enhances the long and lingering finish.
Filed under: Uncategorized