WINES FOR BACKYARD BBQ OR BLACK TIE DINNER!
This tasting features four classic, versatile wines that are equally at home at a backyard BBQ or and elegant dinner party. Beginning with a Sancerre from one of the top sauvignon blanc producers worldwide, we then move to a luxurious rosé from Monterey, California. Our third wine is also from California: a sophisticated, pinot noir from the Santa Rita Hills that deftly balances acidity and structure with deep layers of dark, juicy fruit. Finally, a big, bold shiraz from Australia's famed McLaren Vale is the perfect cookout companion!
Lucien Crochet Sancerre AOC 2014
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: SANCERRE AOC/ Varietal(s): SAUVIGNON BLANC --- Crisp, complex, elegant: Sancerre is a long-standing classic, and for good reason! Lucien Crochet is among the top sauvignon blanc producers in the world, and this wine is a perfect example of his distinctive style. Grapes come from vineyards in the village of Bue (primarily the "Clos du Chene Marchand") that are planted uniquely to clay-limestone soils, known as “caillottes and griottes" which yield wine of particularly fine quality and exceptional length. Often harvested a bit earlier than other cuvées because of the excellent exposure of the vines to the sun, this maintains an elegant acidity in balance with the ripe fruit from these well-situated vines. The resulting wine is a gem: perfectly poised on a highwire of racy acidity without sacrificing richness. Remarkably intense and concentrated, it remains crisp, clean, and distinctively mineral, with a bright splash of citrus. Zesty and refreshing, with elements of lemon, lime, and minerals evolving into a peachy ripeness, this is a gorgeous choice to open with a summer vegetable tart of zucchini, yellow squash, shallot and goat cheese.
Wrath Pinot Noir Rosé Saignée Rosé Monterey 2015
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: MONTEREY / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR --- The Thomas family purchased the well-regarded San Saba Vineyards in 2007 and set out to make their own mark on the California wine industry. Michael Thomas and his mother are working together, creating wines that speak of site rather than a specific style. They are allowing the cooling winds that sweep through their vineyards to determine the direction of each wine. Bright red fruit and moderate (13.8%) alcohol make this luxurious rosé from Wrath Vineyards a versatile warm weather wine. 100% pinot noir aged for three months in neutral French oak barrels, this wine provides vivid strawberry and rhubarb aromas on the nose while the juicy red-berry and watermelon flavors blend with crisp acidity on the palate. A touch of weight makes this perfect with salads, grilled fish, light pasta and rice dishes or goat cheese.
Sandhi Pinot Noir Evening Land Tempest Sta. Rita Hills 2010
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: STA. RITA HILLS / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR --- Dark, brooding, and drop dead gorgeous, this pinot hails from one of the most marginal sites on California's Central Coast, where the wind whips in relentlessly from the Pacific Ocean, a mere six miles away. Sandhi captures the essence of the Santa Rita Hills by whole cluster fermenting their pinot with wild yeast and not filtering, fining or adding sulfur. Founded in 2010 by Rajat Parr, the wine director for Michael Mina Restaurants, and winemaker Sashi Moorman, Sandhi focuses on small production of wines possessing finesse, acidity, minerality, structure and balance from select vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Every individual vineyard is chosen for its character, personality and balance, with stunning results. This cuvée combines the energy and vibrancy of cool climate pinot with intense fruit concentration and balance. Deeply layered aromas and flavors of black cherries, blackberries, violets, licorice, tar, tobacco and mint make this an opulent choice with chai tea-rubbed grilled chicken or Spanish tortilla with mushrooms and kale.
Paxton MV Shiraz McLaren Vale 2014 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: AUSTRALIA / Region: SOUTH AUSTRALIA / Appellation: MCLAREN VALE / Varietal(s): SHIRAZ--- Since 1979, Paxton has been a family-owned wine company in Australia's renowned McLaren Vale. With a reputation based on producing wine grapes of extraordinary quality for over 30 years, founder/owner David Paxton has become one of Australia’s most highly regarded viticulturalists. Recognized worldwide as one of Australia’s leading wine regions, McLaren Vale is famous for the production of wines, particularly red wines, of exceptional quality. Minimal intervention in the winery guarantees the true expression of the fruit from vine to bottle. Paxton vineyards are diversely situated across a varying array of sites and soils, and are strictly managed without exception from planting to harvest. Michael Paxton continues the Paxton vineyards' commitment to biodynamic agriculture – a way of farming that avoids using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and focuses instead on creating living, healthy soils by many processes including the use of natural compost. Fresh and dynamic, this full-bodied wine offers lush currant and juicy blackberry flavors front and center with touches of chocolate, licorice, and a whisper of vanillin oak throughout. This is a great companion to open next time you're having mushroom burgers or grilling up a big, juicy steak.