Today we're celebrating Second Saturday by pouring some of our favorite (new and classic) wines from Spain, France, and Italy. Whether you're in the mood for something refreshing, complex, elegant, or all-of-the-above, we've got you covered!
Eulogio Pomares Zarate Albariño Rías Baixas DO 2017 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: SPAIN / Region: GALICIA / Appellation: RÍAS BAIXAS DO / Varietal(s): ALBARIÑO --- When Galicia’s Rías Baixas region officially attained appellation status in 1988, there were only 30 wineries, and almost all the wine they produced was consumed locally. Since then, the region is home to nearly six times as many producers, driven by the explosion in popularity of the fresh, aromatic albariño. No albariño producer has higher aspirations than the one who set the bar for quality in the 1950s: Bodegas Zarate. In 1953, Ernesto Zarate founded the Albariño Festival in the region’s capital of Cambados. Having won first prize three years in a row, he withdrew from the competition, vowing not to re-enter until another grower matched his accomplishment. Currently, none have. Today, seventh-generation Eulogio Pomares helms this historic bodega, with a passion for quality that rivals or surpasses that of his predecessors. The Zarate estate was founded in 1707 on the lower reaches of the Umia River, where undulating slopes of weathered granite soil and a cool climate make up what is perhaps the Val do Salnés's most respected terroir. This cuvée, the estate's entry-level albariño, is a showstopper in its own right. Sourced from vines averaging 35 years old, it is fermented and aged in stainless steel, where it spends six months on fine lees, with 10-25% undergoing malolactic fermentation. Fresh, balanced, and intensely mineral in character, notes of clean, tropical pineapple mingle with yellow citrus flavors on the nose and palate. Elegant acidity and that textured minerality elevate dishes like garlic shrimp, grilled white fish, or a simple chicken sauté.
Domaine Patrick Charlin Altesse Roussette du Bugey Montagnieu AOP 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: SAVOIE / Appellation: ROUSSETTE DU BUGEY MONTAGNIEU AOP / Varietal(s): ALTESSE AKA ROUSSETTE --- This delectable white is made from the altesse grape, also known as roussette. Nestled in the Savoie region of eastern France (just a bit southwest of the Swiss border), the appellation of Montagnieu is spread over three communes: the villages of Montagnieu, Briord, and Seillonnaz. For the humidity-loving altesse, the village of Montagnieu, where Patrick Charlin's vineyards are located, is the best of the three terroirs. The soil there is water-retentive deep clay and fossil-rich limestone, and the hillside magnificently steep, facing south and southwest overlooking the Rhône. A winemaker of astounding precision and talent, Patrick's roussettes are of a power and depth not usually found in the region, really coming into their own after a few years in the bottle. We've done that work for you already, and this 2014 is ready to enjoy now! And what enjoyment it is: a fragrant bouquet of quince with hints of truffle opens the show, evolving over the course of the evening just to keep things interesting. Opulent at first sip, the palate yields to a silky, densely-mineral texture, with notes of crushed mountain herbs, orchard fruit, and light citrus tones, all lifted by a sunny, energetic acidity that keeps it deftly balanced and refreshing. Powerful from the get-go, these wines finish with Alpine grace, and the more air and time they see, the more captivating they become. Almost Burgundian in style, this is a complex, elegant addition to any dinner: think polenta, tartiflette (a casserole made with sliced potatoes, Reblochon cheese, lardons, onions, and cream), or any of the region's famed cheeses!
Domaine Régis Jouan Sancerre AOC Rosé 2017
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: SANCERRE AOC / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR --- The 7,000-acre AOC of Sancerre produces three iconic wines: the sauvignon blanc-based blanc (what we all typically - and deliciously - associate with Sancerre), rouge made from pinot noir, and rosé, also made with pinot noir. Domaine Régis Jouan is a small estate of four hectares that offers exactly the kind of meticulous winemaking we expect from Sancerre. Located in Sury en Vaux, on the left side of the Loire, it boasts classic limestone and clay soils of the region. 25 year old vines are planted on a slope with southwestern exposure. Régis is the fifth generation winemaker, and is now working with his daughter and son-in-law, keeping it a true family tradition. If you're looking for a rosé that packs a bigger punch than your easygoing Provence sippers, then you've just hit the jackpot! Sancerre's claim to fame is bone dry, crisp, minerally wines, and this rosé doesn't disappoint: 100% pinot noir, it gets its lovely color from a short maceration of the skins. Bursts of red fruit (think tart, juicy cherries and raspberries) walk a high wire of sizzling acidity and elegant minerality. Medium-bodied, with a persistent finish of crushed stone and grapefruit pith, this is a delightfully dry dazzler, perfect for elegant luncheons or casual picnics alike. Impressive with a spinach salad topped with grilled chicken, raspberries, goat cheese, and almonds.
Occhipinti "SP68" Rosso Terre Siciliane IGT 2017 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: ITALY / Region: SICILY / Appellation: TERRE SICILIANE IGT / Varietal(s): FRAPPATO+NERO D'AVOLA --- Arianna Occhipinti has been a trailblazer in Sicilian natural winemaking. 21 years old when she released her first vintage in 2004, she has since gained a cult following in the biodynamic movement. Arianna started at age 16 in her uncle Giusto Occhipinti's cellar – he being the proprietor of Vittoria's most famous winery, COS – and loved it. After studying oenology in Milan, she returned to Sicily to "unlearn" the technical ways she had been taught to "construct" a wine, instead growing grapes and making wine from the ground up. She tends 25 hectares of vineyards near Vittoria, in southeastern Sicily, and has built her reputation on frappato, an often overlooked grape. Her vineyards are certified organic and practicing biodynamic and feature only native Sicilian varietals. Her SP68 wines are named for the main road nearby, which also happens to be the most ancient wine route in existence. This red is a blend of 70% frappato and 30% nero d'Avola, fermented using indigenous yeasts, and aged in small concrete tanks with no oak influence. Bright and aromatic, this displays vibrant raspberry tones, with exuberant peppercorn and wet rose petal notes. Delicious to sip with grilled leg of lamb or roasted eggplant.