Field Recordings "Fiction" Pinot Gris California 2014 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: CALIFORNIA / Varietal(s): PINOT GRIS+CHENIN BLANC+ SAUVIGNON BLANC+MALVASIA BIANCA --- 34-year-old Andrew Jones seems to have a keen eye to finding diamond-in-the-rough parcels with untapped potential in California’s Central Coast. He spends his days as a vine nursery employee planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over the region and, in return, is sometimes gifted small allocations of the finest fruit the vines can offer for his efforts. Given his background, there’s no question as to why he produces such soulful and delicious wines. His Field Recordings Fiction White is a definite winner, perfect for this time of year. It’s a beautiful, unfiltered wine with an undoubtedly happy marriage of 86% pinot gris, 7% chenin blanc, 4% sauvignon blanc and 3% malvasia bianca (sustainable farming practices are used) that is wildly aromatic with vivid floral notes, juicy stone fruit and an unwavering citrus rind characteristic. Think crisp white peach, green mango and honeydew served with a dollop of Greek yogurt, with hints of goose-berry salt taffy and lime sorbet! Unctuous once in the mouth yet with a delicate acidity, it is fantastic with seared scallops over risotto or by itself. This makes a perfect seasonal transition wine: not too light or heavy, but full of complexity.
Forlorn Hope Verdelho California "Que Saudade" 2013 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: CALIFORNIA / Varietal(s): VERDELHO --- Named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of its Winemakers to Watch a few years ago, Matthew Rorick is standout even among his peers. A man of seemingly tireless energy, Rorick is a supreme experimenter. Rorick worries little about exactly how the wines will turn out, focusing more on the process, and allowing the wines to reveal their individual personalities along the way. This white is perfect for the transitioning weather of still-warm days with cooler nights. It was barrel-fermented, but in neutral barrels, not imparting oaky flavors but developing texture and complexity. The wine almost hovers somewhere between a white and red wine, offering both acidity and weight with some delicate tannin. Pour this with risotto with patty pan squash and edamame or roast chicken with root vegetables.
La Porta di Vertine Chianti Classico DOCG 2012 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: ITALY / Region: TUSCANY / Appellation: CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG / Varietal(s): SANGIOVESE+CANAIOLO+COLORINO --- The current incarnation of Porta di Vertine began in 2006 when Dan Lugosch, an American real estate developer with family ties to Italy, bought a house with a vineyard near Gaiole in Chianti in the secluded hamlet of Vertine. Lugosch brought enologist Giacomo Mastretta (formerly of La Massa in Tuscany and Chapoutier in the Rhône) on board full time to manage the tiny, 2.5-hectare estate, giving him free rein. Informed by his time at Chapoutier, Mastretta follows strictly organic principles at La Porta di Vertine. A disciple of non-interventionist winemaking, Mastretta ensures grapes are hand harvested and fermented (destemmed but not crushed) in concrete tanks with indigenous yeasts, avoiding the use of sulfur throughout the entire fermentation process. 2012 was a difficult year of record heat in Tuscany, but resulted in yields of great freshness and modest alcohol levels. Porta di Vertine did not make a Riserva for this vintage, producing instead this great age-worthy Chianti Classico. It possesses the ability to improve over time like a Riserva, while being a true expression of the vineyards - and a great value! 90% sangiovese, with small (5% each) amounts of canaiolo and colorino, this bursts with tart cherry, red plum, strawberry and fig flavors, accented by tobacco, leather and earth notes. The great acidity of the 2012 vintage gracefully balances structured tannins, making this ready to age for a few years, or drink now with charcoal-grilled steaks, lasagna or wild mushroom ravioli!
de Trafford Merlot Stellenbosch WO 2007
Country: SOUTH AFRICA/ Region: STELLENBOSCH / Appellation: STELLENBOSCH WO / Varietal(s): MERLOT --- De Trafford Winery is located on the beautiful Mont Fleur farm that sits atop a dramatic valley above Stellenbosch, between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountains. The property was purchased in 1976 by the Trafford family as inaccessible grazing land, and the high pastures were converted to vineyards in 1983 to produce experimental wines (consumed by family and friends). The years of experimentation, work experience in Bordeaux, and help and advice from local winemakers paid off, and this luscious merlot is delicious proof. The finicky harvest conditions with heat waves alternating with short, wet, cold spells seemed to bring out a nutty character in the merlot and elegantly accentuate the natural structure of the wine. Hand harvested and fermented with natural yeast, the wines undergo malolactic fermentation in the barrel, spending 19 months in barrel (35% new French oak), before being bottled unfiltered. Deep red in color, this displays rich red cherry, berry and plum fruit accented by tones of earth, nuts and spices. Fine dry tannins, a lingering finish and a characteristic smoky, earthy element make this a luxuriously cozy choice with braised meats, stews or slow-cooker chili with smoked pasilla peppers.