Weingut Josef Leitz Riesling QbA Feinherb Rheingau 2017
Country: GERMANY / Region: RHEINGAU / Appellation: RHEINGAU / Varietal(s): RIESLING --- The Rheingau is a small region, stretching only 20 miles from east to west, mostly between the cities of Mainz and Rüdesheim. Even though the region is further north than the middle Mosel, its south-facing slopes get hotter than the narrow Mosel Valley which therefore provides important diurnal temperature variation. Once the home of some of the world’s most sought after wines, the Rheingau fell to mediocrity in the years following WWII. Johannes Leitz took over his family's vineyard in 1985 and, in the decades since, has made it his life’s work to reclaim the intrinsic quality of his native terroir. Now hailed as one of the finest producers in Germany, Johannes has grown his holdings from 2.6 hectares to over 40, most of which are Grand Cru sites on the slopes of the Rüdesheimer Berg. Focused on farming as sustainably as possible and working by hand, the backbreaking labor on the ultra-steep slopes allow these ancient vineyards to reach their maximum potential. Dangerously drinkable, and an insanely great value to boot, this fresh, approachable riesling has a faint touch of sweetness, deftly balanced by crisp citrus acidity, juicy aromatics, and a clean, lip-smacking finish. An awesome pairing with spicy foods (curry, anyone?), we're betting this'll soon be your new go-to for any occasion!
Penedo Gordo Tinto Vinho Regional Alentejano 2015
Country: PORTUGAL / Region: ALENTEJO / Appellation: VINHO REGIONAL ALENTEJANO / Varietal(s): ARAGONEZ AKA TEMPRANILLO+TRINCADEIRA+ALICANTE BOUSCHET+TOURIGA NACIONAL --- Penedo Gordo is the second label of producer A. M. Esteves Monteiro, (better known for their Quinta das Arcas label.) This small family owned and operated winery grows all their grapes on four estates in the Vinho Verde and Alentejo regions. Located in Alentejo (the drier of the two regions), Penedo Gordo was the name of the property during ancient times according to historic documents of the estate. Penedo Gordo literally means “Fat Rock”, but the actual translation is probably closer to “big round granite rocks” that are found in the region. Ironically however, the vineyards consist of clay and schist with no granite! Regardless of the name, this is a tasty everyday value that once again reinforces Portugal's reputation as a source of "under the radar" bargains. Farming is done sustainably, and harvest takes place at night to retain the acidity and freshness of the grapes, which are fermented in stainless steel. Made of aragonez (or tempranillo), trincadeira (one of the 30 varietals used for Port), alicante bouschet, and touriga nacional, this ruby red sipper opens with aromatic notes of red fruits on a medium-bodied frame. A lively palate of red berries, dried fruit, and hints of chocolate and spice embellish the soft finish, making for a versatile crowd pleaser. Great with pizza, pasta, or baked chicken with mushrooms.