Another season has arrived. With the new season, arrives fresh colors, bountiful textures, flavors and aromas. Many of us are switching out clothes or even adding some new pieces. It is time to revisit things from another familiar season, or even try something new. After all, each season, following each year should have a signature all its own. This original signature from year to year is one of the reasons why I love wine. You can never expect the same from year to year, or season to season. It is time to update the wine cellar. Where to start? I have gone ahead and made you a starter list.
2012 Dr. Konstantin Frank Riesling Dry, US $17
2012 Dr. Konstantin Frank Riesling Semi-Dry, US $17
2012 Hermann J. Wiemer Riesling Select Late Harvest, US $25
I lumped all of these together as one suggestion. The reason being that I am a big fan of these wines. The Finger Lakes region of New York have some wine worth talking about, and more so, worth drinking. The climate in upstate New York could not be more ideal for cultivating quality Riesling grapes. Wines from The Finger Lakes are being made in many styles, perfect for a lunch outside on your sunny deck, or sipping, snuggled up on the couch in the cool night. Try the drier styles with your best grilled fish recipe you’ve been dying to try or the Late Harvest with some spicy coconut Thai.
2009 Goldeneye Estate Grown Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, US $80
As always, you must round out your cellar with some whites as well as reds. Just because the weather will be warming up, does not mean red is out ‘til fall. This gamey Pinot Noir from Goldeneye should be on your list, full of wild berries flavors and complexity. Goldeneye’s 2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Gris Split Rail Vineyard (US $35) is perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons in the park.
2010 Scholium Project, Prince In His Caves Sauvignon Blanc, US $40
For those of you on the adventurous side of trying a wine which may not be completely original, however, few dare try the method; from Sonoma, a Sauvignon Blanc ‘orange wine’. Actually this one is pink, due to the grape juice having contact with the grape skins during fermentation. It is floral, with notes of lavender and other perfumed spring flowers. Pair this with smoked salmon or slow roasted game birds with some roasted spring veggies, maybe a wilted Chard salad with parmesan and pancetta with a light, honey-mustard dressing, add a splash of this while you are tossing it all together!
2011 Domaine De La Taille Aux Loups (Jacky Blot) “Les Dix Arpents” Montlouis Sur Loire Sec (dry), US $32
This wine, crafted from grapes grown on 50-year old vines grown in limestone-clay soil will surely inspire. It is light, limey, citrusy, and bursting with pomegranate, but the sur-lie aging gives way to a rich and full-bodied finish. If you simply can’t hold off enjoying this while making a meal, head to your local deli for prosciutto, fresh cheeses and Castelvetrano olives.
2007 Graham Beck Brut Rosé, US $30
This Cellar Update would not be complete without a Sparkling Wine. I bring you, from South Africa, the 2007 Graham Beck Brut Rosé. Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it has aromas and flavors of crisp apples, spring strawberries, finished off with a texture of rich mousse. Can you think of a better way to celebrate the new season?
Vouette & Sorbée Champagne Extra Brut “Saignée de Sorbée”, US $95
“Saignée” comes from the technical term for the method when juice is bled from, in this case, the Pinot Noir grapes after a short period of skin contact. The extended carbonic maceration and oak aging creates a mouth-watering Champagne, kissed with the aromas and flavors of red spring berries with an earthy finish.
2011 Millton Vineyards Riverpoint Organic Viognier, US $30
Viognier is underappreciated, so let me show you one wine which may grow your appreciation. This delicate grape is a little rough around the edges, but in a good way. The fresh croissant and baked pear aromas are touched with a bit of warm spice. The terroir comes through with tertiary aromas of its briny distant sea.