9th Anniversary Staff Picks!
DeLille Cellars, Chaleur Blanc, Washington, USA
I discovered this wine while traveling to Washington wine country a couple of years ago, and immediately felt in love. It quickly became one of my favourite wines of the year, and I had a lot of fun blind tasting this wine with industry colleagues, customers and friends.
The more I learned about it, and the winery and their team... the more I loved it! The care taken at every step of the way to make this gorgeous white Bordeaux blend, translates into the perfect marriage of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
Perfectly balanced notes of white flowers, almond paste, cream, hints of pineapple and roasted peach, and just a hint of lemon peel meld together with a phenomenal freshness, and with a healthy structure.
Pairs perfectly with seafood linguine with a cherry tomato white wine sauce, or with a butter poached halibut. Also works beautifully with a Berkshire roast pork with french herbs.
Jasci & Marchesani, Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Rosato
I know the long-held notion that rosé is exclusively a summer-on-the-patio drink persists, but I think this dark, flavourful rosé will convince you to think a little bit differently.
Hailing from Jasci & Marchesani in Abruzzo, Italy, this organically farmed rosé is just the delicious little thing to keep the conversation flowing, regardless of whether the sun is shining or not (though that never hurts…).
Absurdly fresh and overflowing with flavours of tart cranberry, fresh sage, and Swedish Berries (don’t let that last one scare you, this wine is dry!), you’ll want to keep this one on hand. As if that’s not good enough, this wine is certified Organic, and it comes in right at $25. Total no-brainer!
PS. Not a red wine drinker? Take one of these to the next barbecue - you won’t be disappointed.
Xavier Gérard, 2020 Côte Châtillon Condrieu
I know this wine is not exactly #WineWednesday budget-friendly, but this week is my birthday and many customers who have walked through the store with me have heard me say that this is my favorite wine - the one I want to drink on my birthday - and now I am happy to write about it!
Condrieu is at the northern tip of the Rhône valley, about 25km south of Lyon, right at the NE edge of the Central Massif mountains, where the Rhône valley is breathtaking with its steep hills and deep gorges. Although Syrah is the main grape of the broader region (this is right next to the Côte-Rôtie appellation), Condrieu is where Viognier is king, and it is the best you’ll ever have. So, Condrieu is both the name of the town on the river, and the name of a small wine regions that can only bottle white wine made from Viognier, where it does not taste like this anywhere else.
It is a lush, full-bodied white wine with aromas and flavours of ripe pear, ruby-red grapefruit, white flower, oily almonds and often a satisfying terroir-driven minerality. It is so delicious that I like to drink it alone, but as a full-bodied white it will also pair superbly with veal or pork chops, and roast chicken with all the fixings.
Happy birthday to me…and Happy Anniversary to Vine Styles! J-S
Pietradolce, Archineri, 2018 Etna Rosso
Oh, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… At first glance, I found my dyslexic self stumped at the name of the wine. “Aire-Arch-A….Arancini!” No No, it can’t be that delicious Italian cheese stuffed rice ball… Though it would pair AMAZINGLY.
No this wine’s name is Archineri (Arch-IN-Airy) and it’s from the outstanding Mount Etna winery Pietradolce meaning “Sweet Stone”, referring to the unique volcanic soils which surround the area.
The volcano is still active today, with its last eruption occurring December 2018, talk about perfect timing! The eruption happened shortly after the grapes were harvested and brought into the winery, so we’re lucky that there is no smoke taint and only delicious juice. The wine is 100% Nerello Mascalese from vines that are 80-90 years old. Old vines tend to produce smaller yields of fruit but will have a higher concentration of aromas and flavour.
For aromas, think of field strawberry, black tea, with just a touch of leather. The palate is easy drinking with light tannins and flavours of tart cherries, freshly tilled soft earth, and a stoney minerality. One would say, fresh rain on gravel. It is elegant, approachable, and while it’s so good with charcuterie and cheese, you really don’t need anything at all with it.
Maybe what it actually needs, is just a couple of friends to banter back and forth. “OMG THIS WINE IS SO GOOD!! HOW DO YOU SAY THE NAME AGAIN? I NEED THIS WINE!”
Archineri, my friends. Archineri.