Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Wines

Summer? What's that? It the sun ever comes out here in Seattle you may want to have a picnic or maybe you live on the shvitz on the East Coast or in the inferno in the Midwest on in caliente Arizona. Once again, 2009 provided a way to cool off. How about some oysters (not the Rocky Mountain kind) with 2009 Chateau Des Cleons Muscadet from Trader Joe's for about $9 - crisp, fresh dry, tart - everthing a Muscadet should be, with just a hint of fruit to soften it up. Too hot to turn on the oven, too tired to fire up the BBQ? How about sauteeing some scallops for a simple salad compose? I have the perfect match - 2009 Domaine de Niales Macon-Villages. This amazingly rich Chardonnay is made from old vines and resembles white Burgundies at twice the price or more - perfect balance of fruit and acid with wonderful minerality at about $12 from K&L Wines in San Francisco. In Seattle, you can pick up some 2009 Borgogne Blanc from Lambdin at McCarthy & Schiering for thirteen bucks.  Lambdin was recommended to me by son-in-law Laurent who found it at Andronico's in San FRancisco. A little drier feel than the Macon it would be fabulous with any seafood, fish or chicken. BTW, 2009 Drouhin and Louis Jadot Macon-Villages are widely distributed and quite good in the $10-$15 price range.

About that picnic, shift to 2010 for one of the best Roses I've ever tasted. My friend Carol doesn't like Rose I think because she associates it with sweet white Zinfandel. Personally, I don't like sweet Roses either whether from France or the U.S. I have never had a Rose from the Loire Valley of France that I found enjoyable. Similarly, most American Roses are too sweet for my taste. A number of years ago I visited the Enotheque in Les Arcs - more than 50 Cotes de Provence wines to taste almost all Roses. I wished I could take them all home with me. So when I opened Carol & Stevens fridge in Morro Bay and saw a 2010 Cotes de Provence Rose, I couldn't resist a little sip. WOW! The perfect Provencale Rose! It is hard to describe the essence of this bliss producing wine. Of course, the salmon color is pleasing,  flavors superb and the dryness of the wine just right. Perhaps it is the restraint and incredible lightness that is so magical - the essence of the sun and sea of Provence in a glass. You might think you would pay over $20 for a wine made so close to the famous Bandol, but Luc & Serine Sorin have kept the price amazingly reasonable. I got my bottles at McCarthy & Schiering for $12 a bottle. Where else can you buy such wine in Seattle? Tune in ...
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