JUNE 2021 REVIEWS


 

ROSÉ WINES

OREGON - ROSÉ

2020 Crowley, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 17.99 / 194.29

Winemaker Tyson Crowley continues his unbroken string of successes with this lovely, low octane, 12.5% alcohol rosé crafted exclusively from Dundee Hills fruit from the La Colina and Tukwila vineyards. Direct pressed and mostly barrel fermented on native yeasts, Crowley’s rosé shows the depth of Dundee Hills Pinot Noir complemented by a wonderfully round and complex mouthfeel. A medium orange-tinged peach skin color, Crowley’s 2020 rosé opens with crisp aromas of tart red plums, Meyer lemons, orange pith, and crushed stones. Zesty, tart, and driven by its electric underpinning of minerality, the wine conveys the fruit complexity and texture of its superb Dundee Hills Pinot sources complemented by beguiling floral and herbal overtones. Lively tart clementine orange notes linger as the wine finishes zesty and refreshing. This delightful, complete, and refreshing Willamette Valley Pinot Noir rosé will show its best with food. We suggest pairing it now and over the coming two years with fresh chèvres, broiled salmon and steelhead, grilled chicken, seasonal squashes, and pork tenderloin.

SPAIN - ROSÉ

2020 Inazio Urruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosado, Basque Country, Spain (S) 18.99 / 205.09

Inazio Urruzola is a family-owned 14th century estate located in the heart of Spain’s Basque Country. Situated in the foothills of Mt. Hernio just five miles from the Atlantic, the region’s ocean breeze imbues the estate’s wines with a saline inflection that vivifies the Txakolina rosé’s expressions of the indigenous Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza grapes. Casting a luminous pale watermelon hue, Urruzola’s rosé opens with pure aromas of wild strawberries, tart cranberries, and salty sea breeze. Fresh and snappy on the palate, Urruzola’s rosé delivers saline-inflected suggestions of orange zest, watermelon rind, rhubarb, and tart red currant. Echoes of orange zest segues the wine to a crisp, saline, and palate-reviving finish. We love Txakolina rosé and plan to enjoy this beauty all summer long by the glass and as a partner to farmers’ market vegetables, sushi, sashimi, grilled chicken and seafood, and vegetable and bean pintxos.

2020 Bodegas Muga, Rosé, Rioja, Spain (S) 14.99 / 161.89

Bodegas Muga is one of Rioja’s most respected and venerable names, and year-in and year-out, Muga’s rosé is one of the most distinctive and compelling entries in a very crowded and competitive field. Pale salmon-pink in color, Muga’s 2020 rosé casts from the glass beguiling aromas of red currants, Rainier cherries, almond skin, jasmine blossoms, and chalky mineral dust. Simultaneously crisp and mouth-filling on the attack, Muga’s rosé fuses the rich, resinous texture of Viura (30%) with the brisk acidity of Tempranillo (10%) and the red-fruited juiciness of wine’s dominant Garnacha component. The wine enjoys an impressively long fermentation and a leisurely three-month rest period in large wooden barrels. The brief sojourn in wood imbues resinous qualities that contribute impressive texture and dimension to this delicious rosé. The Muga rosé finishes with complex notes of blood orange zest, juicy cherries, white pepper, pink rose petals, and chalky-clay minerals, leaving the palate clean, refreshed, and ready for another sip. This is one of the finest and most delicious rosés of the vintage, and it’s sure to be a terrific partner with grilled salmon, ceviches, vegetable tortillas and frittatas, paellas, and rich seafood stews.
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, 92 points

FRANCE - ROSÉ

2020 Domaine de Sulauze, Côteaux d’Aix en Provence Rose, "Pomponette," Provence, France (B) 17.99 / 194.29

A commitment to purity and terroir transparency guides winemakers Guillaume and Karina Lefèvre in the cellar, where wild yeast fermentations, no-or-low sulfur doses, and no fining or filtration are foundational to their biodynamic winemaking process. The result is the Provençal rosé smash of the season! A pale copper-salmon hue, Sulauze’s rosé bursts with energy and soil-driven aromas of cherry blossoms, red currants, grapefruit zest, and crushed herbs. Generous, yet crisp and refreshing on the palate, the rosé – a blend of Grenache (40%), Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, and Vermentino – offers fleshy suggestions of Rainier cherries, nectarine, and orange peel suffused with white peppercorns and clay minerals. Full-bodied, dry, and bursting with refreshment, the wine finishes with notes of sour cherries, delicious herbal overtones, and waves of ultrapure cherry fruit. This is a lovely Provençal rosé and a superb example of the 2020 vintage. Enjoy this beauty now and over the coming year with sushi, sashimi, broiled salmon, roast chicken, seared ahi, braised and smoked pork, cured meats, and white lasagna.



RED WINES

OREGON – RED

2018 Belle Pente, Pinot Noir, "Cuvée Classé," Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 26.99 / 291.49

Brian O’Donnell’s Belle Pente domaine is revered for its adherence to traditional, elegant Burgundian and Alsatian winegrowing traditions. Belle Pente’s new Cuvée Classé is so named for the fact that it employs a blend of reserve-quality barrels that were declassified from Belle Pente’s single-vineyard bottlings. Thus, they believe it’s more classé than, uh, déclassé. The lovely and graceful Cuvée Classé conveys the best facets of the 2018 harvest exemplified by the harmony that superior viticultural practices and skillful winemaking can achieve. A blend of two-thirds Belle Pente Estate and one-third Murto Vineyard fruit, the wine radiates a gorgeous ruby robe segueing to high-toned aromas of wild blueberries, black cherries, star anise, and barrel notes. On the palate, a kernel of sweet cherry and black raspberry fruit meshes with fine, buffered tannins and overtones of fresh herbs. Earthy cranberries emerge and bring a tangy edge to the wine as it segues to its long, sumptuous, cherry-fruited finish. Enjoy this superb reserve-quality Willamette Valley Pinot now or over the coming three to five years with classic fare like grilled salmon, roast chicken, lamb chops, and duck confit.

2019 Cameron Winery, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon (O) 29.99 / 307.70

Readers of these pages need no introduction to the singular genius that is John Paul of Cameron Winery, who crafts some of our fair state’s finest and most coveted Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Cameron’s Dundee Hills Pinot Noir hails from fruit from the high-altitude Abbey Ridge vineyard with a dollop of Clos Electrique estate Pinot for an extra blast of richness and earthiness. Cameron’s 2019 Dundee Hills Pinot opens with a crimson-ruby hue and deep aromas of Morello cherries, game, loamy soil, and floral top notes. On the palate, the Dundee Hills Pinot deftly balances a core of ripe cherry and red plum fruit with brisk acidity and hints of rose petals and graphite minerals. The wine’s sumptuous texture continues to its finish where we find fine, lip-smacking tannins amid reprises of pencil lead minerality and further savory game notes. This is another brilliant effort by John Paul, and an absolute steal for a Dundee Hills Pinot of this pedigree. Enjoy it tonight and over the coming five to seven years with roast chicken, alder plank salmon, duck confit, grilled seasonal vegetables, and light charcuterie.

FRANCE – RED

2019 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie, Bourgeuil, "Cuvée Alouettes," Loire Valley, France (S) 15.99 / 172.69

In the superb 2019 Loire vintage, Chanteleuserie’s Cuvée Alouettes is deep, satisfying, and firing on all cylinders. One of the most underrated of the world’s great wines, Bourgueil, along with its neighbor Chinon, are the planet’s benchmarks for the noble Cabernet Franc grape. Chanteleuserie’s Cuvée Alouettes, fashioned from Cabernet Franc planted on sandy clay soils, is the domaine’s most approachable and immediately delicious wine. Opaque black plum in the glass, Chanteleuserie’s 2019 Cuvée Alouettes casts aromas of black raspberries, cassis, pipe tobacco, violets, and dusty earth. Zesty, lively, and immediately delicious, the wine stains the palate with chewy Bing cherry and black currant fruit followed by hints of tobacco, white pepper, and appetizing herbal notes. Fine, framing tannins and lovely suggestions of violets, pepper, and licorice sneak in mid-palate and transition the wine to its long, fresh, saturated, soil-driven finish. We suggest buying a case to enjoy now and over the next five years with pork rillettes, fresh chèvres, rabbit in a mustard sauce, steak frites, grilled eggplant, burgers, and roast poultry.

NV Julien Mus, Domaine de la Graveirette, "Ju de Vie," Southern Rhône Valley, France (B) 11.99 / 129.49

After completing his viticultural and winemaking studies in Beaune, Julien Mus returned to his family’s domaine on the outskirts of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Mus converted the domaine to biodynamic principles and committed all of his fruit to minimal-intervention, artisanal winemaking. Mus’s cuvée Ju de Vie, a creative blend of Grenache, Marselan, Mourvèdre, and Merlot vinified and aged in stainless steel and concrete tanks, is a lovely red wine for warm weather sipping and barbecues. A beautiful purple-ruby hue in the glass, the wine fills the room with classic Southern Rhône Valley scents of herbal garrigue, red currants, Provençal cherries, cracked peppercorns, and black licorice. Bright and tangy on the palate, Mus’s Ju de Vie layers a pure, vibrant kernel of chewy red and black fruits with fine tannins, ample acidity, a spine of stony minerality, and classic Southern Rhône touches of lavender and blood orange. Fresh and bursting with character, the wine invites sip after sip and will be a big hit with fans of old-school Southern Rhône rouges. Enjoy now and over the coming two year – perhaps with a light chill – served with dry-rubbed baby back ribs, grilled burgers, BBQ chicken hindquarters, sautéed squashes, and ratatouille. Deeelicious!

2019 Domaine Maestracci, Corse Calvi, "Clos Reginu," Corsica, France (B) 15.99 / 172.69

The granite plateau of Reginu is located in the foothills of Monte Grossu in the northwest sector of Corsica. Here Camille-Anaïs Raoust fashions true-to-the-soil wines from traditional Corsican varieties. Showing a transparent garnet color in the glass, Maestracci’s Clos Reginu – a blend of Niellucciu (Sangiovese), Grenache, Sciaccarellu (Mammolo), Syrah, and Mourvèdre – radiates smoky, soil-inflected aromas of tart cherries, loganberries, cured meat, mushroomy underbrush, orange peel, and white pepper. Fresh and snappy on the palate, the Clos Reginu combines the tension of the vineyard’s arid, high altitude location with a saline kiss from its proximity to the nearby Mediterranean Sea. Delicious and refreshing, the wine has the drinkability of a bistro carafe wine infused with the unique terroir signature of the Corse Calvi’s special granitic soils. Enjoy this beautiful Corsican rouge young and cool with virtually anything in the meat and vegetable spectra. It will prove a lovely summer rouge and a perfect introduction to the diversity and pleasures of Corsican wine, as well as a terrific value. Unique, fascinating, and delicious!

2018 Piaugier, Sablet, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Southern Rhône Valley, France (S) 16.99 / 183.49

One of sixteen esteemed Côtes-du-Rhône Villages that represent the finest Southern Rhône communes, Sablet is revered for its sand and clay soils that produce generous, precocious, mouth-filling wines. Piaugier’s cuvée of Grenache (75%) and Syrah shines in the fresh, energetic, but very low yield 2018 vintage. The wine casts a beautiful translucent ruby robe followed by classic aromas of black cherries, cassis, blood oranges, garrigue, cinnamon, pepper, and vine smoke. Juicy and fleshy on the attack, appetizing, savory tannins appear mid-palate to frame the wine’s chewy core of cherry, plum, and black raspberry fruit. The finish is long, layered, and mouth-coating, adding firm, gripping tannins amid, reprises of blackberries, cassis, sappy herbs, tar, leather, and tobacco. This is a terrific, authentic old-school Côtes-du-Rhône rouge that will satisfy Southern Rhône aficionados. Enjoy now or over the coming five years with herb-crusted lamb, grilled burgers, ratatouille, rosemary-scented chicken, and hearty stews. Limited: only twelve cases available.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: 90 points

2018 Saint-Galet, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône Valley, France 23.99 / 259.09

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is celebrated as the pinnacle of the great wines of the Southern Rhône Valley. Deftly balancing fruit intensity with elegance and a unique terroir signature imparted by the galets – or rounded stones – found in the appellation’s finest sectors, Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines drink well young and have the uncanny ability to age for decades. Unfortunately, prices for most Châteauneuf-du-Papes begin at $50 and rise precipitously. Thus, we were shocked and delighted to discover this unusually affordable CdP blended by Eric Bonnet of the great La Bastide Saint Dominique domaine. Casting a classic opaque rusty plum-ruby hue, Saint-Galet’s CdP opens with notes of sweet plums, Provençal cherries, cured meat, licorice, and lavender. Fresh and coiled on the palate, zippy acidity and firm, cheek-dusting tannins amplify the wine’s kernel of fruit and add complex suggestions of black pepper, rosemary, and juniper. Notes of blond leather, vanilla, and stony galet terroir emerge on the wine’s grand cru finish. Folks, there’s nothing modern, syrupy, or overblown about this CdP; it’s classically firm, tannic, graceful and a genuine throwback to the wines of Châteauneuf’s golden era. Enjoy this superb Châteauneuf now and over the coming decade with roast lamb, grilled hanger steaks, earthy braised lentils, and ratatouille. Only twenty cases available.

ITALY – RED

2018 Tenuta Fanti, Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy (O) 17.99 / 194.29

Montalcino’s esteemed Fanti estate is celebrated for its superb Brunello, and for this delicious, under-the-radar, and most affordable Rosso di Montalcino. Crafted from Sangiovese grown in Montalcino’s celebrated Castelnuovo dell’Abate sector, Fanti’s Rosso shows a beautiful transparent Sangiovese ruby robe followed by scents of Bing cherries, red currants, leather, dried herbs, and dusty earth. Coiled and reserved on the attack, the wine fleshes out mid-palate to reveal a brilliant core of plum, cherry, and currant fruit accented by notes of tobacco, licorice, orange peel, and perfumed earth. Long and vibrant on the finish, the wine lifts its tangy red-fruited core with plentiful fine-grained tannins and buoying acidity. This is classic Rosso di Montalcino that effortlessly balances chewy red fruits with a firm, framing structure to yield a “baby Brunello” that drinks well now with hearty fare like T-bone steaks, eggplant parmigiana, and pork braises, but will reward three to seven years’ patient aging with added complexity and texture. Very limited.

NV Calabretta, Vino Rosso, "Cala Cala," Sicily, Italy (O) 18.99 / 205.09

Cala Cala means “gulp gulp” in Sicilian dialect. It is the perfect descriptor for this delicious and eminently gulpable blend of Nerello Mascalese (95%) and Nerello Cappuccio. Organically grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, Calabretta’s vin de soif opens with a transparent crimson ruby color and a beautiful, exotic bouquet of wild cherries, five spice, cured meat, cracked black pepper, geranium, and cinnamon. Fresh and lively on the palate, expressions of spicy cherries, red licorice, cloves, and rose petals mingle with Etna’s peppery volcanic soil signature. Savory tannins emerge on the wine’s back-palate and segue it to a long, appetizing finish that reprises suggestions of cherries, red currants, cinnamon, Serrano pepper, volcanic earth, and leather – with a little dash of the good ol’ funk that we so love! The Cala Cala’s freshness, brightness, and balance make it easy to enjoy now and over the coming two years by itself or, ideally, as a versatile partner to roast meats, eggplant parmigiana, pastas, pizzas, burgers, pork braises… just about anything but seafood. Etna is Italy’s hippest wine zone right now, and with one sip of this wine you’ll understand why.

2019 Tiziano Mazzoni, Colline Novaresi, "Vespolina il Ricetto," Alto Piemonte, Italy (O) 18.99 / 205.09

The Mazzoni family has a long winegrowing history in Ghemme. But because one couldn’t eke out a living as a vignaiolo in the early 1960s, Tiziano’s father left behind the life of a farmer to work in a factory. After many trips to Barolo, Tiziano decided to return to his roots and explore winegrowing on his home soils. Today Tiziano farms a total of eleven acres in Ghemme and crafts a successful portfolio of classical Alto Piemontese wines. Reflecting a transparent rusty garnet robe, Mazzoni’s Vespolina expresses all that makes the Alto Piemonte such an exciting winegrowing zone. Notes of saddle leather, geranium, rose petals, vine smoke, and pink peppercorns mingle with a deep kernel of tart plum and pie cherry fruit. Fashioned for immediate enjoyment, the Vespolina grape’s inherent tannic structure is tamed to perform in perfect balance with the wine’s fruit while simultaneously amplifying its volcanic, mineral-rich soil expression. Reprises of red plum and sour cherry fruit return as the wine finishes long and soul-satisfying. leaving you hankering for both classic hearty Piemontese cuisine as well as everyday fare such as salumi, sausages, pizza, pasta, burgers, grilled chicken, and pork chops.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 88+ points

2017 Fattoria di Petroio, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy (S) 15.99 / 172.69

The Fattoria di Petroio is well established as an L&E staff and client favorite. Petroio’s 2017 Chianti Classico normale, crafted from a core of Sangiovese accented by a small blend of Colorino and Malvasia Nera, casts a translucent, amber-tinged black cherry robe and a complex, delicious bouquet of violets, leather, wintergreen, pencil lead, and dusty limestone soil. Hailing from the prestigious Castelnuovo Berardenga zone in Chianti Classico’s southernmost zone, the wine’s elegant kernel of cherry and red currant fruit joins with a tangy acid spine, waves of ultrafine Sangiovese tannins, and complex suggestions of tar, leather, herbs, and dusty earth. Petroio’s Chianti Classico is deliciously accessible in the generous 2017 Tuscan vintage, finishing long and charming with complex notes of cherry skin, tar, leather, and tobacco. Pair this beauty now and over the coming seven years with hearty pastas, roasts, vegetable lasagna, and rustic casseroles featuring tomato, zucchini, and potatoes. Another stellar success from Petroio!



WHITE WINES

NEW ZEALAND – WHITE

2019 Kumeu River Wines, Chardonnay, "Kumeu Village," North Island, New Zealand 17.99 / 194.29

Founded in 1944 by Mick Brajkovich, Kumeu River was one of the early pioneers in New Zealand viticulture. Still family owned and operated, Kumeu River continues to pioneer new frontiers with winemaker Michael Brajkovich, New Zealand’s first Master of Wine. For his Village cuvée, Brajkovich employs whole-bunch pressed Chardonnay from New Zealand’s Kumeu and Hawkes Bay zones. The wine undergoes fermentation in neutral barrel and stainless steel using indigenous yeasts, marrying the richness and texture imparted by the barrel with the freshness from the steel. A gleaming medium gold color, classic reductive White Burgundy aromas of barrel smoke, gunflint, and high-toned wild yeast inflections lead an aromatic bouquet of lemon zest, tangerine, raw hazelnuts, roasted cashews, and dusty minerals. Lean, precise, and elegant on the palate, the wine’s bristling acidity amplifies suggestions of juicy lemon fruit, light clay minerality, tangerine, chalk, and lemon thyme. Lovely notes of beeswax, green melon, peach, and pear skin appear on the long, taut finish. Serve Kumeu’s Village Chardonnay over the coming five years as a wow aperitif and as a lovely foil for herb-roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, and light pork preparations.

SPAIN – WHITE

2020 Xarmant Artomaña, Arabako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain (S) 16.99 / 183.49

In Spain’s coastal Basque Country, Xarmant means charming, and txakoli is the joyous, light white wine shared among friends. Artomaña’s Xarmant is made from the sustainably-farmed estate vineyards in the verdant Amurrio valley close to the Bay of Biscay. Artomaña utilizes a blend of the traditional varieties indigenous to the Basque region: Hondarrabi Zuri (70%), Izkiriota Zuria Handia (Gros Manseng), Izkiriota Ttippia (Petit Manseng) and Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratia (Petit Corbu). Deeper in color and richer in aromas than your typical Txakoli, Artomaño’s Xarmant opens with a shimmering lemon color segueing to aromas of green pineapple, honeydew melon, Key lime zest, celery leaves, and briny minerals. Sporting less dissolved CO2 than most Txakolis, the wine invigorates the palate with riveting expressions of green plum skin, Pippen apple flesh, iodine, and salty sea spray. The wine finishes fresh, saline, and vigorous, with layers of juicy citrus and tart orchard fruit, quinine, and fresh juniper berries that refresh the palate like the very best gin-and-tonic you ever had. Enjoy by itself as a summertime refreshment, the perfect picnic wine, or as a natural partner to marinated artichokes, sautéed green leafy vegetables, green olives, Marcona almonds, grilled asparagus, fresh and steamed shellfish, light squid tapas, boquerones, ceviches, and delicate poached white-fleshed fish dishes. Enjoy now and over the coming year.

2020 Bodegas Albamar, Albariño Rías Baixas, Galicia, Spain (O) 21.99 / 237.49

To our palates, the finest examples of Rías Baixas highlight the noble Albariños’ ability to convey purity of fruit, intensity of aromatic expressions, and magnify the Rías Baixas’s special granite soils. Xurxo Alba of Albamar crafts this delicious Albariño that employs bristling acidity and tactile saline minerality to amplify the variety’s citrus, melon, and tropical fruit characters. The wine casts a green-glinted gold color and gorgeous Albariño aromas of Meyer lemon zest, peach skin, yellow melon, and saline minerals. On the palate, the wine is packed with intense expressions of lemon, lime, tart melon, and green pineapple fruit driven by riveting acidity and complex suggestions of tarragon, bay leaf, and white pepper. Showing superb transparency and focus, Albemar’s 2020 Albariño finishes with reprises of citrus, melon, and tart tropical fruits infused with final lashing of smoky, salty minerals. This is superb Albariño that will delight now and over the coming five years as a partner to prawns, seafood tapas, vegetable tortillas, steak fishes like swordfish or mahi mahi, sashimi, and mild cheeses. Terrific Albariño!

PORTUGAL – WHITE

2020 Anselmo Mendes, Alvarinho, "Contacto," Vinho Verde, Portugal (S) 18.99 / 205.09

Anselmo Mendes is one of Portugal most highly sought-after winemaking consultants and the benchmark producer in Portugal’s Vinho Verde zone. Mendes’s 2020 Alvarinho Contacto, Alvarinho (a.k.a. Albariño) grown in the Monção district’s Quinta da Torre, is given extended skin contact to coax greater depth, character, and intensity from the usually delicate Vinho Verde. Dazzlingly aromatic, the 2020 Contacto greets the palate with a riveting kernel of Anjou pear, Mirabelle plum, and Seville orange fruit accented by overtones of kombu, wintergreen, and tarragon. Bristling acidity and a smoky granitic mineral undercurrent drive the wine’s brilliant citrus and orchard-fruited core, segueing it to a crystalline, saline-tinged finish. Notes of bitter orange, tangerine, white grapefruit, and lemon juice linger long after the wine leaves the palate. Enjoy with gusto now and over the coming five years with traditional and vegetarian paellas, vegetable and seafood tapas, sushi and sashimi, light white-fleshed fish preparations, and seafood pastas. Mendes’s Alvarinho is undoubtedly among Iberia’s greatest and most distinctive white wines, and it’s a steal for its tariff.

GEORGIA - WHITE

2019 Orgo Teleda Dila•o, Kakheti, Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane, Kakheti, Georgia 14.99 / 161.89

One of the hottest categories in fine wine today is skin-contact white wines – sometimes called orange wines or amber wines – fermented, macerated, and aged in large clay amphorae. The Republic of Georgia is, according to most historians, the birthplace of wine, and has a long tradition of crafting wines in this manner. In Georgia, the amphorae are called “qvevri,” and the grapes are primarily Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane. This month, we are again delighted to feature Teleda’s Dila•o, a superb and affordable example of the amber wine genre. Reflecting a brilliant amber robe, Teleda’s Dila•o presents captivating aromas of apricots, cinnamon, honeycomb, bay leaf, pine resin, and malted barley. The Dila•o’s fleshy palate conveys a panoply of dried apricot, ripe pear, yellow apple, and cantaloupe fruit. Rich on the attack yet light on the palate, the wine compliments its orchard fruit core with dry, savory tannins framing suggestions of agave nectar, fenugreek, and acacia honey. A terrific and authentic introduction to Georgia’s fascinating ancient winemaking tradition, Teleda’s Dila•o will prove a lovely partner for pan-fried trout, roast chicken, potato tapas, sausages, savory bean stews, mature cheeses, goulash, and dishes featuring fresh paprika.
Wine & Spirits, 92 points

FRANCE – WHITE

2018 Frédéric Lornet, Chardonnay, Arbois, Jura, France 18.99 / 205.09

Frederic Lornet helms his family’s historic cellar and winery located in a thirteenth century Cistercian abbey in the grand cru Jura village of Montigny-lès-Arsures. Lornet’s gorgeous 2018 Chardonnay reflects a radiant lemon-gold color followed by classic Jura Chardonnay expressions of lemon oil, bee pollen, yellow apple skin, quince, and Comice pears. On the palate, the wine resonates with crisp lemony fruit layered with complex suggestions of walnuts and hazelnuts, orange blossoms, and chamomile. A unique tinge of untanned leather emerges and transitions the wine to its long, resinous finish reprising notes of lemon and hazelnuts alongside a suggestion of toasted brioche. This is superb Chardonnay that clearly expresses its origins and is a shining example of why the Jura is on many a wine geek’s radar. Enjoy this delicious and distinctive wine now and over the coming five years with chicken in cream sauces, light sausages, and charcuterie, Comté and Gruyère cheeses, light pork preparations, and rich vegetable soufflés.

ITALY – WHITE

2019 Mastroberardino, Falanghina del Sannio, Campania, Italy 17.99 / 194.29

Falanghina is one of southern Italy’s noblest and most historic white wine grapes. Place this uniquely expressive variety in the hands of the great Mastroberardino estate and you have one of Campania’s most exhilarating white wines. Mastroberardino’s consistently superb Falanghina reaches new heights in Italy’s great 2019 vintage. Sourced from prime hillside vineyards north of Naples, the 2019 Falanghina opens with a brilliant straw-gold color and fascinating aromas of papaya, white peach, orange blossoms, and sweet cinnamon. The palate expresses a perfumed volcanic soil signature alongside notes of Meyer lemon, honeysuckle, gardenia, and fennel. The finish is focused, precise and appetizing, showing notes of white peaches, green pineapple, fresh lemon zest, and Sannio’s special volcanic terroir. 2019 is such a fantastic vintage, so be sure to buy this by the case and pair it young and fresh with fried calamari, grilled or sautéed prawns, shellfish, white pizzas, burrata salads, eggplant lasagna, and seafood pasta dishes sporting lots of extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic. Very limited.

 

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