Neil has a tasting of various Mandrarossa wines from Menfi on the southwestern coast of Sicily – including a national award-winner. Read article.
We are deep in the Dog Days of summer, the hottest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, so the wine authorities have ruled that we should be sipping light whites or gently chilled rosés right now. But doggone it, sometimes I don’t want to follow the rules!
Clear reddish-amber, a pretty color that looks almost more like a light red than a tawny. Interesting aromas of caramel and dried cherries loft from the glass, with more subtle grace notes of aromatic brown spices, cardamom and cloves. The nutty walnut and pecan flavors typical of tawny Port are more evident in the luscious, full-bodied flavor, but there’s good sweet red fruit there, too. The smooth sweetness somewhat conceals the potent 20 percent alcohol, but its gentle heat becomes more evident along with soft tannins in a long finish that speaks of dried fruit and caramel. A fine tawny and a very good value.
Primarily made with Loire Valley Pinot Noir with some Cabernet Franc and Gamay also in the blend, this is an attractive light copper color. Pleasant, subtle mixed berries and pears on the nose invite a taste, which is bright and fresh, gently acidic and quite dry, with just a touch of prickly petillance. Its crisp, fresh character and modest 12.5% alcohol makes it easy to sip on a summer afternoon, and friendly at the table with lighter fare.
Deep, dark purple, with just a thin line of lighter garnet at the edge. Plums and black cherries on the nose with a whiff of oaky spice. Tart and a distinct edge of heat on the palate, a claimed 14 percent alcohol (or perhaps a little more) making itself manifest in a gentle burn that gains more emphasis from distinct tannic astringency. This may sound less than pleasant, but it disappears in context with food and mellows as ripe blackberries and a touch of minerality become more evident along with the oaky spice in the finish.
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Search for vendors and compare prices for “El Malbec” de Ricardo Santos La Madras Vineyard Mendoza Malbec on Wine-Searcher.com.
Pretty, rather light copper color. Very pleasant and surprisingly complex for a rosé: Red berries and a distinct hint of lime on the nose. On the palate it’s bright and tart, bone-dry with fresh acidity. Light, appealing red-berry flavors add notes of melon, shifting subtly into an intriguing stony minerality that lasts into a very long, shimmering finish. Really an excellent rosé from the Loire Valley, a blend of 65 percent Pinot Noir and 35 percent Gamay in a modest 12% alcohol.
The region of Puglia, or Apuglia as it is sometimes written, is mostly on the Adriatic side of Italy stretching from the southeastern bottom side of the boot around to the Gulf of Taranto. With its miles if beaches and seashore, it is a summer refuge for Italians who flee the cities in the hot summer days. But if you visit outside of the months from June through August you will find some beautiful scenery, delicious food and surprisingly good wine. Read article.
Today is the first full day of summer, and the weather is playing its role, punctuating days of soggy heat with occasional noisy thunderstorms.
Also, World Cup is under way! Sure, it’s been hot for the past month or two, but now we’re moving into the lazy, hazy, steamy and even oppressive days of summer. Now, more than ever, it’s time for the cooling pleasures of rosé wine.
Today let’s talk about two serious rosés: A rosato from Tuscany, home of Italy’s iconic Chianti, made from Chianti’s Sangiovese grape; and a pink sparkling Cremant from Bordeaux, made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc. Read article.