From our Hang Time tasting on Thursday, September 17, 2015…
Summer’s warmth is still with us, but nights are brisk and come quickly. There’s still a lot of summer produce, but squashes, gourds, and mums have made their appearance as well. Many of us are not quite ready to let go of summer or plunge into fall, but autumn gets its official start on Sept. 23 (Yom Kippur this year). Jacket weather is coming soon! Red Feet has some ideas to make the transition easier.
Whites are still part of the story, but we look for rounder, lusher, more complex wines rather than pure zing. Bodega Mustiguillo Mestizaje Blanco 2014 makes use of a little-known grape, Merseguera. Owner-winemaker Toni Sarrión is a champion of grapes relegated to bulk-wine status, starting with Bobal in the Mestizaje red and moving to Merseguera in the white. With careful, organic vineyard management learned by trial and error, he has crafted delightful blends. Pair this with seafood pasta or an early autumn picnic. What’s not to like about an unoaked Chardonnay with tropical fruit, melon, and citrus notes? Echeverria Unwooded Chardonnay Reserva 2014 from Chile is made from ungrafted single-vineyard grapes grown organically. It’s bright and vibrant with a long, fresh finish and needs no food to show off its charms.
The cooler evenings of autumn invite red wines, not so much the cook-out wines of summer as cook-in wines for the fall table. The Loire Valley in France is the source of a lovely, ripe Cabernet Franc, Château du Hureau “Tuffe” 2011. Another wine made from organic grapes, this provides a complex set of aromas, ranging from cassis through smoke, coffee, earth, game, and bark. This wine has had time to develop; the tannins are ripe, the flavors well-integrated, and the finish long and satisfying. Pair with duck or game, eggplant or roasted fall vegetables. Spain also provides a red, Koden de Luis Alegre Rioja 2013, a pure expression of the Tempranillo grape from this famous region. Made in a modern style and aged six months in new French oak, it offers notes of cherry cola, spice, crumbly earth, and minerality, all lifted by vibrant acidity. Grab a chunk of Manchego, roast some Piggery pork, or make a satisfying stew with or without meat, and you’re in business. Italy’s Tuscany gives us a Sangiovese-Cabernet blend, Tommasi’s Poggio al Tufo Rompicollo 2012 fermented in tank and aged a year in wood. It’s quite full in flavor and body, balanced and smooth. Mushroom, chocolate, cherry, blueberry, and currant are supported by fine tannins. Partner with hearty foods: a sausage and porcini ragù, osso buco, or Gorgonzola and walnut bread.
These are transitional wines for transitional times. Bring in your menus and let the Red Feet staff help you find wines to match with autumn’s bounty.