From our Hang Time tasting on Thursday, April 14, 2016…
Red Feet wines are a curated collection; when a vintage changes, we taste the new one to make sure it meets our standards. We’re always on the lookout for new items that are both interesting and true to their grapes and place of origin. Today’s wines reflect our approach. Five wines, five countries—ready, set, go!
The narwhal on the label of Atlantis Txakoli 2014 evokes the mysteries of the sea. This wine comes from the Atlantic coast of Spain, the DO of Txakoli de Álava; it’s made from the Hondarrabi Zuri grape. Wines from this region are clean, with high acidity, mineral, floral, and saline notes, and a slight effervescence. To bring out this last feature, they are traditionally poured into a tall glass from a height of one to four feet. Northeast Italy is the source of Inama Vin Soave Classico 2014, made from 100% Garganega. This grape came first to Campania in the southwest, brought by the Greeks millennia ago, and migrated to the Veneto over the centuries, mutating somewhat along the way. It offers aromas of chamomile, elderflower, and iris, minerality midpalate, and almond on the finish. A father-son team craft this wine from 30-year-old vines. Their goal was to restore the reputation of the grape, so they asked local growers what Soave “used to be” and why, and used old-fashioned techniques (more skin contact, less sulphur, and malolactic fermentation) to make their wine. Both of these wines pair well with white fish or salad.
Greece, too, provides a wine made from an unfamiliar indigenous grape: Skouras Saint George 2012, 100% Aghiorghitiko (translates as “St. George”). This comes from high altitude vineyards in Nemea, where Hercules killed the lion. Grapes were tank fermented and aged one year in French oak. Ripe cherry and berry fruits join anise, black pepper, and baking spices, both supported by ripe, elegant tannins. Our French offering is from one of the villages in the Rhône allowed to put its name on the bottle. L’Ameillaud Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne 2014 is a blend of four varieties dominated by Grenache, made traditionally from 45-year-old vines by an ex-pat Englishman and his wife. Fruit is generous in both aroma and flavor, with enough tannic support to age for several years. The Iberian Peninsula is back with a Portuguese wine, Sonho Lusitano Vinhos Duas Pedras 2013, from Alentejo in the south (known for its production of cork). The two rocks in the wine’s name are the granite and schist that dominate the soils. This blend combines Portugal’s best red grape, Touriga Nacional, Syrah, and a touch of Viognier to lift the wine, all fermented together. The winery is the joint project of a British wine scholar and a noted winemaker. All three of these wines will stand up to hearty food; since they are true expressions of their place, try local recipes.
Join us next week as we again travel the world with a focus on compelling blends!