Wines for Labor Day

From our tasting on… September 1st, 2016

High seventies in March, frost in late April and early May, and a severe drought extending over the summer have made this a challenging spring and summer.  The last two weeks have seen more seasonable conditions, and gardens are starting to deliver.  Before the college semester gets into full swing and younger kids return to school, take advantage of this long weekend to gather friends and family for a cookout.  Pause for a moment to offer a silent thanks to all those whose work makes our play possible as you enjoy our local vegetables, fruit, cheese, and meats.  Add some wine to your celebration!

We’ll start with a crisp Italian white, Bruni Plinio Vermentino 2015.  The name is a nod to Pliny the Elder, author of the first Roman treatise on viticulture; he died in Pompeii during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D.  Herb, peach, mineral, and wildflower make this a great partner for shrimp skewers, salads both pasta and green, and veggie burgers.

At Red Feet, we believe there’s no such thing as too much rosé.  Chateau de Montfaucon Les Gardettes Rosé 2015 hails from the Rhône.  This blend of Cinsault, Counoise, and Grenache is a saignée wine (as opposed to a press wine), keeping its acidity lively and flavors fresh.  It’s fermented and aged in concrete for 18 months, resulting in clean strawberry, spice, and stone fruit flavors.  Pair with cold chicken or salmon.

On to the reds, which form the majority in today’s tasting to reflect the cooler temperatures this weekend.  Cellers Unio Convey Priorat 2015 is made by a co-op in northeastern Spain.  (Red Feet likes the idea of a co-op for Labor Day!).  This is earthy on the nose, fresh and full in the mouth, with responsible tannins holding the dark fruit together.  Soils are a particular mix of slate and quartz (llicorella), adding minerality to the wines.  Go for bold flavors like lamb, beef, or vegetable skewers with hefty spices.  Perhaps beef is your food choice, either in steak or burger form.  Finca Abril Alhambra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2013, an organic wine fermented in tank and aged a year in French oak, pairs well with both casual and elegant foods.  Its black currant and blackberry fruits are perfectly ripe, complemented by spice.  Intense and concentrated, this wine is as good as always.  For a bit of fun, try the Red Heads Studio Yard Dog Red 2015.  This vintage is a Cabernet Sauvignon-Petit Verdot blend, classic Bordeaux grapes.  Dark cherry and plum fruits start things, joined by dried flowers, fruit pits, and mineral, all supported by dusty tannins.  This is fairly full bodied with a persistent finish and pairs well with full-flavored meats and cheeses.

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