It is the season for wine tastings, many different stores holding grand tastings with 50+ wines available to try. I have recently attended a few of these tastings and compiled a list of my favorites. I have grouped the wines by the name of distributor, which might make it easier for you to locate these wines.
2008 Salzl Gruner Veltliner ($13)--This Austrian white wine has an enticing, aromatic nose with bright, delicious citrus fruit on the palate. It has plenty of acidity and a satisfying finish. It may not be a grape with which you are familiar but one taste and you will become a fan. Great on its own or with food.
2006 Redondel Teroldego ($19.99)--From the Trentino region of Italy, this wine comes from an excellent vintage. And it certainly was an excellent wine, with lush fruit flavors, especially blueberry and plum. It was a smooth wine with a pleasant, lengthy finish. A full bodied wine with hints of spice, I could also drink this wine on its own, or with food, from pasta to venison.
2005 Bianco Aldo Barbaresco ($39)--From the Piedmont region of Italy, this producer's vineyards are next to those of Angelo Gaja. The wine has a light red color, with an enticing spicy nose. The red fruits are restrained and there are some earthy elements too, slight hints of mushroom. It has a long, enjoyable finish and is a wine to savor over time, to enjoy its complexity. It is probably best accompanied by food and is worth the price.
2007 Anne Amie Cuvee A Muller Thurgau ($14.99)--From the Williamette Valley of Oregon, this white wine is made from 100% Muller Thurgau, a popular grape in Germany. This producer though has created a delicious wine, which indicates this grape may thrive well in Oregon. It is crisp with bright fruit flavors of peach and lemon, with slight floral notes. If you are looking for a different white wine to try, give this a chance.
Charles River Wine Co.:
2007 Metz Pinot Gris ($19.99)--This organic Alsatian wine has plenty of character. Crisp and dry, it has tasty citrus flavors, some mineral notes and a very clean finish.
2007 Hendry HRM Zinfandel ($18.99): This is not your usual California Zinfandel. First, it only has an alcohol content of 13.8%. It has an alluring aromatic berry smell and on the palate is very smooth and not over the top. It has nice red fruit flavors, mild spice accents and a long finish. This is not that big, bold Zin you might expect. It is far more restrained and well worth checking out.
Masciarelli Wine Co.:
2008 Cucao PX ($13.99)--This unusual Chilean wine is made from the Pedro Ximinez grape, which you may know more for being a Spanish grape. Yet it is also one of the oldest grape varieties in Chile. This wine sees no oak so the grape is allowed to fully express itself. The nose was muted but the palate was intriguing. A dry wine with restrained fruit, including pear and pineapple, and a spicy backbone. Not at all what I expected but quite tasty and highly recommended.
2008 Zenato Lugana di San Benedetto ($16)--This Veneto wine is produced from Trebbiano di Lugana and sees no oak. The wine bursted with bright citrus flavors including peach and orange, ending with a slightly bitter finish.
2007 Veramonte Pinot Noir Reserve ($15)--From the Casablanca Valley of Chile, this wine is a great value! You find few Pinot Noirs of this quality for under $20. It had a light red color, with fresh cherry flavors, a touch of vanilla and other spices. It was a smooth, easy drinking wine with some character. Highly recommended!
2007 Revelette Coteaux de Provence ($15.99)--This biodynamic wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc and Rolle (aka Vermentino). It has a very interesting taste, a melange of spice, herbs and subtle citrus fruits.
2006 Lesec Costieres de Nimes VV ($16.99)--A blend of Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache which is sure to please. Lush tastes of blueberry and plum, subtle spices, mild tannins and a lengthy finish. A good food wine.