Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should drink.
2020 Lena Filliatreau Saumur Blanc *Organic - $24.99
Chenin Blanc is my very favorite grape, especially when it comes from it's ancestral home, the Loire Valley in France. I can wax poetic about Vouvray and Savennieres, but Saumur is where the real value is. Fredrik Filliatreau is a fourth generation winemaker who's Chenin Blanc is named after his Swedish mother, Lena. Perfectly balanced for this time of the year, when we can't really decide what wine goes with the impending Spring that we are longing for. Rich and also bright, with precision and focus for the price. The quintessential bistro wine for your table!
2018 Damien Laureau 'Les Genets' Savennieres - $56.99
From one of the young stars of Savennieres, Domaine Lareau, comes this beautifully refined Chenin Blanc that has the weight and structure to revival villages-level White Burgundy at half the price. The nose shows notes of honeysuckle and apple and as it gains some air, candied pineapple. The medium plus palate offers mineral, hazelnut, quince, and melon. Everything is in harmony. Enjoy this great Loire wine with halibut with a lemon caper sauce or a pork tenderloin.
2020 Three Brooms Sauvignon Blanc - $21.99
We are DEEP into winter, to the point where escapism is a means of mental survival. Three Brooms will take your taste buds on a 'summer vacation'. This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has pyrazines (trademark green characteristics) that present more as jalapeno than typical grass & green bell pepper. The fruit notes are bright - grapefruit and lime, and there is a surprising backbone of minerality here (watch out France, you're not the only one). If it sounds like I'm describing a margarita, I practically am! Pair this wine with fish tacos or shrimp ceviche, and enjoy beside your largest house plant.
2020 Alfredo Maestro, Vina Almate, Tinto, Ribera del Duero, Spain - $21.99
From Spanish natural wine making rockstar, Alfredo Maestro, comes this 100% Tinto Fino (also known as Tempranillo in Spain's famous Rioja region) from his very first vineyards.
Mostly sourced from the 80 year old vines of his vineyard in the Valtiendas area, Maestro blends in some younger Tinto Fino from another of his vineyards to make his Vina Almate. He employs full organic viniculture, ferments with wild yeasts and doesn't filter or add any extra sulfites.This is a great entry level "natty" expression of Tinto Fino from Ribera del Duero.
After aromas of blueberry, plum, and cherry greet your senses, the palate is initially grippy and dry with flavors of tart red currants. With a little time in the glass, however, the fruit blossoms into juicier and smoother textures lifted by bright acidity.
Enjoy this wine with Spanish Jamon, Marcona almonds, and aged Manchego cheese!
2019 Gulfi Valcanzjria IGT Terre Siciliane - $21.99
The true quality of Gulfi wine starts with a philosophy. They take the best from Sicilian and Roman wine history meld it with modern technology and aim for the best expression of the lands that the Catania family has been farming for over 100 years. The bulk of the work is done in the field by densely planting mostly native varietals, bush training them and allowing them to grow unirrigated. The result is pristine, concentrated fruit that only needs to be gently guided to it's finished product rather then heavily manipulated in the cellar. The winemaking principle at Gulfi has always been minimal intervention and Mateo Catania did not miss a beat when he took over winemaking after the passing of his father in 2017. He remains committed to the honest expression of the Sicillian grape but none of this can or should over shadow the results in the glass. All of Mateo's wines have extremely high impact flavors yet seem nearly weightless on the palate. The Valcanzjria is the only wine in the lineup to feature an international varietal (60% Chardonnay) but is nevertheless a graceful and seamless expression of both Chardonnay and the native Carricante. This wine combines honeysuckle, lemon, and yellow apple in a lush wine that floats gracefully off the palate. Drink all of the Gulfi wines you can get your hands on. Apparently these wines will age well but I'm not sure why anyone would wait to find out.