Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should consider trying!
2019 Madson Pinot Noir Ascona Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains - $61.99
I've got Madson on my mind. I was lucky enough to pay Cole Thomas, founder and winemaker at Madson a little visit a couple of weeks ago and I am continually impressed by the purity and precision of his wines. Organically farmed from miniscule vineyards (only four acre parcels in the SCM can become vineyards to protect the Sequoia trees' natural habitat), the Ascona Vineyard sits at 2500 feet in elevation at the summit of the Mountains. In the glass, wonderfully focused flavors of black and red berries, fallen leaves, bramble,and turned earth. Bright acidity that is beautifully laced through the perfectly ripe fruit. Seriously some of the most stunning wines to come out of the SCM. Only 75 cases produced!
2020 Baptiste Guyot Bourgogne Rouge - $19.99
$20 Pinot Noir from the coveted region of Burgundy [that is delicious] just ISN'T a thing in today's market, or so we thought. Guyot's Domaine is located in the Western part of the Beaune, where Baptiste practices sustainable viticulture with a preference for organic practices. This Bourgogne Rouge is predictably fruit forward, as 2020 was a warmer vintage yielding riper wines. The body remains juicy yet light, in iconic French fashion. Effortless at the dinner table, this versatile Pinot will seamlessly carry you from your soft cheese course, into fattier fish dishes, to mustard glazed chicken, all the way into herb crusted lamb. When in food pairing doubt, grab Burgundy.
2020 Wildmakers Pais de Comavida - $26.99
We recently had the pleasure of tasting the Wildmakers wines with one of the founders, Luca Hodgkinson and the line up was excellent as is their commitment to organic and biodynamic viticulture. The standout wine for me was the Pais, which is a native Chilean varietal that can have the finesse of grapes like Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Trousseau. This Pais is blended with a small amount of Grenache that gives the wine a little more depth and richness. The wine has aromas of bright raspberry and dark cherry fruit which translate on the medium bodied palate. It makes for the ultimate quaffable summer red with a chill. Enjoy it with grilled pork chops or lamb kebabs.
Josef Ehmoser, Grüner Veltliner, Wagram - $19.99
Austria's national white wine grape, Grüner Veltliner, loves to grow in the fertile soil of windblown Loess. In the Wagram the vineyards of Josef and Martina Ehmoser are planted and organically grown on such soil, as deep as 20 metres. They hand harvest their grapes, gently press them and age them on the lees in stainless steel tanks. The result is a wine of delicate spice, citrus fruit, juniper berries, and granny smith apples. The finish is one of refreshing acidity and white pepper. This will match well with pan sauteed lake trout with lemon and fresh herbs, joined by red potatoes and green beans.
2021 Union Sacre Pinot Gris Oasis Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands - $27.99
Here's a fresh and refreshing take on Pinot Gris. Made in a 'ramatto' or skin contact style, the wine has a subtle texture and a lovely rusty peach hue. The palate is loaded with ripe orchard fruit. The overall impression is so table ready, I immediately started thinking about best pairings and while it should work with almost any pork dish, I'm picturing a spicy Thai feast.
Ŕoxa Rosé, Itxas Harri, Spain - Bottle $19.99 / Can $8.99
Double your pleasure possibilities with this elegant rosé refresher that comes in both a 250 ml can and a 750 ml bottle! With a lite-pink happy color, low 11.5% ALC and soft, pleasing almost-effervescence, Ŕoxa (pronounced ro-sha) is a dry charmer. This oh-so-easy-to-drink vino is pressed from old-vine Garnacha grapes grown in Spain’s northern Basque region of Navarra that are harvested in the early mornings to preserve freshness, and later fermented in stainless tanks. It’s produced by Itxas Harri, located in the village of Monteagudo and is a new dream project celebrating the friendship of owner Ignacio Ameztoi and his long-time winemaking partner, Iñaki Guelbenzu. The bright taste and nose feature notes of raspberry/strawberry, citrus and watermelon, with a foundation reflecting its gravelly limestone origins. Drink on its own or paired with a Mediterranean meal.
Crankin' Foamers Lime, 12pk Cans - $17.99
It's not difficult to talk me into eating or drinking anything with lime in it, particularly during the summer. Crankin' Foamers Lime from Fair State Brewing is a refreshing lime take on an already refreshing craft lager. Not too sweet, not too sour, not too heavy, not too light. Exactly the right thing for a hot summer's day.