Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should consider trying!
2020 Chateau Haut Rian Bordeaux Blanc - $15.99
With Bastille Day right around the corner, I am setting my sights on drinking something French, of course. Not all French wine has to break the bank, and this little value from Bordeaux is just the ticket if you are enjoying some light snacks a la Francaise. White flowers, lemon, seashells and crunchy minerality in the glass, this blend of 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect match for oysters, salads and soft cheeses, all made lovingly by a father-daughter duo.
2018 Messmer Pinot Noir Pfalz, Germany - $24.99
Winemaker Gregor Messmer practices organic viticulture and takes care to preserve the nature of the grape from the vineyard to his winemaking techniques. This Pinot shows bright aromas of framboise sauvage, with the palate demonstrating a friendly tannin structure, bright cherry/raspberry fruit and a savory, smoky note; the perfect quaffable summer red that excels with a chill in its serviceable 1 liter bottle! Try this Pfalz Pinot with grilled bratwurst or a portobello mushroom burger.
2019 Château Bourdieu Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux No. 1 - $22.99
Maybe full strength Merlot is more firepower than you think you need in the prime of Summer but never mind all that, this wine is a winner. Also, since barbeque ribs exist and you may find yourself eating some, you're going to want a bottle or two hanging around. I've long been a proponent of 'bargain' Bordeaux. Even though some of the worlds most expensive and sought after wines are grown there, most of the wines are not the lofty classified growths. Possibly through sheer abundance, some amazing windows are released at amazing prices. This Chateau Bourdieu certainly qualifies. The fruit is stunningly rich and fresh with ripe plum and blackberry flavors and as intense as it is it is never weighty or clumsy on the palette but is instead pure and seamless with a smoothly lingering finish. The massive fruit is nicely augmented with hints of vanilla, tobacco and spice. Great to drink now and will continue to show for the next 5 to 10 years.
2021 GroundWork Picpoul Carbonique - $22.99
North Loop Wine & Spirits has been expanding their skin contact selections; as you enter the store you'll see "rose island" straight ahead down the center aisle. Just as you are approaching this not-so-desolate island, you will pass the ever-evolving domestic orange wine section. Sans Liege Winery makes a statement both in taste and aesthetic with "Groundworks". Winemaker Curt Schalchlin states that the dark and visceral nature of the German Expressionist art movement resonated with his relationship to wine. Woah, that's heavy. Now to taste...this orange wine is hardly a blend; Picpoul Carbonique is 90% Picpoul Blanc with a mere 7% Malvasia and 3% Malbec. This picpoul blanc dominant wine is full of surprises. Complicated in the best way, fruit forward with a slight tannic finish that evolves as the wine warms.
2020 Lena Filliatreau Saumur Loire France - $24.99
First and foremost it's delicious! It is also organic. A very well made chenin blanc for a kind price. It shows great freshness and has mouth watering acidity. Lastly, it pairs well with a wide variety of food ie, grilled pork chops, green beans with brown butter and almonds, and sauteed lake trout all work well with it.
2015 Howard Park 'Miamup' Chardonnay, Margaret River, Western Australia - $25.99
From the Burch family vineyards in the most southern (therefore coolest) section of Margaret River, Winemaker Janice McDonald makes this very satisfying and approachable age-worthy Chardonnay. In the stunningly beautiful area of Margaret River, the cool winds of the Southern Ocean meet the warm waters of the Indian Ocean at the very tip of South West Australia. The Burch family is fully committed to Organic viniculture and, since they don't use any pesticides or herbicides, they have roving guinea fowl and flocks of sheep to help keep the vineyards pest free. After hand harvesting the Chardonnay goes through natural fermentation in French Oak barrels. Aromas of melon, apricot, caramel and vanilla lead into a palate of fleshy peach layered with nutmeg, lemon, butter, and brioche. Chalky mineral texture and citrus acidity lift it to a long finish. Australian wine critic, Jeremy Oliver, has praised this vintage as age-worthy through 2023. Now is a great time to enjoy this rare treat!