Anthony Road Devonian White ($11.99)
Seneca Lake, New York
From the producer:
"Our Devonian series is a series of dry table wines crafted from vinifera varietals. It is named after the Devonian Shale, upon which our vineyards are planted. This propietary blend will change from season to season, depending on the fruit available. It is a very approachable, fruit forward white with a crisp finish, fermented and aged in stainless steel."
30% Pinot Gris
This is a dry table wine that while expressing ample fruitiness from the Riesling and Chard, maintains its balance through a level of acidity common in white wines from the region. This is a great introduction to the dry whites of the Finger Lakes.
Bott-Geyl Points Cardinaux Métiss ($15.99)
From the distibutor:
"The Points Cardinaux is a new label for the wine previously known as Pinot d'Alsace. Legally, they can no longer call this wine Pinot d'Alsace, as it's a blend. The new name hints at the four pinots in the wine - P - O - I - N - T - S, could be shuffled to spell P - I - N - O - T - S. And Cardinaux refers to the four directions of the compass, "cardinal points", suggesting the four Pinots in the blend.
This is the same great wine, made from 40% Pinot Blanc, 40% Pinot Auxerrois, 10% Pinot Gris, and 10% Pinot Noir (vinified white). The fruit comes from 2.5 hectares of vineyards with vines ranging from 20-25 years of age in Béblenheim and Zellenberg. They are planted in clay, marl, and limestone soils. The fermentation starts spontaneously and lasts eight months."
Bott-Geyl uses a 9-point scale for indicating sweetness, and this lands at 2. I would consider this just off-dry with a honeyed tone, but not even close to semi-sweet. The winery uses biodynamic methods of farming and native yeasts, with as little intervention as possible in the winemaking and aging process. This is an elegant wine that expresses its grape blend beautifully.
Innocent Bystander Moscato ($16.99)
From the producer:
"Crafted with Black and Gordo Muscat grapes, with the black grapes giving us that intense watermelon colour.
100% Victorian fruit
Harvested in the cool of night.
Fruit is chilled and crushed with six hours of skin contact to to extract a hint of pink from the Black Muscat.
100% stainless steel ferment.
Natural carbonation is achieved by fermentation
Drink and enjoy now!
Fairy floss, musk, blackcurrant, Turkish delight and mandarin peel
Intense muscat fruit, without relying on the sweetness"
I'm not an avid fan of sweet wines (wines with significant residual sugar), but I can evaluate their quality, and I can say that this Moscato is not only well-made, but is a wine that I will happily drink. It's much more delicate than most big brand Moscatos, in part because the the ripeness of the grapes does the heavy lifting here--there is no sugar added for extra sweetness. It also has a very faint hint of rose, which I think makes it more complex than one might expect from Moscato.