Domaine de Castelnau "Aigue Marine" Picpoul de Pinet ($12.99)
From the producer:
Night harvest to preserve the grapes' quality potential. Gentle de-stemming and pressing of grapes. Fermentation under temperature control. Grapes from different plots are separately vinified to keep each vine’s typicality and enable original blends. Aging on fine lees. Limited sulfites addition.
This Picpoul de Pinet cuvée pairs naturally with fishes, seafood and shellfishes in particular.
Light yellow color with green glints. The nose expresses exotic fruit and floral aromas as well as iodized notes. The palate is strong on fruits, followed by a weighty but balanced mid-palate and revealing a floral bouquet with lychees notes. The finish leaves a long-lasting candied fruit sweetness."
Piquepoul blanc is one of the oldest grapes from the Languedoc, and it is having a bit of a moment lately. Picpoul de Pinet denotes that the wine is 100% Piquepoul blanc, and that it is made in one of six desginated communes. The wine is a compelling balance of fruit, flowers, and bright minerality. It is smooth, approachable, and easy to pair with both light fare and dishes that have stronger salty or savory flavors.
Cuma Torrontés ($13.99)
Calchaquí Valley, Argentina
From the producer:
"Sourced entirely from estate vineyards high in Argentina’s northwest Andes. This extreme elevation lends itself perfectly to organic viticulture. Hot days, cool nights, lack of rainfall and a dry shallow soil allow for minimal human interference to the natural growth cycle of the vines.
Vinification: All organic practices are carried over from vineyard to winery where the wines are carefully handled throughout the entire vinification process. Cuma is produced to be drunk young, therefore little oak is used in the winery; instead the wines are aged at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks in an effort to showcase their natural complexity and deep fruit flavors.
The Cuma Torrontés shows a bright green/yellow color, the wine has aromas of rose petals and hints of jasmine and orange skin. On the palate, the wine exhibits fresh and floral fruit with a refreshing, bracing acidity. The palate flavors include fresh peaches and a floral taste that is typical with this grape."
Torrontés is a wine that flies below most people's radar. When we think of Argentina, Malbec is the grape that comes to mine. Torrontés is the most widely planted white grape there, though, and the wines made from it are aromatic and most appealing when enjoyed young. Cuma comes from some of the highest elevations, and as such, the acidity keeps the fruit in check. As with Picpoul, this wine shows both fruit and floral notes. Refreshing and summery!