Montinore "Borealis" ($14.50)
Willamette Valley, Oregon
From the producer:
"Mouthwatering and multi-dimensional, this perennial crowd pleaser is a blend of our favorite cool-climate whites: Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Intensely aromatic, with a nose of tropical flowers, ripe kiwi and melon, the silky soft palate is brimming with rose petals, pink grapefruit, mango and white nectarine then finishes on a high, clean note of bright key lime."
This is an elegant and unique blend of Gewurztraminer, Muller-Thurgau, Riesling, and Pinot Gris made by Montinore Estate in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The estate is Demeter Certified Biodynamic and Stellar Certified Organic. The wine is unusual and beautiful, waking every part of the palate and finishing very smoothly. The Pinot Gris grounds the blend, keeping it from being too acidic or too sweet. While there is some residual sugar, it doesn't come across the palate as anything other than ripe fruitiness. I highly recommend this wine, especially if you are making the transition from sweeter to drier wines.
Treana Blanc ($24.99)
From the producer:
"The 2014 Treana Blanc is a beautifully complex wine. Pale gold in color, enticing fruit aromas of pineapple, guava and Mandarin orange are accentuated by floral notes of honeysuckle and citrus blossom. An intriguing yet subtle hint of crushed seashells adds to the complexity of the nose. On the palate, the entry is plush with a seductive, silky texture that complements the harmonious blend of tropical, citrus and stone fruit flavors that are softened by creamy vanilla, clove and nutmeg. The acid profile is mouthwatering, impeccably balanced and well integrated, while a kiss of minerality and a long vibrant finish rounds out this unique white blend.
45% Viognier, 45% Marsanne, 10% Roussanne"
Treana is one of the labels produced by Hope Family Wines, a family-owned wine company from the Central Coast of California. All of their wines are made from sustainably grown grapes, following best farming practices to ensure the health of the vines, and only using chemical intervention when absolutely necessary. The Treana Blanc is a Rhone style blend of Viognier, Marsanne, and Rousanne. Fruit forward and full bodied, it is a stunner of a wine. It's well-balanced, is smooth on the palate, and has a deliciously long finish. If you've never had a white blend before, this one is a great introduction.
Pisco Porton ($43.99)
From the producer:
"Like all good things, pisco began as an act of rebellion. In 1641, the King of Spain—Philip IV—imposed heavy taxes on all wine produced in Peru. In response, his new world subjects dodged the onerous tax by distilling the year’s grape harvest. In hand-forged copper vats nearly four centuries ago, a new white spirit was born and christened pisco, a reference to the Port of Pisco from where this new spirit was exported and which means ‘bird’ in the indigenous Quechua language. To this day, Peruvians call it their native spirit.
Pisco can boast what only a handful of other spirits enjoy: a Denomination of Origin. This means, quite simply, that all pisco must be made in a specific region and under the strictest of guidelines. All piscos are made in distilleries along the south western coast of Peru and must be distilled from any of eight specific aromatic and non-aromatic grape varietals: Quebranta, Negra Corriente, Mollar, Italia, Muscat, Albilla, Torontel and Uvina.
In its distillation, pisco must be made in small batches, crafted in traditional copper pot stills and left unaged or unaltered, meaning that not even water is added to the finished product. Pisco is distilled to proof, a rarity in a world where spirit makers distill to high alcohol levels and then add water to dilute to their desired proof.
Appearance: Crystal clear with medium viscosity.
Nose: Fresh and clea. Floral and fruity with hints of grapaes, vanilla, herbs, and pepper.
Palate: Full-bodied, creamy texture that becomes smooth and sweet. Hints of rich flavors, including cinnamon, orange blossom, and citrus.
Finish: Long, luxurious, and smooth."
This is the first Pisco I ever had, and it's by far my favorite. I enjoy sipping it neat, but it's wonderful in a cocktail. It's made in the same way that Grappa is, but I find Pisco much smoother, with a little bit of earthiness. The most famous way to drink it is in a Pisco Sour, but I love it in Next Door Kitchen's "Scarlet Glow." If you don't like Tequila, but want a spirit that is more robust than vodka, I highly recommend Pisco.