Gruber Röschitz Grüner Veltliner ($16.99)
From the producer:
"This wine has a crystal clear taste. The spicy and vivid Grüner Veltliner awakens the (Wine) Spirits. Gentle hints of apple in the nose with aromatic peppery notes."
Grüner Veltliner is likely an indigenous grape to Austria, and accounts for nearly one third of the country's plantings. It can produce fresh wines meant to be drunk young, and fuller-bodied wines that can take quite a bit of age and develop characteristics similar to Burgundian Chardonnay. This particular Grüner is very refreshing and dry, but it also has elegance and complexity. The current vintage will drink well for the next 2 years or so.
Gianni Gagliardo Fallegro Langhe Favorita ($17.99)
From the producer:
"Our family cultivates our own vineyards in the villages of La Morra, Barolo, Monforte, Serralunga and Monticello d'Alba, using the natural methods of integrated agriculture. We vinify and refine respecting the traditions, looking for finesse and elegance.
Fallegro was born in 1974 and it’s one of the first wines made from Favorita grapes. It’s the Piemonte version of Vermentino grapes, the only one grown far from the sea in a continental climate which gives lot of character and makes it fresh and fragrant. Ideal as an aperitif and easily served with food."
A nearly forgotten grape, most Favorita grows on the left bank of the Tanaro River in northwestern Italy, but some, like in this wine, comes from the right bank. The wine is fruit-forward and smooth, with a medium body. It is very drinkable, though it will pair well with food, and in particular with hard cheeses. Gagliardo is the premier producer of Favorita.
Tintonegro Cabernet Franc ($14.99)
From the Producer:
"Sourced from the Los Chacayes district in Mendoza’s high altitude Uco
Valley, this wine is meant to showcase the intensely floral and mineral
style of Cabernet Franc in the Uco Valley’s high altitude, limestone
driven soils. Perfumed violet aromatics, bright red fruit flavors, supple
texture and a bright, mineral finish – limestone driven Cabernet
Franc. The wine is aged for 9 months in French oak, 5% new."
Cabernet Franc is (with Sauvignon Blanc) the parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon, and though it is often used in red blends (Bordeaux), it is also made into varietal wine in the Loire Valley (Chinon) and in the New World (including the Finger Lakes and Long Island). This is a departure for Tintonegro, which has mainly concentrated on Malbecs, but it is a welcome addition to their line. I love Argentinian wine, and I love Cab Franc, so this is a winner for me. It is medium bodied, with excellent fruit flavor on the mid-palate and a stony balance. Slightly earthy and quite smooth.