Vera Vinho Verde ($10.99)
From the distibutor:
"A joint effort by wine impresarios Rui Abecassis and Bruce Schneider, Vera Vinho Verde is one of our most exciting acquisitions in recent years. The wine is made at Casa do Valle by Luis Duarte, one of Portugal’s preeminent vignerons. Boasting zippy freshness over a base of minerality, this is surely the most “serious” Vinho Verde that we have encountered and one that will serve as a perfect thirst quencher through summer and beyond.
-60% Arinto, 30% Azal and 10% Loureiro
-From select blocks of Casa do Valle’s main estate vineyard
-The vines are between 10 and 15 years old
-The average elevation is 300 meters
-Soil is granitic sandy loam
Clean, lively flavors of lime, ripe pink and yellow grapefruit. Slight effervescence."
The first time I had Vinho Verde, I thought to myself, "what is happening in my mouth?" Its hint of effervescence and bright acidity just gives it a great "zing." This is perfect hot weather wine with enough mineral lift to make it truly thirst-quenching.
Colimoro Pinot Grigio ($13.50)
Alto Adige, Italy
From the producer:
Hand-harvested the first week of September during
the early morning hours. The grapes are gently
pressed and undergo a cold-soak in stainless steel
tanks. Fermentation takes place at low temperatures
over 10-15 days. Partial malolactic occurs. The wine
was fined with bentonite and lightly filtered before
2-3 weeks on a small amount of lees in stainless steel
tanks followed by 3 months in bottle
Intense and clearly defined flavors of stone fruit such as pear and white peach. Ripe melon aromas are present. All are accented by elegant floral aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle. Full-bodied, with great balance, length, and Golden Delicious apple flavors on the finish.
Pour this wine for all occasions within 2-3 years of the vintage. Best with light fare such as salads, seafood, and creamy pasta dishes. Serve well-chilled."
This is the wine I sell instead of Santa Margherita; it's very similar in style, but I think this is better quality, and at half the price, it's a great buy. I like my Pinot Grigio to have a little more heft and character, which this does. Partial malolactic fermentation gives it body and richness, while the acidity keeps it fresh on the palate. This is great for sipping, but its robustness makes it versatile for pairing with light to medium fare.
Saveurs du Temps Rosé ($11.99)
Costières de Nîmes, France
From the producer:
"Intense nose of red fruit, raspberries, and blackberries. Ample and generous on the palate. Pairs well with white and grilled meats.
Grapes: 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah
Soil: colluvium clay and limestone
Age of Vines: 20 Years Old
Altitude: 80 m above sea level
Fermentation: cold maceration in stainless steel
Aging: in stainless steel
Production: 300,000 bottles per year"
This wine really appealed to me, in part because Costières de Nîmes wines are, in general, very good values for the quality, and because it's got a little more character than some of the other southern French rosés. The fruit from the Grenache is very strong, but the Syrah balances it out with some structure and dryness. This is a lovely wine to drink on its own, but it can stand up to a heartier meal as well. I daresay this is a year-round rosé.