[photo: Mustard blooming in Spring, Napa Valley 2015]
Last week I looked out my window and saw daffodils peaking out of snow and just yesterday, they bloomed! A reminder of the resiliency of nature. That tiny white and yellow flower made me think of warmer days ahead, and consequentialy, wine! It’s amazing how many finished wines are reminiscent of flowers. Either dried, fresh-cut or sometimes just evocatively.
A transitional time like Spring always beckons me to try new wines that match the season. I’m saying ‘goodbye’ to big, dark reds that helped to keep me warm and saying ‘hello’ to lighter, more acid-driven beauties, both white, red and rose. After this past winter, we all deserve a little lift.
Thevenot Bourgogne Aligote ‘Perles d’Or’, France $15.99
The other white grape of Burgundy, Aligote, manages to way over-deliver in this scrumptious bottling from Thevenot. Full of ripe apricot and melon flavors without being too fat—just pure fruit flavor. (tip: mix with crème de cassis for a classic Kir)
Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Blanc, France $20.99
Smells like fresh flowers and green herbs but tastes like salt water taffy. Grown just yards from the sea, this is the perfect pairing with seafood and light, springy salads with goat cheese.
Neyers Chardonnay 304 Unoaked, California $22.99
I love Chardonnay! There, I said it. If you hate Chardonnay, or love it, or sometimes like it, try this wine. I dare you not to enjoy it. Made by longtime Kermit Lynch sales manager Bruce Neyers, it reveals essences of the old world while still being completely Californian. Vanilla blossom and green apple.
Meyer-Fonne ‘Edelzwicker’ Alsace, France Liter bottle $15.99
60% Pinot Blanc, 15% Muscat, 15% Chasselas, 10% Riesling. Alsatian wines are legendary for having aromatics that jump out of the glass, think orange blossom and perfume.
GD Vajra Rosabella Rose, Italy
A tasting note from Jordan Patton, Cincinnati Sommelier Extraordiare, “All the strawberries and maybe some watermelon on the nose but more peachy on the palate. It’s got a little weight to it but appropriate lift at the end. It’s really floral too.”
Statti Gaglioppo, Calabria Italy $13.99
This grape was a new one for me! I love tasting something I’ve never heard of. Gaglioppo is an ancient Calabrian varietal, probably brought to Italy by the Greeks. This tastes like what I imagine roses would taste like if you ate them, and juicy red cherries. Can serve with a chill.
Domaine Cheveau St.Amour Beaujolais, France $20.99
I’ve written about the many attributes of Beaujolais so often lately I’m scared I sound like a bit of a broken record. It really is the perfect Spring red, served chilled.
Occhipinti SP68, Sicily $26.99
A blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, this wine is aged in concrete for ultimate freshness and lightness. It’s incredible that a wine with so much flavor intensity can manage to remain refined.
Gene Red Blend, Argentina $15.99
This is the best wine I’ve had from Argentina in years. Bold statement, but true. When I first tasted it I thought it was from the Loire Valley of France, which is a testament to the classic flavors of Cab Franc coming through. Violet candy and cocoa powder notes sealed the deal.