Shana Speaks Wine

Wine Journalist, Copywriter, and Marketing Consultant

Drinking out loud. 

Filtering by Tag: France

Aged Whites

After trips to Burgundy and Spain, I'm slightly obsessed with aged white wines, but they are not always easy to find (or I find affordable).  Like actresses in Hollywood, young and fresh white wines are often the drink of choice.  However, like those ambitious beauties, there are a plethora of them fighting for the starring role on the table. Personally, I'm excited when I find one of these mature stars in the casting call, er, wine list.  They obtain a unique complexity during their evolution and make me rethink what I know about the grape.

Case in point?  The Domaine Aux Moines Savienneres - Roche Aux Moines, 1999, we recently had at Freek's Mill in Gowanus.  This Chenin Blanc had developed a lovely nutty overlay to its aromatic profile.  On the palate, it still had good structure and moderate acidity, which paired well with many of our dishes.  

Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Forget the young ingenue; what aged whites have you tried recently? 

Tavel Rose Rounds Out the Summer

Summer is still lingering, but there is a softness in the air that hints at the coolness that is fast approaching.  We are all hanging on to the last gasps of warmth and embracing the finale of the season. 

On one such night, I opened this Chateau de Trinquevedel, Tavel Rose, France, 2013. Tavel is a town very close to Avignon in the Rhone Valley and is unique in that it only produces rose. It was also the first region to be granted AOC status for the pink sipper, meaning rose is serious business. In other parts of the world, where rose is sometimes produced as an afterthought or as a "casual" wine in a producer's portfolio, Tavel winemakers must meet strict requirements to ensure they are creating quality quaffers. 

With this particular bottle, the winemaker's great-grandfather fortuitously purchased the chateau in 1936, the same year Tavel was granted AOC status. However, he wasn't profitable immediately as the vineyard was in rough shape; "rough" as in it took until 1960 for them to release wines that upheld the governing regulations. Talk about gumption.  

The soil, most interestingly, is comprised of sand and galets (round stones), which are a signature characteristic of Chateauneuf du Pape, which obviously peaked my CdP-loving self's interest.   So, how did this wine fare?

 

image.jpg

 

The color was a deep rose, which immediately gave the visual impression of power.  On the nose, field ripe strawberries, bright cherries and a strong floral tone, almost that of a rose (funny how that works) came through. The palate showcased a lot of the same strawberry notes, ripe raspberries and blackberries yet there was a savory quality, almost like licking a rock, and a spiciness that came through as well.  Medium acid and medium plus-bodied, it was a rich rose.

 

Keep tasting, friends.... 

Weekend Recap

I started transitioning to fall a bit early this past weekend.  Instead of pounding the rose (which apparently was not an options for Hamptonites), we dove into some bigger reds.  

First up was this Monteraponi, Chianti Classico, Italy, 2011.

Monteraponi Chianti Classico, Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Monteraponi Chianti Classico, Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Rather lush with deep, ripe cherry notes, high acidity and medium tannins, this was a great start to dinner.  

But then... 

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape, photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape, photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

 We luxuriated with this beauty, Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape, France, 2006. It was a bit of a newer-world style, with more dominant fruit on the nose and palate, but the traditional earthy, savory tones still enhanced every sip. 

It's almost time to bust out the sweaters but looks like my palate has a headstart.  

Keep tasting, friends.... 

 

 

Rose's Last Call

Not to be a downer, but.... I'm going to be anyway. Summer is coming to a close.  You need to get your rose on.  Now.  Here are a few new ones I discovered at a recent tasting.  

Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Bubbles! This Tissot, Cremant du Jura, France, NV, had a lot of fresh strawberry on the nose but was beautifully balanced with a brioche toastiness on the palate.  

 

Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

A bit of Finger Lakes history for you.  Charles Fournier was one of the pioneering winemakers in this northern New York region and is credited with moving the industry forward.  In the 1950s he brought Dr. Konstantin Frank over and together they revolutionized FInger Lakes wines.  The Dr. Konstantin Frank label is fairly well known but there hasn't been a Fournier Private label for a while.  The Charles Fournier, Gold Seal Vineyards, Rose, Finger Lakes, 2013, was somewhat Provencal in style with the lighter body but it showcased more New World style fruitiness. 

 

Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

And then, there was this awesomeness. Blackbird Vineyards, Arriviste Rose, CA, 2013, was a Bordeaux blend rose.  Fuller in body, it was rich in fruit but what was most interesting was a bit of creaminess and a slight dairy tang.  Yep, this rose was treated with a bit of malo.  

Finally, with the cooler weather coming, I recommend these two Rosato-style roses. Heftier in body and juicy beyond all belief, they are the sweatercoats of Rose: Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013  and Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. 

 

Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Enanzo, Rosado, Garnacha, Spain, 2013.  Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine

Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

Akakies, Kir-Yianni, Greece, 2013. Photo by Shana Sokol, Shana Speaks Wine.

I'm gunning for Endless Summer....