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The Cellar: Red, White, Rose–3 Wines For The Holiday Weekend

Friday, July 05, 2013

 

If you are spending time this weekend with family and friends whose taste in wine is unfamiliar to you, you might want to play it safe. One way of doing so is by getting a white, rose and a red (this strategy always works for me) from some of the more classic regions. Here is an example of what your wine basket could look like.

2011 Macon-Villages, Albert Bichot, Burgundy, France

For white consider going with a something most people will enjoy, like a Chardonnay. There literally are Chardonnays for any and every occasion as they come in many different styles ranging from lean, unoaked and minerally to full, rich and fruity. One of the best ‘middle of the road’ style under-$20 Chardonnays I have tasted this week is a French white Burgundy. Finding a good Burgundy for under $20 is no easy task, so be sure to ask your wine merchant about this wine as it should be available near you. The Chardonnay I am talking about is the 2011 Macon-Villages from Negociant Albert Bichot. Wines labeled with this appellation are usually made from grapes grown in two or more selected villages in the Maconnais in southern Burgundy. This wine is well-made and surprisingly complex for its price point as it offers a little bit of everything. This medium-bodied wine has a lovely straw color but shows it youth with a slight green tint. It has great mouthfeel, initially soft and slightly creamy displaying nice tropical fruit notes, turning minerally as it continues on. It finishes with citrus fruit backed by vibrant acidity.

2012 Samorens, Ferraton, Cotes Du Rhone Rosé, France

This week’s second wine is a refreshing Grenache based Rosé from France’s Cote du Rhone. Grenache’s thin skins and spicy flavors make it an ideal grape variety to base a Roséon. Intensely colored, this wine displays delicate aromas of raspberries, red currents and strawberries, which are replicated in flavors on the palate alongside a pretty peppery note. While perhaps a hair bitter on the mid-palate, the wine does finish long, nice and clean. Made from 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Cinsault.

2010 Luce Della Vite Lucente, Tuscany, Italy

For the grand finale (or the juicy steak) I recommend something big and red, Tuscan perhaps, like the $30 Sangiovese based Luce Della Vite Lucente. The 2010 Tuscan growing season started off with rain after rain, but nearly ideal conditions towards harvest resulted in a perfectly ripe crop. Winemakers blended 25% Merlot into the 2010 vintage and aged it for 1 year in 60% new oak and 40% one-year old oak (French and American). This is one of the best vintages of this wine in a while; one that, although it has considerable aging potential, drinks really well already. Ripe red and black fruits are complimented by coffee notes, herbs and oak. This wine is smooth on the palate with velvety tannins and finishes long and strong. Decant for one hour.

Happy Holidays & Cheers!

 

Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question or sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.

 

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