A Little Bit of Vino for Everyone
Though the climates and varietals couldn’t be more different, each one seems to embody the possibilities of natural winemaking.
With just a few weeks left in 2017, we wanted to give you tasting notes on four different wines! Three out of the four are recent arrivals and the other we’ve had in stock since last month. Yet again we’ve managed to make it to three different countries; this time France, Greece and Chile. Though the climates and varietals couldn’t be more different, each one seems to embody the possibilities of natural winemaking to the fullest. Whether it’s the raspberry bomb of the No Control or the alluring floral characteristics of the Cacique Maravilla, there’s definitely something for everyone this week.
Gregory Guillaume – L’Excentrique (2011)
This blend of Merlot and Grenache is not what you’d expect. On the nose, you get a savory gamey quality and bright fruit dominate, but the wine itself is considerably lighter than expected. Initially there are some dark red fruit notes, quite a lot of tannins, and a savory body, but you also experience considerable acid and lift, particularly into its long finish. On the second day, we noticed more of that natural wine funk tends to show up as it gets some air. As we see it, this wine is the perfect bridge between the fuller bodied red wines and the unmistakable quirks of Guillaume’s wines.
A Gamay Pet Nat from the Auvergne is the thing dreams are made of for a Pet Nat. For this example from No Control, it’s really all about the fruit. Both on the nose and on the palette, a juicy but still tart raspberry swings at you with full force. Though the acid is restrained, it adds a nice with the funk that comes from 6 months fermentation on lees. On the finish, it’s clean and very dry, so you won’t get any of that yeastiness you might expect. Because this wine is unfiltered, we also enjoyed that hazy pale red hue in the glass. It would pair well with richer foods, though we have to admit that it’s hard not to finish a bottle on its own.
Ktima Ligas – Xi-Ro, Xinomavro (2015)
Wines from Greece have only recently started to show up on our shelves but we’re glad they have. Jason Ligas shows us that unique wines can come out a region that generally isn’t prized for its winemaking. This particular vintage manages to have a great balance of characteristics we want in a red wine. It is a translucent but deep red color featuring smoky aromas on the nose. On the palette, we get tastes of both dried and fresh red fruit and some subtle spices before before settling into a long, dry finish. Toward the end, we also appreciated the pleasant but complex herbal and pine notes.
The first crop of 2017s have arrived from Chile and what a delight they are! This unfiltered white blend featuring Moscatel, Corinto and Torontel is about as fresh as it gets. A beautiful pale yellow in the glass, the aromatics are vibrant, immediately hitting your nose with orange peel and floral characteristics. Upfront is a juicy mandarin flavor profile, with just the right balance between acid and sweetness that lingers into a soft finish, reminiscent of floral petals. Perfumed, fruit-forward and quaffable – this might seem like the best summer pool wine but it also just the thing we want to brighten up this stretch of grey winter days.
Stay tuned next week as we have some surprises to celebrate the end of 2017 and ring in 2018.