In Between Seasons
As summer starts to wind down, we’ve turned our sights to transitional wines to bridge the gap between summer and fall.
Summer is definitely far from over but there is a sense of fall creeping in. The city seems busier than ever, the frenzied last days of heat and light we remember pre-COVID. (But there are also telltale signs like pumpkin spice beers and ciders creeping onto the shelves, even if we think that’s just a little premature.)
With the days still hot and the nights cooler, we have started to integrate the first of the 2020 Australian chillable reds into our lives. We’ve also ditched the bright and airy summer rosés for those with decidedly more character and depth of flavor. These are far from the big and unruly reds that can grace a table of hearty winter fare but they do keep us sipping throughout the evening, as we will invariably have to do at home once outdoor shutters and the parks empty out.
A newcomer to the shop, Controvento’s Onda Anomala is a richer take on a rosé made from Montepulciano. All of his wines are made unfined, unfiltered, and without sulfites. Immediately evident in the glass is its light red color, which could easily be mistaken for a younger vintage red. On the palette, there are notes of concentrated strawberry and orange citrus but what really stands out about this rosé is the distinct textural grip and its dry, breezy finish that evokes the landscape of Abruzzo where the grapes are from. This is supremely easy and comforting drinking that appeal to anyone!
If you’re looking for other rosés that bend the expectations of what a bottle can taste, we’d recommend the Christian Tschida’s Himmel Auf Erden (2019), the closest thing you’ll get to bottled cranberry.
For our next wine,we arrive in France for a rosé that truly straddles the line between pink and light red. Though the color is decidedly a deep pink, the wine is bursting with candied citrus, apple, and peach aromatics. On the palette, we get touches of plum and blackberry but also quite a lot of lightness as it opens up with just a hint of bitterness that grips the palette. This single varietal Mourvèdre manages to move beyond the expectations of a traditionally structured and full bodied grape into something that could be enjoyed in any season.
In case you’re looking to try other wines from Nicolas Renaud, we have three others in stock currently.
Virginia has long been home vineyards but only in recent years have winemakers started to experiment more with grape varietals and natural winemaking techniques. At Early Mountain Vineyards, they use 90% Chambourcin and 10% Vidal Blanc to create a chillable red that might look rich and inky in the glass but feels more like a Beaujolais Nouveau. There isn’t a ton of complexity here but the bursts of underripe berries and great acidity make this a fun sipper with or without food. Sometimes the best kind of transitional season wines are the ones you have to think about the least!
Are you looking for another taste of the East Coast? We still have several Wild Arc wines in stock.
Smallfry, Starry Starry Night (2020)
The moment have been waiting for has finally arrived: the first taste of the 2020 vintages, straight from Australia. Smallfry, located in the Barossa Valley, uses Cinsault to create a brisk and refreshing red wine that challenges the assumption that all Barossa Valley reds need to be hefty. The bright red color in the glass lends itself to aromas and punchy flavors of cranberry and raspberry upfront. As the wine opens up, there is just a hint of textural grip and a dry, lip puckering finish. You’d be surprised at how easily this bottle empties but how memorable each sip is.
We are sadly out of this wine but not all is lost! We have an equally fabulous young expression of Trousseau from Smallfry so you can enjoy the fruits of the 2020 harvest.
We hope that you enjoy your Labor Day weekend and get to celebrate the last unofficial hurrah of summer! Cheers to all of the transitional wines in the next few months.