In honor of National Drink Wine Day, read below to get some recommendations from our very knowledgeable wine authors. Be sure to click on the links for each wine to see where you can purchase their suggestions near you. Salud!
Rod Phillips, author of French Wine: A History
I’ve been exploring the various regional sparkling wines of France, some called crémants: there’s a Crémant de Bourgogne, a Crémant de Loire, a Crémant de Bordeaux, and so on. They’re made by the “Traditional Method” from local grape varieties and are generally very good value. Right now I’m enjoying a Crémant de Limoux, from southwestern France, where Limoux is generally thought to have been well ahead of Champagne in making sparkling wine.
Le Pergole Torte is not Chianti Classico in name, but in essenzialità (essentialness). Hailing from the Montevertine estate in Radda, the heart of Chianti, and named after “the twisted pergolas” of the original vineyard where it was born, this selection of the estate’s best Sangiovese grapes undergoes a basic vinification in concrete vats followed by almost a year in French oak barriques and then at least a year in larger casks. The time in larger casks shakes off the barriques’ oaky aroma while mellowing their tannic boost. When we tasted the 2012 vintage with dinner in October 2016 at Stir Boston, it had a bright, translucent, ruby color, a lively cherry fruit nose, followed by a mouth which emphasized fruit over astringency. It is moderate in both alcohol and acidity, and Pinot Noir-like in character. It paired perfectly with the pappardelle al cinghiale – broad, flat pasta served with a wild boar ragù, seasoned with sage, and sprinkled with pecorino shavings. At $110 per bottle, delicacy champions power. This wine is the essence of the true Chianti.
Patrick Comiskey, author of American Rhone: How Maverick Winemakers Changed the Way Americans Drink
Let’s recommend Kunin 2014 Central Coast Pape Star Red Blend.
One of the more compelling red blends coming from the Central Coast, Kunin’s 2014 Pape Star Rouge is an homage to Chateauneuf du Pape reds in more ways than one. Like those wines Kunin privileges Grenache and Mourvedre here, leaving Syrah in the background for structure, as well as a bit of Counoise for lift and perfume. A robust wine with Grenache at the forefront here, with its sunny cherry scents and robust red fruit flavors, displaying a subtle power that will leave an impression that’s less about juicy fruit and more about grip and drive.
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