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Seasonal Varietals: August - Random Summer Whites


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Welcome to our first Seasonal Varietal Tasting! I'm so excited to get started.

Since we're just booting up and it's late summer already, I thought instead of picking a particular varietal, we could all just share our favorite summer wines and get to know each other a little.

This thread will run until September 1, when we'll move on to another varietal or category. See proposed schedule.

That will give everyone time to order wines, buy a particular favorite, taste wine with friends, whatever fits your schedule.

 

I have just ordered two bottles of a wine I want to introduce you to, and I am so excited about it I just have to tell you a little about it, even though the bottles won't arrive until later this week. I have only ever had one glass of this wine, at a sashimi-bowl party, and it blew my socks off. We drank a lot of good wine that night, but I kept coming back to the Siegerrebe and peering mournfully into the empty bottle.

 

The grape is called Siegerrebe, a cross between Gewurztraminer and Madeleine Angevine. I thought it was extraordinarily complex and delicate, and I can't wait to try it again (and enjoy a whole bottle by myself). So, tasting notes to come!

 

Meanwhile, feel free to share your favorites and/or ask questions.

 

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Edited by Rebel Rose (log)
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Wow! I would normally run the other way from anything that describes itself as reminiscent of a Muscat (dry or otherwise) but I do love Gewürtztraminer. I've never heard of Madeleine Angevine, much less Siegerrebe.  I'll see whether any of our local shops carry that particular wine.

 

My go-to white wine is Sauvignon Blanc, but I'm also fond of dry Reisling and the occasional Chenin Blanc. Seghesio makes a very nice Vermentino that I may be able to find again. I'll bring in some of my faves and I look forward to seeing what others here come up with. My "real-world" friends turn up their noses at ANY white wines, so it'll be nice to compare notes here.

 

 

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Well...you have managed to stump the largest alcohol buying power in the world, the LCBO - well done!

 

A nonsense government run liquor control board, but apparently based on its search engine, '0 results' to be found for anything related to 'Sieggerebe', unfortunately.

 

Sounded lovely, though.

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, TicTac said:

Well...you have managed to stump the largest alcohol buying power in the world, the LCBO - well done!

 

A nonsense government run liquor control board, but apparently based on its search engine, '0 results' to be found for anything related to 'Sieggerebe', unfortunately.

 

Sounded lovely, though.

 

 

 

But wait - they are growing it in Cowichan - Sieggerebe

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24 minutes ago, TicTac said:

A nonsense government run liquor control board, but apparently based on its search engine, '0 results' to be found for anything related to 'Sieggerebe', unfortunately.

It probably won't solve your underlying problem, but check that spelling: it's one "g" and two "r"s. Siegerrebe. No hits here at my usual wine store.

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Chris Hennes
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44 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

It probably won't solve your underlying problem, but check that spelling: it's one "g" and two "r"s. Siegerrebe. No hits here at my usual wine store.

Thanks, good catch! I've corrected my OP.

I don't think there are many vines in production, so definitely not available nationally.

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6 minutes ago, Rebel Rose said:

I don't think there are many vines in production, so definitely not available nationally.

Yeah, I think I'll stick with something along the lines of a Sauv Blanc for this first meeting. I like them dry and minerally: I might use this "meeting" as an opportunity to try something I haven't had before, so it's time to read some shelf tags...

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In honor of the topic,  I think I will treat myself to this box of 6 Summer Whites from Beaune Imports to add a little variety to my usual Trader Joe's wines.  

2019 Côtes du Rhône, La Colline, La Cabotte (Rhône)
2016 Rueda Verdejo, Villa Narcisa, Javier Sanz (Rueda, SP)
2019 Soave DOC, Tamellini (Veneto, IT)
2018 Pont Bourceau Chenin, Julien Delrieu (Loire)
2012 Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu, Origine, Haut Bourg (Loire)
2018 Citrine Chardonnay, Enfield Wine Co. (California, USA)

 

I like that there are links to info on the producers and individual wines on the website.  

Unfortunately, Beaune ships wine to CA, WA, OR, ID, NM, and NV only but I imagine they can send the very excellent anchovies to other states 🙃 

Edited by blue_dolphin
to add links to the individual wine info sheets (log)
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Just delivered this morning from a favorite shop, Chambers Street Wine and Spirits.  Their focus is on natural, biodynamic, organic, minimal intervention, yada, yada, yada wines. Which we love - and they know their stuff.

 

Vincendeau 16 Le Raguenet  (chenin)

Roche Bleue 17 Clos Molières (chenin) I'm a big fan of Loire Valley chenins, and they are a big focus at Chambers St.

Nathan K. 18 Dry Riesling 

Frick 17 Riesling Maceration

Terres Dorees 18 Beauj Blanc

 

Previous orders included:

 

Dreissigacker 18 Riesling Trock

Melsheimer 16 Ries Handwerk  

Nathan K. 18 Dry Riesling 

Benito Santos 19 Albarino Saia

Bohigas 19 Xarel-lo

Lauer 19 Riesling Barrel X 

Espelt 18 Garnatxa Blanca

Dureuil 16 Bourgogne Blanc

Chidaine 18 Sauvignon Touraine ( SB from the Loire)

Wiemer 18 Riesling Dry  

 

I also use Astor Place when they're running a good sale.

And a few others.


 

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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On 8/16/2020 at 7:36 PM, blue_dolphin said:

In honor of the topic,  I think I will treat myself to this box of 6 Summer Whites from Beaune Imports to add a little variety to my usual Trader Joe's wines.  

2019 Côtes du Rhône, La Colline, La Cabotte (Rhône)
2016 Rueda Verdejo, Villa Narcisa, Javier Sanz (Rueda, SP)
2018 Soave DOC, Tamellini (Veneto, IT)
2018 Pont Bourceau Chenin, Julien Delrieu (Loire)
2012 Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu, Origine, Haut Bourg (Loire)
2018 Citrine Chardonnay, Enfield Wine Co. (California, USA)

 

Ordered and received.  Anyone want to come over and taste with me?

IMG_2901.thumb.jpeg.449a41040b005e4e2c03eff10d9f7771.jpeg

Sorry, I meant you guys, not cats!

 

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I will willingly admit I am a plebian in the world of wine. I enjoy "good" wine, but I also enjoy cheap stuff. And there are very expensive wines I don't enjoy, as well as cheap ones. Currently, I am drinking a Bota Box of pinot grigio, which is about my white wine of choice, and I'm not a huge white, as opposed to red, wine drinker. But I like pinot grigio, and I like Bota Box's version of same.

 

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Ok. Trying to get into the spirit of things here. Stopped by the best of the several liquor stores in the area, that has a better selection of whites, and picked up this:

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It had a 90 from Wine Spectator, so I thought, ok.

 

Meh. It's nice. I can't make a lot of difference in it and Bota Box, at a third of the price. 

 

Got another bottle, too. I'll try it this weekend or early next week.

 

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14 minutes ago, weinoo said:

I believe that certain wines, even more so than others, don't show their strengths until they are paired with foods; then both the food and the wine are "improved," or at least allowed to show their best.

 

I totally agree.  Also sad pairings where a certain food and wine do each other no favors but what a wonderful thing when that synergy happens! 

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Left Foot Charley is one of Northwest Michigan's best wineries. Their 2011 Dry Riesling was featured in Eric Asimov's January 6, 2014, article about "winter wines" (but go figure, it's not really about wines made for winter drinking). Last night, Ms Alex and I cracked open (literally -- it was a screw top) a bottle of their 2017 Dry Riesling (here -- scroll down a little bit) -- 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, $18/bottle.

 

We had similar impressions of the wine when tasted w/o food, of stone fruit and citrus: peach and lime for me, apricot and grapefruit for Ms Alex. We both detected perhaps a scintilla of residual sugar, but fruit certainly dominated. It was an excellent match for our dinner of pork tenderloin with Nobu's black cod marinade, sautéed cucumber with garlic and dill, and rice pilaf.

 

 

LFC front.jpg

LFC back.jpg

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I picked up a bottle of Gateway Vinho Verde in honor of this topic. There was a time when I drank Vinho Verde often; then I kinda forgot about it. I'm glad I tried a bottle again.

 

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Things I learned tonight: Vinho Verde refers to the region in Portugal that is the source of the wine; it is not a varietal or particular blend. Think Bordeaux in France, or Rioja in the Basque region. I have only ever had white Vinho Verde, and until tonight didn't know that other varietals are grown there. (See this article for more information.) I can't speak to the reds or blushes. As for this white, which is much like the white Vinho Verdes I've had in the past: it has a bit of carbonated sparkle; the alcohol content is low for wine (this bottle is 9.5% ABV); the flavor is light and semi-sweet (or off-dry?) with citrusy notes but it is not what I would call fruit-forward. It's very refreshing for a summer evening. I think it would be interesting to try side-by-side with one of the fruitier Sauvignon Blancs.

 

That said, I'm not sure what I would pair it with for food. The roasted red pepper hummus on crackers didn't clash terribly, but I don't think the food or wine did each other favors. Then came dinner....

 

20200822_215828.jpg

 

...and no, Vinho Verde (white) and chili are not a good match. Not that I expected them to be, but I had to try. xD

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Sometimes I make strange choices for wine with what I'm going to make for dinner, because wine often gets  opened before dinner is even prepared.

Like this Chenin Blanc...

 

609496735_JasnieresCheninBlan08-22IMG_1963.thumb.JPG.668a908e2fab75b6a7c257574111419d.JPG

 

But it went pretty nicely with the chirashi I made last night. It's both organic and biodynamic, from a small area of the northern Loire.  Nice and  minerally, with citrus and that certain something we get from natural wines.  

 

Actually wasn't too bad a choice with the food.

 

If you can find this wine, I don't think you'll be disappointed - certainly works as an apéritif as well.

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8 hours ago, Smithy said:

That said, I'm not sure what I would pair it with for food.

 

What to Drink with What You Eat (one of my favorite beverage-related books) says that seafood in general is a notable match, but especially sardines, and even more so if they've been grilled, which the authors deem a "Holy Grail" classic pairing. Other specific fish and seafood also were frequently recommended by their wine experts: fried calamari, steamed clams, crab and crab cakes, grilled or fried fish, mussels, and seafood stew. Salad (I assume with a vinaigrette) also was a recommended pairing, probably because of the wine's high acidity and light body.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I was looking for something with a good mineral character that I hadn't had in a long time (if ever... I don't know if I've had the Château Vitallis), and wound up with this:

DSC_5835.jpg

 

It was a little more full-bodied that I normally seek in a "summer white" but overall it was delicious.

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On 8/23/2020 at 8:19 AM, Alex said:

 

What to Drink with What You Eat (one of my favorite beverage-related books) says that seafood in general is a notable match

 

Agree about the book - I'm casually acquainted with both Karen and Andrew; we've been out to eat a number of times and they know their stuff.

And generally matching some of the foods that you're eating, with wines from the same region as the foods, often works well. So a Vinho Verde with Portuguese inspired seafood and you can't really go wrong (as well as being a great value, that wine).

 

1125727837_ChardonnayBeaujolaisBlanc08-23MG_1967.jpeg.2a3567090206469294c5a8b6bc5f1b1b.jpeg

 

This is the bottle drank a few nights ago - Beaujolais Blanc is an interesting wine, from a region known for its reds, and only 2% of the acreage is planted in this grape. Not much like classic Burgundian chards, I doubt these are very age-worthy - drink 'em when you get 'em. (I suppose if one has proper storage, buying a few cases of this at this price and seeing how they change over the next five years, would not be a terrible thing to do. Might be wise, as a matter of fact.)

 

Another "organic" "natural" wine ( as that's the stuff we like these days, despite not knowing or really caring what it means), and no oak. Expect the flavors of summer fruit and minerals and citrus, which is okay by me. Significant Eater got hints of cidre funk. Under $20. 

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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On 8/22/2020 at 10:31 AM, Alex said:

Left Foot Charley is one of Northwest Michigan's best wineries. Their 2011 Dry Riesling was featured in Eric Asimov's January 6, 2014, article about "winter wines" (but go figure, it's not really about wines made for winter drinking). Last night, Ms Alex and I cracked open (literally -- it was a screw top) a bottle of their 2017 Dry Riesling (here -- scroll down a little bit) -- 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, $18/bottle.

 

We had similar impressions of the wine when tasted w/o food, of stone fruit and citrus: peach and lime for me, apricot and grapefruit for Ms Alex. We both detected perhaps a scintilla of residual sugar, but fruit certainly dominated. It was an excellent match for our dinner of pork tenderloin with Nobu's black cod marinade, sautéed cucumber with garlic and dill, and rice pilaf.

 

 

LFC front.jpg

LFC back.jpg

 

Great write up, thank you! Made my mouth water.

I tend to trust reviews from the Enthusiast more than the Spectator, which may seem odd to geeks, but I think the Enthusiast favors more food-friendly wines with moderate sugars and alohols, and is more in touch with food-and-wine pairings.

A trace of sweetness is not a bad thing, especially if you are pairing the wine with garlic or spices.

Now I'm really fascinated to know more about Left Foot and their source vineyards.

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