7/23/2015

Pretty in Pink: Rosé Wines from Franck Bonville, Stinson Vineyards, and Donelan Family Wines

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages out there. For me, it is an area of interest that you never run out of new things to taste and learn. The wines selected for this post are all rosés. One is from the Champagne region of France and the other two are still wines (non- sparkling) from Virginia's all-important Monticello appellation and Sonoma County, California. All three, which I recommend seeking out, are excellent accompaniments to a myriad of warm-weather foods and equally enjoyable all on their own. For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

Factoid: Even though all Champagne sparkles, not all sparkling wine is Champagne.

Review: Franck Bonville NV Grand Cru Brut Rosé (SRP $40): Let me give you some free advice: Do not wait for special occasions to pop the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine or champagne. This delicious example, composed of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, is salmon pink in appearance with a persistent mousse of tiny bubbles. It exhibits aromas and flavors of fresh red berries – namely strawberry, alongside subtle notes of brioche, floral perfume, and spice. This is the type of champagne I personally enjoy serving with Sunday brunch – think smoked salmon, fruit salad, or crab cake eggs Benedict. The wine’s beautiful texture, firm acids, and reasonable price point (I found it for $30), make it an excellent option for any occasion and a wide variety of foods. Region: Champagne, France. Other info: ABV 12.5%, cork enclosure). Rating: 91 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Franck Bonville NV Grand Cru Brut Rosé

Review: Stinson Vineyards 2014 Rosé (SRP $19.99): A gorgeous pale salmon pink in color, this rosé, made from 100% Mourvèdre, is fresh with a restrained personality, offering vibrant red berries and citrus fruit flavors along with floral notes and a pinch of white pepper coming through on the back end. In the mouth, it is light and bright with an energetic backbone of acidity, making it extremely flexible food wise. I enjoyed a glass on its own and with bacon wrapped scallops. Crafted by the father and daughter team of Scott and Rachel Stinson, whose family operation specializes in small-lot wines, I recommend putting this duo on your wine radar. Only 175 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Monticello AVA, Virginia. Other info: ABV 13%, fermented and aged sur lie in stainless steel, cork enclosure). Rating: 89 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Stinson Vineyards 2014 Rosé

Review: Donelan 2014 Rosé (SRP $24): When your day calls for something bright and refreshing, look no further than this tasty rosé. A blend of 55% Syrah, 29% Grenache, and 16% Pinot Noir, it pours a lovely pale salmon color with a light pink hue. The wine offers vibrant flavors of red berry fruit and fleshy citrus fruit followed by tropical nuances.  Overall, this is a very appealing wine with driving acidity and terrific verve that’s rounded by a fresh and crisp finish. Made from the saignée method, where a small amount of juice is bled away from the skins to increase the intensity of a red wine, winemaker Joe Nielsen says: “Think of it as the 2014 vintage unplugged – an acoustic version of the reds in barrel.” Approximately 290 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Sonoma County, California. Other info: ABV 13.3%, fermented in neutral barrels, cork enclosure). Rating: 89 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Donelan 2014 Rosé

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

7/14/2015

Quick Sip: Adega Mãe 2011 Dory Reserva Tinto

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Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the Adega Mãe 2011 Dory Reserva Tinto from the Lisboa region of Portugal. Portugal is traditionally associated with and famous for its scrumptious fortified wines – Port and Madeira. During warmer months, other popular Portuguese selections are the pleasingly crisp and slightly effervescent white wines from Vinho Verde. These refreshing wines are produced from Alvarinho (aka Albariño) as well as other grape varieties and are satisfying, extremely food-friendly, and very affordable.

In my view, the wines that fly under the radar in Portugal are the region’s dry red wines which are often blends. These wines are usually made from traditional Port varieties and other red wine grapes. Portuguese blends have a knack for over-delivering on quality, giving consumers more bang for the buck. The selection featured, a blend of 45% Touriga Nacional, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Syrah, is enticing and robust; perfect for pairing with hearty fare. The good folks at Cork Exclusive have a very good deal (under $20) on this wine right now that includes free shipping on any 3 or more bottles of wine or spirits. For further information and where you can find this wine, please see my tasting notes below.

Adega Mãe 2011 Dory Reserva Tinto

Review: Adega Mãe 2011 Dory Reserva Tinto (SRP $25): Slightly opaque and deep purple in appearance, this appealing and robust wine exudes a flavorful core of solid dark fruits redolent of plums, blackberries, and black cherries that are pleasantly framed by notes of sweet oak, chocolate bark, and vanilla bean. In the mouth, the wine is fairly substantial, with good concentration and a firm spine of dusty, ripe tannins that’s held together nicely by ample acidity. This is a wine you can savor now (recommend 30-45 minutes decant), while reserving some for the cellar and enjoying over time. Pair with beef stew, rack of lamb or other hearty foods. During cooler months, this is the type of wine you want to sip while relaxing next to a warming fireplace or fire pit with friends. Region: Lisboa, Portugal. Other info: ABV 14%, 45% Touriga Nacional, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, barrel matured, cork enclosure). Rating: 91 Points.

Click here to find this wine. It has a suggested retail price of $25 and is available for as low as $19.99 on CorkExclusive with FREE SHIPPING on any 3 or more bottles of wine or spirits!

This review is sponsored by: 

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Get the Adega Mãe 2011 Dory Reserva Tinto for just $19.99 with FREE SHIPPING on any 3 or more bottles of wine or spirits!"


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned -- more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

7/06/2015

Quick Sip: Y Rousseau Wines 2014 Rosé of Tannat

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is Y Rousseau Wines’ 2014 Rosé of Tannat. I had an opportunity to try it for a recent virtual tasting put on by Protocol Wine Studio that highlighted drier styles of rosé. Every Tuesday at 9PM EST, you can join Protocol Wine Studio’s wine themed conversation by following hashtag #winestudio on Twitter.

Slightly sweet renditions of the pink juice, no doubt, have its fan base. But nowadays, drier examples are widely available, well-received, and great pairing partners to a huge array of foods. They are also flexible enough for just about any occasion – especially backyard cookouts during the warmer months. Even though rosés, either style, are largely synonymous with summer, I find that drier styles can easily be enjoyed year-round as pre-dinner refreshers or formal dinner wines – as some rosés pack complexity, character and even substance (Hello Tavel).

Y Rousseau Wines 2014 Rosé of Tannat 

When I think of red wine grapes that Sonoma is known for, varieties like Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot are the first that come to mind -- not Tannat. The thick-skinned red wine grape, known for its firm tannin structure, is indigenous to Southwest France. There, the variety thrives in the village of Madiran and is capable of producing long-lived wines of high quality that are built to age and crafted for the patient. Yannick Rousseau’s love for Tannat goes back to his homeland of Gascony, France. In 2007, he founded Y Rousseau Wines to showcase wines from his native country (e.g., Colombard, Tannat) that perform well in Sonoma's Russian River Valley. 

I recommend putting Yannick’s inky and substantial dry red wines made from Tannat on your wine radar. His 2014 rosé of Tannat, produced from a combination of direct pressing (75%) and free-run saignée (25%) methods, is a beautiful rosé to add to your wine radar as well. According to Yannick, who started making the 100% dry rosé of Tannat in 2012, it is the first ever made in the US. He attributes Tannat’s excellent acid structure to the wine’s success.  For further information and where you can find this tasty pink juice, please see my tasting notes below.


Review: Y Rousseau Wines 2014 Rosé of Tannat ($24): This rosé pours a lovely pale salmon color. Subtle fragrances of vibrant red berry fruit and fleshy citrus notes greet the nose. The flavors, which are pleasantly restrained, match the aromas and are firmly packed onto an energetic frame supported by crisp acids and a gentle, streamlined texture. The wine finishes with a bright, medium-long rounded finish. Overall, a wonderfully fresh and beautiful rosé that’s ideal for warm weather sipping. It would also be a great partner to foods like fish tacos, bacon wrapped shrimp, grilled chicken salad, cold pasta salads, or flatbread pizza – the pairings are almost endless. Approximately 275 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California. Other info: ABV 13.5%, 100% Tannat, fermented in stainless, aged 5 for months on lees – no stirring, screw cap enclosure). Rating: 91 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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