Wine Reviews

Posted by Keith Wallace

Thomas Fogarty Gewurztraminer, Monterey

Yes, you read it right: Gewurztraminer from Monterey. Sounds odd, but this wine’s combination of perfume, fruit, and structure will make you a believer in no time.

Cascabel Tempranillo Graciano, McLaren Vale

It’s tempting to think of Australia is fairly monolithic terms. But this bbq-ready red proves how wrong that is, and how food-friendly and gulpable unexpected varieties can be when grown and vinified with care in the land down under.

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Inniskillin Vidal Sparkling Icewine

Not for everybody, but that almost seems to be the point of this unusual, unexpected sparkler. It’s rich and sweet, but the bubbles somehow cut it all down to manageable size. It’s the perfect way to end a nice summertime dinner with close friends or family; you won’t want to share this with everyone.

Naia Naia Des Verdejo

What makes this wine unusual isn’t where it’s from but the grape variety itself. Verdejo, after all, is still sadly underappreciated by too many wine-lovers. But this one, hopefully, will start to chip away at that: it’s affordable enough to be approachable. And its old-vines, barrel-fermented character is sure to make it a favorite by the end of your first glass.

Ponzi Vineyards Arneis, Willamette Valley

If Arneis from its home base in Piedmont is unfamiliar to most American wine consumers, then its Oregon incarnation is likely to be downright bewildering. But one sip of this fruity, stony white will be enough to convince you that it’s worth a go–and maybe even a second bottle.

Baumard Savennieres, Loire Valley

From one of our favorite producers comes this stunning Chenin Blanc. And it’s from a great vintage. And it’s reasonably priced. And it’s almost crazily delicious.

Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo

Anyone who has ever taken one of our classes on Italian wines knows we love obscure bottlings. And long ago, it became clear that, in matters of all things Italian and unfamiliar, it’s best to follow his lead. Take this wine, for example–he’s been extolling its virtues for years now, and with good reason.

Muga Blanco, Rioja

Reds from Rioja are familiar to most people; the whites, somewhat less so. Whether you’ve tasted one before or this is your first, the Muga is a great place to start. Autumn and stone fruit dominate but are kept in check by a charming edge of austerity.

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