Photo Courtesy: A to Z WineWorks
With summer fast approaching I have decided to revisit a recommendation I made last year for my favorite summertime wine Rosé. This wine is a perfect fit for an idyllic afternoon spent sitting on a blanket spread out on a lush green lawn under a shade tree with a picnic basket full of artisan cheeses, fresh fruit and a loaf of hard-crusted bread. I like this Rosé because it is full of flavor and made to please with a slightly complex mid-palate that remains bright and juicy while filled with a virtual produce stand of red fruit flavors. A to Z Rosé first catches your eye with its beautiful magenta color then tickles your nose with the aromas of strawberries, red currants, raspberries, peach and watermelon while finally winding it all up with a crisp clean finish. There is no wine as closely associated with summer as Rosé, so when you pull out the shorts and sandals add in a bottle of Oregon-made A to Z Wineworks Rosé, you won’t be sorry you did!
Argyle Winery, Dundee, Oregon (Photo credit: PnP!)
We often complain about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board that regulates alcohol sales here but there are times when they get it right. I have to say the Chairman Selection offering of 2007 Argyle Pinot Noir Spirithouse for $39.99 (a savings of $ 35.01 from its quoted price of $75 ) is one of those times. This Oregon Pinot Noir was produced by the Knudson Vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA of the Williamette Valley. It is currently listed as Sold Out by the winery but that should be no surprise after Wine Advocate rated it 93 pts and Wine Spectator gave it a 90 pt rating in 2009 which means it has only gotten better since then. Spirithouse exhibits plenty of ripe fruit flavors especially raspberry and red cherry and just enough tannins with a smooth textured finished. This is a very good quality Pinot Noir that has more than sufficient acidity and the hint of pepper that is the signature of a good Pinot. I will tip my hat to the PLCB on this one and say “Job well done”. PLCB Code 32593
I hope that I have given you some motivation to get out and about this summer so you can make some fantastic new memories. Keeping with my theory that you do not have to spend a lot of money to get good wine, I would like to make some suggestions that will make for a well stocked cooler.
Let’s start with some reds!
1. Albeno Munari Tempranillo Calaveras County 2007 WE/88 $13.99
2. A to Z Wineworks Rosé Oregon 2011 $11.99
And now three highly rated proprietary Red Blends!
3. Bodegas Dios Ares Crianza 2008 WA/90 $12.99
4. Bodegas y Vined Luna Beberide Fincala Questa 2007 WA/90 $11.99
5. Boutari Elios Mediterranean Red Peloponnese 2009 WS/87 $12.99
Now it’s time to give these tasty white wines their time in the sun!
1. Alomos Torrontes 2007 WS/87 $10.99
2. Boutari Moschofilero Matinia 2010 WS/88 $12.99
3. Breemerton Verdelho WA/89 $12.99
4. Adegas Gran Vinum Nessa Albarino Rias Baixas 2008 WA/88 $12.99
These are just an example of the rated wines that are available at a reasonable price. I think you will enjoy any of these selections and know that you will find many others in your journeys.
I usually only recommend rated wines because to put it simply I see no reason to reinvent the wheel by trying to rate wines myself. When a wine is rated you can check its rating against the rating opinion of several other reviewers to see if it deserves your further consideration. The scale is a 100 point scale with the two most important ranges to me being 85-89 for a very good wine with special qualities and 90-94 for an outstanding wine that has superior character and style.
Pinot Noir is a popular wine that can be expensive but if you do your research some good examples can be purchased at a reasonable price. Louis Latour Volnay 2007 is Wine Spectator rated at 89 and can be found as a Chairman’s Selection at PA L.C.B. stores for $19.99, a sizable discount from its quoted price of $55.oo. This Pinot Noir is broad and sweet with a juicy ripe fruit body that offers cherry and raspberry flavors plus a silky texture. Look for it with the product code 13223 in the store or online.
Pinot noir Grapes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)