Don’t Forget Your Mask

    The Wine Guy

    I’m sure you probably all know by now, but just another reminder that you won’t be able to get into your favorite wine store, (or anyplace else for that matter) if you’re not wearing a mask. Don’t know how much longer this will go on; maybe the bigger question at this point is, how much more can we take? It’s enough to drive you to drink, so let’s begin.

    France’s Loire Valley is famous for two things-its beautiful Chateaux and its wines. One of its lesser known but very delicious wines is a red wine called Chinon. Its AOC is in the area of Touraine, around the Town of Chinon; this area has been growing grapes since Roman times. The primary grape is Cabernet Franc, with a touch of Rose and white wine added. One of the better groups of Chinon wines are made by the Joguet family, whose story began when their ancestors made wine for the army of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years’ War in the 1400’s. They’ve learned a few things over the years and today wines like their 2017 Charles Joguet Cuvée Terroir Chinon, ($26.99), offer full, rich reds. My friend and fellow wine writer, Kevin Fontaine, visited the estate last fall and had this to say:” Aromas strongly recall plums, raspberries and bell pepper, with faint edges of cinnamon. Quenching on the palate, its lightness is an invitation to a host of cuisine pairings: roast chicken, salmon, burgers. The peppery tones and laser-precise acidity give this wine excellent momentum on the palate. Becomes more herbaceous as it opens up. An “entry level” wine in price only.”.

    Feeling like something white and lighter? Try a bottle of 2018 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc, Awatere Valley, Single Vineyard, ($16.99). This single vineyard wine is a unique expression of the high altitude site in the upper reaches of Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. A bright, luminous pale golden green in the glass, it displays aromas of passionfruit, fresh citrus, and currant leaf on the nose. The concentrated palate is layered with sweet tropical fruit, herbal notes and a touch of zesty minerality leading to a pure and focused dry finish. The palate is layered and complex with flavors of juicy fruit, herbal notes and a distinctive minerality. Balanced and concentrated, this medium-bodied wine finishes long, crisp and dry.

    If it gets warm enough this weekend, a bottle of Lapostolle, Casa Grand Selection Chardonnay, 2017, Casablanca Valley, Chile, ($16.99)? Pale yellow with greenish hues. Clean and fresh nose with aromas of lychee, pineapple and white flowers. Refreshing with lively acidity, fine structure, with stony notes adding complexity and length. Ideal companion for fish and seafood in general. Dishes such as crab pie or a Southern Rays bream with shrimp’s sauce or a steak tartare with some lemon juice would be perfect.

    Want to go a little more far afield than usual? If you like Loire whites, like Vouvray, then try some 2018 Burchell Outlook Chenin Blanc, Babylon Valley, South Africa, ($17.99).  The grapes for the Burchell Outlook come from 50-year-old vines in South Africa and are incredibly robust and flavorful. You’ll taste notes of apple, Meyer lemon, tangerine and passionfruit that play off the sharp acidity. It’s an incredibly refreshing Chenin Blanc and can stand up to flavorful foods. Try it with fresh fish, roasted chicken, and pork tenderloin in a citrus-based sauce. Talk To The Wine Guy at