Great Weather, and Our Top Wines to Pair with it ....

Share

It seems that each year when our friend Eric Asimov of The New York Times publishes his top 20 wines for summer, we feel the need to follow suite. We've been fortunate to enjoy a prolonged early summer with fabulous bounty from our local farmer's markets; we've been cooking up a storm, and drinking our weight in white, rosé, and restrained summery red wine. We have several new voices to add to the sales staff chorus, and if you're in the neighhood, we invite you to stop in and greet Tim, Christine, and John McIlwain. Without further delay, the roster of wines we've been loving recently. Cheers! -Sophie

No Longer Available

Pernot 2012 Bourgogne Aligoté

It's not just the heat, but also the humidity. When it's sticky, hazy, and the air feels thick, there is nothing I enjoy more than the racy refreshment of Aligoté. Oft-maligned and relegated to the Kir, Aligoté (when grown with care in the right terroir) is a summery sip of pure mineral freshness. Pernot's 2012 Bourgogne Aligoté has a spicy citric nose with a faint hint of pea blossoms. On the palate it's all sea spray, lemon zest, and vibrant acidity. This makes for a lovely apéritif and would be spot on with soft-shelled crabs and a lemon aioli. JCM

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) 2012 Beaujolais Chardonnay

The clay-limestone soil on Jean-Paul Brun’s estate is perfect for making Chardonnay, producing a wine that has lots of character, and is fresh and minerally. Perfect for enjoying in summer weather with lighter fare. Although he (and the region) are better known for producing red wine, this white from Terres Dorées, or golden earth, is definitely worth a taste and drinks way above its price point. CM

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $16.49

Parentière 2012 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Vieilles Vignes

Michel and Guilhaume Ménager produce this lovely Musacdet on their tiny estate near Vallet, which they have tended organically for more than 30 years. The sub-soil is gabbro, a type of basalt, that gives a unique aromatic quality to the wine, quite different from wines produced on the normal granite or gneiss/schiste soils of Muscadet. The Ménagers have always harvested by hand and never chaptalize, producing wines that are light, refreshing and very "mineral" in character. The 2012 Muscadet Cuvée Vieilles Vignes shows subtle aromas of citrus, melon, almond and stone—a difficult to describe melange typical to wines from gabbro soils. Light and refreshing at 12% alcohol, with stone, citrus and herbal flavors, this is a beautiful Muscadet to enjoy with shellfish, seafood, poultry and mild cheeses. Bravo to the Ménagers for producing this delightful wine at such a low cost! DL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $11.99

  • Organic

Grange Tiphaine 2013 Vin de France Sparkling Rosa, Rose, Rosam

2013 was no picnic in the Loire Valley, but the lovely folks at Grange Tiphaine have succeeded in giving us another all-too-gulpable Rosa, Rosé, Rosam, based on Gamay, Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, and Côt. Drier and zestier than the 2012 version of this wine with strawberry and spice on the nose and lively tart cranberry on the palate, this wine received unanimous approval from our sales people. We think you'll want a bottle or two of this excellent sulfur-free rosé Pet-Nat in your fridge at all times during the spring and summer months. MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

Carmarans, Nicolas 2012 Vin de Pays de l'Aveyron Mauvais Temps

The rugged terrain of the Aveyron region of France is home to Nicolas Carmarans’ steep hillside vineyards. He crafts extraordinary wines here that reflect the character of the native grape, Fer Servadou, along with Négret de Banhars, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc for his Mauvais Temps cuvée. It is deep and energetic with white pepper, rosebud, vine tomato, and tangerine on the nose with a distinct structure and flinty minerality. Light enough to serve with a slight chill and full enough to pair with BBQ, this wine is simply perfect for this time of year. TG

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

Laguerre 2012 Côtes du Roussillon Le Ciste Blanc

Eric Laguerre's "Le Ciste," (named after a flowering bush in and around his vineyards) is certainly one of the most distinctive whites of the Roussillon. Grown in Eric's high-elevation vineyards on acidic soils of decomposed granite, the wine is made from Marsanne, Roussanne, Rolle (Vermentino), Grenache Blanc and Maccabeu. Yields are about 20 Hl/Ha, harvesting is by hand in small baskets, fermentation (wild yeasts) and aging is in small barrels. Complex aromas of lemon oil, thyme, hay and white fruits—a lovely melange with contributions from each variety. The plate is dense, stony and saline with herbal, citrus and white fruit flavors. The finish is long with mineral acids. Complex and distinctive as a young wine, this will be best with a few years of cellaring. Really a Grand Cru of the Roussillon and a great value! DL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $16.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Texier 2014 Côtes du Rhône Rosé Chat Fou

Eric Texier has been at the vanguard of the "natural" wine scene for quite some time now and has never failed to amaze me. Even with such a seemingly simple offering as this refreshing rosé, his precision as a wine maker shines through. Made from Cinsault, it is floral with beautiful berry fruits and a lip-smacking acidity. Absolutely a gorgeous wine. Get it while you can! TG

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $16.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Doquet, Pascal NV Champagne Blanc des Blancs Horizon

The fruit that goes into Doquet's "Horizon" cuvée comes from the chalky soil of the Côte de Perthois about 60 kilometers from Vertus. This is the first cuvée of Doquet's to be certified organic. Exactly what a well-priced Blanc de Blancs should be, the wine offers white flowers, stone fruits, chalk, and a touch of honey on the nose. With 7 grams dosage, it's an accessible and very pretty wine that is elegant, refreshing, and satisfying. MSB   

Pale yellow in color and sporting a generous mousse, this Chardonnay (2/3rds 2009, 1/3rd 2008) comes from one of the most undervalued terroirs in Champagne. The nose is all fruits and flowers with highlights of marzipan, lemon curd, ripe watermelon, and brioche. The palate is lithe, yet broad, and dotted with aromas of candied ginger, lime zest, and hazelnuts that build to a sour lemon drop finish (Disgorged 10/12). David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $49.99

  • Organic

Dolin Genépy des Alpes 45% 750 ml

Love Chartreuse, but hate to pay for it? Not to sound like an infomercial, but Dolin’s Genépy is full of Alpine, herbal deliciousness, and costs a fraction of what Chartreuse does. Dolin states that the recipe for this elixir dates back to 1821, and prominently features artemesia—a genus of plants that includes Absinthe’s Wormwood. I find that the spicy, floral tones, and soft sweetness make this the perfect summer apéritif. Intrepid home-bartenders will love to experiment (it’s phenomenal with gin), but I love it on the rocks with a touch of soda water. JR

  • Out of Stock
  • herb digestive
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $29.99

Montecivoli 2010 Morellino di Scansano

We hold dearly to our impression, formed years ago, that Morellino di Scansano should be a pure expression of Sangiovese, a bit lighter and easier-going than good Chianti or wine from Montalcino or Montepulciano, and somehow expressive of Scansano’s relative proximity to the sea. For a long time we’ve been on the hunt for Morellino that we really liked, but with no luck – to our taste the zone has fallen on hard times because of the introduction of all kinds of distressing innovation, most importantly permitting the addition to the wine of any old other grape variety that the producer might choose. The wines might taste like good red wine, but to us they certainly didn’t taste like Morellino. Then we found Montecivoli, where wine was first produced for commercial sale in the early 1990s. The vines are farmed organically and are not irrigated (which is notable because irrigation has become very common in Scansano ). The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for six months in 4-5 year old barriques. No spoofilation is employed in the production of this wine, and SO2 levels are very low. Anyway, we love the wine – it takes us back to our old ideal for Morellino. JW

We love a perfectly cooked prime dry-aged steak. Furthermore, we love the ritual of grilling with our friends and dining al fresco. We do not, however, enjoy high-octane, 'steak' wines after spending all day in the heat. What will wake up the palate and accompany that just-so ribeye? Montecivoli 2010 Morellino di Scansano is tailor-made for the job. Organically farmed, aged in neutral wood, and unencumbered by the addition of other grape varieties, the Montecivoli is a lighter, red-fruited expression of Sangiovese. We love the bright acidity and vibrant fruit as a contrast to the char and fatty richness of grilled beef. This Morellino is truly fluent in barbecue! JCM

 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

COS 2012 Sicilia IGP Rami

Although the competition is getting fierce, COS is still our favorite in Sicily’s Vittoria region. Here, the red wines are king, but Rami – a blend of half Insolia and half Grecanico – shows that the area has plenty to offer in white wine as well.  The 2012 vintage produced a wine with only 11.5% alcohol and no residual sugar giving flavors of dried apricot and a brisk acidity for a wine from so far south. COS has led Sicily’s rise to respect due to their diligent organic viticulture and attention to quality and innovation in their cellar.  Try this with vegetable pasta, grilled seafood, or just about anything with Mediterranean flavor. John Rankin

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

Alzinger 2013 Wachau Frauenweingarten Grüner Veltliner Federspiel

One of the things that makes summer in NYC great is the ever-expanding network of farmers’ markets, at which the real challenge is not to over-shop, as the range of selection and choice has already become ridiculously rich. As a result we are mostly seasonal vegetarians, although we always buy something at Blue Moon Fish, and maybe at Flying Pigs, or from the goat Lady, and then there are the people with the incredibly good lamb but we can’t remember their name…  In any case, one of the happiest and best all-around wine matches for our foraging is Gruner Veltliner. We’ve had the Alzinger Frauenweingarten twice recently. It was delicious with asparagus with fried egg – yes, it was actually really good with asparagus, but even better with what might be called a ragout of peas with maitake mushrooms, and also with a multi-vegetable faro salad. The wine is fresh and saline and lively, and while it’s richly textured it’s also 12.5 alcohol, light on the palate and easy on one’s head – a good thing in hot weather. JW

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

Ott, Bernhard 2013 Feuersbrunn Wagram Grüner Veltliner Am Berg

From loess soils in the northern Wagram farmed with biodynamic methods. More open and fleshy than the 2012 vintage, this year's Am Berg show off with pristine, rich aromatics, hints of underripe nectarines, a bit of fat on the finish, and a healthy crackle of acidity to keep it lively. Far too few Grüners at this price are as expressive, focused, and structured with minerals as this favorite of ours from the ever-impressive Bernhard Ott. Jonathan Kemp

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

Lauer, Peter 2013 Saar Riesling Barrel X

Bright, crisp, thirst-quenching, and powerfully gorgeous. Racy acidity that is impeccably woven into a perfect, linear beam of mouth-watering citrus and sugars. Intense, practically dry finish with serious, slate-driven mineral chalk, lime pith, grapefruit, and subtle hints of white flowers. From a mixture of old and young vines on the slope just to the west of Ayl in the Saar. At this price, and because of its versatile nature, it's a good idea to have a few bottles around at all times. JK

  • Out of Stock
  • white off-dry
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic

Bermejos 2013 Lanzarote Rosado of Listán Negro

Bermejos' 100% Listán Negro rosado is one of the last to arrive each year. This means that (with some planning) we can offer the previous, more developed, vintage while we wait for the new one. While no rose of integrity is harmed by an extra year of bottle age, roses as complex as Bermejos' exult in it! Stimulating aromas of tomato stems, wild strawberry, watermelon pith, espresso, and ashy minerality carry over to the palate of tart, delicate cranberry, lots of sea salt, cherry blossoms, green almond, and seedy raspberry fruit. Light, dry, vigorously mineral, and multi-dimensional, this is an elegant accompaniment to seafood (squid, sashimi, clams) as well as gazpacho, deviled eggs, charcuterie, and rustic, nutty cheeses. Ariana Rolich

Los Bermejos is a winery based on the island of Lanzarote, part of Spain’s Canary Islands. In 1730 the island was covered with thick black lava and ash from a month-long volcanic eruption. What was left behind was a terroir well-suited for growing grapes but not much else. Lanzarote wines offer unique flavor. Think of this as a year-round rosado. It’s fresh and red fruited but also savory and complex. Enjoy with charcuterie and salty cheeses, similar to a sherry. Christine Manula

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

Zerberos 2011 Valle del Alberche Kapi Garnacha Rosé

This bold and exciting 100% Garnacha rose from the talented Daniel Ramos of Zerberos makes us misty for López de Heredia's deliberately oxidative rosado. Full-bodied and showing a good bit of development (2011 is the current release) on the warm and spicy nose of hibiscus, clove, and black cherry compote. The palate shows great depth, freshness, and potential for interesting food pairings—musky ripe raspberry, red apple skins, cinnamon sticks, and that López-esque coppery twinge. An interesting choice for carpaccios, richer fish, seafood stews, grilled steaks on the rare side, and soft, earthy cheese. AR

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

Ponce 2013 Manchuela Reto Albilla

Reto a perennial favorite among customers and staff, made of 100% Albilla, biodynamically farmed by Manchuela's Juan Antonio Ponce. Mouth-watering aromas are of crisp green apple, chewy peach skins, and fresh green herbs. Reto's characteristic blend of silky fruit and warm Mediterranean spice is balanced on the medium-bodied palate by bright acidity and a cool minerality that marks all of Ponce's wines: Meyer lemon, lime curd, musky apricot, lavender, lemon balm, coriander, and the long saline finish are reminiscent of some of our favorite young Chenin Blancs. An elegant, mysterious, and versatile wine that will pair fabulously with fish, poultry, and deviled eggs. Ariana Rolich

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Bow & Arrow 2013 Oregon Willamette Valley Air Guitar

Did René and Agnès Mosse start making wine in Oregon? No, but this domestic blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon sure does resemble some of our favorite Anjou Rouge! From their luscious, chuggable Gamay Nouveau to their Cheverny-inspired Rhinestones blend, Bow & Arrow's Portland-based Scott and Dana Frank are achieving levity, verve, and quality that will silence the most outspoken Francophile at your next dinner party. Bone dry with nervy acidity, tart red plum and cranberry fruit, flecks of cracked raspberry seeds, and lots of damp, funky earth on the nose and palate. Domestic quaffing at its finest! Only 2 cases were received for the year. AR

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

Forlorn Hope 2013 Amador County Dewitt Vineyard 'Kumo To Ame' Rosé

Forlorn Hope's Kumo To Ame rosé (made from a field blend of Portuguese varieties in Amador County's DeWitt Vineyard) is always an incredible pleasure to drink, made all the more momentous this vintage by the inclusion of the first fruit (Barbera and Syrah) from winemaker Matthew Rorick's expansive new vineyard in Calaveras County! Spicy peach and ripe papaya on the nose with bright, expressive flavors of tart cranberry, crisp mango, subtle green tea, and a deep, shimmering minerality that envelops the palate. AR

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

Kelley Fox Wines 2012 Willamette Valley Mirabai Pinot Noir

We try a lot of wine. Most of it good, every now and then bad, but seldom do we taste something that transcends what we expect from a region. We had one of those transcendental experiences last month when Kelley Fox came to see us with her self-titled Pinot Noirs. Kelley has worked as a winemaker in Oregon for 14 years, and she started her label in 2007. Her wines are a direct reflection of her sensibilities: she personally does all of her canopy work by hand, picking, sorting, and then following the natural fermentations into wine. The results are stunning, full of freshness and lifted flavors of cherry, raspberry, warm spice, and zesty acidity. All of this, and a delicate and precise frame.  Highly recommended as an example of the heights that Pinot Noir can achieve. JR

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $38.99