Instead of overwhelming the previous post with the first batch of quarantine wines, I’ll continue detailing my self-isolated wine drinking in a separate post.
Here are my tasting notes on the bottles of wine I enjoy while practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis of 2020 (cont…).
New bottles added!
Mouthwatering Chablis, literally, the acidity is killer on this. On the nose, the aromas are toasty and spicy with vanilla and baking spices taking over, but the palate paints a different picture. Still spicy but with more of that green apple, lemon drop, and stone fruit flavor making an appearance, along with a creamy texture. Long in the finish, this is a powerful Chablis, and a lovely accompaniment to an afternoon of self-isolation. Look for it on Elden Selections.
Cava is the new Champagne (don’t quote me). I absolutely love this sparkling wine from Spain that is made in the same traditional method as Champagne but with a different set of grapes. This blend is 50% Xarel-lo, 35% Macabeo, and 15% Parellada, and 100% perfect.
At an economical level (Cune Cava is under $15), this is a great option for a bubbly that won’t break the bank. In fact, I’ve included it in a previous Biscayne Times Vino Column of mine. You still have that stone fruit, citrus flavors, and a creamier texture with a bone dry sparkler. Tired of Prosecco? I can’t drink much of that in one sitting, but I can easily drink a bottle of Cava.
When you can’t splurge on Champagne, reach for the Cava, and you won’t be disappointed. Thanks to Nicole Ramos from Florida Wine Academy for including this wine in her webinar on Spanish wines this week.
Rias Baixas, Spain
Albariño is one of those perfect white wines to me. I love the versatility of it, it’s salinity and exotic fruit flavors. I’ve had some wonderful bottles of Albariño from around the world, but there’s nothing quite like the original from the Rias Baixas region of Spain.
This bottle is lovely and bright–full of acidity and salinity, just as Albariño should be. Another economical bottle, I think this is a great option for your next seafood bash. This was also part of the Spanish wines quarantine webinar by Florida Wine Academy, and we purchased it through 305wines.com.
This 100% Tempranillo was a purchase through the Gary Vee Wine Club my boyfriend joined and a surprise bottle for me. (Surprise in the sense that I wasn’t sure how it ended up in our fridge.) Lots of oaky spice like vanilla and cinnamon. Fruit takes a while to shine through, but overall a pleasant drinker. I’ve had better wines from Rioja, but this wasn’t a bad bottle by any means. I did think the oak was a little overpowering at first but mellowed out a bit on the second glass when the wine also found its groove with a bit more balance.
Sonoma County, California
This was a sample Pinot that I was happy to open the other night following an entire day of social distancing. Light and bright with fresh, ripe red fruit flavors. Blueberry peeks through on the nose, and a hint of vanilla follows on the finish, but primarily cherry throughout on the palate. Smooth, but uncomplicated Pinot. I was hoping for a bit more on the finish, but overall a pleasant wine. The price point is listed at just under $30.
I just love Bee Hunter wines out of Mendocino, and if you haven’t tried them, I suggest you go right now and place an order. All high-quality fruit from northern California–Mendocino and Anderson Valley, mostly. This rosé is older, and that adds to its beauty. 100% Pinot Noir with some weight to it made in more of an “old world” style. Refined fruit flavors dominate, and there is an herbaceous quality, a product of the land, no doubt. This is a food-friendly rosé that will hold its own even with a pork dish or something else beyond what you would usually consider pairing with a rosé. Unfortunately, I don’t think the 2015 is available anymore, but the 2016 is surely of comparable quality.
During quarantine, there is nothing better than drinking sparkling wine with brunch on a Monday, and that is exactly what we did. You can never go wrong with Mumm. Seriously. Best quality sparkling out of Napa. The Brut Reserve is a classic style sparkling with fine bubbles and ripe fruit flavors. I paired a couple glasses with some burrata on crostini with garlic and tomatoes, and it was just so perfect. When in quarantine, it’s always a good idea to have a few bottles of Mumm on reserve (stock up on Mumm, not toilet paper).
Have I mentioned my newfound love of Sicilian wines? Maybe it’s the smokiness, but I’m loving them. (Refer to the Grillo from the previous post.) I discovered this red wine at Wine by the Bay during an impromptu tasting several weeks ago (pre-quarantine). What a gem! If you’re local to the Miami area, I suggest you go to the Wine by the Bay site and put in an order.
Savory herbs and red fruit with that signature Sicilian smokiness dominate on the nose but blend together for a well-integrated wine on the palate. Noticeable tannins, but elegant, and a complexity that I feel is missing in your average Italian table wine (my opinion). This is exactly what I’m looking for in a wine when I envision a complete dinner at home. We paired it with pork chops with a smoked rub, and honestly, it was heaven.
At Wine by the Bay, the retail price is $43.95. The blend? It’s a bit complicated. It’s Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Nocera, Acitana, Galatena, Jacché, and Core ‘e Palumba grapes. Say that five times fast!