I’ll tell you this. It’s not just all wine-drinking while we self-isolate, though it may seem that way from my social media and these quarantine tasting notes posts. We cook, we take occasional walks, too. We even adopted two adult cats at the beginning of all this, and they’ve been keeping us busy (Roy & Hank). I’ve started getting into the books I want to read, albeit a few weeks later than I had hoped.
I don’t know about you, but I always have it in my head that I want to do more reading, but somehow always get distracted. If you have recommendations for some great books, please drop them below in the comments. I’m regularly on the hunt for something special. Over the years, I’ve been lucky to read a few good ones, and you can find some of my book reviews here on my blog. So leave a recommendation, and take one! Maybe I’ll work on putting a few new ones up there.
Here are more quarantine bottles with my notes.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
How do you feel about Oregon Pinots? I know there is the camp that loves them, and a group that can leave ’em. Frankly, I’m in the former group. For me, Oregon Pinots embody an Old World style with New World finesse. This bottle was purchased through the Gary Vee wine club if I’m not mistaken. It was a nice little surprise we pulled out the other night to enjoy with tuna steaks. My boyfriend said the tuna would have an orange-flavored marinade, so I should pick out a wine to complement that. Talk about a challenge! I was drawn to this bottle, and sure enough! Orange zest on the aromas and a touch in the palate. Soft red fruits and nothing too overpowering. Elegant and smooth with balance and a long finish.
Et fille means “and daughter” in French, and it all seems so fitting for an Oregon wine. I love discovering new family-owned wineries around the world, and I look forward to finding more Et Fille wines in my life.
Henriot is one of my favorite Champagne producers, and we were lucky enough to visit them while in Reims last summer. This is a Chardonnay-dominant house with an elegant and lighter style Champagne than say a Krug or Bollinger (two other favorites). The family has been producing Champagne for over 200 years, making it one of the historical houses of Champagne. Their Brut Souverain is a classic example of a Champagne, in my opinion. It’s a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 5% Meunier; 30% reserve wines, two-thirds are Grand Cru and Premier Cru grapes. Lots of citrus fruit aromas followed by floral and brioche. On the palate, it’s refreshing and light with some of that Pinot cherry making an appearance along with a lasting finish of crisp fruit flavors and perfectly balanced acidity.
I picked up this bottle at Miami’s favorite little wine shop, Happy Wine, but it shouldn’t be hard to find at your local wine shop or even a big box store.
Another one of my favorite Champagne producers is Laurent-Perrier. I had the pleasure of meeting some of their leadership in the U.S. last year and tasted through several of their bottles. My all-time favorite is still the Ultra Brut 0 dosage Laurent-Perrier Champagne, but this bottle will certainly do. La Cuvée is their flagship Champagne, dominated by Chardonnay with an elegant freshness. Crisp green apple and brioche shine through on the palate. The style of the house is light and full of finesse, and that is exactly what you get with every bottle.
Again, I picked up this bottle at my favorite little wine shop, Happy Wine in Miami.
La Mancha, Spain
I love discovering new Spanish wines, and this was a great find at Happy Wine. 100% Cencibel, or Tempranillo, these grapes come from a single vineyard site. A “Vino de Pago” wine in Spain is similar to a “Grand Cru” wine from France. This particular bottle is made with grapes from the La Solana farm located in the La Mancha region of Spain. The producer is Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro.
This is an intense and long-lasting wine with rich, ripe red fruit characteristics intertwined with some earthier flavors and spice. Overall, smooth sailing and enjoyable Tempranillo. Perfect for enjoying with some tapas in quarantine.