So you find this wine that you're dying to try but seems like no one carries it. It's not particularly in short supply, it's a name that is fairly recognizable (especially to those in the wine world or hardcore Italian wine lovers in this case), so all you can do is wait and see if SOMEONE comes up with the wine so you can try it.
That's the scenario that happened to me. But with one last twist. I just received an email from a wine shop that I buy from and low and behold their "deal of the day" (my words not theirs) is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Problem solved and it gives me another wine for my "Wine of the Week" segment.
Paolo Scavino Vino Rosso Piedmont Red NV (2018)
So I'm still trying to understand the Non-Vintage (NV) thing and hope to have a resolution before I finish writing this post. In the meantime, I'll dive into my story of why this wine hit my radar.
It all started while perusing a recent (at least at the time it was recent, now about 3 months ago) edition of a popular wine magazine. Up pops this 92 Point wine from Paolo Scavino, a quality producer of wines predominately from the Barolo region in Italy. A blend of Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Merlot and of younger vines and vinified using no oak and made into a bright and lively wine. On top of that, with a SRP listed at $15, but the actual price was $12.79, I couldn't resist. After all, it was a wine that I FOUND and wanted to try.
While still in my state of euphoria, I click on the "Order Now" button and then sit back and relax in the knowledge the wine has been secured and I need only wait until I can pick up this wonderment. Not wanting to travel great distances (the gas would eat into any savings), I need to be patient knowing I have a couple of weeks to wait. Oh, the stress! Kidding, it's not like I don't have other wines to drink before then.
Here’s where a little imagination comes into play. The day arrives, in reality about two and a half weeks have passed, and I scurry to the rendezvous, heart palpitating (don't worry, just an expression because at my age, that could be a BIG problem). Having had a couple of weeks to prepare, I have ample time with which to think about and decide the menu for the evening to go with this elixir of grapes.
The dinner thing actually got better with time. As I was picking up the wine, I was also making my bi-weekly trip to the market. Lo and behold, they have Lamb Chops on sale, and I love Lamb Chops. A perfect match for this wine? Probably not. Especially with a Beef Stock Reduction and Artichokes and Broccoli. I could have gone with a slightly bigger wine.
Here’s the thing; the wine was truly outstanding, especially considering the price! Rather than bright red fruit, the wine has a subtleness of dried dark red fruit (maybe cherry) and a modicum of rustic qualities that balance the wine perfectly. The medium finish lingered just long enough to meld with my meal to create one wonderful experience.
While you might think that this is a wine for the masses, Paolo Scavino produced only 1,500 cases of the wine. That’s not very much and is probably why one review (not the winery) used the title “Super Piedmont” in its description. A variation on the “Super Tuscan” title I’m sure. Apropos in my estimation as well.
I highly recommend that you pick some up if you find it. Look for the 2018 designation on the bottle, while, as I mentioned, not a true Vintage Date, it is used to distinguish the wine each year. While I didn’t find specifics on why the NV (non-vintage) thing, my best guess is that they blend the wine from different vintages to create the wine (makes the most sense).
Oh, please say it isn’t so! No more “Wine of the Week” posts?
Not to worry. After almost three years of posts to my “Wine of the Week” column, I have decided that it’s about time to stir things up a bit and make some changes. I’ll still be writing about wine but without the pressure of having to have one ready at a specific time (hey, it’s tough to drink a “good” bottle of wine once a week - LOL) . After all, during retirement I want to eliminate pressure (that’s a teaser about this week’s wine).
So going forward I will be drinking and adding posts to my still various other columns as well as a new column dedicated to current wines in circulation just at an “as I drink them” time frame. My “Wine Blog” “Wine Tasting Tell All,” “Wine-Sum-More” and “Meet the Winemaker” columns will continue as needed, or as I come across good content.
“Wine I Couldn’t Resist” will be the title to my new column. Caveat; that title is subject to change to my whims and if I come up with something catchier.
Fittingly, for my last “Wine of the Week” and a wine appropriate as well to be my first “Wine I Couldn’t Resist” column, I elected a wine from a style that I hold dear, and as I mentioned in an earlier post; "Come Quickly, I Am Tasting the Stars!", it is all about “Sparkling!”
Funny thing, as many times as I’ve drunk this fine example of sparkling ambrosia, I only wrote about it once before, and that was back in December of 2016. One of the first wines of my “Wine of the Week” column. Pretty fitting I’d say.
Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley NV
Short of Champagne, I’d say this is my favorite sparkling wine. The consistency over the years has made it an easy “go-to” selection. Combine that with a nice price (spoiler alert – if you haven’t bought it recently, like most wines, the price has risen over the years, but still reasonable) and you get a wine that has a great flavor and can pair with an immense amount of different foods, or none at all!
With its stone fruit and nice nuttiness, wrapped up in a creamy yet bright finish, the wine dances on the tongue to tingle the senses. It was hard to put down, so much so that when I had decided to leave the rest for the following day, I realized I had left but just enough to splurge and do something I generally don’t do with a wine of this caliber, make a mimosa!
Blended from 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir all of which comes from Roederer’s own Estate, the wine is artfully blended and additionally receives some of their oak-aged reserve wine to boost the depth and elegance of the cuvée. Little to no malo is done, thus emphasizing the fresh bright style of the wine I mentioned before.
So one of my first “Wine of the Week” wines to usher out the old as well as to inaugurate the new “Wine I Couldn’t Resist” column. I’m also working on changing my photo display of the wines, so stay tuned.
Half Priced Wine! Gotta have ‘em!
That’s what happened in the case of this Wine-Sum-More edition. I had drunk many a Cabernet from Tor Kenward before but never had the opportunity to try one of their Chardonnays. Those are the two main grapes the winery has produced since Tor retired in 2001 and set out to produce some of the best wines from Napa Valley. A goal which many would concede he has attained.
Back to paragraph one. I couldn’t believe it when I saw a wine from this auspicious winery ON SALE! Since I love Chardonnays it was an easy decision to pick up some and save it for the right occasion. Well, the right occasion presented itself and Wiz-Bam-Boom (okay, I got that from the tech sheet on the wine), a decision was made to open this potentially wonderful wine. With at least one 96 Point review, I had nothing but the strongest desire to avail this wine and the right food in a prestigious marriage.
Now in my “Wine-Sum-More” posts I try to limit the food exposure and concentrate on the wine. But the Salmon with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and a Horseradish Lemon Cream Sauce went marvelous darlin’ (with all thanks to Tallulah Bankhead – Millennials don’t bother to look up, it’s WAY before your generation).
Citrus on the nose with a honeyed nuttiness that seamlessly became a lovely part of the palate. Combined with stoned fruit, a light floral note, and richness that transcended to a bright fresh creaminess on the long finish. Couldn’t find if wine goes through ML, but I think not, or at least very little. Beautiful wine. Starting with a base of Torchiana Vineyard for its richness and acidity the balance from the Hyde and Durell Vineyards, there were only 100 cases produced! AND I GOT SOME! Bragging rights you know.
Now you’re not likely to get the kind of deal I got and 2015 is probably long gone, but keep an eye out for 2016 or 2017. If you love Chardonnays as I do, even at regular price, IT’S WORTH IT!
Ahhh, Spring has Sprung. . . .wait, it’s Summer! After those days of excruciating heat, we’re now well into the low to mid 80’s and feeling wonderful, maybe it’s an early Autumn? Might be that I’m slightly optimistic, time will tell.
But those cool calm sunny days did pique my interest in having a wine that will no longer need to cool me down, only elevate my meal. On a recent excursion to my local wine shop, I found just the thing and at a price hard to resist, right around $12.99. Okay, exactly $12.99!
Henri Bourgeois Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Coming from the slopes in the Loire Valley in France and produced from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, this is but one wine in a long line of excellent offerings from the House of Henri Bourgeois. Predominantly Sauv Blanc from the areas of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, I have been a big fan of their wines for many years. Not surprising due to my affinity (no, that’s another wine altogether) towards Sauv Blanc and towards the more mineral and citrus notes this wine brings.
It was a perfect pairing for the dish of Scallops on a bed of Rice with Broccoli that I had planned for the evening. Light and bright with that citrus and a touch of tropical fruit notes combined to yield the perfect complement to the food, and maybe just as importantly, to the weather! Oh, don’t forget the great price for such an appealing wine.
Want to splurge? Try their “Les Baronnes” or “La Côte des Monts Damnés” or maybe wine from older vines, their “La Bourgeoise” or my favorite “Jadis.” If you see the name of Henri Bourgeois on the label, you can’t go wrong.
Chenin Blanc; the grape conjures up thoughts of sweetness on one hand to the many drier versions available on the other. Planted in many regions throughout the world; Vouvray in the Loire Valley in France and more recently in most of the New World wine areas.
For this “Wine-Sum-More” post I’ll be looking at an area of the world where Chenin is planted to the tune of twice as much as in France and is this country’s largest grape varietal – South Africa! The winery, Ken Forrester Vineyards, most of their land in Stellenbosch, South Africa planted with Chenin Blanc and producing predominately 3 lines of Chenin; the Petite Series, Reserve and Icon Ranges, each range of wines showing a style unto itself. For this post, I’m looking at their Icon Series and more specifically The FMC 2014. Made from 100% Chenin Blanc, this is one of a few Chenins to see oak aging, 12 months in new French oak 400L barrels, giving this wine richness and substance. Due to their “repetitive harvesting” there is almost always a certain level of botrytis present as well.
This wine is much more than bright and lively; there is a core of dried stone fruit flavors along with honey, almond and splash of ginger notes. While good acidity, I think that the oak aging has mellowed that to a degree, making this an excellent food wine. The wine ends with a long satisfying finish.
Likely that you’ll see the 2016 or 2017 on shelves currently, don’t let that stop you, it’s a wine that shows consistent quality year after year.