Aug 04 2011

August Staff Picks – Summer Wines

August: The blazin’ hot Chicago and set in so its time for some crisp refreshing whites and robust BBQ reds!

Emily’s Picks:

2007 Renard Syrah, California [$15.99]

This bottle jumped out at me before I even took a sip. The label is eye catching, the back label is funny, and the stuff inside? It’s fantastic. Renard syrah is fruity, but packs some spice and earth to balance it out. It’s perfect for barbecue or heavier preps on foods, but not too complex that you can’t just have a glass by itself and enjoy.

2008 Raventos I Blanc L’Hereu Reserva Brut, Cava, Spain [$15.99]

Raventos Cava can be found on some of this city’s hottest wine lists, but get it here for a fraction of the cost. It’s a beautiful and less expensive alternative to Champagne!

2009 Festivo Torrontés, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina [$11.99]

The Festivo remains one of my favorite wines at Just Grapes. It is a beautiful every-day wine that doesn’t require thought to be enjoyed. It is super fragrant and goes down smoothly. The nose reminds me of Jasmine tea with honey, but don’t be fooled. Festivo may be fruity and floral, but it’s not sweet.

Adrienne’s Picks:

2007 Highflyer Centerline Red Blend, Napa Valley, California [$9.19]

Lavender, lavender, and more lavender! Some mineral, a little savory, and some rose petal. A truly beautiful wine to sniff!

2009 David Noyes Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California [$23.19]

This is a great expression of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir! Aromas of dark cherry mingle with spearmint; cherry flavors continue into the palate where they mingle with those of earth, mint and vanilla. A touch of pie cherry zing in the finish gives this fine wine the potential to pair with roasted meats and sautéed mushrooms.

2009 Maison Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques, Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais, France [$17.99]

The nose on this wine hits you with mineral, chalk, earth, black pepper, and deep cherry and raspberry. The palate is simply satisfying, with easy going tannins and crisp acidity; a beautiful expression of the Gamay grape!

Greg’s Picks:

2008 Domaine Bernard Defaix Chardonnay, Chablis Cote de Lechet Premier Cru, Burgundy France [$19.99]

Fleshy green apple, fuzzy peaches, and fresh squeezed lemon juice give way to mineral-esque aromas of dry stone and chalk. The palette is bright, and the acidity is refreshing. What a great summer wine!

Scott’s Picks:

2006 Domaine Carneros Vermeil Demi-Sec, Carneros, Napa, California [$31.99]

A little taste of home for me.The 2006 Vermeil Demi-Sec is the silver of a classic Brut blend overlaid with the gold of a Le Rêve dosage. Its pale gold appearance glitters with very fine, lively bubbles. Vermeil offers aromas of orange blossom, citrus peel, and baked apples, with hints of caramel and vanilla. The long, creamy finish is rather luxurious.

2009 Highflyer Grenache Blanc, Napa Valley, California [$15.99]

Summer melon and citrus, layered mineral and spice with a clean refreshing finish. Inviting aromatics with exotic floral notes. Alluring in flavor, with a rich body and a crisp acidic backbone. The perfect summer wine!!!

Victor’s Picks:

2008 Biale “Basic Black Red,” Napa Valley, California [$46.99]

Created from four lots of prime Petite Sirah, Syrah, Barbera, and Zinfandel, this old world style red blend was just made for that big dinner you have been planning! It is layered with dark currant and juniper berries. Exploding on the finish with big fruit, it is a good progression up the ladder for those who like to play it safe.

2009 Patricia Green Reserve, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon [$20.79]

I have always been a fan of the Patricia Green Pinots. The last couple of vintages of the reserves have not seen a rating under 90. This is a mix of all the single vineyards (Ana, Croft, Four Winds, etc.). This Pinot Noir is ripe with big fruit and subtle spice. The acidity is vibrant and it gives it some depth. It has just enough tannin to scare off the kids. This is definitely a big boy wine!!!

2010 Caymus Conundrum White Blend, Napa Valley, California [$15.99]

Gorgeous aromas of apricot, honeysuckle and lime zest enhance a deeply flavored palate of tropical fruit, peach, pear and honeydew melon flavors. The complexity of this wine is brought into balance with rich, round soft texture: fresh, supportive acidity and a stunning, satisfying finish. The Conundrum is like April in Paris…you just have to experience it!

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