Some of my all-time favorites for that magic hour after homework and sports practices are finally over!
This one has always been my go-to for entertaining – I just hand everyone a glass upon arrival. The new batch of 2019 Barmes Cremant has just landed featuring a lot of freshness and energy, with a beautiful nose of green apple and Anjou pear with tinges of honey, white nuts and white flowers. The fruit is near perfect, richly concentrated with a creamy texture. The finish is endless, with the tiniest of bubbles, with a zippy acidity that makes it perfect with scallops, grilled swordfish.
The newly released 2021 Brunori ‘Le Gemme’ Verdichio is everything you’re looking for in a vibrant, food-friendly white wine. About a billion times better than every-day Pinot Grigio, the Brunori is an electric, vibrant white which combines delicious fruit and vibrancy with boasts a killer nose of white peach, honeycomb and almonds. The fruit is wonderfully concentrated with a salty, stony finish that goes forever. The best part of this beauty is that it’s not just a summer wine- it’s absolutely delicious year round.
Across the board, Sergio’s wines enjoy an incredible vibrancy. They are big wines with such a streak of elegance, a quality rare in any part of the wine world. One wine which is perfect for the current weather, is his 2020 Barbera d’Alba — a juicy, food-friendly number, that was fermented and aged in a steel tank so it is completely about the fruit. Without any oak, this one comes out zipped up, with clean, concentrated fruit – a medley of blackberry and black cherry fruit with floral notes and even some black licorice on the finish.
92 Points (Editors’ Choice), Wine Enthusiast
“Weinbau fruit makes up the backbone of this wine. The aromas pull you into the glass, with notes of blue plum, raspberry, vanilla, graphite and coffee. The palate is full feeling, with lush fruit flavors and sneaky structure behind them. There’s a pleasing lick of acidity that ups the interest. It’s a big mouthful of a wine that overdelivers. Decant to see it at its best.”
We are super lucky to get a small shot at this one which is usually nearly an exclusive for the AltaMarea group and yields were way down in the Loire in the 2021 vintage. The Sancerre “Le Mont” from Maison Foucher Lebrun is zipped up and juicy yet offers up complex aromas of gooseberry, citrus, fresh-cut grass, with a tropical zest. On the palate, the wine is very clean and crisp, full-bodied and laser focused, with a good core and a long, tasty finish that offers a dash of minerality and salinity.
94 Points, James Suckling
The Ponzi family is one of Oregon’s all-time great wine pioneers, with Dick and Nancy becoming bonded winery #5 in the 1960s and building an empire from scratch. For decades, they have made world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, led by 2nd generation winemaker, Luisa. Her 2018 Laurelwood AVA Pinot Noir is a high-altitude beauty, with red and black fruits, bramble and a hint of spice. It’s a medium to full-bodied Pinot with excellent balance and range, and one that i would think still has a good 2-3 years before it really starts to hit its prime.
If you’ve never had one of José Manuel Martínez’s wines, you’re in for an absolute treat. Jose’s estate, Couselo is located in the northern tip of Portugal in Rias Baixas. It’s a coastal wine, sourced from old and savvy Albariño vines. It’s a terrific wine that mixes wonderful stony minerality with a creamy, long finish that makes it both fantastic with anything from the sea but also just as good with a pre-meal apertif. There’s no better under $25 Labor Day white.
Anne Sery describes her Trousse Chemise Cabernets as an ode to the Left Bank and her winemaking roots. It’s a beautiful and fresh Cabernet with aromas that leap from the glass with of black raspberry, violets, and creme de liquor notes. The mouth gives generous amounts of juicy black fruits at the core with hints of baking spice and a smooth, savory finish. This is a terrific partner for just about anything from hard cheese, to poultry, summer salads, and even dessert!