Saturday, June 30, 2012

Definitely too Hot for Big Red Wine - These Cool Quaffers Save the Day

I usually love to open a friendly everyday red when we're grilling chicken, but with temps in the mid 90's again, I had to go with a couple of chillers. These are beautiful wines, one white and one rose, and they were perfect on the deck with some dinner as the sun got low in the sky and the temperature began to fall. They are both from oddball AOC's in the Loire Valley made from grapes that are not.

The white is a 100% Chenin Blanc cuvee from Coteaux du Vendomois, which is a bit north of Vouvray, the appellation where the best Chenin Blancs in the world come from. The producer is Domaine de Brazilier and this bright, crisp white has all that you want from an everyday summer wine. Aromas of grapefruit, lime zest and white flowers are very prominent. There's beautiful texture in the mouth with bold citrus fruit flavors, a bit of stoniness and bracing acidity. It's light, crisp and very refreshing and it kept me coming back for more.

The rose is a 100% Gamay cuvee. Gamay is a grape that is usually associated with Beaujolais and not found too much in the Loire. From the Coteaux d'Ancenis AOC and produced by Domaine Pierre Guindon, this beautiful wine delivers the goods. Strawberry and raspberry aromas are supported by notes of watermelon and a distinct minerality. Again, the texture is very smooth with the red berry flavors repeating. The balance is outstanding, with bright acids giving it lift and notes of candied orange on the dry, refreshing finish. These are both from the 2011 vintage and retail for around $12.99. Imported by the quality importer, Maximum Wine Company, these are two to seek out. The wonderful wine critic Steve Tanzer said of this wine, "I could drink this all day". Me too! Cheers.

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