As Spring in the Northern Hemisphere comes to an end we have been tasked to figure what wines goes best during the hot months ahead. By a combination of effort and fortitude we”ve been able to to save you the effort and hard work of tasting wines. It was really hard work, but someone had to do it.
We blinded tasted over 30 wines and picked our favorite wines for the summer. This annual selection has been carefully scrutinized by our team of experts and here are our selections for the best summer wines of 2009.
Although this was not as complex as our #5 pick, we had to include it as it is an incredible value. For $12 you get a wine that is characterized by fruit and spice. Apples, cardamom and honey make this wine a perfect pairing for curried red lentils.
Winery: Blue Pirate
Wine Maker: Aaron Hess. Website Address: http://www.oysterbaywines.com. Appellation: Oregon. Composition: 100% Pinot Gris. Vintage: 2007
Retail Pricing: $12
2008 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc
The 2008 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc packs a bang for the buck. Distinguished by citrus, lemongrass and grapefruit, this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is extremely drinkable and does not require food. However, is you decide to eat, make some grilled shrimp, just chill the wine and get ready to enjoy.
Winery Name: Oyster Bay. Wine Maker Name: Michael Ivicevich. Website Address: http://www.oysterbaywines.com. Appellation: Marlborough, NZ. Composition: 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Vintage: 2008
Retail Pricing: $11
Where to get it: New York: Garnett Wines, Seagrill at Rock Center. Washington DC – Kaz Sushi Bistro, Whole Foods. Chicago – Shaw’s Crab House, Binny’s Beverage Depot. Dallas – Oceanaire, Dallas Fine Wine & Spirits. Los Angeles – Gladstones 4 Fish, The Winehouse. San Francisco – Sam’s Anchor Café, K & L Wine Merchants. Houston – The Grove, Spec’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Philadelphia – Oceanaire
This wine shows how far New York State has come in winemaking. The nose gives the appearance of a sweet wine, yet on the tongue the wine is clean and incredibly drinkable. Grapefruit and lime are the protagonists of this medium bodied wine. There’s an ever so slight bit of residual sugar to counteract the bright acidity of the wine that does not at all interfere with food and we recommend you try it with pad thai.
Winery Name: Dr. Frank‘s Vinifera Wine Cellars. Wine Maker Name: Mark Veraguth. Website Address: http://www.drfrankwines.com/. Appellation: Finger Lakes. Composition: 100% Gewurztraminer. Vintage: 2007
Retail Pricing: $25
This is Riesling for Riesling lovers. The wine plays with the tip of your tongue with a zesty minerality that gives way to peach, apple and honey flavors on the sides of the mouth with a fruity finish. It’s fun to drink and will be perfect with spicy dishes or roast duck.
Winery Name: Dr. Loosen. Wine Maker Name: Ernst Loosen. Website Address: http://www.drloosen.com/. Appellation: Mosel. Composition: 100% Riesling. Vintage: 2008
Retail Pricing: $10
Where to get it: San Francisco – Crustacean Restaurant, California Wine Merchants. Dallas – Central Market, Gaylord Texan. Houston – Specks, Flemmings
The silvaner is marked by lovely minerality. On the nose the wine is fruity. On the mouth it has a delicate sweetness with a bit of jalapeno, a perfect balance of fruit and spice. This is a crisp and refreshing wine that really shows off its terroir and will be perfect when you’re sitting in the yard snacking on some grilled octopus.
Winery Name: Ludwig Knoll / Weingut am Stein. Wine Maker Name: Ludwig Knoll. Website Address: www.weingut-am-stein.de. Appellation: Franken. Composition: 100% Silvaner. Vintage: 2006
Where to get it: San Francisco – Plump Jack Wine Shop
Crispy, bright and clean, this is an incredibly well made Pinot Gris showcasing lime, pear and melon flavors without any of the expected bitterness. It is much more complex than its relative Pinot Grigio and has a much creamier texture. This is an exciting wine with tons of layers and a lingering finish that would be ideal with grilled swordfish.
Winery Name: Benton Lane. Wine Maker Name: Chris Mazepink. Website Address: http://www.benton-lane.com. Appellation: Williamette Valley, OR. Composition: 100% Pinot Gris. Vintage: 2008
Retail Pricing: $20
Where to get it: New York – Sherry Lehman, Essex. Los Angeles – Whole Foods, Trader Vics. Dallas – Abacus, Whole Foods. Chicago – Le Colonial, Sam’s. San Francisco – Whole Foods, Alfred’s. Washington –Agraria, Morris Miller. Houston – Backstreet Café, Specs
Our #4 pick comes from South Africa. It is Mulderbosch’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Rose. Dry, crisp and refreshing, this wine will dispel any prejudices you may have towards roses. On the nose expect a floral scent accentuated with hints of strawberries and cherries. On the mouth a slight spiciness balances out the fruit. This wine will be perfect the next time you make a poached salmon.
Winery Name: Mulderbosch. Wine Maker Name: Mike Dobrovic. Website Address: http://www.mulderbosch.co.za/. Appellation: Stellenbosch. Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Vintage: 2008
Retail Pricing: $11
Where to get it: Chicago –Sayat Nova Restaurant, Binny’s Beverage Depot. Dallas – Shinsey Restaurant , La Cave Warehouse. Houston – Trulucks Steak Restaurant, Cost Plus World Market. Los Angeles –La Piazza, K&L Wine Merchants. New York- , Saks 5th Avenue Café, – Manley’s Liquor Store. San Francisco –Home Restaurant, Falleti Foods. Washington – Café Soleil, Calvert Woodly. Philadelphia - Alfa Restaurant & Bar, PLCB – special order only
We ended up loving Rieslings this year. Our number three pick for summer wines was the 2007 Dr. Loosen “Blue Slate” Riesling from the Mosel appellation of Germany. The wine maker, Ernst Loosen created this Kabinett style riesling, marked by minerality and spice. The wine starts of with a playfulness at the tip of the tongue followed by crispness and freshness that would be welcome on any summer day. On the mouth, expect hints of lemons that create an acidity to counteract the residual sugar in the wine. This wine can be had alone on a balmy night on the beach or with some Pad Thai.
Winery Name: Dr. Loosen. Wine Maker Name: Ernst Loosen. Website Address: www.drloosen.com. Appellation: Mosel. Composition: 100% Riesling. Vintage: 2007
Retail Pricing: $22
Where to Get it: San Francisco: Milly’s New Millenium, Whole Foods. Dallas: Gaylord Texan, Mr. G’s Beverage Center. Houston: Spec’s
The Baileyana 2006 Grand Fire Peak Cuvee Chardonnay from the Edna Valley in the Central Coast region of California was out second favorite pick for summer wines. Unlike the majority of California chardonnays which tend to be marked by very dominant oak flavors, the GFC Chardonnay is extremely well balanced. On the tongue it feels silky and creamy but instead of butter popcorn what you get is apple and pear flavors highlighted with citrus notes.
Winery Name: Baileyana. Wine Maker Name: Christian Roguenants. Website Address: http://www.baileyana.com/. Appellation: Edna Valley, CA. Composition: 100% Chardonnay. Vintage: 2006. Retail Pricing: $30
Where to get it: Los Angeles: Napa Rose Restaurant, Wine House Shop. Dallas: Eno’s Centennial Fine Wines. Chicago: Pinstripes, Perman Wine Shop. San Francisco: Hog Island Oyster Bar, The Wine Steward. DC: Oceanaire, ArrowWine Shop. Houston: 13 Celcius, Whole Foods Market. Philadelphia: Theresa’s Café, PLCB Retailers
Our favorite wine for the summer was the 2007 Bassermann-Jordan Estate Riesling trocken from winemaker Ullrich Mell. The wine is done in the trocken style, so it has a bit of residual sugar which is perfectly balanced with a lovely acidity that makes you want to swallow it immediately. We suggest that you resist that urge. If you let the wine sit right at the front of your tongue you will get hints of apples, peaches and just a hint of citrus on the mid palate. We suggest you try this wine with some oysters or with a nice pork shoulder.
Winery Name: Bassermann-Jordan. Wine Maker Name: Ulrich Mell. Website Address: www.valckenberg.com. Appellation: Pfalz. Composition: 100% Riesling. Vintage: 2007.
Retail Pricing: $18
Where to get it: NYC - Lure Restaurant, Terrior, Windsor Wine Shop