2017 Argiolas Costamolino

Back in the early part of the decade, on a trip to Sardinia, I had the good fortune to be given a private tour and tasting of Sardinian powerhouse wine producer, Argiolas. Their windswept vineyards and ancient chai turn out some of the best wines from the Italian island , which while a part of Italy is yet so much like an independent country. 

Like Sicily, the wines from Sardinia are made from roots that go deep into the volcanic based soil and get a big boost from the surrounding sea and coastal, maritime climate. That means sunny days, misty mornings, and cool nights.

The 2017 Argiolas Cosamolino, made from 100 percent Vermentino grapes, is one of those wines that just thrives there because of the long growing season and excellent work in the cellar. Slightly straw colored, with a tinge of green, the light, lively, dry white wine is a joy in the glass.

The lovely Sardinian white wine shows up with all kinds of subtle nose tingling nuances of white peach, melon, and pears, with just a hint of almond nuttiness. It’s enjoyable by itself or with fresh fish or fish chowder, and for those reasons and more, the 2017 Argiolas Costamolino is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!

2018 Chateau Vignelaure Rose Coteaux d’Aix en Provence

Provence has long been the place that conjures up visions of Rose wines. But for many, those are wines from Cotes de Provence like the ones served on the beach fronts of Saint Tropez and in the cafes of Cannes and Nice.

For those who think it’s only Rose from the coastal region that can bring refreshment to their lips, they’re missing out. Other regions in Provence like the Coteaux Varois and the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence delight as well, and even sometimes surpass the Cotes de Provence for food-friendly enjoyment.

That’s where the wines of Chateau Vignelaure comes in. One of the first Provence producers I ever enjoyed and visited back in the ’80s, Vignelaure is a gorgeous property that brings vines from the region east of the art-filled city of Aix en Provence to lips everywhere.

The 2018 Chateau Vignelaure Rose Coteaux d’Aix en Provence is a stunning example of blending.  Grenache and Syrah make up 70 percent of the blend but it’s the balance of Cabernet Sauvignon and Vermentino in the wine that gives it such a rich, food ready structure and it’s very long finish.

The 2018 Chateau Vignelaure Rose is rich in cherry blossom fruit and that lovely Herb de Provence appeal.  On the mouth bright cherries, soft grapefruit and white peaches hit you first before the strawberry and blueberry from the Grenache and Syrah ends the taste.

That’s why the 2018 Chateau Vignelaure Rose is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!!!

2017 Feudo Desisa Lu Bancu

Italian white wines are food friendly, different and very enjoyable, especially when the weather is warm. And, wines from Sicily are rapidly gaining popularity.

One producer, Feudo Desisa, is riding that wave with delightful white wines that are perfect at this time of year. 

The 2017 Feudo Desisa Lu Bancu, made from the Catarratto grape, brings that Mediterranean climate, salt air, freshness to the very fruit forward wine.

The 2017 Feudo Desisa Lu Bancu is juicy and crisply fruity, with a lovely peachy bouquet, with flavors of dried limes, peaches and lime zest.

That’s why the 2017 Feudo Desisa Lu Bancu is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!!!

2018 Pierpaolo Pecorari “RosAlba” Rosato Venezia Giulia

When it comes to Rose usually its France, and the wines from the Cotes de Provence, that come to mind. But there’s more to Rose than just what hails from there. Take Italy, where Rose is known as Rosato, and where the blending of grapes make for some very delightful and refreshing Rose wines.

Take the 2018 Pierpaolo Pecorari RosAlba Rosato Venezia Giulia. Here’s a really head turning blend of equal parts Pinot Noir and Refosco that starts off with a bit of spritz and then delivers dazzling flavors of cherry and berry all the way to the end.

Violets and lavender aromas first entice you, and then the cherry and cranberry fruit takes over as you sit back and enjoy this pink wine with or without food. Serve it with thin crust pizza smothered with cheese, or enjoy it with a fried fish sandwich or even a rich and creamy shrimp risotto.  

With only 5,000 cases made, this wine is one that’s worth seeking out, and that’s why the 2018 Pierpaolo Pecorari RosAlba Rosato Venezia Giulia is today’s Winesiders’ Wine of The Day!!!

2018 Les Cretes Petite Arvine Valle D’Aosta Italy

Classy white wines that defy the usual are always great finds. The case of the 2018 Les Cretes Petite Arvine Valle d’Aosta is that kind of Italian white wine. Known as the best white wine grape in the Swiss Valais region Petite Arvine can be vinified dry, semi-dry or as a sweet wine.

In the case of the 2018 Les Cretes Petite Arvine Valle d’Aosta, the wine is made in a perfectly dry style. Layer upon layer of lime, lemon, and grapefruit is there from start to finish. This is a lovely, refreshing, and full-bodied wine that is perfect with shellfish, baked clams, or even cheese.

That’s why the 2018 Les Cretes Petite Arvine Valle d’Aosta is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!!!.

2017 Poggio le Volpi Frascati Superiore

As the weather turns warm, the more there is the desire for wines that are refreshing, juicy, and easy to drink. That also means a need for alternatives to Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, the two usual suspects found in wine glasses the world over.

Take Frascati from the Lazio region just outside of Rome. It’s low in alcohol, almost always clocking in under 13.5%. It has gobs of fruit. It’s made in large quantities and is always very enjoyable when a good winemaker is behind the wine. It’s almost also always a great value buy.

That’s the 2017 Poggio le Volpi Frascati Superiore.  Golden color. Green apples and pears. Some fresh cut grass and voila, you have an everyday wine that has all you need to drink by itself, by the pool or on the patio, while you watch the sunset. The 2017 Poggio le Volpi Frascati Superiore is also an excellent food wine. Have it with fresh fish or a light creamy risotto. Most of all, just kick back and enjoy a refreshing white wine that won’t break the bank.

That’s why the 2017 Poggio le Volpi Frascati Superiore is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day.

2016 Gaillard Collioure Rouge

Long known as one of the Northern Rhone’s top producers, Pierre Gaillard, and his family, have been cranking out rich and lovely wines for decades. In that time they have established themselves as a sure-fire, go to choice, for consumers, on restaurant lists and on the shelves of shopkeepers the world over.

Over time the family has expanded their holdings, being one of the first Rhone producers to venture into the Roussillion, when they expanded South and acquired Domaine Madeloc in Banyuls. There, the well chosen and perfectly aged terraced hillside vineyards, along with those in neighboring Collioure, are seen as some of the most treasured in the region.

While Banyuls grapes produce the delicious open top late harvest sweet grenache reds, it’s the vineyards in the Collioure AOC, overseen by Pierre’s daughter Elise Gaillard, that makes one of the most magical reds from the Roussillon, the 2016 Gaillard Collioure Rouge.

Made from a blend of Grenache Noir,  Mourvèdre and Syrah, the velvety red wine is full of both full throttle power and elegant silky fruit. Much like the wines of La Tour Vieille Spicy black and white pepper from the Mourvedre and Syrah and ripe strawberry, blackberry and blueberry from the trio of grapes are a given.

But it’s the elegant delivery and structure of the well-balanced 2016 Pierre Gaillard Collioure Rouge  that makes this wine a perfect pairing with creamy blue cheese or aromatic Epoisses that makes it such a delight. That and how well it pairs with baby lamb or perfectly cooked duck breast. While the wine is made mostly in large vats, the finishing takes place in large oak barrels, allowing the wine to have just enough oak tannins to go from being a fruit bomb to becoming a well developed and age-worthy wine.

That’s why the 2016 Pierre Gaillard Collioure Rouge is today’s Winesiders’ Wine of The Day.

2014 Clos Marie L’Olivette Pic Saint Loup

Back when I first started to visit the Languedoc in the 90s, the wines imported into the USA from the region of Pic Saint Loup were dominated by a few producers like Chateau La RoqueChateau Lascaux, and L’Hortus. Sure there was the occasional Lancyre that found its way in, and others like Cazeneuve and Mas Bruguière had fleeting moments of visibility, but by and large, eventually it was the Kermit Lynch trio of Ermitage du Pic, Lascaux and La Roque plus L’Hortus that led the way.

The more I visited the hilltop region, the more I found other producers who were not only making wines on par with La Roque and Lascaux but like L’Hortus were forging their own path, finding a USA importer and making wines that stood out. Clos Marie was one of them.

The first tasting I had of Clos Marie came at a small roadside restaurant in Lauret, the town where Clos Marie is. From there, I drove to visit the winery, to end up tasting with the grandmother of Christophe Peyrus, tasting four or five wines that the small winery made. Eventually, a few importers started to bring Clos Marie into the USA, and it would show up here and there. Thankfully, the 2014 Clos Marie L’Olivette Pic Saint Loup is one of those now available.

Here’s a typical Pic Saint Loup red blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, but unlike Mourvedre from other parts of the Languedoc where Mourvedre is usually the second or third grape in the blend, in the Pic, the Mourvedre take the reigns. I’m not sure why, but for some reason when it comes from the vineyards that dot the mountain top Pic region, the Mourvedre has a certain quality that puts it on par with the great Mourvedre vineyards of Bandol.

Just as there are striking differences between wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux or the Rhone and Bandol, Pic St. Loup wines are different from other parts of the Occitaine. Often they are more akin to Gigondas and Vacqueyras, where the stony hillsides and ancient hillsides produce wines of great power from their chalky base, than neighboring villages where the wines are more lush and juicy when young.

The 2014 Clos Marie L’Olivette is that kind of wine. As the small winery’s entry-level wine, here’s a ready to drink now.

It’s a big gun red that is full of black raspberry, ripe blueberry, black pepper and a lush strawberry base that all blends with the Languedoc’s sister to Provencale herbal aromas, la Garrigue. That’s where the whiff of rosemary, thyme, and sage hits the fruit, giving the wine the telltale sign that it’s from the Pays d’Oc.

And for those factors and many more, it’s why the 2014 Clos Marie L’Olivette Pic Saint Loup is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day.

2018 La Liebre y la Tortuga

After a fast four days and many stops in wine bars, bodegas, tabernas, and restaurants in Madrid my love of exciting racy white wines with character was revived just as it was in Lyon with those delightful Beaujolais Blancs and then again in the Languedoc-Roussillon (Occitaine). On the trip, the joy of brilliantly crafted, fruit driven, elegant, and soft wines triggered back many of the reasons that led me to want to share my views on wine. 

One of the joys of the trip was tasting wines from Rías Baixas region, where the Albariño evokes so much goodness and serves as the ideal complement for anything that comes out of the water, or just needs to be drunk all by itself.

The 2018 La Liebre y La Tortuga Albarino Rias Baixas from Fento Wines is that kind of wine. Coastal climate in nature, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and grown on weathered sandy granite soils, it’s a young wine meant to be drunk young. It’s vibrant. It’s fresh tasting. It’s lively, and most of all, it’s fruit driven. As Albarino wines go, the 2018 La Liebre y La Tortuga Albarino sets a mark for the vintage. It has style and grace that’s comes from the slightly green tinged color that also makes it so seductive.

Aromas of passion fruit and citrus fruit capture your attention. Then comes the lemon, lime, orange and lemon zest appealing flavors on the first and through until the last sip.

It’s a not so much the charm the 2018 La Liebre y La Tortuga Albarino, brings, but the enjoyment that it delivers as you sit back, and just drink it.

That’s why the 2018 La Liebre y La Tortuga Albarino is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!!

2017 Domaine Jaume Generation Cotes du Rhone – Vinosobres

Wines offered by the glass in bistros and brasseries across Paris, and all of France, always include some of the most lovely, easy to drink, everyday wines which drink so well that you just want to enjoy them without stopping.

That’s what the 2017 Domaine Jaume Generation is. It’s a stunning red bistro wine that is rarely found on store shelves, but when it is, it’s always one to buy.

Here’s a low alcohol red wine that’s full of gorgeous cherry, strawberry, and raspberry fruit. The Generation is a blend of  Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre and has a lush fruity bouquet, that is different than 2016, which was mostly spice and pepper on the nose.

While the fruit rules the glass, there’s also lovely star anise and licorice appeal to the wine that makes it a perfect match for French country style cooking.

That’s why the 2017 Domaine Jaume Generation is today’s WineSiders’ Wine of The Day!!!