Although I won’t say no to a cold beer or a well-made craft cocktail, my adult beverage of choice is wine. Ilise and I have had the extreme good fortune to visit a few of the world’s notable wine regions and do a bit of collecting. But we believe that wine is for drinking, not hoarding, and nothing gives us more pleasure than to share a bottle with friends, especially outdoors on a warm summer’s night with the candles and fireflies glowing.
I asked the resident sommelier (Ilise) to compile a list of our favorite summer sips. We do drink red wine in summertime -- especially the awesome Pinot Noirs made by our friends at Chasing Harvest -- but today we’re emphasizing the whites and one rosé. You’ll see a range of prices, some on the expensive side. But hey, special occasions deserve a special wine, right?
Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc 2015 (We had the 2014 last year and really enjoyed it.) Great wine for summertime sipping on the patio or deck. The 2015 release is crisp, clean and dry, offering up flavors of peach and apple with palate quenching acidity. Drink this deliciously refreshing wine by itself or pair with just about anything. About $10-$12 a bottle; can be purchased at Vin and Binny’s.
Château de La Greffiere Mâcon La Roche-Vineuse (any vintage). We’ve been drinking this French Chardonnay over many years and many vintages – it’s our go-to for a good, affordable, just-complex-enough Chardonnay. In fact we enjoyed a bottle on the patio just the other night after a hard day’s work in the garden. Refreshing! About $14-$15; purchased at Binny’s.
Louis Latour Montagny Les Grande Roche 2014 – This year’s “wine of the summer” at our house. If you come to visit, this French Chardonnay is what you’ll be offered. A bit more expensive than the other two, but with the case discount ended up at around $18 a bottle. Purchased at Binny’s.
Tasting Note from the vineyard:
Of a bright, light golden color, our Montagny 1er Cru "La Grande Roche" 2014 has a complex nose with peach aromas and hints of muscat. Ample and floral in the mouth, it reveals iodine and peppery notes. A lot of freshness on the finish.
Turnbull Rosé of Cabernet Franc 2015 – More expensive than our typical sipping wines, this rosé ($27 w/club membership) was so tasty that Ann let me buy a few more bottles. Cheers to that! Bought on the Turnbull website.
Note from the Vineyard:
Intentionally grown and crafted from the start, our Rosé of Cabernet Franc is harvested and pressed to make a Rosé, rather than a Saignée runoff from our red fermentation. A delightfully dry, crisp wine with the slightest blush of color. It’s just super yummy, with tart strawberry and firm raspberry notes.
Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc (any vintage) – We've really enjoyed this Sauvignon Blanc over the past several years (probably tasted 3-4 vintages). It’s more complex Sauvignon Blanc that has some depth almost a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. $32 bottle – can be bought at Binny’s or on the Merry Edwards website.
Critical Acclaim for 2014:
"Succulent, lush and rich, with fleshy mango, melon and peach flavors up front, leading to a core of pineapple, lemon and honeysuckle notes. The smoky edge and nervy acidity weave in and out, giving this a fresh finish." 93 points - MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator Insider, Feb. 17, 2016