~~They grow Sauvignon Blanc in a lot of places world-wide, from the Loire to Australia, South Africa and the Americas. But some of the most intriguing come from the high country of northeast Italy. There’s a distinctive take on the varietal with aromas of tomato leaf, grapefruit, wild herbs, and yellow stone fruits. The flavors are hauntingly insistent but also delicate. When it’s on, it is a lovely and unique take on Sauvignon Blanc, pretty unlike anything else from this varietal. Some of our favorites are Vie de Romans, Venica, and Venica, and Terlano’s Quarz. In that vein of elite level, captivating, almost haunting ‘high country’ Sauvignons, add the Tiare Sauvignon Collio 2017, a beautiful example of exactly what we are talking about and a “tre bicchierre” selection from Gambero Rosso.
~~Not all Pinot Grigios are created equal, and some of them are even pink. As many of you know, Pinot Grigio grapes actually have a pinkish tint. Through a process called ramato, the Pinot Grigio grapes spend some extra time in contact with the skins which changes the phenolic feel of the wine in the mouth, adds a little punch to the mid palate and, depending on the length of the contact, imparts a pinkish hue to the wine itself. There aren’t a lot of folks that do it this way and it takes a certain level of talent to pull it off. But done right, it is a delicious, distinctive take on the varietal that most folks haven’t tried. Definitely for adults, the Specogna Pinot Grigio Ramato Friuli Colli Orientali 2017 ($22.99) is a marvelous example of this style. Who knew Pinot Grigio could be this interesting?
~~Vintages play an important part in most of what we do. A new vintage of something is news in itself. Not so for sparkling and fortified wines that are non-vintage. So unless there is some sort of seasonal or event-related relevance, things like the Mikulski Cremant de Bourgogne, which we highlighted this year, the Perez Barquero Gran Barquero Amontillado Sherry that we highlighted last year, and the Lustau Palo Cortado Peninsula (that we highlighted a long time ago) or the Drusian Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene Extra Dry, a house favorite that we have been selling for more than a decade, will be forgotten. We’re going to use things like the ‘Briefs’ section to mention products like these again because the whole way wine is being marketed has changed. In the past, there were conversations where walk-in consumers would ask about products and categories from people on the floor. Buying online with a mouse click is a completely different dynamic. Items like these were exciting enough for us to buy them initially, and still are. No reason not to remind people about them once in a while and possibly introduce a few new folks that missed it the first time in the process.