By Celia Strong
So. Our last lesson for this year. And so many wines still to learn. That bodes well for next year, but puts the pressure on to tie up 2017 with a few that just shouldn’t wait.
These are wines that we haven’t had time to get to, but wines we cannot miss. That being said, we’re going to take quickie looks at multiple wines today (and not in any order!). The more the merrier.
First, a new rosé: Délas Côtes du Rhône Rosé. This rosé is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, all common ingredients in Rhône rosé wines.
The first amazing thing about this wine is its color. If you just hold up a bottle in some light, it is a spectacular salmon pink, so pretty it almost doesn’t matter what it tastes like. But, it’s delicious too! It has pears, raspberry and pomegranate aromas and flavors with a fresh and delicate texture. It’s a real find for $11.99.
Second. Atmospheres. This is a bubbly from the Loire Valley. And one of the most fun to drink sparkling wines. Ever! It is made from Folle Blanche (80 percent) and Pinot Noir.
This wine comes from the same area, the mouth of the Loire at the Atlantic Ocean, as Muscadet wines. All the grapes are grown bio-dynamically and hand harvested. It is medium bodied with peach, nectarine and vanilla notes. It is made with no dosage so it is bone dry. It’s also less imposing than Champagne, making this is one to drink and eat with. And drink all day and all weekend. For $19.99
Third. Domaine de la Fruitiere Muscadet. Always the perfect wine for oysters because the grapes grow in vineyards that are based on centuries old, decayed oyster beds.
The wine is one of the crispest and driest with melon and peach notes, and a hint of brininess. It’s just perfect with the saltiness of oysters and other shellfish and seafood, and a change of pace from Picpoul and Albariño. For $13.99.
Fourth. Luigi Bosca de Sangre. A red blend from Argentina, the name “Sangre” tells you immediately this is a deeply colored red as well as big and bold vigorous and strong.
It’s made from 70 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 percent Syrah and 15 percent Merlot.
It’s not necessarily what we usually think of or drink from the land of Malbec, but this country does make other superb wines. And we tend to forget that. Sangre will go with any and every meat all year long. It is a steal for $24.99.
Fifth. Pol Roger 2004 Brut. A real Champagne. And a special one at that.
As a vintage wine, the ‘04 is leaps and bounds over the non-vintage brut, which is always a great Champagne. Pol Roger is still a family-owned company. (Pol Roger non-vintage brut is the Champagne that is poured at British royal weddings.) This vintage wine is more complex. It is multilayered with apple and pear flavors, brioche and mild nuts, all woven together seamlessly. It’s exactly what is needed to mark the end of one year and the beginning of the next. For $99.97. And limited availability.
Well, hopefully everyone sees an opportunity on our list? Or several? There are lots of chances left to try some new wines this year. And to start the new year with as well. Happy holidays!
Celia Strong works at Bill’s Liquor & Fine Wines on Lady’s Island.