We know from our day to day conversations with customers in the shop that winter has worn on all of us a bit this year. We are happy for our many friends that have been able to “bug out” to warmer and drier climes. In the meantime though we will look forward to the spring release wines coming this year. We have had a preview with several we have tried recently and we are excited by the quality we have seen thus far.
Here are a couple of our early favorites that are available now and certainly have us thinking of warmer and longer days ahead!
This past week we had a winemaker lunch with Loredana Addari owner winemaker at Ruggeri Corsini Winery located in the town of Alba in Piedmont. Loredana produces some of the best selling wines in our shop and the ones we tasted this past week with a handful of customers were no exception. The lunch was limited to our wine club members only due to the small number we could fit at the lunch. The 2015 Ruggeri Corsini Rosato ($14, wine club $12.60), a charming rosè of Nebbiolo and a small amount of Barbera was delicious and all we want from Rosè, light and crisp but still possessing of varietal character from color to finish. While we would hope to work this wine into our rose program come spring, we are guessing it will be long gone before then.
Also from 2015 the Ruggeri Corsini Dolcetto ($15, wine club $13.50) was a hit. I was fortunate enough to be in Italy in October of 2015, while there everyone I spoke to was ecstatic with the grape harvest that was going on. “A near perfect vintage” many said. Based on the few 2015 wines we have tried from Italy so far we would have to agree. The Dolcetto is light and bright a perfect food wine with vibrant fruit flavors and firm acid to complement the richest and heartiest of dishes.
As good as 2015 promises to be for much of Europe so was 2012 in the appellations of the Western U.S. There are still some of the wines from this epic vintage being released, although not many so they should not be missed. The 2012 Jolie Bouche Syrah from Efeste Winery in Woodinville ($45, wine club $40.50) is one of those wines. A great vintage, the varietal that does better in Washington than perhaps any other and a deft winemaking hand combine in this blockbuster Syrah. Dark rich and brooding it offers everything you could want, but with a subtlety that amazes. I know it is “spendy” but don’t let this one get away.
Querciabella has long been one of our favorite wineries in Italy. We just received the first bottles of the 2012 Querciabella Mongrana ($27, wine club $24.30) and we have been blown away at the quality. The folks at Querciabella always do a great job, but 2012 was thought of as maybe a lesser vintage in Europe coming off the spectacular 2010 and 2011 vintages there. This small Tuscan winery though pulled the proverbial “rabbit out of the hat” with this super Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sangiovese and Merlot. It is dark and rich, firmly tannined and delivers an elegant balance of fruit and muscle.
The Chateau Teulon Rouge from the Costieres de Nimes ($12, wine club $10.80) shows us that the great growing conditions in 2015 were not limited to just Italy, but all of Europe participated. The talented group at Chateau Teulon actually did not produce this wine in either 2013 or 2014 as they felt it just did not measure up, we respect that. The 2015 is delicious again light, fruit driven and dry it is a joy on Tuesday night and priced for mid week or a weekend crowd. When we tried the wine recently with the importer we were also treated to the 2015 Little Canyon (same price) from neighboring winery Domaine Couron. We don’t yet have it in the shop but we will and it is just as good.
We look forward to more of the coming spring releases almost as much as we do the warmer weather. While we wait come by the shop to learn of more of the coming spring gems!
If there is a topic you would like to read about or if you have questions on wine, you can email George@thedinnerpartyshop.com, or make suggestions by contacting the Healthy Community section at the Coeur d’Alene Press.
George Balling is co-owner (with his wife Mary Lancaster) of the dinner party, a wine and table top décor shop located by Costco in Coeur d’Alene. George worked as a judge in many wine competitions, and his articles are published around the country. You can learn more about the dinner party at www.thedinnerpartyshop.com. Be sure and check out our weekly blog at www.thedinnerpartyshop.com/home/blog-2. You can get all of these articles as well as other great wine tips by friending us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/dinnerpartyshop.