Tasca d’Almerita ‘Regaleali Le Rose’ Terre Siciliane IGT 2016

Estate: The Tasca d’Almerita family of estates consists of the Regaleali, Capofaro, and Whitaker estates. The Tasca family has farmed the Regaleali estate since 1837. Today the 8th generation of the family, Count Lucio Tasca, oversees all of the nearly 600 hectares of vineyards along with his sons, Giuseppe and Alberto. The family is committed to sustainability; they are behind the ‘SOStain’ programme, an organization that guides companies towards increasing their sustainability. The name of the wine reflects the “thousands of roses, brought in from all over the world”, that flourish throughout the Regaleali estate.

Philosophy: Passionate about eco-sustainability, the Regaleali estate is nearly completely self-sufficient; all of their food is grown on the estate and they are working toward a carbon neutral rating. Their goal of achieving eco-sustainability “is a self-regulated, pro-active scheme to reach our goals through positive actions both in the short term and in the mid-to-long term” that they achieve using “science, technology and organization”.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from the Santa Rosa vineyard at the Regaleali estate from vines planted in 1986. “Fermented in stainless steel tanks and partially macerated with the skins of Nero D’Avola.” Aged for 3 months in stainless steel tanks.

Tasting Notes: Copper pink in colour with aromas of strawberry, cherry and clean minerals. Tasting similar to the aromas, with red fruits and minerals culminating in citrus zest notes on the dry finish. Fresh and fruity with a zippy finish, this is a gluggable Rosé to enjoy all summer long.

100% Nerello Mascalese
Terre Siciliane IGT
Italy
Bottled by Conte Tasca d’Almerita SOC. AGR. a R.L.
13% Alcohol
$11
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Ptujska Klet Pullus Pinot Grigio 2015

Winery: One of the largest and oldest cellars in Slovenia, Ptujska Klet is located in the steep, winegrowing hills surrounding the city of Ptu. The oldest town in Slovenia, winemaking dates back to at least 69 AD when it was the Roman town of Poetovio.

Philosophy: “We believe in our wines. We believe in Pullus. We know why :)”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vineyards with layered gravel, clay and marl soil. An orange wine, with the white grapes being produced as if they were red, with maceration of crushed skins and seeds. Macerated for 72 hours with the skins, partial lees and aging with 10% neutral oak aging.

Tasting Notes: Pale copper in colour, highly aromatic with peach, melon, minerals and a touch of citrus. Lush peach, apricot and melon flavours in the nearly medium body culminate in a smooth dry finish, pink grapefruit and white pepper linger between each sip. Not your typical Pinot Grigio, this is lovely on its own or able to stand up to a wide variety of dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Perfect for pasta, white meat and young cheeses.

100% Pinot Grigio
Štajerska
Slovenia
Produced and Bottled by Ptujska Klet
13% Alcohol
$14
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Kungfu Girl and Eve: Two Charles Smith Washington State Beauties to Welcome Spring

Winery: Renowned, self-taught pioneer winemaker Charles Smith is the founder and winemaker behind Charles Smith Family wines. His “kick ass attitude and bold packaging has earned him the moniker ‘rock star’ of Washington State Syrah”. With his many diverse brands [K Vintners, Wines of Substance, Sixto, Charles & Charles, Secco and Vino] he is able to offer a wide variety of wines varying in cost from budget friendly to highly rated, single vineyard Syrahs in the $100 range. Within all of his labels, Smith strives to craft sustainably farmed wines that “are full of flavor, balanced, and true to place of origin”.

Created in 2006, the Charles Smith Wines label was themed as “The Modernist Project”. Focusing on how people tend to drink wine today, which is immediately, the goal is to create approachable wines “to be enjoyed now, but with true typicity of both the varietal and the vineyard”. A fantastic concept; a Riesling that tastes like a Riesling from Washington State! Modern with a sassy edge, Charles Smith labels are renowned for their clean black and white artwork created by Charles Smith and artist Rikke Korffsure. Super eye catching and easily recognizable, the style has become synonymous with K Vintners and Charles Smith.

Philosophy: “It’s just wine, drink it.”

Winemaking: Both Riesling and Chardonnay grapes were sourced from the ‘Evergreen’ Vineyard. Planted in 1998, the vineyard stretches across steep cliffs above the Columbia River, within Washington’s newest AVA, Ancient Lakes. The soil is composed of fragmented volcanic rock, gravel, limestone and silt, and is known for producing “fruit with sublime mineral character and great acidity”. Kungfu Girl Riesling was aged on the lees for 2 months in barrels. Eve Chardonnay was fermented with partially native yeasts. Aged on the lees for 5 months in barrels [no new oak].

Charles Smith ‘Kungfu Girl’ Riesling Washington State 2015
Pale gold in colour with invigorating aromas of grass, apple, earth and petrol. Peach, green apple, pear and minerals are glazed with a touch of honey. Perfectly balanced, with an energizing play between acidity and subtle sweetness carrying thru to the clean, zippy finish. Super refreshing and easy drinking, the moderate alcohol contributes to what I would call “fantastically gluggable”.

Pairing Suggestion from the Winery: Thai or Chinese food, five spice pork or duck, fresh seafood.

100% Riesling
12% Alcohol
$12 [average price]

Charles Smith ‘Eve’ Chardonnay Washington State 2014
Gold in colour with aromas of lemon balm, orange blossom, anise and a trace of butter. Silky layers of lemon, apple, pear and a streak of minerality culminate in a delectable creamy finish. Sunny and cheerful, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes. [It was perfect with goat gouda grilled cheese with arugula.]

Pairing Suggestion from the Winery: Golden squash with sautéed Shrimp.

100% Chardonnay
13.5% Alcohol
$12 [average price]

 

Samples submitted for review purpose.

Oreste Buzio Freisa Monferrato DOC 2015

Estate: Oreste Buzio is a small family estate founded in 1860 by Agostino Buzio. It is located in the village of Vignale Monferrato, within the rolling hills of Monferrato Casalese in Piedmont, northern Italy. Agostino’s grandson Oreste, along with his wife Daniela and sons Andrea and Marco, head the estate today. Respect for the environment and organic farming has been passed down from father to son. The estate focuses on indigenous grapes such as Barbera, Grignolino and Freisa; the wines are celebrated for their delicate, pure character.

Winemaking: Vinified in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Garnet with brick edges in colour. Light and bright, with a fantastic mix of bright fruit and savoury herbs. Tart cherry, wild strawberry and raspberry notes have a savoury edge, crushed white peppercorn and minerals comprise the dry finish. Straightforward and refreshing, great on its own or with a wide variety of dishes. Serve cool [15-20 minutes in the fridge].

100% Freisa
Monferrato DOC
Italy
Bottled by Oreste Buzio
13% Alcohol
$12
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Domaine Sainte Croix ‘Le Fournas’ 2013

Brings the funk like the BT Express.

Estate: Domaine Sainte Croix is located in the rugged hills of the High Corbières on the border between the Languedoc and the Roussillon, in the very southern part of France. The 13 hectare [32 acre] estate is owned and run by the English husband and wife team of Jon and Elizabeth Bowen. The area is known for its fantastic Grenache-centric wines, small stone wall enclosed vineyards and fig, almond and wild cherry trees. The vineyards are comprised of multiple terroir, including “of steel-blue limestone to sandy, gravelly clay shot through with quartz crystals, to sheets of purple-green schist.”

Philosophy: “Fine wine is made in the vineyard. Our aim is to express the terroir of the domaine, we see the cornerstone as being the health of its vineyard ecosystems.”

Winemaking: The estate has been certified organic since 2008. Grapes came from vineyards with a blend of limestone, chalky-clay and sandy loam soil. The Carignon grapes came from vines over 100 years old. Fermented using only indigenous yeasts found on the grape skins. 100% matured sur lie in tank for 18 months. Unfined, loosely filtered.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of wildflowers, peppery spice, candied cherry and funky sawdust. Cherry, blackberry, hibiscus and a shake of black pepper wrap around a flinty mineral, earthy core, backed by balancing acidity and silky tannins. Fruit and funk wrap up the velvety finish.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Particularly good accompaniment to the cuisine of the Mediterranean region using tomato-based sauces, olives or wild herbs such as thyme or rosemary.

50% Carignan, 21% Grenache, 19% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre
Corbières AOC
France
Mis en Bouteille au Domaine Par J & E Bowen
13.5% Alcohol
$16
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