Produttori di Govone Barbera d’Alba DOC 2015

Winery: Produttori di Govone is a community of grape growers founded in 1957 by Giovanni Dalmasso with a mission to unify and create great wines. Today the cooperative consists of 250 members and 270 hectares. Blending tradition with modernity, they are pursuing organic viticulture; currently they have 5 hectares that are farmed organically.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with engaging aromas of dark berries, pink pepper and a trace of sandalwood. Ripe red berries are given a drizzle of caramel and balanced by bright acidity and soft tannins. Finishing dry and spicy, keeping you reaching for more. Straightforward and a versatile companion at the table.

Pairing Suggestion from Astor Wines: Enjoy this with cured meats, cheeses, briny olives, tomato sauce, sweet Italian sausage and arugula.

100% Barbera
Barbera d’Alba DOC
Italy
Estate Bottled by Produttori di Govone
14% Alcohol
$9
Enjoy now

Domaine De Fontsainte Rouge Corbières 2015

Estate: Located in the heart of the Corbières appellation in the Languedoc region of southern France, the estate’s first vineyards were planted by the ancient Romans. More recently, the Laboucarié family has been making wine there since the 17th century. Today the estate is headed by Bruno Laboucarié who maintains his family’s legacy of innovation. Bruno, along with his father Yves were one of the first grape growers in the region to work with whole cluster fermentation. (A technique that can impart a subtle “green” flavor, spices and additional tannins.) For over 30 years Kermit Lynch has been importing their fantastic wines.

Philosophy: With a belief that ”great wines are made in the vineyard”, focus is on terroir since each vineyard is different in regards to soil type, microclimate and varietal. The family’s motto is “innovation means looking forward and backward”.

Winemaking: Sustainable viticulture has been practiced since 1971. The winery utilizes gravity fed modern thermo regulated stainless steel vats along with traditional cement vats. Grapes are sourced from vineyards with gritty, gravely silica-clay-limestone soil. Aged for 6 months in French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Dark red-violet in colour with aromas of smoky, black pepper dusted dark berries. Tasting similar to the aromas, with rich dark berry flavours, black pepper and a hint of earth. Berries return on the clean, fruity finish. Straightforward, easy drinking, versatile and consistently a fantastic value.

60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah
Corbières
France
Estate Bottled
13.5% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now

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.

Turley ‘Juvenile’ Zinfandel 2014

Winery: Beginning with just one vineyard in St. Helena in 1993, Larry Turley established Turley Wine Cellars. Today Turley Wine Cellars consists of 38 different old vine vineyards throughout California. The majority of the vineyards are single varietal Zinfandel or Petite Sirah [some vines even date back to the 1800’s]. “Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like”, and the winery excels at crafting wines from these single vineyards. Turley Zinfandels are noted for their “cult status”, their wine club has a waiting list that spans out over 2 years.

Philosophy: “We aim to be stewards of some of California’s most distinctive vineyards, 
producing authentic wines that reflect their heritage.”

Winemaking: All of Turley’s vineyards are either Certified Organic by California Certified Organic Farmers, or in the process of being certified. Unlike the majority of Turley wines that are sourced from single vineyards, Juvenile is a blend of multiple vineyards, and as the name suggests, it is composed of young vines. “The vines that make up Juvenile range in age from about 6-25 years, and we pull from 15 of our vineyards across California, including Hayne, Ueberroth, Pesenti, Salvador, and Vineyard 101.”

Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour with aromas of black pepper and cocoa powder coated black cherry and raisin. Abounding with layers of blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, black pepper and vanilla, incorporating good acidity and silky tannins. Concentrated black cherry and traces of toasted oak make an appearance on the super spicy, lengthy finish. Great on its own or with all types of heat driven dishes. [It was fantastic with blue corn crusted seitan, roasted tomatillo salsa, yams, rice and beans.]

100% Zinfandel
California
Produced and Bottled by Turley
15.5% Alcohol
$35 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 92 points Wine Spectator
Rated 90 points Wine Advocate

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
Enjoy now