Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Winey Tasting Notes: Let's Put Some Spring In Our Wine

Now that the days are turning sunnier (if not warmer, at least in my part of the woods),  my winey thoughts are turning to wines of a lighter nature. A big old red next to the fire on a snowy night is perfect. But many of us change our wine selections with the season, so I thought it'd be a good idea to offer up some springy wines for our taste buds.

Both of these wines come courtesy of  Alexander Valley Vineyards and while they're very different wines, they both would be perfect spring sippers.

Alexander Valley Dry Rose of Sangiovese bottle and glass of wineFirst up, The Dry Rosé of Sangiovese (2012, 13.2%, CA). The first thing you notice is the gorgeous pink color. It's the same pink as the impatiens that I know will be growing in my garden someday. (Gardeners in NE Ohio must have faith.) The nose was lovely! Full of strawberry and raspberry and flowers. But...the taste was something quite different. Tart citrus with some melon around the edges and strawberry at the end. It was like sniffing a Moscato and sipping a Sauvignon Blanc. What a combo! The finish lingered tartly with some more strawberry slipping through. It's not as thin a wine as you'd think either - it held up nicely in my mouth with some roundness to it.

If you went for this wine expecting a fruity treat, you need to read the label once again: it does say DRY Rosé. My best advice is to expect the unexpected here - it's not what it smells or looks like, but it does have some wonderfully subtle flavors. I'm not sure it's a wine for the masses - like at a party - but it IS a wine for the dry wine lover at end of a long, hot day, paired with shellfish and sourdough bread on the patio.

label for Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewurz wine
The next spring offering I tried was the Gewürz (2012, 12.8%, CA). The grapes for this wine come from two CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) in Mendocino, so the wine started with organic Gewurztraminer grapes. It pours out of the bottle with a few bubbles and is a very pale, pale yellow color (kind of the same color I am at the end of a long winter). The nose gives you some faint flowers, some honeysuckle and bit of pear. The taste threw me for a loop at first. What was it? Finally (after sipping and sipping - I'm no quitter) I realized it was pear and minerals. What a combo! There was also a bit of warm spice to it - I'd say cinnamon. The finish was of lingering tart grapefruit and was a teeny bit bubbly in my mouth. I really loved this wine, but be warned - it is NOT your typical Gewurztraminer. It's definitely off-dry - just a light touch of sweetness to it. It is, however, a lovely, lively pairing of flavors. You could sip it with spicy food (spicy shrimp comes to mind - I'm on a shellfish kick these days) or on its own.

This wine really surprised me - in a good way! Such a new blend of flavors and aromas. Definitely worth a try (it retails for about $12) if you want to step away from the sweeter wines, but still want a little spring taste in your mouth.

So I started the spring sipping season here in the Winey household on a high note. It's always a good thing when you get some new flavors and tastes in your mouth. It keeps your Ohio mind off the fact that it's snowing. Again.


I was sent these wines for review purposes. The opinions are all my own.

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