Saturday, March 25, 2017

Marco Felluga Collio Pinot Grigio Mongris

Marco Felluga Collio Pinot Grigio Mongris 2015
Collio Goriziano, Friuli, Italy

Pinot Grigio gets a bad rap. Yes, there's an ocean of water light, simple wine out there (which I won't turn down on a boiling hot day), but there's also some amazingly rich and nuanced Pinot Grigio up for grabs, too! The wines of Marco Felluga in Collio are a stellar example.

This wine is from Collio, a small region within Friuli-Venezia Giulia in north east Italy. The name "Mongris" comes from "Gris", the name for Pinot Grigio in Friulu, and "Mon" for single variety. For this wine, the Pinot Grigio grapes undergo a cold maceration with their skins, prior to fermentation of the juice in stainless steel tanks. This skin contact before fermentation and lees contact after fermentation help give the wine a lusciously rich texture. The 2013 vintage Mongris was even featured by Decanter in as one of 13 top Pinot Grigios to try!

Review: The Mongris has a pale lemon color with lovely aromas of honeysuckle, lemon pie, ripe pears, and a hint of minerals. The palate is dry with a round, mouth-coating texture and moderate acidity. Flavors of quince, pear, and candied lemon linger for a long finish.

Food Pairing: Grilled halibut with a citrus glaze. The fruit in the wine will play well with the fruit glaze, and the texture of the fish will be complemented by the richness of the wine. 

Bottom Line: Concentrated and complex flavors, outstanding balance and texture. I couldn't ask for more.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2015
  • PLACE: Collio DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata)
  • GRAPE: Pinot Grigio
  • BOOZE: 13.0% 
  • CELLAR: Drink through 2020

Where did I get it? Midtown Wine and Spirits
What's the damage? High Priced 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Schramsberg Vineyards Mirabelle Brut Rosé

Schramsberg Vineyards Mirabelle Brut Rosé

Image result for schramsberg mirabelle brut rose
Tonight we had friends over for dinner to celebrate their engagement (congratulations Kevin and Kia!). I whipped up some of their favorite Italian classics and reached for a bottle of Mirabelle Rosé.

Schramsberg has a special place in our hearts, as it was one of our first stops on our honeymoon back in 2011. The Mirabelle is their entry level sparkling rosé. It's made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the traditional Champagne method, spending about two years on the lees after the secondary fermentation. The final product has a great balance of fruit, freshness, and yeasty goodness.

Review: The Mirabelle is a soft salmon color with beautiful tiny streaming bubbles and bright aromas of ripe strawberries and red currants. It is dry on the palate (squarely in the Brut category) with mouth watering acidity and a soft mousse. The flavors of red berries are complemented by nutty almonds, a touch of toast, and some spicy ginger. The finish comes with a tiny hint of bitterness that provided a nice counterpoint to the fresh fruits.

Food Pairing: A versatile bubbly - we enjoyed it first as an aperitif and then with Chicken Marsala. The bright acidity was the perfect counterpart to the earthy mushrooms and salty pancetta in the sauce.     

Bottom Line: A lovely bottle of bubbles. Great for all occasions.

 Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: Non Vintage
  • PLACE: 31% Napa, 24% Sonoma, 18% Mendocino, 16% Monterey, 6% Marin, 5% Santa Barbara
  • GRAPE: 36% Chardonnay, 64% Pinot Noir
  • BOOZE: 12.8%
  • CELLAR: Drink now
Where did I get it? Midtown Wines & Spirits
What's the damage? High Priced

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Veritas Winery Scintilla

Veritas Winery Scintilla 
Afton, Virginia

Last month the results of the 2017 Virginia Governor's Cup wine competition were announced. I've had the privileged of judging in the preliminary round of competition (all blind, of course) for the past three years and am always waiting on pins and needles to see who comes out on top. To toast to this year's winners I reached into my cellar for some fabulous Virginia bubbles!

The Scintilla is made by the Virginia winery Veritas. Every time I'm around Charlottesville I try to stop in at Veritas for a few bottles of this, plus some Harlequin Chardonnay and Petite Verdot.

The Scintilla is made in the traditional champagne method. It spends two years on the lees (spent yeast cells) for two years, building up delicious yeasty notes.

Review: The wine has a pale golden hue with tiny streaming bubbles. Aromas of orchard fruit, pastry, and honeysuckle dominate the nose. On the palate it is dry with zippy acid and a generous mousse. I love the way the flavors of quince and lemon zest help bring out the intense biscuit, roasted nut, and brioche notes.

Food Pairing: The wine is versatile, with the freshness for a perfect aperitif and the intensity to stand up to richer dishes, too. I enjoyed it with a plate of soft cheese and salty charcuterie.

Bottom Line: A lovely sparkler - great for any occasion. I only wish this weren't my last bottle!

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: Non Vintage
  • PLACE: Monticello AVA (American Viticultural Area)
  • GRAPE: Chardonnay
  • BOOZE: 12.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink through 2018

Where did I get it? Veritas Winery Tasting Room in Afton, VA
What's the damage? Premium