white wine

Brandborg’s 2013 Elkton Oregon Gewurztraminer: A Review

Gewurztraminer is often considered a European-happy grape variety, especially when grown on the terroir of eastern France. Specifically, Alsace. Across the pond, Oregon can boast of only half the number of vines of Gewurztraminer (a mere 3,200 compared to Alsace’s 7,000) but Oregon holds its own in flavor, character, and nuance. Brandborg’s 2013 Elkton Oregon Gewurztraminer is a classic. Aromatic and explosive, this wine is not shy. Really, 14.1% is monstrous for a white, something akin to one of Orin Swift’s Napa concoctions. But don’t be deterred, as the wine is balanced and soft on the palate. A sip teases with opulent aromas of lychee and orange peel, evolving into… Read more »

Sipp Mack Riesling Tradition 2014

I first discovered wine with picnics on a family trip to Northern Italy. Sitting on stoney beaches along the Western armpit of the Italian peninsula, we drank light, effervescent Prosecco with sliced tomato, cheese, and bread. I thought that light, snack-style meals required so-called “simple” wines like Prosecco and Cava. Recently, however, on an outdoors adventure to North Carolina, my mother and I sat back one evening to enjoy a picnic (inside a Motel room, away from the spring cold) of sharp cheddar, brie, pear, and prosciutto. We curiously chose the Sipp Mack Riesling Tradition 2014 from the Alsace region in France to accompany our meal, not knowing what to… Read more »

An Island Gem: Artemis Karamolegos Santorini Assyrtiko

This bone-dry, white wine from the Greek island of Santorini is made from the Assyrtiko grape, first cultivated among the island’s volcanic soils. The wine is golden in color and has a nose full of raisins and creamy lemon. Medium bodied, it is exceptionally rich for it’s kind, brimming with notes of orange and raisin, guided by tangy lemon zest and brackish water. The acid in this wine makes it a good candidate for aging if you’re looking for something to add to your cellar. Otherwise, consume this wine young and use it to soften deep fried dishes and seafood, or pair it with Greek cuisine, or even the meatiest… Read more »

Notre Dame de Cousignac Luberon: A Winter White

This inexpensive bottle of dry, French white wine heralds from one of the larger but lesser known appellations of the southern Rhône — Luberon. The wines of Luberon benefit from a more Mediterranean climate than their juicy brethren, such as the whites of Condrieu and Chateau-Grillet, or the rosés of Tavel. The vineyards are often at altitude and the temperature diurnals between night and day preserve the wine’s acidity despite the long, hot summers that ripen the grapes. Notre Dame’s de Cousignac’s Luberon is made from 70% Clairette, 25% Grenache Blanc, and 5% Bourboulenc, three of the eight possible white wine grapes of the Luberon appellation. The nose is crisp,… Read more »

Brewer-Clifton “Gnesa” 2011 Chardonnay

A lot of Chardonnay drinkers prefer either Burgundy or California, assuming this generally means the difference between a crisp, lively wine and an oaky, buttery one. While those are certainly two key differences in plenty of Chardonnays, it’s not the law. What if you could have the best of both worlds? It’s true. Enter “Gnesa” (knee-sa) 2011 from Brewer-Clifton. From the Santa Rita Hills AVA in Santa Barbara, the vines for this wine were planted nearly 20 years ago and cared for in a tiny 4-acre spot by the Gnesa family, who turned over the land to Brewer-Clifton in 2009 for single vintage bottling. The clone used to make this… Read more »

Domaine De L’Aurière Muscadet

Summer time means plenty of things, but one I’m most excited about is Muscadet. I’m not a strong believer in season-appropriate wine drinking (you’ll find me sipping on rosé well into December, for example) but there’s just something about a cool glass of this white wine on a hot summer day among friends and good food. Dry, light bodied, crisp, and vegetal, Muscadet is aged on its lees (the yeast used to ferment the juice into wine) for a full winter before bottling so the aromas can range from super green melon rind to a slightly yeasty, Champagne-like bouquet. The palate is slightly “prickly” on the tongue, and the region’s… Read more »