Chateau de Valmer Vouvray
First owned by VII of France, Chateau de Valmer has been in the Venant family for four generations. They have made significant improvements to property including replanting a 14 acre parcel called Le Clos, which is the highest point on the property.
A lot of folks will associate Chenin Blanc with sweeter wines, but Loire produces Vouvray of every style. Including this lovely wine. Round yet crisp, is the best way to describe this wine. The nose shows aromas of crisp golden apple and white flowers. The palate is nice and full, but the minerality keeps this wine supremely balanced.
Frey Vineyards Organic Chardonnay
So we are constantly getting asked about organic and no sulfite added/sulfite free wines. About a year ago I was introduced to Frey Vineyards. These guys are the first and largest organic winery in the US. Paul and Beba Frey first planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling on their ranch in Mendocino in early 60’s. 50 years later they are still producing great organic and no sulfite added wines.
Now let’s address the issue of sulfites. They are a natural byproduct of the wine production process. To produce a sulfite free wine requires filtering and other processes to remove the sulfites from the wine. Doing this changes the flavor of the wine. I tend to find sulfite free wines a little thin and lacking in flavor. Frey Vineyards Chardonnay is stainless steel fermented and exposed to minimal neutral oak to add body and depth. This wine is fruity and well defined- classic flavors of apple, pear and caramel are all present. Great for a risotto, or roasted veggies.
Frey Vineyards Organic Pinot Noir
The grapes for Frey Vineyards are grown in the Redwood Valley AVA of Mendocino California nestled up to the head waters of the Russian River. Again this wine is Organic with no sulfites added.
The 2013 Pinot Noir is fairly light and delicate. Flavors of strawberries and pomegranate come to mind. There is a subtle spice that makes this wine interesting. Smooth and floral on the finish.
Bruno Zanatta Cannanou di Sardegna
Hopefully you were here to get to try Bruno Zanatta’s Vermentino. So I will not rehash the Bruno Zanatta story. The grape in this wine is called Cannanou di Sardegna. This is simply what they call Grenache on the island of Sardinia. The interesting part is Grenache was planted on the Island by the Argonese when they took control of the island in the 14th century. While the varietal has always been popular on the island this Sardinian expression of Grenache is starting to become popular in Italy and here in the states.
This wine is fermented in Stainless steel and ages in the bottle 3 months before release. This wine is fruity and fresh. Medium-boddied with flavors of blackberries and spice, this wine has very soft tannins. Drink now.