TOP 5 WINES FOR SEPTEMBER 2022- HELLO FALL!
Cooler temperatures mean several things here in the Midwest. The kiddos are back in school, the leaves are beginning to fall, and your sports team is probably already a huge disappointment this season. What is not a total letdown is the pleasure center in your brain firing up its "Red Wine Please" sensor. We have so enjoyed our cold, crisp Summer whites, but now it's time to get down to business... and by that, I mean the business of structured, layered, boastful reds. Here are my Top 5 Red Wines for Fall, before it disappears right into the blistering cold of Winter.
1. Domaine Drouhin Oregon, "Dundee Hills,"
Dundee Hills, Oregon 2019- $45.99
Pinot Noir and sweater weather go hand and hand. Dark brambly fruits intertwined with crisp acidity- the wine almost mimics the slight chill in the rustled air. Established in 1987, The Drouhin family was welcomed with open arms by other growers in the Willamette Valley due to their outstanding reputation in Burgundy, France. Already well-known for creating world-class Pinot Noir abroad, Robert Drouhin planted 235 acres of pristine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, later handing the ropes over to his daughter Veronique, as winemaker or "protector of the Drouhin palate," as she's known in France. Son Phillipe manages the vineyards not only in Oregon, but also Burgundy. This allows consistency in the brand, and in the farming of the land with biodynamic and sustainable practices. This Pinot Noir drinks way beyond its years. An underbelly of intense dark fruits leads to a long, clean finish. A perfect combination of New World fruit meets Old World terroir.
2. Broc Cellars, "Love Red," North Coast, California 2021- $25.99
For the astute wine lover, Broc Cellars, a leader in the natural wine movement here in the U.S., celebrates a combined effort in its Love Red- a field blend predominately made of Carignon and Syrah. It looks blissfully bright, almost a translucent red hue. Due to the use of carbonic maceration, the mouthfeel is soft, lively, and the fruit extremely fresh. Notes of rhubarb, strawberry, and minerality coax the palate. Nothing added or removed in this pretty bottle. From the Earth to you.
3. Wachter Wiesler, "Bela-Joska," Blaufrankisch,
Eisenberg, Austria 2018- $32.99
One of only three producers certified organic in Sudburgenland, Christoph Wachter has not taken his foot off of the gas since he took control of the family winery in 2010. By 2012, he began applying biodynamics to his farming. He allows cover crop to add needed nutrients to his vines, and ferments 20-30% whole cluster. The grapes tell his story, and beautifully integrate the soil into his wine. Flavors of dark fruits, subtle spice, and soft tannins surround you like a warm blanket. Drink with BBQ or Asian dishes!
4. Il Borro, "Pian Di Nova," Tuscany, Italy 2018- $35.99
Speaking of spice, this Supertuscan from the owners of the famed fashion house, Ferragamo, hits the bullseye with the right amount of fruit forward, and white pepper finish. A blend of Syrah and Sangiovese, Il Borro walks a fine line between honoring the indigenous Sangiovese grape and supporting the now popular planting of Syrah. The elegance of the Sangiovese is bolstered with the structure and mouth-puckering Syrah. Notes fig, blueberries and blackberries. Enjoy fireside.
5. Bitouzet Prieur, Volnay, Burgundy, France 2018- $75.99
Soil is incredibly important in the search for beautiful wine; however, the right winemaker can elevate a superb wine to spectacular. This red Burgundy is a great example of restraint to sharpen a wine's focus. Vincent Bitouzet's family has been farming in Volnay since the 1800's and was one of the first families to bottle their own wine. He farms organically, hand harvests, and uses minimum new French oak in pursuit of finesse, not a heavy hand, with this 100% Pinot Noir. Flavors of dark raspberry, blueberry, and freshly tilled black dirt echo in the glass. Please decant before enjoying. It's worth the wait.
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