While it sometimes takes rounds of tastings to compile these sipper packs, (I know, tough gig, right?) our tasting appointments are off to an amazing start in 2024. February's Finest features both new arrivals that immediately blew us away, along with familiar favorites that have evolved into a more nuanced and finessed version of their former selves. Our 6 pack includes
NV Petite Roche Saumur Brut - Loire Valley, France
Impressions: The Loire produces some of our favorite French sparklers outside of Champagne. Chenin Blanc's versatility is on full display here with lovely aromas of stone fruits, yellow apples, white flowers, marcona almonds and brioche. The palate is racy, with an energetic acidity that forms a fine mousse. Compact bubbles persist through its juicy texture before meeting its crisp, dry and slightly floral finish. A wonderful aperitif that pairs brilliantly with chevre.
2021 Weingut Ingrid Groiss Gruner Veltliner - Weinviertel, Austria
Impressions: Lots of complexity for this entry-level Gruner from one of our favorite Austrian estates. Opens with inviting notes of green apples, lemon peel, gardenias and almond blossoms. A racy acidity cuts through a round mineral-core before descending on a crisp, floral, and citrus finish. Enjoyable on its own, pairs brilliantly with Banh Mi.
2022 Hofgut Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Trocken Rosé - Mosel, Germany
Impressions: The quality of German Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) has improved greatly over the last decade, and not just for the reds produced, but for the rosés as well. This Trocken (dry) example is truly
unique and opens with lovely notes of underripe strawberry, watermelon rind, pomagranates, pea tendrils and flint. The palate is electric, with a lively acidity that cuts through a juicy-mineral core. The finish is bone dry leaving behind lasting fruity, earthy, and slightly smoky impressions.
2021 Garage Wine Co. Pais - Cauquenes, Chile
Impressions: País is under the radar for those not in the wine industry. It thrives in Chile where you can find original rootsock vines upwards of 200 years of age. This a bright, lifted example that opens with notes of black cherries, red plum, maitakes and forest floor. The palate is juicy with a bright acidity that cuts through a lean, mineral-driven texture before reaching its fruity, peppery and slightly smoky conclusion. If you're a fan of Gamay, you will love this.
2019 Tenuta Sant'Antonio 'Monti Garbi' Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore - Veneto, Italy
Impressions: File this one under bold & brooding, this Ripasso is the perfect remedy for cold winter nights. Aromas of red plums, cherry compote, sandalwood, leather, licorice and baking spices evolve from the glass. The palate is lush and smooth with a concentrated texture that descends towards a sappy, spicy and savory finish. Perfect for beef stews, and curries though smooth enough to enjoy on its own.
2017 Domaine de la Guicharde 'Cuvée Genest' Massif d'Uchaux Côtes du Rhône - Southern Rhône, France
Impressions: This wine is entering its prime drinking window, eveidenced by its aromatics. Opens with complex notes of cherry liqueur, crab apple, plum strawberry compote, olive tapenade, star anise and marjoram. The palate is rich and silky, with ample acidity to sway its full bodied texture towards a dry, savory, and earthy finish.