Valdiguie is probably a grape most of you aren’t familiar with yet but it seems to be slowing making its way into wine shops across California. Valdiguie is widely planted in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France where it is known as Gros Auxerrois. Until recently, it was incredibly hard to find in California. Now it seems that winemakers and wine drinkers alike are realizing that Valdiguie is capable of making a fun and very delicious wine. I recently uncorked a bottle of 2013 Folk Machine “Film & Camera” Valdiguie from Mendocino County and was impressed with how much I enjoyed it!
The wine opens with aromas of herbs and red fruit. I was actually expecting a little less flavor so I was surprised by the boldness of the palate. There are notes of cherry, cranberry, earth, and spice along with wonderful acidity. Even with all of the vibrant flavor, the wine is light and easy to sip. Such a fun and interesting wine! ($20, 11.7% alcohol)
Champagne Jacquart has a rich history dating back to 1964. For over 50 years, they have worked with winegrowers throughout the region to produce excellent wines. Today, Champagne Jacquart is home to 1,800 vineyards in the Champagne region with 60% of the vines located in Cru sites. Their current winemaker, Floriane Eznack, joined the winery in 2011 and she is the force behind Champagne Jacquart’s signature blends.
I recently had the chance to try both the Brut Mosaique and Brut Rosé. I was not familiar with the brand before and can honestly say I am really impressed with both Champagnes. Both are terrific wines and incredible values.
NV Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique
The Brut Mosaique, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, begins with aromas of almond and citrus with hints of yeast. The palate is refined with delicate bubbles and bright acidity. There are tastes of orange blossom and grapefruit entwined with nuttiness and minerals. A delightful Champagne that is hard to beat for under $40.
($39.99. 12.5% alcohol)
NV Champagne Jacquart Brut Rosé
The Brut Rosé is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir vinified as red wine grapes. The wine opens with bright aromas of red berries. The vibrant palate offers tastes of strawberries, red currants, freshly baked bread, and minerals followed with a dry, lengthy finish. We paired it with goat cheese and it went together wonderfully.
I have been sipping Les Hérétiques Vin de Pays de l’Hérault for the last few vintages. While it has always been a great mid-week wine, I have to say, the 2013 is an outstanding value. The wine is 100% Carignan from 40+ years old vines in the Languedoc region of France. Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections, it is relatively easy to find at specialty wine shops.
The nose has abundant aromas of dark fruit with hints of earth and spice. The palate is incredibly rich with juicy acidity and smooth tastes of blackberries, violets, earth, and minerals. Straightforward yet very quaffable and full of flavor. A perfect companion for a casual meal…I will most definitely pick up a case soon! (13% alcohol, $10)
It is definitely Rosé season! My inbox is full of new release emails from wineries and every wine shop is stocked full of 2014 Rosés. One of the first bottles I reached for this year is 2014 Moulin de Gassac “Guilhem” Vin de Pays d’Hérault Rosé. Each and every year, this fairly priced Rosé exceeds my expectations. This year, the wine is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah from the Languedoc region of France. With a price of $9-10 a bottle, it is hard to pass up!
There is something I love about everyday wines coming out of Sicily lately. They are fresh, lively, and often lead to great conversations with friends. Le Cantine di Indie Polpo Rosso definitely fits the mold for this casual and enjoyable style of wine. It is 100% Nerello Mascalese, a grape native to Sicily. The wine is made naturally and is aged in stainless steel.
In the glass, Le Cantine di Indie Polpo Rosso offers delicate floral aromas with hints of red fruit. The palate is vibrant and youthful with juicy flavors of strawberries and nuances of spice. This simple wine is definitely made more in the style of a Rosé than in a traditional red wine. Serve chilled and enjoy!
(12% alcohol, $13, pair with causal Italian food or grilled chicken)