|Dry Creek Vineyard Meritage|
Two days before our party, I had a sinking feeling. The special shipment of wine that was going to be the centerpiece of our soiree hadn’t arrived. There were no messages from UPS or Fed-X. When I contacted the shipper, she explained that there was an unfortunate mistake. Yikes!
While our tasting was to focus on a very specific wine region, that was now off the table. We had to “go rogue.” I immediately surveyed the available wine and picked a half-dozen bottles certain to scintillate our guests.
2018 Fleurs de Prairie Rosé, Cotes de Provence
|Fleurs de Prairie Rosé - better with Wisteria!|
Fleurs de Prairie is a beautiful rosé, perfect for a spring filled with blooming trees and flowers. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan and Mourvedre that tastes light as a feather, with delicate flavors of strawberry with some herbal notes. Just the right amount of acidity makes this a balanced wine, and one perfect to pair with light dishes. The price is about $17.
Fleurs de Prairie is also notable for its Seeds of Beauty campaign, which recognizes and supports women who are dedicated to creating beauty in their community. Seed grants of $2,500 are available.
|Inurrieta Mimaò with barbecue meatballs|
2018 Ochoa Calendas, Navarra
2016 Inurrieta Mimaò Garnacha, Navarra
|Chardonnay-Viura blend |
from Navarra, Spain
The Ochoa Calendas is a blend of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Viura, a well respected white grape. We paired this with pan seared salmon with lemon garlic cream sauce. This is a nice blend, with the Viura adding freshness and nice acidity to balance the classic Chardonnay flavors. It was perfect with our salmon. A bargain at just $12 SRP.
We found this to be a very pleasant surprise with mineral notes and plenty of ripe fruit. This reminded me of the French Grenache style, light, easy and very satisfying. This is also a steal at $15. We’ll be on the lookout for more wines from Navarra.
|Territorial Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley|
2014 Territorial Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
This Pinot from Territorial Vineyards is juicy with plenty of savory notes. We served it with rosemary seasoned chicken sausage with grilled apples and gouda. The acidity and tannins are knit together well in a balanced wine with plum and blueberry flavors.
Eighteen months in French oak is the crowning touch for this beautiful bottle. It is well priced at $26.
2016 Dry Creek Vineyard Meritage, Dry Creek Valley
The 2016 vintage is 65% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec and is rounded out with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is aged for 20 months in a combination of French, Hungarian and American oak and so it needs to open up to be fully enjoyed.
The drinker is rewarded with big flavors of black cherry and currant with some spice and leather notes. Just beautiful! This wine is priced at $30 and is also a good pick to cellar for three to five years.
|Laughing Stock Blind Trust hides its blend under its capsule|
2011 Laughing Stock Blind Trust, Okanagan Valley
The Blind Trust was justified. This is a great wine with a blend of 47% Merlot, 31% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Syrah for good measure. This wine has swirling minerality with beautiful herbal notes to give this a unique character. Blueberry and black cherry lead the way.
Wines from Okanagan are outstanding, but few reach the US, unfortunately. The current vintage of Blind Trust is sold out (we’re not surprised!) so we recommend investing in the 2016 Portfolio, a nice Bordeaux style blend.
You don’t need our permission to “go rogue.” Just pick up a bottle or three and uncork!
Full disclosure: Some of this wine was provided as a marketing sample.