Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Jumpstart Your Spring With These Four Wines

Whether you are celebrating Easter, or simply transitioning to warmer temperatures and longer days, here are four perfect wines for you to discover.

I just realized that I made it through the entire winter without once using my ice scraper. Saints be praised! It was quite a different story when I lived up north, where the football teams are much better, but the weather is decidedly colder. Spring is nature’s way of saying it’s time to party – and we have some great suggestions for you.

Lievland 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Coastal Region, South Africa

It’s time to get the grill out of hibernation, and this South African Cab is just the wine to go with your crispy creations. We love the South African style, which marries the fruit-forwardness of the New World with the Old World winemaking methods. The Green Dragon (wife) doesn’t always know which wine I’m handing her to sip. After one taste, she proclaimed, “This is really great.” Medium ruby in color, the wine features grapes from the winelands of Stellenbosch and Paarl. It is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cinsault, and 6% Cabernet Franc.

The tannins are smooth and give a polished finish to the wine. The wine is aged in oak barrels, but only 5% are new, so there is nothing harsh to interfere with the elegant flavors of vanilla, spice, and ripe plums. This is a beauty priced at $18.99.

Maison Les Alexandrins 2019 Crozes-Hermitage Rouge

Syrah is a perfect match for an Easter lamb dinner. This Northern Rhone wine is grown on the granite slopes of Crozes-Hermitage. The 2019 vintage was a rough one, with a June hailstorm wiping out many of the vines in the region. This was followed by record heat that caused some of the berries to burn. The quantities were limited, but the harvest went smoothly.

In the glass, this wine is deep purple. Earthy notes frame the wine, which has flavors of candied fruit and sour cherry. The intense flavors explode on the palate and a subtle smokiness provides additional complexity. Serve at about 60º to 62º F. Perfect with grilled or spicy food. SRP $32.99.

Miguel Torres 2021 Las Mulas Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, Chile

This 100% Sauvignon Blanc hails from the Central Valley of Chile. The wine is 100% organic and vegan. The name and the label are a homage to Rufina the mule, who can be found in the vineyards. The wine is certainly not stubborn, with rounded flavors of tropical fruit with a hint of citrus.

Although there is a good acid structure, the flavor is rounded and satisfying. This is a perfect bottle to chill and serve with grilled or baked fish. Or, feel free to open and enjoy by itself. SRP $14.99.

J. de Villebois 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine

Loire Valley has a brilliant range of wines, including those made from Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. The banks of the Cher River (a tributary of the Loire) have flinty soil, just perfect for Sauvignon Blanc like this one. This cuvée is the flagship of J. de Villebois. Pale yellow in the glass, it has fresh aromas of acacia and ripe fruit.

The flavors are vibrant with lemon drop and apple notes. Spritely minerality binds it all together. Pair this with shellfish or goat cheese. SRP $17.99.

Full Disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.

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