Tuesday, April 18, 2023

WIYG: A Review Of Our Recent Sips And Pours

WIYG? That’s a question we are often asked. Here’s a look at what's in our glass. 

Caizergues 2018 Les Magnarelles, Languedoc

Languedoc is a huge region in southern France previously known for bulk wine, but now reinvented and the producer of dynamic quality wines. Wines, like this wine, can be purchased at a steal. This blend is Syrah with Carignan, Cinsault and Syrah. The tannins are laid back, indicating this may have been aged in concrete.

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This is a fresh, medium-bodied wine with dark fruit and black currant notes accented with garrigue – a blend of herbs typical in the region. Lively, fresh, and elegant. About $15, although I snagged this at a sub-$10 closeout.

Castello di Torre in Pietra 2020 “Elephas” Bianco, Lazio IGT  

Did I just buy this because I thought the Green Dragon would like the elephant on the label? Perhaps. This Italian blend combines Trebbiano, Vermentino, and the southern grape of Fiano. These grapes can produce some unremarkable wines and combining them together doesn’t improve the situation much.

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There are fresh notes of lemon, some salinity, and peaches. Great for a sunny day, deeply chilled with some seafood. Organic with a price tag of about $14. 

Weingut Hillinger 2017 Hillside Red, Burgenland

After attending an industry tasting on Burgenland wine, my eyes were opened to this region that is the top producer of reds in Austria. Hillinger is a great producer and they do it with some uncommon (outside of Austria) grapes. This easy-to-love blend features 60% spicy Syrah, 30% fruity Zweigelt, and 10% supple Merlot. Dark ruby in the glass, it has aromas of fruit and spice. On the palate, blackberries come forth with cherries, smokiness, and black pepper.

The use of oak aging is restrained, allowing for a beautiful, laid-back finish. Highly recommended. Priced at around $24. 

Montes de Leza 2021 Limited Edition Leas, Rioja

This is an unusual wine for us. We regularly enjoy Spanish wines from Rioja, but they almost always are red and mostly Tempranillo. This wine flips the script and is a white Rioja made with 100% Viura. I’ve had a chance to tour Rioja and tried some whites and they can be quite enjoyable, as is this one.

It comes from the northwest DOCa Rioja Alavesa, which is known for producing some delicate wines. Indeed, this wine weighs in with a mere 12.5% ABV, which means you can pair it with a wide variety of lighter dishes without overwhelming them. In the glass, this is a pale greenish yellow. On the tongue, this has notes of citrus and white fruits. Perfect with salads, pasta, and seafood. I scored this for a mere $12.99.

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