WINES OF THE MONTH- JUNE AND JULY

Doubling back to capture the first two months of the summer, I’ve decided to feature a white and a red wine. As the warm weather came upon us in June, it seemed appropriate to look towards a refreshing, acidic white wine. I look towards the sunny nation of Greece, which in my opinion is making some of the most exciting and expressive white varietals in the world right now, and at highly competitive price points. The wine I have chosen was actually a Wine Spectator Top 100 Wine last year and may be difficult to locate, but considering the progress I’ve seen over the last few years, I wouldn’t be hesitant or shy away from a more recent vintage from the same producer. For July, in an attempt to be patriotic I always try to feature a Zinfandel from California, which fits well both because of Independence Day and the fact that there isn’t a better wine on Earth for grilled meat, and cookouts are surely a frequent activity this time of year. While genetically equivalent to the Primitivo grape of Italy and traced from an origin in Croatia, Zinfandel is truly the one unique American grape- it is the only grape that you will not find listed as a varietal on a bottle in any other country, as you can’t say that about Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Malbec or any of a multitude of more obscure grapes. Now is as good a time as ever to appreciate this juicy, fruit-forward and often complex wine, as the 2008 and 2009 vintages in California were the best ever for this varietal, and the best producers made wines on par with those in 2010 and 2011. Zinfandel is truly the American grape, and I’ll have much more information posted in a few weeks as I recap my recent 10 day trip to Napa Valley and Sonoma, in which I tasted over 100 new wines. I hope you enjoy my recommendations, and the rest of your summer.

skouras_moscofilero_mv_750

SKOURAS MOSCOFILERO PELOPONNESE 2011, 90 Points, $15, 5000 Cases Made-  Shows a huge nose, like a Viognier, with honey, apricot, peach and a strong floral component of orange blossom. There’s a wet stone mineral quality that runs above the peach and grapefruit flavors, finishing with a refreshing acidity and lingering long.

orin-swift-saldo-zinfandel-california-usa-10152822

ORIN SWIFT ZINFANDEL SALDO CALIFORNIA 2011, 91 Points, $28, 10,000 Cases Made- Creamy and loaded with cracked pepper notes, this smacks the palate with blueberry and wild raspberry before picking up vanilla bean and spice notes, lingering on a hint of roasted mocha through the long, persistent finish.

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