From Emile Balland in the Coteaux du Giennois in the Loire Valley, between Orleans and Sancerre, this Sauvignon Blanc comes ready to impress. Grown on limestone and clay, influenced by a continental climate, aged on the lees, this is most assuredly a wine for our summers here in the ATX. This is a talented young winemaker whose wines rarely–rarely!–leave France. We’re lucky to have it ready for you.
Technical Tasting Notes
Grown on 3 hectares on fourteen year-old vines, this wine comes out swinging with a pronounced crushed mineral quality. Beyond that, there’s an herbal undercurrent cut with lime zest, and what can only be described as ’round’ notes. On the palate, there is a crispness, medium acidity, with a lime-grapefruit feel, followed by a fairly full finish. This pairs well with our scallops, mussels and fries, tomato risotto, crab fritters, or, let’s be frank, by itself.
Is it hot enough for ya? (Ok, enough with the cliche…get it together. We all know what summer is like in Austin. We’ll be fine.) This wine is 100% perfect for this time of year. Traffic getting you down? Stop in and have a glass. Couldn’t make a reservation for Hamilton pool? Stop in and have a glass. Tired of hearing others rave about their fab summers? Guess, what. Stop in and have a glass. We guarantee you will leave happier than when you entered. And that’s what we’re all about–just like this wine: Les Beaux Jours, i.e. the good days. And may they always be with you.
2015 Domaine du Salvard, Cheverny, Loire, France
Founded in 1898, this winery continues to thrive, with its 5th generation now at the helm. (by the way, that is the same year the Rough Riders left San Antone to run up San Juan Hill.) This wine is 55% pinot noir, 43% gamay, and 2% Cot (malbec), and 100% delicious. The average age of the vines, on this 42 hectare estate, is 21 years old and planted on clay-sand on the left bank of the Loire. The viticulture is semi-organic.
Technical tasting notes
At 13% abv, the wine shines with a beautiful light color. On the nose, cherry jumps out, along with earthy mushrooms, black licorice, and macerated strawberry. It’s bright, with a light body and a clove-cherry finish. The pinot and gamay give layers of fruit, while the cot gives a slight impression of backbone. This wine pairs swimmingly (see below) with charcuteries, sapore del piave, paski sir, and roast chicken.
Here’s where we get weird: Ok, so we know summer in Austin is dang near inhospitable to humans. However, we got ya covered. There are many of us who still love our red wine as the the temps go to hot as ___(insert your own adjective or noun; our English teacher on site will approve). And yet, and yet, this is a red wine to get down with as the mercury rises. It’s shimmery, lithe, and as resplendent as that first dive into Barton Springs in mid-July. Come on in and try for yourself–you’ll be glad you did.
To be honest, you will have to come to see the bottle. It will melt the summer away. Or, make these Austin summers bearable. Trust us. We crush them on our days off.
202014 Von Winning “Winnings” Riesling Pfalz, Germany
Founded in 1849, the Von Winning winery has been a pioneer in establishing the Pfalz region–Germany’s second-largest in terms of wine production–as a bastion of quality. The 2014 Winnings is sourced from three separate vineyards, all of which are farmed without the use of fertilizer, herbicide, or copper. This philosophy extends to the cellar, where the wines are allowed to age on lees in various sized oak barrels.
Immediately out of the glass, there is a prevalent mineral and petrol quality. Of the second, it should be noted that petrol is a typical note of certain quality Rieslings. Additionally, apricot and white peach come through, trailed by white flowers.
On the palate, everything changes–i.e. you don’t taste gasoline. the fruit and flower are there, along with the minerality. Lighter in body, with a refreshing acidity, and low in alcohol (10.5%), this is a wonderful wine for summer in Austin. It pairs well with our baked ricotta, smoked trout salad, and seared scallops.
Tasting Notes of a…different sort
Ok, we need to have a talk….it’s relatively simple–not all Rieslings are sweet. Far from it. The Winnings is dry, like so many others. Curse you, Blue Nun for forever altering so many people’s palates and perceptions.
Here are two reasons we love this wine: 1. the nose is somewhat contradictory to the taste, in a great way. It’s a fantastic surprise to watch someone get delighted and excited all at the same time.
2. Wow! What a versatile wine for pairing with food, or to drink on its own, especially with the low ABV, as it could be a perfect apertivo.
3. Bonus reason! It’s the summer of Riesling! This crisp, bracing wine is the perfect antidote for our summer weather and the interminable traffic. Come in and cool off, both literally and figuratively. Trust us, this one lives up to its name.