I am always up for trying a “new to me” wine or, better yet, a new wine variety. The more unique, the better. Just yesterday, I picked up a bottle of Monte Rio 2019 Mission, Lodi, CA. I am super excited to try it as it is the first wine grape to be brought to the New World in the 16th century. More on that wine once we drink it. In our last post, you read that we drank our first Uruguayan wine. This week I have two more fun wines that were firsts for both of us. So without further ado.
Sarah could tell that I was bummed that she had already sold out of the Cerasulo d’Abruzzo she had put on Instagram. But like any great salesperson, she had a suggestion. “Try this dry Brachetto,” she said. And geez, it looked similar to what I was asking for, so why not, I thought, and I put one in my cart.
Unique and New:
Angelo Negro Vino Rosso 2019 from The Piedmont Guy is brilliant.
Damn! More than a Rosato (Italian for rosé) and less than a Rosso (Italian for red), albeit it is called a Rosso. It is fantastic and a perfect light red wine for our household.
The color is a bright but cloudy cherry red. The cloudy comes from the wine’s unfiltered nature, which sat on Arneis lees for 5 months before bottling. Medium body. Delightful mouthfeel and cleansing acidity to wipe away the cheese I was eating.
The nose is filled with aromas of violet and lavender but with an earthy back note. This earthy note pleases Gary to no end because he is not a fan of floral aromatics, which tempered them for him. The floral notes continue onto the palate along with tart cherry, Raspberry with a tart cranberry at the end.
This is a dry Brachetto. But even so, Gary perceived a tolerable level of sweetness. I did not. To me, that translated into fruitful tart cherry, raspberry, and cranberry flavors. Its dryness makes this wine so unique and delicious.
We drank this wine chilled, and I highly recommend you do the same. You can drink this red all summer long in South Carolina, and as Martha Stewart frequently says, “That’s a good thing!”
Retails for $19.00 and available at @eoexchange
Side Note: Dry Brachetto
Brachetto is an indigenous grape variety from the Piedmont region in northern Italy. It is typically made as a sweet, semi-sparkling red wine. But here, the winemaker chooses to continue fermentation until the wine is dry. (The active yeast consumes the sugars in the juice, turning it into alcohol thus leaving no or negligible residual sugar)
When I was shopping for the wines in the “Under $13 Challenge”, I came across a Greek wine that we had not yet tried. It did not meet the criteria for that challenge as it sold for $25.99, but it landed in my cart nonetheless. I have heard of this white wine variety but never had an opportunity to taste it. There is not much Greek wine sold in this area despite a large Greek community. So seeing this, I had to pounce on it.
Unique and New:
Santorini Assyrtiko 2018, Santo Winery, Santorini, Greece
Assyrtiko (ass-SEER-tik-koh) is a white wine grape indigenous to the island of Santorini in the Greek Isles. It covers 65% of all vineyards on Santorini but is now being planted on other islands in Greece. It is light-bodied, bone-dry, no tannins with high acidity. Look for citrus, beeswax, tropical fruit, minerality, and salinity flavors and aromas.
We truly enjoyed this wine and will be heading back to Bottles to pick up a couple more. This wine spent 14 months on lees. We found aromas and flavors, including kiwi, passionfruit, and beeswax. Blazing acidity buoyed the lightness, but the textured mouthfeel adds some weight that only enhanced the drinking enjoyment.
I would encourage folks that like high acid wines to give this wine a go. Think Picpoul, Albariño, Grenache Blanc, Melon De Bourgogne, and even Sauvignon Blanc if you are open to a new flavor profile.
Purchased at Bottles in Mount Pleasant for $25.99. I also saw it at The Wine Shop on Lockwood for $27.99.
That is all for now.
Rick & Gary