Tag Archives: South African wine

Mini-reviews 153: Tannat, Rioja, and two sauvignon blancs

wine demandReviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. This month, cleaning out the wine closet to start the new year.

Marichal Tannat Reserve Collection 2018 ($20, sample, 13%): Well made tannat from Uruguay — softer, which with tannat is a good thing; more dark fruit and less tannic. Price is problematical. Imported by Global Vineyard Importers

Bilbao Rioja Crianza 2017 ($20, sample, 14.5%): There’s nothing really wrong with this Spanish tempranillo, though it’s a bit less subtle than classic Rioja. There’s nothing to make it stand out, either – and $20? Imported by Zamora Company

The Goose Sauvignon Blanc 2017 ($12, purchased, 13%): This is a stunning South African sauvignon blanc that has just enough French style — almost flinty — to go with New World citrus fruit. How it aged this well is beyond me – highly recommended. So what’s the catch? It will be almost impossible to find, which seems to be how the wine world works, isn’t it? Imported by IM Premium Imports

Castle Rock Sauvignon Blanc 2020 ($10, sample, 13%): Supermarket sauvignon blanc, made to hit the $10 price and not necessarily because it tastes like California sauvignon blanc. Almost bitter, some lemongrass, some minerality.

Update: Porch wine for the long, hot summer

porch wine
“I found the porch — you bring the wine. What does the WC suggest?”

With record temperatures in much of the country this summer, it’s time to update the blog’s porch wine post

Over the years, I’ve gotten less than favorable comments about the idea of porch wine — because, of course, wine is entirely too serious for porch sipping. Sigh. Is it any wonder I worry about the future of the wine business?

Which is just more wine snobbery. Why should the pleasure of a shaded porch and the hint of a cool breeze be reserved for iced tea, beer, and whatever else is currently popular? I find the idea of porch wine especially relevant this summer, what with the record-breaking heat in much of the country, the pandemic, and all of the other foolishness we have had to endure. So, this porch wine update.

So know this about porch wine: It’s about lighter wines, red and white (and of course, rose), that are lower in alcohol and that offer relief from the heat. The idea with a porch wine is to drink something that won’t make the sweat bead on your forehead. The blog’s original porch post is here, and there is even a porch wine terms post.

And it’s OK to add an ice cube. Honest.

The Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2020 ($10, purchased, 13%): This white is a simple, not too grapefruit-y South African sauvignon blanc, which has an almost pleasant bitterness in the back. The minute I tasted it, I knew it was perfect for this post. Imported by Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits

Moillard Chablis Coquillage 2018 ($25, purchased, 13%): Yes, this is expensive (though without the Trump tariff, the price may come down). But it’s also a perfect porch wine — well-made chardonnay from the Chablis region of France that is flinty, lemony, crisp. Imported by Advantage International

Stemmari Sicilia Rose 2019 ($8, purchased, 12%): There’s nothing especially Italian about this pink; it’s just well-made rose in the international style — think Washington state. That means fresh, fruity (strawberry), and clean, but not much esle. Still, it is more than enjoyable. Imported by Prestige Wine Imports

Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet 2019 ($16, purchased, 12%): Well-executed French white (made with the underrated melon de bourgogne grape) that is round in the mouth, but not soft. There’s a bit of structure and apple and pear fruit. Imported by LDM Wines

Photo: “Porch” by sonjalovas is licensed under CC BY 2.0

More about porch wine:
Memorial Day and rose 2021
Wine when the air conditioning is replaced
Wine of the week: Vinho verde 2021
Wine of the week: Vision Gruner Veltliner 2019