August is Here

August is Here

Time marches on, and we’re already in August.  It’s hot, it’s sticky, so what to drink?  I get asked this a lot (well, actually, I get this all year-round, but I figured let’s focus on August since it’s Friday 8/1 and many of you are just hanging out by the pool and BBQ’ing while I work my butt off doing my best to get you some great wines).  So I figured I’d make a handy little list, lined up in terms of weight, that should answer that age-old question.  And, I might add, I will be doing this on a monthly basis, showcasing 3-5 wines that I think would be perfect for that particular month.

When choosing the wines on this list, I wanted to focus on both the familiar and the unfamiliar, to give the less-adventurous of you a chance to find something good while also satisfying folks with more curiosity.  In other words, it’s a little all over the place, but trust me, there is a method to my madness (well, I tell myself that).  But overall, I feel these bottles are great values offering wonderful quality and interesting tastes and textures that will satisfy your parched lips.

For August, I chose 2 Whites, 2 (sort of) Rosés and 1 (light) Red.  None have oak, which would add a level of heaviness that isn’t called for in this weather, and all have bright acidity to quench dried mouths.  As usual, they’re all from family vineyards, but that’s our MO so that’s an easy one.  Best of all, they’re all under $20, or at least should be (have a talk with your local retailer if they’re more expensive…).  So, here we go…

Gourmands_Blanc_2013

Gourmands Blanc 2013

Nicolas Lebrun’s Enclos des Braves Gaillac Gourmands Blanc 2013– why?  This biodynamic wine is light-bodied, crisp, with gorgeous yellow apple, green tea and chalk notes that keep it refreshing, with tons of crisp acidity.  This is a blend of co-fermented Sauvignon Blanc and Loin de l’Oeil (say that fast 3 times, go ahead, I dare you, I’ll wait), the latter of which is a local grape.  Talk about deliciously different, this will keep you hydrated while you’re prepping the BBQ or laying in the sun by the pool.

images-france-burgandy-domaine_catherine_et_didier_tripoz

Didier et Catherine Tripoz Mâcon Charnay Clos des Tournons 2013 (yes, that’s the 2007 label, but trust me the 2012 and 2013 are in the market)- who doesn’t love high-quality, crisp, complex Chardonnay that retails under $16 and is in a screw-capped bottle?  I mean, really, this is a no-brainer.  Not too fat, not too light, this is a beautifully balanced wine that will satisfy those of you who just have to have Chardonnay.

Jardin de Bagatelle

Jardin de Bagatelle

Clos Bagatelle Jardin de Bagatelle Rosé 2013– another winner from Clos Bagatelle’s Christine Deleuze, this can make both wine geeks and non-geeks happy.  It’s 50 year old Cinsault that’s been manually harvested from forested mountain-side vineyards and co-fermented (this is where the geeky stuff comes in) with Syrah, Grenache and Carignan.  The result is a lovely Rosé that checks off all the boxes: delicious, light-to-medium bodied, crisp and full of minerality and acidity and a long finish.  I can just picture sitting outside in the grass with a glass of this right now.  Instead I’m sitting at my desk typing this.  Yay me.

Tsoin Tsoin

Tsoin Tsoin

Laurent Herlin Tsoin Tsoin Vin de France 2013– OK, I admit this is a slightly wild and wacky wine, but man is it happy.  Yes, I called a wine happy.  It really is, but let’s face it, it’s kind of a geeky wine.  It’s from Bourgueil, it’s biodynamic, made from 25 year old Cabernet Franc that’s been carbonically macerated.  The result tastes of light red berries and minerals on a crisp and light frame, somewhat between red/rosé, and fantastically refreshing.  This is really the perfect summer sorta-red.

Sinols Negre

Sinols Negre

Empordalià Sinols Negre 2012– lest you think all I drink are French wines, here’s the perfect example of the open-mindedness of my palate.  This comes to you from the Maine of Spain (as my Maine distributor called it), a region called Empordà, right by the Mediterranean in the mountains between France and Spain.  It’s a blend of Cariñena and Garnacha grown on steep mountain slopes, that have been manually harvested and fermented in cement and stainless steel.  Yes, it’s a red, but it’s medium-bodied and rather refreshing despite its flavors thanks to super-bright acidity and minerality.  This is for those folks who only drink red but don’t want to be whacked across the palate with oak or “gobs” of fruit (God, I hate that term).

OK, that’s enough for now.  Honestly, I think this is a nice little list of good affordable wines that should satisfy any thirsty palates in August.  To see a more concise (and slightly more technical) version of this list without my prose, please go HERE.

Feel free to let me know what you think of this, and please add your own suggestions as well.

Cheers!

 

 

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