Spring has sprung in Asheville and I think most of us welcome it with open arms. With the change in the weather, our preferred wines often change as well, so we’re going to break out six delicious wines with “springy” personalities. We’ll get the party started with a duo of whites and a dry rosé. First up is a light, crisp, seafood friendly Italian Vermentino, then we’ll hit an exotic and esoteric white wine from southwestern France before we sample a dry Spanish rosé from an esteemed Rioja producer. Next up are the reds including a fruit filled, soft and supple Beaujolais that can be served with a slight chill, then a fun and fresh red from the Loire Valley, ending with a big, robust and rustic red from southern Italy. Whether you’re on the hunt for good back porch party pounders or “grill friendly” options, we’ve got you covered. $5/person…..Free for Grape Nuts
Prices range from $12 to $20
1. 2011 Vecchia Torre Vermentino (Salento Peninsula, Italy)
This fresh, no oak white wine hails from Salento Peninsual in southern Italy. It offers up a pretty bouquet of spiced apple, pear and white peach leading into a palate of orchard fruits and gentle brown spice.
2. 2011 Domaine des Cassagnoles Cuvée Gros Manseng (Gascogne, France)
We challenge you not to like this engaging white wine from southwestern France. Year in and year out, it is one of the great white wine values of the world. Composed entirely of Gros Manseng, one of the region’s indigenous grapes, it is highy aromatic and textural with enticing notes of pineapple, white peach, carmelized grapefruit and honeysuckle.
3. 2012 Ostatu Rioja Rosado (Rioja, Spain)
Springtime means that dry rosé season is upon us and the folks at Ostatu make an absolutely brilliant rendition. Composed of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Viura from some of the estate’s oldest and highest altitude vineyards, it bursts out of the glass with aromas and flavors of fresh cherry, watermelon, peach and mineral.
4. 2011 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais (Beaujolais, France)
Dupeuble’s Beaujolais is good every year. It comes into the country with the help of importer extraordinaire Kermit Lynch and it is pure, juicy, slightly earthy Gamay in top form. Cherries, strawberries and red currant permeate this honest red wine that loves a slight chill and salmon.
5. 2010 Domaine de Montcy Cheverny Rouge (Loire Valley, France)
Loire Valley reds often get forgotten about due to the fame of the region’s whites, but we’re out to change that! This estate is organic, ferments with native yeasts and adds minimal doses of sulfur to their wines. The 2010 is primarily Gamay and Pinot Noir with just a splash of Cot (aka Malbec) and it exhibits notes of fresh red fruits, spices and earth. Medium bodied, lively and smooth, it is the perfect red wine to drink during the warmer months.
6. Schola Sarmenti Nardo Roccamora (Apulia, Italy)
This one is a little bit different, but we like different and you’re going to as well! Based entirely on Negroamaro, one of the more important red varietals of southern Italy, it is a rustic and hearty red wine that loves grilled meats. Dark cherry, blackberry, pepper and earth notes inform the nose and palate of this chunky, full flavored red.