Gruber Roschitz, Gruner Veltliner – 2017

  • Basic info: Gruber Roschitz, Gruner Veltliner, Weinviertel, Germany – 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $15 (Total Wine)
  • Look: very pale yellow.
  • Smell: Lemon and apples
  • Taste: Green apple and lemon dominate the first sip. Slate, some saline and white peach in the middle with a great lemon zest finish.
  • Conclusions: This wine was better than expected. It was really enjoyable to sip in the evening and went pretty well with dinner. It sounds super acidic and while there is a good amount of acid in the glass, it is balanced and just a nice sipping wine.
  • Other notes: I picked up this bottle almost entirely for the label. It was a varietal I like and a really cute label, so sure – I’ll try it. I was very pleasantly surprised by it and will definitely pick up another or bottle or two when I want a crisp white wine.
  • From the bottle: “The Weinveirtel is famous for its spicy-fruit Gruner Veltliner. The soil around Roschitz consists largely of loess and granite bedrock and provides a distinctive Gruner Veltliner. It smells like fresh pear, yellow fruit and herbal spice with a peppery feel.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Barbanera, White Blend – 2015

  • Basic info: Collezione Famiglla Barbanera, “Pian Oro” White blend – Tuscany, Italy, 2015
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $15 (local wine store)
  • Look: pale yellow straw
  • Smell: lemon, honey, pear, cut grass, peach
  • Taste: Soft lemon – not sweet but round and not really tart – apricot, white grape, honey. Lemon candy and peach on the finish.
  • Conclusions: Nice wine. Easy to drink.
  • Other notes: I picked up this bottle because I wanted to try something different and it looked pretty good. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it was a nice wine to have for a few days. It wasn’t my favorite with dinner, but by itself it was good. Given that it is October, I was really hoping for some cooler weather and a good red right about now, but summer is hanging on an 90 plus degree days with high humidity kind of call for white wine.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes.

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Phebus, Torrontes – 2017

  • Basic info: Phebus Torrontes, Mendoza Argentina – 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $11 (Total Wine)
  • Look: Very pale yellow; dried straw
  • Smell: lemon flower, honeysuckle
  • Taste: Floral. Lemon, honey, herbs and nectarine. Not sweet, but with a sweet note. Descent finish with a touch of peach on the end.
  • Conclusions: Good wine, nice to drink with dinner or on the couch. Not fussy or very complex, but fine for drinking. Might be a little too floral for me.
  • Other notes: I picked up this bottle so I could check off Torrontes on my list of wine varietals to try. I had no idea what it was like or if I would even like it, but it wasn’t bad. It’s not my favorite and not something I’m going to go back to again and again, but I’d give it another shot. I think this was one of the last wines I took notes on when I started back to work this year. Most of the last few weeks were wines we drank in June and July. The nice thing about doing the blog posts just for fun and for myself is that I can skip taking notes if I want to and just enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. I needed the break from dissecting wine for a while so I took it. I should have some more interesting wines coming up and those I’ll take notes on and post – especially now that we are back to fall and I’m getting in the mood for red wine again.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from the Total Wine site, “From Argentina’s northern region of Mendoza comes this crisp and refreshing, oak-free wine made from 100% Torrontes. A nose of fresh cut lemons with a hint of lime is followed by layers of citrus on the dry and refreshing palate.” 14% alcohol by volume.

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Wagner Vineyards, Rielsing – 2016

  • Basic info:Wagner Vineyards estate bottled Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, NY – 2016
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $12.50 (Total Wine)
  • Look: Translucent pale straw
  • Smell: apple and petrol (I know, it sounds awful and I have definitely smelled better wine)
  • Taste: Good acid, apple, pear and some mineral notes. Not too harsh with a nice petrol finish. (I know, that sounds weird, but it was a nice finish.)
  • Conclusions: This was a really nice wine and one that won’t break the bank.
  • Other notes: When I looked through the whites we had on hand one day I noticed that they were all “better” bottles. Bottles that I want to open when we have company or can bring with us somewhere to enjoy with friends. I needed something I could just sit and enjoy and so a trip to Total Wine was made. (It was a Sunday, or I would have suggested our local wine store, but was what it was.)  I picked up a few sub $15 bottles and so far have not been disappointed in a single one. Most of them were nothing spectacular, but they paired well with food and were perfectly enjoyable, which to me is the mark of a good wine. This one was particularly interesting to me because it is from the Finger Lakes area of NY and I’ve been hearing about the whites in this region for a while. As a girl who grew up in Jersey and know there is good wine outside the west coast, I really wanted to try it.
  • From the bottle: From the winery notes, “A beautiful pairing wine that will compliment whatever is on your table with a fresh finish and a silky mouthfeel. This wine will continue to unwind beautifully with time in the bottle. This dry Riesling is an outstanding food wine, with nectarine and lime aromas, flavors of citrus and mineral and a crisp clean finish. The opulent fruit is restrained and there is just the right amount of lively acidity to pair beautifully with myriad foods without being bitey.”  12.9% alcohol by volume.

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Ca n’Estruc, Xarel-lo – 2017

  • Basic info: Ca N’Estruc, Xarel-lo, Catalunya, Spain – 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $17 (Weekly Tasting)
  • Look: Translucent light yellow
  • Smell: Apricot – I kept sniffing this to see if I could get more out of it, but I just couldn’t
  • Taste: Stone fruit, specifically white peach. Subtle citrus notes that are almost lemon, but not quite. Tiny bit of slate towards the back end of this wine with a medium finish.
  • Conclusions: I was so happy drinking this wine. It had a nice acidity, but it didn’t overpower. It went well with food and just as good as a sipper on the back patio. It was unique – it had a bit of a floral quality but it was subtle. That seemed to be the key word for this wine – subtle. There was a lot going on, but it was all understated and really well done.
  • Other notes: I had never heard of Xarel-lo before and it isn’t something I expect to find on the shelves of my local wine store, but if I do, I’m picking some up. This was great, and perfect for a warm summer day and it went perfect with our cheese plate.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes. 13.5% alcohol by volume

Raorao Sauvignon Blanc – 2017

  • Basic info: Raorao Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand – 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $7 (Trader Joe’s)
  • Look: Very pale straw/hay colored.
  • Smell: Apple, melon and salt
  • Taste: Crisp, tart green apple, melon, apricot and white peach initially. More tropical fruits like pineapple and orange at the middle part of the wine and it finishes with lemons and oddly, a hint of banana. (Yes, that sounds weird, but it wasn’t.)
  • Conclusions: I thought this was a really nice summer wine. It was crisp, tart and had a hint of sweetness without being a sweet wine. Bob was not as enamored with this one as I was as it was too citrus-y for him. This was also really easy to drink and was just enjoyable without being fussy.
  • Other notes: For a long time I’ve avoided Sauvignon Blanc wines because I associate them with grapefruit flavor and I really don’t like grapefruit. However, ever since the Longboard, I’ve started going back to the varietal and while it still isn’t mu favorite, there are enough different styles of it that I will absolutely try it – I even ordered a glass at dinner recently. In the middle of summer when it is 90+ degree outside, a nice, crisp, unfussy white wine is really nice.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes. 12.3% alcohol by volume.

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Vignobles Lacheteau, Muscadet – 2016

  • Basic info: Vignobles Lacheteau Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France – 2016
  • Type: 2016
  • Price estimate: $7 (Trader Joe’s)
  • Look: Very pale yellow, almost clear in the glass, with a slight green tint
  • Smell: Apple, melon, salt, jasmine
  • Taste: Tart green apple, lime, tiny bit of lemon. Round feel in the mouth with a little honeydew, apricot and white grape. Good finish with a little saline and melon notes.
  • Conclusions: For a sub ten dollar bottle of wine, this was great. Super easy to drink, nice taste and a little complexity – not a lot and it isn’t one that I will seek out all the time, but for the price I think it’s fantastic. I would happily pick up a few bottle of this to have around for the summer.
  • Other notes: One of the wine podcasts I listen to has mentioned getting wine at Trader Joe’s a few times. The one “near” us is not convenient, easy to get to and the parking lot is always full, so I’ve never been inside despite really liking the store (from my days back in Jersey). But, when we were in Tallahassee we stopped by the Trader Joe’s there and picked up some wine. Definitely worth it and I may have to find a time to go to our local store this summer when I can actually get in the parking lot.
  • From the bottle: “Issued from the MELON grape variety and vilified in he respect of the Loire Valley traditional methods, this wine is matured “on the lees” at least for a winter to offer richness and complex floral aromas. Best enjoyed with starters, seafood or fish dishes.” 12% alcohol by volume.