Tasting notes, May 25: Wines for the Grill

2017 Airlie Pinot Blanc

Willamette Valley, OR

Regular Price $19.99

Sale price $15.99

The all women team at Airlie continues to impress with high quality, affordable wines that taste of Oregon. The fresh and balanced Pinot Blanc exudes lovely pear and honeysuckle aromas followed by pear and apple flavors and crisp invigorating acidity. No oak, all fresh fruit.

2015 Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Blanc

Burgundy, FR

Regular Price $24.99

Sale price $19.99

This Chardonnay from the deft hand of Nicolas Potel is rich and bright with a smattering of oak atop the rich peach and apple flavors and citrus finish. It’s lovely and easy to like, with enough acidity to pair with nearly everything you’re serving.

2018 La Belle Etoile Rosé

Tavel, FR

Regular Price $13.99

Sale price $10.99

I don’t want to diss anyone else’s choice of Rosé, but if you’re among the misguided souls that believe it’s merely a summer wine, then this is the summer Rosé of your dreams. Bright and cheery with fresh berry and floral aromas and a lively orange peel finish, is a great aperitif and a delicious companion for your seafood salad and grilled veggies.

2017 Faury Syrah

IGP Collines Rhodaniennes, FR

Regular Price $24.99

Sale price $19.99

Balanced and textured, this expression of Syrah is perfect for the grill with its low alcohol and fresh flavors. It’s the opposite of meaty and dense, which makes it perfect for hot summer nights and its tart blackberry and floral notes are enlivening rather than weighty and ponderous.

2017 Evodia Garnacha

Calatayud, SP

Regular Price $12.99

Sale price $9.99

Big, rich, ripe and juicy, this wine over delivers for the money, especially if you like your wine big, rich, ripe and juicy. Does it pair well with food? Not particularly, but no worse than nearly every Napa Cab at 10 times the price. Just drink it and enjoy.

2017 Hartford Old Vine Zinfandel

Russian River Valley, CA

Regular Price $37.99

Sale price $29.99

Zinfandel, back in the 90’s, used to be the perfect wine to serve with foods off the grill. Then Helen Turley ruined Zin for people that liked wine (but not for people that didn’t understand wine, like wine critics) and Zin become the wine to serve with…nothing. Now balanced Zins are back, and this example illustrates just how good they can be with grilled foods. This wine is not shy or reticent, but nonetheless retains enough bright acidity to keep it focused and fresh. And although it’s a whopping 15.6% alcohol, the depth of jammy fruit carries the alcohol quite well.

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