2010 Martin & Weyrich Moscato Allegro

Want to meet the surprise wines of my summer? Yes it might be trying a little too hard to create a niche for itself via their marketing and produce packaging (which I can’t blame them for; needless to say the fact that their online shop routes to “CleverConcepts.com” is fitting). Not overly sweet, surprisingly refreshing and only 7.5% ABV to boot. Available for approximately ~$10 retail this is an interesting wine worthy of your summer consideration…

2010 Martin & Weyrich Moscato AllegroPrice: $10.99 @ Moscato Allegro*

What They Said:

Per Moscato Allergro “Using only the finest Muscat Canelli grapes from our California vineyards, Moscato Allegro is fermented at an extremely cold temperature, creating an elegant wine that dances across the palate with intense fruit, then ends with a crisp, clean finish. Moscato Allegro is fresh and spicy, offering exotic floral and fruit aromas reminiscent of orange blossoms, honeyed apricots and peaches.

Deliciously versatile, Moscato Allegro is lovely on a hot day or a cold night. It is delightfully refreshing on its own, but also makes a wonderful complement to brunch, desserts, spicy dishes and sweet and tangy sauces. Serve as an aperitif, pair with your favorite foods or enjoy all by itself — the possibilities are endless. Salute!”

What I Think:

(7.5%) Honeyed, floral nose with lush fruit. Sweet (without being syrupy or cloying), honeyed peach on the palate. From there a light acidity emerges leading to crisp, focused and surprisingly refreshing finish (I was surely expecting sweet) with the slightest hint of carbonation as it lingers on. Per the winery this one is “fermented at extremely cold temperatures for up to six weeks to retain the natural acidity” which makes a world of difference on this one. My ideal pairing would be with a bowl of ice cream (or pie) topped with fresh fruit. That said I was shocked by this wines versatility as it worked equally well as an aperitif on a warm afternoon. With a low ABV (7.5%) and a screwtop to boot there is a lot to like here; grab a bottle for your next picnic. 40,000 cases made. Geek notes: Total Acid 0.8g/100ml, Residual Sugar 10.35%

Rating: Buy It

*This wine was received as a press sample but I would purchase another bottle with my very own US$ if I see it…

2010 Trajarinho Vinho Verde

Taking a break from Oregon let’s get back to finishing off my Summer Top 10 Whites list. Those paying attention were likely wondering where this one was. A fave in 2009 it seems destined to be so for many years to come. Get it if you can!

Price: $8.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Vinos Unico

What They Said:

2010 Trajarinho Vinho VerdePer K&L Wines “Back again is this delicious vinho verde: fizzy, ripe and juicy, while maintaining a refreshing dryness, warm weather white wine does not get much better than this! This is one of our favorites: crisp, citric, relatively low in alcohol and in a classically dry style. Don’t let the deliciousness fool you, though; this white offers up a whole lot more complexity than the humble price might suggest. More than likely, one could attribute this amazing quality to two factors: First, the rock solid reputation and focus on quality of the Adega Cooperativo Regional de Monçao; and second, their reliance on Trajadura and Alvarinho grapes, which deliver wine of greater complexity and texture than the Paderña grape so commonly grown in the rest of the Vinho Verde region.”

What I Think:

(11.5%) 60% Alvarinho, 40% Trajadura – A long standing summer favorite of mine this one is always a crowd pleaser. Pale gold in the glass with a green tinge. Lively on the palate with a slight spritz and primary grapefruit flavors with lemon citrus. The mid-palate show a firm, clean acidity with a nice mineral depth that gives this one much more complexity than you should expect at $9. From there the quick dry, crisp finish leaves you instantly reaching for another sip. A fun, easy going with at home with brunch or by the pool (but please use plastic glasses ;) Just be careful because before you know it the bottle will be gone. On 2nd thought just buy a couple to begin with…

Rating: Buy It (and buy more than one! I’m at 6 and counting for the summer…)

2009 Willm Gentil

AlsaceI’ve long professed my love for the Alsace [Ahl-zass]. And for those reading along regularly you might remember as part of my 2010 ABC’s A was indeed for Alsace as I committed to exploring the region further. Tucked in eastern corner of France bordering Germany and Switzerland this is one the smaller French regions and has a pronounced German influence (it has changed hands four times between France and Germany).

This is no more prevalent than in the wines of the region (though it also happens to be the main beer-producing area of France) which are mostly white and display a strong Germanic influence. Most are made from the noble grapes of the Alsace (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer or Muscat) and blends from the area are usually known as Edelzwicker (Edel=noble and Zwicker=mixture) meaning a mixture of noble grapes. Navarro Vineyards happens to make one of my favorite versions but that said I’m pretty sure I’ve never had one I didn’t like from abroad. Would this be the wine to change that?

Price: $8.99 @ Wine Library imported by Monsieur Touton Selection

What They Said:

2009 Willm GentilPer snooth.com “The Gentil Willm is a traditionnal blend going back to the 19th century from selected grapes grown in the best hillside vineyards. Gentil Willm is an alliance of Riesling (used for its finesse and acidity), Pinot Gris (used for its structure), Muscat (used for its powerfull fruit aromas) and Pinot Blanc (used for its fruit and suppleness). We generally use in our blend 70 – 80% of the noble grapevarieties. The Willm Gentil offers a dry and clean mouthfeel with an elegant and harmonious balance. Serve with cold meats; seafood; fowl; salads; soft cheeses.”

What I Think:

(12%) Riesling 30%, Pinot Gris 30%, Pinot Blanc 30%, Muscat 10% – Floral blossom nose with big white apple and pear flavors on the palate leading to a nice mineral driven acidity on a lasting, ever so slightly sweet, finish that is both refreshing and lengthy. Reminds of the Now & Zen I enjoyed for so many years…

Rating: Buy It