Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava (Brut) Wine Review

So here it is NYE eve and the final Wine Wednesday of 2015. For this year’s bubbly I’ve decided to go with Cava - Spain’s take on French Champagne.  As you likely know, only wine from the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne. What’s interesting about Cava is that the same method is used to produce it (secondary fermentation) - Méthode Champenoise in Champagne. In Spain and with Cava it is referred to as Método Tradicional. 

What is different is the grape varietals used.  The three varietals for Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and  Pinot Meunier the last two being dark skinned grapes.  With Cava the primary varietals used are native to Spain, Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Paellada all of which are white skinned grapes.  Today’s feature the Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad (Brut) is comprised of 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada and comes from Penedes, Spain near Barcelona.

You’ve likely had Cava before but may or may not have been aware of it.  Many are quite inexpensive. Cava ranges from sweet to dry just like Champagne and the more inexpensive ones tend to be the sweeter ones. This Cava is a brut which is dry (brut nature being the driest). There’s a tendency to want to compare Cava to Champagne but to me they are distinctly different and equally enjoyable though Cava tends to be more economically friendly making it a great NYE choice especially if you’ll be raising a glass with several guests.  This quality Cava was priced at $19.99. It is labeled as Reserva which means it was aged for a minimum of 15 months (though this particular one was aged for 30 months). The grapes were all harvested by hand and the riddling (turning of bottles during secondary fermentation) was also done by hand.

The bottle is quite striking which also makes it a great host/hostess gift and what’s inside lives up to the presentation. On the nose, tropical fruit (mango) and also pear with a hint of fresh baked bread.  On the palate an abundant amount of bubbles just a hint of sweetness, apple and lemon/lime. The finish is crisp and dry.  Of course this is great by itself for the midnight toast but if you prefer your bubbly with dinner the wonderful acidity here makes it a great pairing with a creamy pasta dish like Prosciutto Pasta Roulade or Scallops with Fettuccine Alfredo. Próspero Año Nuevo! Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

La Pincoya Sauvignon Blanc (2014) Wine Review

What is the most popular wine grape varietal worldwide? Sometimes I think about that when enjoying a great wine.  What if I had to choose just one varietal to enjoy for the rest of my life, what would it be? Though I doubt it would ever come to that, if I had to make a choice, for me it would be Sauvignon Blanc.  You’ve seen me review several and in general those from the Marlborough region of New Zealand populate the top of my list. Today’s Wine Wednesday feature the 2014 La Pincoya Sauvignon Blanc is a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from the San Antonio Valley region. 

The wine is named after Pincoya a mythological female water spirit of the Chilotan Seas who is believed to control the abundance of fish and seafood to the area with her ritual dance.  If she faces the sea during her dance there will be an abundance and  if she faces the mountains with her back to the sea there will be a shortage. Ironically, or maybe not, this wine is the perfect pairing for fish and seafood.

On the nose, slightly floral with notes of honey and citrus and on the palate, a balanced acidity and also a minerality and herbaceousness - different than the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs - but what will cause me to reach for this one again when wine shopping. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc before and I’m certainly glad I tried this one. I’m reminded how a varietal can vary depending on the terroir and if I was limited to only one varietal I think these differences in time would become even more discernible and pronounced. For recipe pairings try Tempura Fish Tacos and Grilled Shrimp with Wasabi Remoulade. Now, to answer the question I opened with.... the most popular wine grape varietal worldwide is Cabernet Sauvignon followed in second place by Merlot. My favorite, came in at number 8! Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Domaine Pinchot Vouvray Le Peu de la Moriette (2014) Wine Review

Floral, if you’ve never tried a floral wine, I wish you would. It’s something you have to experience to really grasp, but once you do, you’ll “get it” and if you’re like me you’ll enjoy it from time to time. The Chenin Blanc varietal is a wonderful example. Today’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2014 Domaine Pinchot Vouvray Le Peu de la Moriette is from the Vouvray (Voo-VRAE) sub-region in the Loire Valley region of France where the primary varietal grown is Chenin Blanc. Thus, a wine labeled as Vouvray is most definitely Chenin Blanc and from this particular region. The grape is widely cultivated in growing regions across the world, but here, they made it famous or perhaps it's the other way around.

If you prefer sweet wines and haven’t tried Vouvray, you may discover a new love. Vouvray comes in many styles ranging from sec (dry) to moelleux (sweet) to even pétillant (sparkling). The Domaine Pinchot Vouvray Le Peu de la Moriette in my opinion is more of a tendre (off-dry) slightly sweet.  On the nose were hints of pear, honey, citrus (lime) and yes, those floral notes. It had a wonderful slightly silky mouth feel with more than a tease of sweetness on the palate followed by an assertive crisp acidity. If you are new to Vouvray look for a demi-sec (semi-sweet) for your first experience and then venture into your preferred direction but you may find you’re right where you want to be with the demi-sec.

For food pairing try Salmon with Dill Sauce or Salpicao (Brazilian Chicken Salad) To print or save the recipes, click the links below.