I love the John Denver song that went “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy, Sunshine In my eyes makes me cry….”. I was singing it this week when my doorbell rang and a friendly UPS guy with two boxes in his arms needed a signature for a wine delivery. I just love new wines on my doorstep. It always makes me smile!
The first box held two beautiful white wines from Italy. A bottle of Vesevo Falanghina, and a bottle of Lungarotti Torre Di Giano. The second box held two bottles from the Mossback winery from the Russian River Valley in California. A bottle of Chardonnay, and a bottle of Pinot Noir.
As you well know, we are finally having some heat units in this region, and I’ve been loving the sunshine. However, the thought of drinking red wines hasn’t been really something that I was too excited about. So, when these two boxes of samples from my friends Kylie and Kristen at Calhoun and Company arrived I was enticed to chill the bottles and give them a taste.
First, a little research about the wines, their vintners, and the areas they are grown in. The Italian wines come from two distinct areas known for fantastic white wines. The Vesevo winery is located in Campania. The region of Naples. Volcanic soils from Mount Vesuvius produce a couple of different varietals. One of which is the Falanghina grape. This grape, introduced by the Greeks to the region 2,000 years ago, offers a wonderful rich bouquet and acidity on the palate. The Vesevo Falanghina offered up flavors of melon and spring flowers with a nice minerality. I drank it alone on my deck, but really wanted a piece of seared sea bass to pair it.
Further north is the Region of Umbria. The Lungarotti family has been producing “local” wines for many generations. The Torre di Giano is a blend of Trebbiano and Grechetto to produce a rich and zesty acidity. I had this with some rolled anchovies on cracker bread and started speaking Italian right away it was so good!
The other night after a long day I broke open the Mossback Chardonnay and fell deeply in love. As I mentioned earlier, the Mossback winery is located in California’s Russian River Valley, just north of Santa Rosa.
The Mossback winery is named after the old fashioned term for a farmer. The winery, owned by the Giguiere family has been successfully making and marketing wines for many years. They founded the R.H Phillips brand and Toasted Head.
The 2009 Chardonnay is unoaked, which allows the flavors of fruit to shine through. This Chablis style retains the acidity and also a lot of the green apple, honeysuckle and pear to come to the top. There is a slight creaminess, but not butterscotchy like most Chardonnays.
Last, I enjoyed the 2009 Pinot Noir. Made from 97% Russian River Pinot Grapes and 3% Syrah from Dunnigan Hills. This wine is beautiful, supple, and smooth on the palate. It features full strawberry, and black cherry flavors with a hint of rhubarb and a light spice on the finish. Fantastic!
I know you’re thinking “where can I get these wines”. Well, this is a good hint that these wines will be available on Washington and Oregon store shelves in the near future. I suggest you look for them and give them a swirl.