Here's a roundup of wines from around the world that we've tasted recently.
2021 Château Fouquet Saumur Blanc ($26 - The Thief, Walla Walla) - This Loire Valley white is produced from Chenin Blanc. It displays a brilliant gold color and attractive aromas of Anjou pear, Crenshaw melon, grapefruit, honeysuckle, meadow flowers, clover and whiffs of white incense. The flavors are deliciously ripe and well textured, with notes of grape and pear skins and riverside minerals. The back picks up poor William liqueur, melon rind and grapefruit peel, followed by a crisp, juicy finish. 18.5/20 points.
2022 Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Rosé ($10.99 - Super 1) - This 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah combination offers a light copper-pink color and attractive aromas of strawberries, pink currants, Charentais melon, tangerine, pink roses, lavender and pink incense. The flavors are fresh and deftly extracted, with notes of grape skins, melon rind and minerals. The back picks up fraise and cassis liqueurs and orange peel, followed by a nicely juiced finish.A super buy. 18/20 points.
2021 Domaine Lafond Lirac Blanc, "Roc Epine" ($23.99 - wine.com) - Composed of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne and 20% Viognier, †his shows a brilliant lemon-gold color and floral aromas of Asian pear-apple, Elberta peach, Charentais melon, pineapple, citrus, apple blossoms, honeysuckle, jasmine and lightly spiced white incense. The flavors are simultaneously brisk and viscous, with notes of grape and pear skins and riverside minerals. The resonance continues on the back with poor and pêche liqueurs, melon rind and lemon custard, followed by a balanced fruit acid finish. 18.5+/20 points.
2020 Domaine Lafond Lirac Rouge, "Roc Epine" ($23.99 - wine.com) - This South Rhône combination of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre displays a purplish ruby color and enticing aromas of raspberry, blueberry, currant, crushed roses, tobacco, lavender, olive tapenade and incense. The flavors are ample and mouth filling, with copious red and purple fruits that are intermixed with red licorice, cocoa, French roast and riverside minerals. On the back, the wine fills out with pressed berries, framboise and cassis liqueurs, followed by a fruit acid lifted moderate tannin finish. 18.5/20 points.
N.V. Domaine de Coursac Langedoc Rouge, "Les Garriguettes" ($21.90 - Foodscape, Walla Walla) - Composed of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Cinsault, this Southwest France red shows a deep ruby color and rich aromas of raspberry, blueberry, currant, crushed roses, garrigue (lavender, herbs) and spiced incense. The flavors are ample yet substantial, with copious red and blue fruits that are intermixed with red licorice, cocoa, black tea and Languedoc scorched earth. The back picks up pressed fruits, red liqueurs and charcoal, followed by a moderate tannin finish. 18+/20 points.
2022 La Spinetta Vermentino Toscana ($23.99 - wine.com) - Vermentino is an indigenous white grape of Sardinia and coastal Tuscany. This is one of the best we've seen. It shows a bright lemon-gold color and aromas of pear, peach, citrus, honeydew melon, pear blossoms, day lilies, anise and yellow incense. The flavors are brisk, yet viscous, with yellow fruits that are underlain with pear skins, peach stones and saline minerals. The back picks up pear and peach liqueurs and touches of creme fraiche and nougat, followed by a sensuous, juicy finish. 19/20 points.
2021 OZV Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi ($13.99 - Safeway) - Here, OZV stands for Old Zinfandel Vines. This one shows a deep buy cool and ripe aromas of blackberry, cherry, plum, red roses, purple lilac, tobacco and spiced incense. The flavors are generous, typical of Lodi, brimming with red fruits that are intermixed with licorice, chocolate and baked earth. On the back, the wine warms up with roasted berries and nuts, cherry pie and plum preserves, followed by s juicy, spiced (nutmeg, cinnamon) 14.8% alcohol finish. Here's your pizza wine. 18+/20 points.
2022 J Vineyards Pinot Gris, California ($17.99 - Safeway) - We've liked Pinot Gris from France, Italy, Oregon and Washington. So how about California? This one offers a medium gold color and enticing aromas of Bosc pear, wihe peach, Crenshaw melon, lime, pear blossoms, white lilac, jasmine, lemongrass and green incense. The flavors are bright and fresh, with green and white fruits that are accented by grape and pear skins, melon rind and minerals. The back picks up pear and peach liqueurs and lime zest, followed by s pleasingly juicy finish. 19/20 points.
2021 Pike Road Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley ($22.99 - Safeway) - Deep brick red colored, this Pino† emits enticing aromas of raspberry, cherry, currant, orange peel, rosebuds, tobacco leaf and incense. The flavors are medium bodied but substantial, with red fruits that are intermixed with red licorice, cocoa, orange pekoe tea and dusty earth. The wine fills out on the back with pressed fruits, red fruit liqueurs and pencil lead, followed by a moderate tannin and acid finish. 18.5/20 points.
Lynn's Rosé Wine Tasting
Last week, Lynn had her Ladies' PAWS (Perfectly Aged Wine Sippers) group for a tasting of various Rosé wines from France and Washington State. They were from different grape varieties, so it was like comparing apples and oranges, highly personal decisions about favorites. Here were the two favorites. The wines were tasted blind and revealed on completion of the tasting.
2022 Julia's Dazzle Pinot Gris Rosé, Columbia Valley ($17.99 - Super 1) - This Washington Rosé was the favorite of four of the seven tasters. Made from grapes given extended hang time to produce a juicy pink wine, it's a crowd pleasing type of Rosé.
2022 Domaine de Peyrassol Côtes de Provence Rosé, "Les Commandeurs" Rose ($26 - The Thief) - This Consult, Syrah, Grenache combination was the second favorite, preferred by three tasters. It's a fine example of Provence Rosé.
As a bonus after the tasting, Lynn poured the following Rosé which everyone liked and considered to be a super buy.
2022 14 Hands Rosé, Columbia Valley ($14.29 - Southgate Market) - Brilliant copper pink colored, this possesses attractive aromas of strawberry, currant, watermelon, tangerine, pink roses, pink lilac and mandarin orange. The flavors are bright and fresh, accented by grape skins, melon rind and minerals. The back picks up pink liqueurs and and tangerine peel, followed by a nicely juiced finish. Lynn: 3 of 3 stars.