With almost a month left of summer, there is still time to discover some great drinking summer wine. My wine journey takes us from the Alsace region of France over to the Mosel River in Germany, then across the Alps into the Alto Adige region of Italy. Continue down to Puglia before heading to the southern hemisphere to enjoy wine from Mendoza, Argentina. Here are nine wines I sampled this past month that are all excellent options to either sip alone or pair with your summer fare.
Summer Wine From Alsace
The Michel Fonné Pinot Gris Tradition 2015 emphasizes a more unusual Pinot Gris. Coming from the Alsace region of France, the wine delivers a sweeter quality due to the pear notes both on the nose and palate, especially on the finish. Think of a Bosc Pear with hints of Meyer lemon enhanced by a little spice. The wine is very fruity.
Grown organically, Domaine Francois Schmitt Riesling 2016 offers a refreshing wine that delivers white flower and apples on the nose and Apple, citrus primarily lemon with a little diesel on the palate.
Nik Weis Urban Riesling represents the quality of Riesling that comes from the blue soils of this particular region. With floral aromas, especially white flower, this wine is off-dry, exhibiting a crispness that features tropical fruits, including pineapple.
Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio seems different than most Pinot Grigios from Italy. The wine has more volume than other Italian brands. One finds floral aromas, especially white flower, and ripe pear while flavors of pear are accented by some spices on the finish. Hidden among the spices, I found some sweet nuances.
Terlan Gewurztraminer is more exotic than typically found with this varietal. With aromas of honey, nuts, and ginger, the wine has a lot of minerality that brings out the flavors of ginger.
Nals Margreid Galea Schiava 2017 showcases the indigenous grape from the Alta Adige Südtirol region. Schiava is also known as Trollinger or Vernatsch. I found the wine to be light and tart with flavors of cranberry and sour cherry. During the summer, this wine can be served chilled. During the winter, this varietal ideally pairs with turkey. The wine almost reminds me of a very dark-colored Rosé.
Alois Lageder Conus Lagrein Riserva 2014 features another indigenous grape, but in this case, the winery utilizes Biodynamic Demeter-certified grapes. This particular Lagrein is a very dry wine with earthy aromas, yet on the palate, the wine exhibits savory qualities as well as Mocha, and cocoa. The wine is smooth and well-balanced.
From San Marzano, one of the leading producers in Puglia, comes Tramari Rosé Di Primitivo Salento 2017. On the nose, one finds lovely aromas of roses. On the palate, the flavors of raspberry dominate but are accented by some citrus, mostly grapefruit, to form what I call a smooth Rosé that showcases freshness and elegance.
Trivento’s White Orchid features one of Argentina’s signature grapes, Torrontes. In this case, the varietal combines a small percentage of Pinot Grigio. I found aromas of fresh fruit, white flower, and honeysuckle, while on the palate, there was tropical fruit, Grapefruit, stone fruit, and a bit of honey. The latter gives the wine its sweetness on the finish.
For summer wine, these suggestions accentuate the uniqueness of the particular varietal. Let’s lift our glasses and toast the end of summer 2018 with your favorite summer wine.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer was hosted to the summer wine sampled. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.