As summer progresses and we enjoy Al Fresco dinner and barbecues here are five summertime wine suggestions with an international flair. This selection will take you to Argentina, Spain, and Italy.
Summertime Wine – White
Of late, I find myself very intrigued by the wines from Domaine Bousquet. Bousquet’s grapes are grown organically and they representative of the high-altitude region of the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina.
I am very particular about the Sauvignon Blanc I drink. I find that I hesitate trying new wines created from this variety because they are often too grassy with overabundant grapefruit flavors. Since I am exploring the wines of Domaine Bousquet, I decided to take a challenge and try the Sauvignon Blanc from this winery. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised. I found a wine that exudes aromas of citrus and apples that I thoroughly enjoyed. On the nose, I discovered florals mixed with lemon and apple. On the palate, the flavors displayed lemon, lime, and green apples.
Summertime Wine – Red
Bodegas Ochoa, a winery in the Navarro region of Spain. The Calendas series of wine represents their younger wines, where the fruit dominates. These wines, even the reds, are fresh and fruity in flavor. The Ochoa Calendas Tinto blends 70% Tempranillo with 30% Garnacha. I found a light-bodied red wine perfect for any summer meal. With aromas of raspberries, the wine exhibited fresh fruit flavors of red berries, strawberries, and raspberries. I call this a fun summer wine.
Another young red wine I sampled recently, I characterize as having pizazz is the Renzo M Fattoria Di Basciano Renzo Masi Chianti DOCG 2018. This spirited wine is both a great value at about $12 and very together for its age. The wine exhibits flavors of cherry accented by savory herbs. It is a testament to the Rufina subzone of Chianti and to winemaker Paolo Masi, who in this wine created a more modern styled wine even though the family has been making traditional Chianti since 1925. The wine combines 95% Sangiovese with 5% Colorino. Colorino, as its name suggests, adds color to the wine. Not only does it add color but Paolo Masi says it adds polyphenolic structure. The result of this blending delivers a smooth medium-bodied wine.
Another wine from Renzo M Fattoria Di Basciano, Renzo Masi Erta e China 2017 IGT Toscana delivers a fuller-bodied wine that blends 50/50 Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Although only half the blend, one smells and tastes the Cabernet as it leaves a dominant impression on the palate. Aromas of blackberries prevail, and on the palate, I found a fruit forward wine of dark and stewed fruit and hints of dried herbs and baking spice. The name Erta e China means ascent and descent in Italian and refers to the style utilized for planting the vines up and down a hillside. Instead of encircling the slope, in this newer approach, the vines are planted up and down the hillside.
Finally, the most robust and fullest bodied wine comes from Domaine Bousquet. Their 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep, full-bodied wine that ages 12 months in French oak. I found a barnlike quality with smoky, earthy aromas of leather, tobacco, and dark fruit accented by black pepper. This hearty wine needs a juicy steak to accompany. The wine also pairs nicely with chocolate.
Depending on the occasion will determine which summertime wine will go with your meal. If it is a fish course, I recommend the Sauvignon Blanc. Of course, if you are serving Salmon any of the lighter reds would also work. All the reds will go with pair with most meat.
Finally, enjoy your summer and summertime wine.
Common to the wine industry, this writer received hosted wine samples. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.