March has surely arrived like a lion, with whipping winds, two Nor’easters and colder temperatures than last month. March is one of those months in New York City that always gets you imagining which tropical paradise you can jet to today. If you don’t have any trips planned to Palm Springs, Mexico, or the Caribbean, we might have some good wine alternatives that bring energetic youthful notes to these otherwise dreary environs. This week we’ve tasted a bit of a unicorn rosé made from the Savagnin grape, which tends to be rendered into a more richer oxidative style (but not here!); a white wine from Abruzzo that’s getting that Instagram buzz for its cute label and fruity fun; and low ABV Grolleau that cannot be passed up. Enjoy!
Domaine Rietsch Pas à Pas (NV)
A Savagnin rosé made using the solera method?! Say what? It pours almost an orange color in the glass, similar to a skin contact white (and what is expected of the Savagnin style). This is definitely a wine that needs a bit of time to open up, fully realizing its potential the next. Fruit wise, you get tart cranberry, and some generous acid, but the wine is underscored by some bitter earth, a rounder mouthfeel that catches some of the aromatic funk, and a dry minerality that builds through the mid palette, with some dusty strawberry creeping into the finish. This is unlike any other rosé that you’ve had but has a definite lightness that doesn’t generally feature into Savagnin.
Cantina Indigeno Bianco (2016)
This white wine from Abruzzo, Italy is gaining all of the buzz at the moment, and for good measure. It’s uncomplicated fun that hints at the potential of this producer to evolve and produce more exciting wines in the process. On the nose, there is a noticeably savory layered quality. On the palette, you get tart green apple upfront with a punch of acid. As the wine evolves, it softens up considerably, turning into rounder fruit-forward apple and pear notes that coat the inside of your mouth without being cloying. The finish ends up really dry and clean, with some of those lingering fruit notes. It’s a joy to drink!
Call us skeptical when we see an 8% ABV wine but this one was a true winner. It pours a deep red in color and captures fresh fruit juice and funk on the nose. We get a ton of Black Cherry Cola upfront with a touch of effervescent and acidic zing but the wine, its turns out, isn’t all about the fruit. An intense and funky earthiness slowly begins to creep in and some subtle tannins had a grip that turns a sour beer solidly into a wine with its balance. This stuff has been flying off the shelves because it’s glou glou good and pairs well with Roberta’s or Archie’s pizza. (Even though, sadly, we can’t provide a pizza with each bottle.)
Join us next week as we dive into two Nouveau wines (one red, one rosé) and a Pinot Noir from our longtime favorite producer Domaine de Saint Pierre.