CAVA FOR SPRITZ SEASON Juvé & Camps Reserva de la Familia Gran Reserva 2017 (SRP $23) A winegrowing family for over 200 years, Juvé first started producing sparkling wines under their name in 1921. This family-owned, 100% estate-based producer is revered in Spain for its meticulous focus on quality and sustainability. "Reserva de la Familia" (translating to 'Reserve of the Family') is the leading Gran Reserva in the world, always vintage-dated, and all the more notable because of the quality needed to produce it without dosage ('Brut Nature' designation). Deep, intense, and elegant, it initially evokes ripe white fruits followed by hints of fennel, toast, and citrus to complete its distinguished aroma. Its creamy mousse is perfectly integrated in the palate, making its texture in the mouth simultaneously fresh, rounded, and evocative.
Juvé & Camps Brut Rosé Pinot Noir NV (SRP $23) Juvé & Camps' flagship rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir. Following the "Méthode Traditionnelle," it is aged for 15 months in the bottle. Categorized as 'Brut' with only 5g/l of dosage, it is intense, fresh, and exuberant. The inviting aromas of cherries and strawberries, hints of honey, toast, and floral notes contribute to the freshness of this cava. The mouthfeel is creamy and delicate, with a fine, energetic mousse that caresses dry very gently, releasing all of its fresh aromas of red berries.
ADD A CERTAIN JE NE SAIS QUOIS TO YOUR NEXT PICNIC E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018 (SRP $18) Guigal's Côtes du Rhône Blanc both sets and steps outside the standard for the appellation and showcases one of the great secrets of the Guigal family: their specialization in the great white Rhône varieties. While only eight percent of the Rhône's production is white, a full twenty-five percent of Guigal's production is white, and they are today the single largest producer of whites in the Rhône Valley. A fresh note marked by distinctive Viognier aromas of white flowers, apricot, acacia, and white peach. The fruits come through on the palate, with plenty of richness and body. It's a well-rounded wine with elegance, power, and balance.
LIVING LA DOLCE VITA Masseria Surani Fiano 2018 (SRP $18) Owned by the Tommasi family since 2014, Masseria Surani covers 309 acres in the heart of the Salento Peninsula near the picturesque Ionian coast. In keeping with Masseria Surani's tribute to the local land, the process that goes into making Fiano is noninvasive and allows the characteristics of the local terroir to shine through. The wine, adorned with a beautiful new label for 2021, is aromatic, marked by notes of white flowers, tangerine, and lime. The premium fruit required for making a small about of this high-quality wine is obtained via strict clonal selection, modern vine training systems, and severe pruning, all carried out with respect for terroir and tradition.
Masseria Surani Primitivo di Manduria Doc 2017 (SRP $19) Full-bodied and harmonious, Primitivo di Manduria represents one of the points of excellence of Puglian wine production. The Manduria D.O.C. area of southwest Puglia is rich in history and culture and famous for producing excellent wines and Primitivo grapes in particular. A beautifully designed new label complements the deep ruby red color of this Primitivo. Floral aromas of violets to rich, fruity ones of cherries and strawberries come forward against a background of balsamic notes, licorice, and aromatic herbs. On the palate, it is full-bodied, broad, and fruity and wins you over with its refined tannins and lively finish, underpinned by an appealing sensation of freshness.
A SAUVIGNON BLANC FOR THE SEASON Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (SRP $25) Dog Point wines are hand-crafted (and handpicked) from estate fruit grown on some of Marlborough's oldest vines and best sites, with some plantings dating back to the 1970s. Dog Point's focus on pruning, soil health through organic farming, use of native yeasts, and a non-interventionist style of winemaking all point to a quality and detail-obsessed producer intimately familiar with its region. This wine is the ultimate vision of vibrant and perfumed New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. A pure, citrus-driven Sauvignon with subtle tones of pear and white peach, the palate bursts with fresh grapefruit and Meyer lemons for juicy flavor and refreshing acidity. The wine would sit comfortably alongside a dozen oysters shared with or without social distancing. It drinks beautifully now or can comfortably cellar for five years or more.
CHILEAN CHOICES FOR SUMMER SIPPING Errázuriz MAX Chardonnay 2019 (SRP $20) Founded more than 150 years ago by Don Maximiano Errazuriz in the foothills of Mount Aconcagua, Errazuriz has become recognized as one of the top quality producers of Chilean wines and has played an instrumental role in raising the reputation of the region on a global scale. The exceptional soils and cool ocean breeze provide optimal conditions for Chardonnay in Errazuriz's coastal vineyards, located just eight miles from the Pacific. The diverse soils control plant vigor, producing balanced yet intensely concentrated fruit with a beautiful fresh citrus and mineral profile. On the palate, it first shows its citric character, accompanied by tropical fruits and notes of marzipan and dried fruits. The wine has medium structure and well-balanced acidity.
Errázuriz MAX Pinot Noir 2019 (SRP $20) Hailing from a daring planting nearly 15 years ago of vineyards fewer than ten miles from the Pacific Ocean, MAX Pinot Noir is a stunning expression of Pinot Noir that arguably makes it one of the highest quality, most interesting, and most original Pinot Noirs available at its price from anywhere in the world. The fruit gives way to balsamic and spicy notes on the palate, plus a lightly toasted note that hints of its time in the French oak barrels. It is a wine with a good structure, soft and elegant tannins.