Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Six, Affordable Summer Red Wines from New Zealand, France and Spain by Philip S. Kampe

Six Summer Red Wines by Philip S. Kampe

People who know that I am a wine writer, ask me on numerous occasions, “Is it OK to drink red wine in the summer?” Without hesitation, I always answer with a definite ‘Yes’.  I often add that I chill my reds for about fifteen minutes before opening the bottle. 

I, also suggest that they should use a  trick that I have learned about red wine. Chill a bottle for half an hour before going out, and then put your bottle in a wine bag to keep the bottle somewhat cold. Certain red varietals thrive when cooled.

My summer in the Berkshires of Massachusetts is made up primarily of outdoor events, specifically Tanglewood (music), the Mount (Edith Wharton’s garden party), Jacob’s Pillow (dance), the Clark Museum (outdoor concerts) and family or friends BBQ’s.

Due to necessity, I have become knowledgeable about what red wines to bring to outdoor events. I look for wines that endure unforeseen weather conditions, wines that pair well with most types of food and wines that are not overly heavy, but are enjoyable on the palate. My goal is to find wines that are not about power, but, about harmony and balance.

If you can think beyond whites and roses for the summer, there are a number of reds, all fairly priced wines that can make your summer memorable.  

Pinot Noir is my favorite red grape for the summer. Historically, Pinot Noir is one of those grapes that is hard to grow. It needs the right soil and the right care to thrive. Maybe it is loved by so many because it is so difficult to grow. The grape hails from Burgundy and is one of the three major grapes used for Champagne production.

Now, world-class, new world Pinot Noir comes from Oregon, California and New Zealand. The ones I have chosen for my summer red wines are full of structure, are delicate and subtle which makes them perfect for pairing

Below is a list of six of my favorite summer red wines.

Dashwood Pinot Noir 2013 (New Zealand)
Price: $15.99
Aged: Stainless steel
Alcohol: 13.5%
Tasting notes: A very well balanced, acidic wine with subtle tannic notes that are highlighted with soft fruits, specifically blackcurrants, red plums, dark cherriesand blackberries, followed by a bit of white pepper.

Goldwater Pinot Noir 2012 (New Zealand)
Price: $23.99
Aged: Stainless steel
Alcohol: 13%
Tasting notes: Balanced and very approachable, this Pinot Noir, made by one of the oldest Pinot Noir producers in the Wairau Valley, is marked by hints of strawberries, cedar, mocha and nutmeg. The lingering finish of this sustainable wine distinguishes its versatility.

Saget La Petite Perriere Pinot Noir 2013 (France)
Price: $12.99
Aged: Stainless steel
Alcohol: 12.5%
Tasting notes: This is a true, go-to summer wine that thrives on being chilled.  Light strawberry notes on the palate mix with cherry spice notes, followed by a creamy raspberry flavor. The wine is delicate, food friendly and subtle at the same time.

Saget Marie De Beauregard Chinon 2012 (France)
Price: $17.99
Aged: Six to nine months in 2nd/3rd use oak barrels
Alcohol: 13%
Tasting notes: Silky tannins, intense fruit flavors of raspberries and blueberries mixed with spice and vanilla make this 100% Cabernet Franc wine a special red summer wine that should be drunk year round.

Bodegas Caro Aruma Malbec 2012 (Argentina)
Price: $12.99
Aged: Eight months in 50% oak barrels
Alcohol: 14%
Tasting Notes: A very fruit forward wine that suggests the concentrated fruit of high altitude Malbec—plums, raspberries, strawberries and violet. Add subtle hints of chocolate and vanilla to this depth of flavors.

Bodegas Caro Amancaya Gran Reserva Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Argentina)
Price: $17.99
Aged: French oak barrels
Alcohol: 15%
Tasting notes: Old world meets new world with this robust, spicy, earthy, cherry laden blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. A lingering finish highlighted by raspberries, spice and earthiness make this wine stand out of the pack. This is my obvious wine pick for an outdoor summer BBQ.

Philip S. Kampe


Paul S. said...

What an astute article. Your selections seem logical, wines I do not know anything about.

Gretchen M. said...

Spot on article..

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