Woman on Wine with Amy Reiley
This month my column takes on a slightly new flavor. I’m discovering that its tough to keep up my normal wine tasting pace in my current condition (pregnancy). So I turned to a little help from my friends in the wine business, asking them to recommend some of their favorite wines right now. Not only was I amused by the different styles in which each describes their wine, I am in love with the sexy sumptuous names many have selected to recommend.
But what probably struck me the most was the realization that I have not one, not two, but three friends in the wine profession named Ian. So if you’re hoping to produce the next generation of winemakers, the odds are on Ian as the best choice of name!
Ian White, Wine Country Director for 7×7 magazine:
St. Helena Winery
The ‘07 is deep in color, very dense and concentrated. It has a nose of red cherry, red currant, pomegranate, and black truffle with a hint of sage. Lively on the palate, it has flavors of dark chocolate, black cherry, blueberry and juicy red plum. This wine is very complex with tannins that are smooth, round and succulent.
Laura Englander, co-creator of Cookies & Corks:
2009 Sauvignon Blanc
This is a surprisingly heavy, spicy Sauv Blanc with nice mellow citrus notes of peach and
citrus on the finish. I of course had to try it with one of our cookies and Espresso Chocolate Peanut Butter was nearby. What ensued was the makings of a creamy, chocolaty dessert right there in my mouth when the spicy wine met the creamy peanut butter and dark espresso chocolate.
Ian Burrows, consultant wine director, San Francisco Bay Area:
2009 Provocateur Pinot Noir
Old world style Pinot with emphasis on balance and complexity, over in-your-face fruit. The nose is reminiscent of forest mushrooms and chartreuse liqueur with a strong earthy component. The lack of obvious ripe fruit on the nose is evidence of the respect winemaker Jim Prosser has for Burgundy. The earthy nose gives way to delicious ripeness on the palate with red cherries, cranberry, ripe raspberries all held together beautifully by smooth, elongated tannins.
Annette Tomei, Chef Instructor for the French Culinary Institute/International Culinary Center:
The Scarlet Letter NV Sparkling Shiraz
I’m having a bit of a love affair with this Sparkling Shiraz. It goes with everything it should, both savory & sweet including dark chocolate chocolate chip cookies. A wine of many charms, it even has a fabulous label & beer-style crown cap for ease of opening the 2nd or 3rd bottle.
Renie Steves, freelance wine journalist and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier:
2008 Le Petit Coquerel Sauvignon Blanc
The Coquerel family from Dallas produces award-winning Sauvignon Blancs in Napa Valley earning a Gold Medal at the Lone Star Wine Competition in 2010. The ‘08 has grapefruit, lychee and mango in the nose. Crisp, clean, and lean like a handsome 18-year-old, the wine has perfect balance between roundness and sharp brightness.
Greg La Follette, founder/winemaker of La Follette Wines:
2011 Reserve Semillon
From one of the oldest working wineries in Australia, this wine represents the best of what “Hunter River Riesling” (aka Semillon, not at all a Riesling) presents. With zippy acidity, a mouth-wateringly low pH and an alcohol of 10.5%, this wine is totally about racy food and having a good time. Old-vine, dry-farmed but just what the new age demands of sexy wines.
Ian Blackburn, Founder of Learn About Wine & CEO of Wine Cloud:
This is a beautiful wine at a wonderful price, clean, pure, balanced. It is made by Allan Phillips, a winemaker with a solid reputation and great resume. The Chard makes a wonderful introduction to one of Santa Barbara’s finest up-and-comers.
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