Monthly Archives: July 2017

William Fevre Chablis

Cape Gazette – Refreshing White Wines Are Perfect for Summer

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By Cape Gazette

Refreshing white wines are perfect for summer

William Fevre Chablis Vaudesir Grand Cru 2014 is remarkably wonderful and perfect with white fish. Shows a beautiful bouquet of pear, pineapple, lemon, beeswax and chalky mineral notes. I also detected a floral subtone. On the palate, full-bodied and a bit restrained suggesting need for more cellaring. The mid palate has depth, bright acids and grip that continues through the long, clean finish. I realize I am being repetitive but these are white Chardonnay made to cellar. The 2014 and ’15 are two of the best recent vintages, 94 points McD under $55.Avoid the 2016. The window for 2014 will by 2018-30, at least. They are approachable now. Nearly all us “Muricans” have been exposed to Chablis, invariably served while far too young for consumption. You have missed a great deal if you haven’t enjoyed a Grand Cru Chablis that is properly aged. Fevre produces several Grand Cru Chablis. I preferred the Vaudesir. In most cases I am a fan of Les Clos. You may be surprised to learn that although these “Climats” (S is silent) are proximate they have definite characteristics related to how far up the hills they are (chalkier higher up) and sun exposure. The Chablis Grand Cru appellation includes seven Climats: Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur, and Vaudésir. They are primarily produced in the environs of the village of Chablis, but also at Fyé and Poinchy.

How about an 89-point McD $12 bottle of very refreshing white? We enjoy Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia Sicilia 2015. Two other Insolia more readily available are named Corvo and Adesso. In the past, I have sampled theirs. To be frank, they were not interesting. Feudo 2015 was a pleasant surprise. Generally, Insolia juice is more commonly used to blend in Marsala or with other whites. The 2015 Feudo breaks that mold. It is richer, with honey and nuts, and a silky, smooth texture. Try some with flounder or trout almandine. Barbara and I were pleased with the combo. Here is an interesting factoid. The varietal appears to have originated in Greece and is a very old strain. It is also known as any of the following: Ansonica, Amsonica, Ansolia, Ansolica, Ansoliku, Ansonica Bianca, Ansora, Ansoria, Ansorica, Anzonaka, Anzonica, Anzulu, Arba Solika, Erba Insolika, Inselida, Insolia di Palermo, Insora, Inzolia, Inzolia Parchitana, Nsolia, Nsuolia, Nzolia, Nzolia Bianca, Nzolia di Lipari, Nzolia di Palermo, Soria, Zolia Bianca. I am always suspicious of anything with that number of aliases. Rest assured in the case of Feudo Insolia 2015. These are not for the cellar and are vintage specific, like all my recommendations.

I want to thank all who have emailed. In the past, I would respond to enquiries in the column, naming the culprits. At this point, the entire space would be taken up on many occasions. I decided to just respond individually. One aspect of receiving your mail is it prods me out of my comfort zone. Let me assure readers that is a positive and a benefit to all. There is so much delightful product out there. Due to the internet, your local well-developed wine shop relationship should allow you to find access to each selection I explore.

Wine bottles

Food and Wine – 5 Wines Under $15 to Pair with Easter Ham

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By Food and Wine

While there are myriad reasons why lamb is the traditional meat to eat on Easter, there’s also very sound reasoning behind the argument that it’s also counterintuitive: If this is a celebration of spring, why not lighten it up a bit? Let’s have ham, instead! And let’s drink wines that pivot toward the change in temperature, brighten our moods and make the ham taste even better, too. Here's what to drink with every kind of ham:

For ham slathered in spicy mayo or aioli

Anna de Codorniu Cava Brut Rosé ($13)
This Cava made in the “traditional” (read: Champagne) method is (like a lot of Champagne) composed of 70 percent Pinot Noir (Chardonnay, the remainder), and it shows, literally, in its salmon/pale-pink appearance. While there are lovely aromas of cherries and berries all over the place, it’s this bubbly’s bracing acidity that keeps coming through, straight into the finish.

For fruity, glazed ham

2015 Rocca Di Montemassi Calasole Vermentino ($15)
Behold: your first bouquet of white flowers this spring as you take in the heady nose of this Tuscan Vermentino. However, this is no delicate flower of a wine, as it quickly dives deep from delicate to minerally, even nutty (think hazelnuts, in particular), landing on a crunchy bite of Granny Smith apple in the finish.

For smoked ham with a sweet-tart glaze

2016 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($14) 
Here’s the lightest Cabernet you may ever taste (or gulp, actually, which is inevitable after the first sip). While Mulderbosch earned its street cred with its racy Sauvignon Blanc, this dusty pink pleaser from the other side of the planet is selling fast since it debuted. Here’s why: it proffers waves of refreshing pink grapefruit acidity coupled with succulent, ripe watermelon—the kind you can’t stop eating.

For fresh ham that's been braised in booze

2015 Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Reserve Rouge ($13)
This is your go-to red for springtime quaffing (heck—straight through summer!), served preferably a tad chilled, featuring silky Grenache (with Syrah making up the rest, plus a slash of Mourvèdre) boasting berries of the red and black variety, plus a touch of dusty spice and sweet, juicy tannins in the finish.  

For your leftovers: grilled ham and cheese sandwiches

2016 Masciarelli Villa Gemma Abruzzo Cerasuolo ($15)
The word “cerasuolo” means “cherry-like” in Italian, and describes this wine’s gorgeous, transparent garnet color, thanks to very brief grape skin contact during fermentation. The resulting red plays it both ways, with cherry, brambly, red wine fruit flavors wrapped around a tight beam of mouthwatering white wine acidity.

Di Butera Insolia

The Times Weekly – Wine of the Week: Two Wines From Italy Answer Grill Wine Riddle

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By The Times Weekly

What wine do I serve with barbecue and grilled meats and other grilled foods? It turns out two wines from very different regions of Italy have solved the riddle; Citra Caroso ($21.99) Montepulciano from the Abruzzi coastal region in central Italy, not far from Tuscany and Principi Di Butera Insolia DOC ($14.99), a lovely white wine from Sicily. Both are as different in their characteristics as the regions they come from, but cover the complete gamut of flavors typical of the plethora of grilled items served at the family cookout.

Let's start with Insolia. The wine is made from 100% Insolia grapes, native to Riesi, Sicily, where the grapes are harvested at night then rushed to stainless steel tanks where they are fermented for 7-10 days. Very cool temperatures preserve the fresh fruit flavors from the field. The wine is allowed to rest "on the lees,' for three months, meaning that it is allowed to rest on the spent yeast, which gives the wine its texture and rich mouth feel. Another six months of aging in stainless steel, further enhances the wine's flavors of ripe green and Golden Delicious apples, tangerines, Meyer lemon and Key Limes and the subtle flavor and texture of lemon sorbet and the smell of white jasmine flowers and chamomile. The color of yellow straw and flecks of green and hints of fresh cut sage make it the perfect accompaniment with seafood salads, grilled shrimp or diver scallops and a steaming earthen bowl of mushroom risotto, hand pressed couscous, or grilled whole fish, scored and brushed with stems of fresh rosemary dipped in olive oil.

summer white shutter long

Paste Magazine – Great White Wines for Summer…All Under $25

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By Paste Magazine

Though red wines and Champagnes tend to command the truly jaw-dropping prices, there are a hell of a lot of expensive whites out there. This can make it confusing to select one. You might feel tempted to think less pricey equals less good. Which can be true, but by no means always.

Rocca De Montemassi Calasole Vermentino (Tuscany, Italy) $15

Subtle and nuanced Tuscan white. Floral nose, almond base, and a bunch of fruit and spice layers in between: yellow plum, apple, a bit of citrus. Good acidity. A sort of “dusty” minerality that I find is common to Tuscan wines. The occasion for this one? Pasta. Fish. Thursday. You’re thirsty. Whatever.

Castello di Albola Poggio Alle Fate (Tuscany, Italy) $12

This is a 100% Chardonnay from the land of Chianti. Pale straw color with green tinges. Lean (though not as bony as a white Burgundy) and very dry, with pleasant acidity and a pretty long finish that’s long on green apples. Grapefruity nose, pineapple, lime and stone on the palate. Italian wines are “food wines” almost across the board, and this one’s no different. Try it with risotto (and in risotto for that matter), calamari, pasta dishes, grilled chicken, summer vegetables. It’s very easy-going.

Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia (Sicily) $16

I like all the wines on this list; some of them I love. This one’s a great prescription for Bored Palate Syndrome. Insolia is a traditional grape from the island of Sicily that’s made as a varietal, used in blends, and is one of the grapes used to make the fortified wine marsala. This iteration is light bodied, a crystalline pale yellow, with the bright, lemony acidity common to Albarinos, but the palate’s totally different, with dominant notes of almonds, oranges, and white flowers as well as faint traces of herbs (I get lemon thyme and maybe a little bit of fennel). The herbaceous notes should make it fun to pair with dishes that echo those notes (herb crusted fish or chicken seem like obvious choices); I’d also pair this with scallops in a heartbeat. The other night I tried it with an incredibly sophisticated meal-mashed potatoes-and it was terrific. I’m saying, as I will say with most of these wines, don’t sweat it. They’re versatile. If they’re not I will mention it. Upshot? Yummy no matter what.

Castello del Poggio Sweet Collection

My Life on and off the Guest List – Hello Sweet Life: Castello del Poggio Launches Sweet Summer Wines

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By My Life on and off the Guest List

There’s no denying that summer is the season of drinking wines, especially light, sweet, and fruity wines. A nice glass or two of a perfectly chilled glass of delicious wine on a hot day can do wonders for your state of mind (and tastebuds). Castello del Poggio, known for their #1 selling and award-winning Italian Moscato, Moscato IGT, has expanded their wine portfolio with a Sweet Collection. This range of sweeter Italian wines features a Sweet Red, Sweet Rosé, Prosecco DOC and Sparkling Moscato that’s perfect for all-afternoon enjoyment.

Not familiar with Castello del Poggio’s wines? Their amazing Moscato is a slightly-sweet, refreshingly low-alcohol wine with flavors of peach, musk, honey, and white flowers. The versatile Sweet Rosé Wine is a refreshing, crisp, and delicate wine that can be enjoyed year-round. The bold violet hued Sweet Red Wine is a full-bodied, fruity, crispy, and soft wine Sweet Red wine with notes of apricot and peach. The light and bubbly Prosecco Demi – Sec Sparkling Wine is perfect for everyday drinking, thanks to its crisp, intense and fruity flavor that is both refreshing and versatile. Expect golden apple, sweet honey notes, and the continuous need to refill your glass. Last but certainly not least is the Sweet Sparkling Moscato which features the same color and notes of the original Moscato but with a medium minerality and a crisp, effervescent finish. We had the pleasure of enjoying a few glasses of the new range of Castello del Poggio Sweet Collection as well as a few curated wine cocktails at The W Hoboken – the Guilty Pleasure, and the Amanca Sangria. You can find the cocktail recipes below:

Guilty Pleasure

Castello del Poggio Guilty Pleasure Cocktail

Castello del Poggio Moscato
Junmai Sake
Fresh Blackberry Puree

Amanca Sangria

Castello del Poggio Sweet Red Wine
Elderflower Liqueur
Lemon Juice
Top with Ginger Beer

The new Castello del Poggio Hello Sweet Life range is now available nationwide. Learn more about this wonderful range of wines on


Cape Gazette – Two Reds, Two Whites and a Blue Wine Make Things Festive

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By Cape Gazette

Sunday evening was the bomb! After a brief burst of activity at Grove Market, the night proved to be uneventful until my drive home. Rehoboth traffic was flagged to a slow, confused mess, as fireworks let out there. I was told the smoke and red glare of the rockets bursting in air was quite lovely. Contrary to the ballyhoo by Mr. Trump’s whipping boys and gals, proof to all that this land of the free and brave still enjoys some degree of patriotism. Keeping with the theme, let’s do two reds, two whites and a blue today.

Castello del Poggio Prosecco DOC is a straw-colored demi-sec with loads of sparkling tiny bubbles. Bright apple aromas supported by palate-cleansing minerality complete the package. This was sent to me as a sample. Place it on your list for a future purchase. Feudo Principi Di Butera 2014 was delicious with lobster and shrimp flashed ultra-hot with butter, red and spring onions, then poached in lobster broth, with tomato concassé added at the finish. Be sure to poach slow and low. Striate tails to prevent curling. Feudo is slightly green-tinged straw with a clear eye. The bouquet was floral (acacia and almonds) with some apple and tangerine. Nose repeated through the medium-bodied wine and was supported by crisp acidity and mineral notes, 88 McD points. Buy at $16 or $80/6-pak.