Susana Strikes Again – The White Daily Slosh

7 Jun

balbowineryI’ve mentioned Susana Balbo before in these posts. She is the winemaker for Dominio del Plata in Argentina among other wineries.  My mentions are most often in connection with her reds, in particular her Susana Balbo Signature Malbec. Now comes a great summer wine crafted by Susana, the “Queen of Torrontes”, the “Evita of Wine”. The 2012 Crios Torrontés #1834 $13.95 is a big flowery white that will shine in the heat of July and August. It can match with light meals but I like this style of wine by itself with conversation and nibbles rather than a meal. And, it’s $13.95, not a big expense for a new experience or reacquainting yourself with an old friend. This would be a great summer sipper around the crokinole board, crokinole being the national board game of Argentina, you know. Interesting and completely fabricated fact: In the 1530’s, Crokinole was invented and named after the Spanish explorer, Pedro de Mendoza, whose affectionate nickname was Crokinolé for the distracting habit he had of flicking his finger against his ear lobe. Does anyone out there still play crokinole?

campagnolaNow we’ve all been to functions where a white wine is served and you can remember saying to someone at your table, “I think the wine is OK. What do you think?” And they reply, “Yea, it’s OK.” There’s a good chance that that white wine was Soave or Pinot Grigio. They serve an important purpose. But sometimes in our world, they come off as simply. “OK”. Both wines would have you raving about them while sitting in a bustling Venetian café. Goes to show you what ambiance and situation do to the experience of wine. So, let’s try and recapture that Venetian ‘wow’ with a Soave. The 2011 Guiseppi Campagnola Le Bine Foscarino Soave Classico #134551 $13.95 keeps the price point of many other Soaves but brings a lot more to the glass – more flavour and aroma-wise. A profile a bit more like a sauvignon blanc sans the attitude. Serve cold. This is a lot more than just “OK”.

kjchardDid you try the Cannonball Chardonnay I recommended last time out? It was the poster child for oaked California chard – nicely balancing creaminess with enough acid and fruit. This week, there’s another somewhat predictable (which doesn’t mean ‘blah’) chardonnay from mega-producer Kendall-Jackson. The 2011 Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay #369686 $19.95 is a bit more restrained than the Cannonball. But, still you get the buttery notes and plenty of apple and a nice snap at the end. This would be a great summer supper wine – chicken in some kind of sauce, grilled lobster tails, or maybe even grilled shrimp in a not-too-spicy treatment. Buy it for your chardonnay lover.

vouvrayWay back when, I used to drink a syrupy sweet Chenin Blanc blend from California or so the label said. And it was in a bottle not a box! It was a ‘go to’ wine for company. Not sure what I saw in it but we all have those experiences in our wine backgrounds – a wine that upon reflection we find brutally unpleasant. Nodding with the Blue Nun, Black Tower memories, aren’t you? Check out the Blue Nun ad. Well, I’ve come to appreciate Chenin Blanc but in a different style – that of Vouvray. Vouvray can be anywhere from bone dry to fairly sweet. The 2012 Donatien Bahuaud Les Grand Mortiers Vouvray #140889 $15.95 is off-dry but for me carries the acidity and crispness of a drier style wine. It’s typical in minerality and intense aroma.  This is a great food wine.


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