Amy Dixon CSW
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Domaine Ehrhart Pinot Auxerrois-
In keeping with our ‘let’s get weird’ theme in the month of April, I decided to focus on one of my favorite regions for cool climate white wines, Alsace. This unique clone of normally ‘pedestrian’ Pinot Blanc, called Auxerrois, is quite special indeed. It has naturally low yields, and therefore starts with a much higher quality and concentration than other Pinot Blanc, AND the berries have thin skins, allowing a greater juice to skin ration, further intensifying the fruit. Domaine Ehrhart dates back to the 1700s, with their tiny 21 acres of vines, located at the top of the valley with the perfect eastern exposition on their steeply sloped site. 100% organically farmed, with beautiful tropical notes, a silky medium body that hints at oak (although this wine is 100% stainless steel fermented) with gorgeous balance, and peach blossoms delicately wafting from the glass. I fell in LOVE all over again. An insane value.
Finca Antigua Viura-
Tasting this wine blind was the perfect choice. I do enjoy Viura, but oftentimes find it devoid of character and interest- sort of an innocuous dry white from Spain’s Valdeorras region. Looking back at my notes from that fun evening, I was delighted to see, “leesy, rich, juicy, layered and persistent.” It’s hard to believe that came from this lovely modest little white wine. Tickled? You bet I am! This wine is harvested at over 2500 feet of elevation, preserving that wonderful natural freshness and acidity one comes to expect from high altitude serious white wines. A no brainer for a case!
The 2011 Finca Antigua Viura offers a fragrant, floral bouquet with honeysuckle and jasmine scents mixed with a touch of vanilla pod. The palate is well-balanced with a touch of dry honey on the entry, leading to a lovely apricot, peach and marmalade-tinged finish that is a real treat. Excellent. Drink now.
Score: 91. —Neal Martin, April 2013
What’s weirder than Viognier? Torrontes! It’s like the Southern hemisphere’s answer to this awesomely aromatic grape variety. Torrontes is a tropical, floral cornucopia of flavors and aroma from Argentina. When I’m looking to step up my game from ‘plain Jane Sauvignon Blanc’ this is where I go. Yes, it’s weird, but tres chic! This wine is wonderfully rich, with a freshness of the finish and simply cannot be beat under $15. Be hip. Be Cool. Try Torrontes and you’ll never turn back!