Wines of the Week: April 1-7

Everyday: Best I can tell, Charles Smith can do no wrong. The Washington-based vintner Vinomakes my favorite $12 domestic riesling, his syrahs are powerful and profound, and he has come up with another winner with the 2011 Charles Smith “Vino” Pinot Grigio ($14). Lovely floral and fruit aromas lead to a vast array of yummy flavors (pear, citrus, apple) and a burst of mineral-based lift on the palate. Spot-on acidity works its way into the refreshingly mouth-watering finish. Try it with sushi, buffalo chicken salad, or actually most any fish or any salad.

Occasion: Every once in a while, a wine will remind us of why the French talk so much Font-Saneabout “terroir.” The Domaine de Font-Sane “Tradition” Gigondas ($24) has the kind of savory and earthy elements that evoke the ground from which this grenache-based blend sprung. In the 2007 and 2009 renditions, classic Southern Rhone characteristics “” white pepper, dried herbs, red fruit and a bit of meatiness “” come to the fore at varying times. The finish is stout yet a bit silky. Tapenade, hearty pasta dishes and a grilled steak (perhaps laced with white pepper) are among the swell accompaniments.

4 Responses

  1. Bill Ward

    Edward: The Charles Smith should be widely available, although it’s always good to call ahead to a store rather than go on a wild juice chase (sorry). I’ll check on the Tradition with the wholesaler. You might wanna call Mitch at South Lyndale or Peter at Thomas (depending on what side of the river you live on); they might carry either/both or be able to get some, plus they’re just excellent people to know.

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