Wines of the Week: July 21-27
Everyday: Twenty years after apartheid ended, South Africa has really picked up the pace in the wine world, making many more wines in an “international” style rather than the lean Steens and pinotages that the folks there tend to prefer. The 2011 Gabrielskoof Nuntius ($11) is just such a wine, a Rhone-style (shiraz, mourvedre and viognier) blend that is hearty and ripe, with just enough grip. Red berries and dust play off each other through the longish finish. The label reads: “A Message in the Bottle,” and the message is “drink me.” A stack of ribs or a grilled pizza with meat and/or mushrooms are among the many summer-y pairing options. The soundtrack: Paul Simon’s collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “Graceland.”
Occasion: A wine’s first job is to be delicious, and a rosé’s first job is to be refreshing. The 2013 Etude Rosé of Pinot Noir ($24) succeeds mightily on both counts. Loaded with cherry/berry flavor and endlessly fresh, this pink gem boasts beautiful texture and a mouth-watering finish, making it well worth the somewhat higher-than-normal tariff for a rosé. Everything from easter ham to Thanksgiving turkey will mosey right up to this beauty, but like the best of its ilk, the Etude plays well with all but the heaviest of dishes. And the cool, shimmering new album by Sharon Van Etten could not be better-suited as an additional accompaniment.