Wines of the Week: Aug. 19-25

Everyday: If there’s a better bang-for-the-buck Spanish winery than Vinos
Zestos 2Jeromin Zestos, I would seriously love to find it. The 2011 Zestos Old Vines Garnacha ($10) offers up a friendly, cherry/berry nose and tasty, ripe but rustic red fruit. The tannins are well-integrated, the mouthfeel and finish chunky in a good way. This is an “outdoor” wine, made for the grill, whether it’s sausages, sauce-slathered ribs or chicken or peppers and onion on the barbie. And don’t miss the Zestos Blanco, an almost peerless al fresco delight.

Occasion: Granted, most U.S. wine consumers are loath to spend more than $20, Laureaumuch less $39, on a white that is not chardonnay. But that’s only because they’ve never tasted chenin blancs as delicious and vibrant at the Damien Laureau “Le Bel Ouvrage” Savennieres 2007. Yes, that’s the current vintage, and it’s still a bit tightly wound. But a little glass time, and/or a whole lotta swirling, reveal a lush but minerally nose and rich, ripe, spice-tinged fruit. The finish is a melange of all those elements and more, with spot-on acid/mineral/fruit harmony. Try it with creamy fish, fowl or porcine dishes, or late-summer/autumn soups. And do consider cellaring a few bottles.

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