by Carri L. Wroblewski, BRIX Wine Shop
There are a lot of ways to describe a wine. But sometimes more simply put, the better we understand exactly how it tastes. In wine industry speak there’s a “highly technical” term that I use often, and no matter what kind of connoisseur you are, there’s no mistaking the type of wine I’m talking about. It goes down easily, won’t break the bank, and always over delivers. It’s a porch pounder wine. That go-to wine of the summer, a crowd pleaser, the one you open up on a breezy Nantucket night or with your girlfriends over lunch.
Here’s a go-to guide for a case of this summer’s perfect porch pounder wine.
2012 Michel Delhommeau Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie “Cuvée St. Vincent”
Crafted by the young couple Michel & Nathalie Delhommeau, this complex bottling of Muscadet beckons for sea breezes and a plate of oysters. Made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne, this grape was brought to the Loire Valley centuries ago from Burgundy. Fresh, light and loaded with minerals, Muscadet still remains the largest white wine appellation in France.
2013 Vera Vinho Verde
Quench your thirst with this zippy Vinho Verde from Portugal. Made at Casa do Valle by Luis Duarte, one of Portugal’s preeminent vignerons, it’s a blend of 60% Arinto, 30% Azal and 10% Loureiro. Mineral driven with a hint of effervescence, it has citrus aromas of lime and pink grapefruit that jump from the glass. The Azal grape gives the wine it freshness, the Arinto offers up citrus notes and acidity, while the Loureiro delivers floral aromatics that round out the wine.
2012 MontGravet Côtes de Gascogne
If you love Sauvignon Blanc this is a porch-perfect alternative that comes from the Gascony region, near the city of Toulouse in southwest France. The wine takes its name from the “Mont” or hills where the vines are grown and the “Gravet” are oval rocks commonly found in the area. Made from 100% Colombard grapes, this is an easy-drinking summer white with exotic fruit aromas, fresh citrus flavors, and balanced acidity.
2012 Domaine LaFage Vin du Pays ‘Côte Est’ Blanc
This is one of my favorites this season that’s as easy on your wallet as it is going down. Made from a vibrant blend of 50% Grenache Blanc (from vines over 100 years old), 30% Chardonnay, and 20% Marsanne, it has aromas of white flowers and citrus that spill from the glass. A white that has hints of minerals and a touch of spice, for those of you who follow the wine press, it received 90-points from The Wine Advocate.
2012 M. Chapoutier Côtes-du-Rhône Belleruche Blanc
The Chapoutier family has produced wines in the Rhône Valley since 1808. Michel Chapoutier, currently in charge, makes some of the best wines of the region. This charming white is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Clairette, and 20% Bourboulenc. Loaded with aromas of green apple and white flowers it’s light to medium-bodied. The palate offers up ripe grapefruit flavors and a hint of melon. It finishes with zesty acidity making it a great wine to pair with light summer fare.
2012 Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Terrassen
Hailing from Austria, Domäne Wachau is based in the prestigious wine-growing region, the Wachau. Made from 100% Grüner Veltliner that grows on steep terraced vineyards, it has aromas of white pepper with citrus notes. A perfect summer sipper, this mineral-driven white makes a great aperitif or pairs well with seafood or sushi.
2013 Bieler Pere et Fils Rosé
The Bieler Pere et Fils ‘Sabine’ rosé is a wine that speaks to summer and of family. The winery pays homage to Charles Bieler’s father, while the name ‘Sabine’ pays tribute to his daughter. Made from a blend of 55% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Grenache, 3% Cinsault, and 2% Rolle, it’s crisp and delicate with bright flavors of raspberry, Bing cherry and wild strawberry. Its minerality and tart acidity make it a perennial porch pounder!
2013 Villa Wolf Rosé de Pinot Noir
Winemaker Ernest Loosen poured this rosé at the Nantucket Wine Festival this year and it’s been a hit ever since. A true rosé made with brief skin contact before pressing gives this wine a beautiful salmon color. It’s light and refreshing with bright fruit flavors and a clean, zippy finish.
2011 Villa Locatelli Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso
Villa Locatelli dates back to 1648 when Emperor Ferdinand III gave war hero Locando Locatelli a piece of land to thank him for his services. Made from 100% Refosco, an ancient varietal indigenous to Friuli, this is a perfect red for warmer months. It’s juicy and fresh with bright flavors of blackberry and white pepper. I love this with a slight chill.
2012 Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo DOC
Coming from the hills in the provinces of Chieti and Teramo in the region of Abruzzo, Gran Sasso is located in the town of Ortona. With a location close to the Adriatic Sea, the vineyards benefit from maritime influence and mountain breezes. Made from 100% Montepulciano from 15-20 year old vines, this wine is a dark ruby color in the glass. On the nose it has perfumed aromas of plum and spice and the palate delivers with generous fruit flavors of ripe blackberries.
2012 Cantina Santa Maria la Palma Cannonau di Sardegna
A star from Sardinia, Cannonau (also known as Grenache) is thought to have come to the Italian island with the Aragonese when they conquered the island in the early 14th Century (from what is now Aragon). One of Sardinia’s most successfully grown grapes; it is a bright ruby color with aromas of strawberry and ripe raspberry. I love its flavors of plum, spice, and herbs with grilled pizzas, but also like it on its own with a slight chill during the summer months.
2011 Casa Castillo Monastrell
A 90-point wine from wine critic Stephen Tanzer, he describes the 2011 Casa Castillo as “sexy and high-pitched with aromas of raspberry, cherry, star anise and candied rose, with a touch of orange zest.” I describe it as a wine that completely over delivers for the money! Made from 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre), this low-yield wine is packed with ripe, lush red berry fruit.