2005 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand ($8.99) Lifted aromas of lime blossom and grapefruit with a hint of herbs. On the palate the wine is refreshing with good acidity and fine length. This crowd pleaser is a must for any party or wedding this summer. 2005 Highfield Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand ($13.99) For those who prefer a richer style, the bouquet offers lovely notes of lime, passion fruit, gooseberry, red bell pepper and minerals. The wine has a wee bit of barrel fermentation and lees contact giving it a creamy texture on the palate framed by juicy acidity. 2001 Penfolds Winemakers Reserve Limited Release Shiraz South Australia ($9.99) Due to a error in the Penfolds warehouse, this wine was found and labeled as the Winemakers Reserve. The juice inside is a wine (no, not Grange!) you would normally have to pay quite a bit more for. Full of ripe mulberry, cedar, spice and earth aromas, on the palate notes of dusty red currant, cherry and mint come into play, with fine tannins, good acidity and very nice length. 2004 Hewitson “Miss Harry” GSM Barossa Valley South Australia ($17.99) Dean Hewitson makes one the great values in a Southern Rhone style Aussie red. A bit more structured than the 2003, the wine offers beautiful aromas of plum, dark berry, meats and pepper spice. On the palate there is seamless balance framed by a hint of mocha and a little mint in the long finish. —Jimmy C
This month I suggest several of my favorite Rhone wines, a delicate sparkling wine, a luscious rosé and a full-throttle red. A wine for my every mood. And yours! NV Clairette de Die Cave Carod ($12.99) This non-vintage sparkler from the northern Rhone is composed of 75% muscat petits grains and 25% clairette, and made using the methode champenoise. This is a sparkling wine with very fine bubbles, light in alcohol (8°), and still containing residual sugar. Clairette brings delicacy to the wine whereas muscat gives its typical sweetness. This zippy and refreshing sparkling wine is the PERFECT accompaniment to all spicy cuisines. 2005 Tavel Rosé Domaine de Segriés ($11.99) This is not your everyday quaffer of a rosé. The average vine age here is 30 years, and the resulting juice (specifically 50% grenache, 30% cinsault, 15% clairette and 5% syrah) is concentrated and deep. Yes, this is a vin de saignee, meaning it is bled off the grapes keeping just a hint of the red color. But bear in mind that no red wine is made in Tavel. Just rosé. And we’re just fine with that! Enjoy with hearty foods like pissaladiere. 2004 Lirac Alain Jaume “Clos de Sixte” ($16.99) The 2004 Clos de Sixte Lirac is composed of 50% grenache, 35% syrah and 15% mourvèdre. A gorgeously intense red garnet color sets off striking aromas of cassis and wild blackberries. And although full-bodied, with notes of licorice, espresso nib and truffle, the tannins are supple, making this a fantastic Rhone to enjoy tonight with say, gigot d’agneau or grilled sausages. —Mulan Chan
This May I had the opportunity to spend time with Olivier Pithon, a rising young star making wine in the Roussillon. Olivier is now recognized in Europe as part of the new generation of winemaking phenoms. K&L is proud to offer a selection of Olivier’s wines, which beautifully showcase the beauty and terroir of one of the most underrated wine regions of France. 2003 Côtes du Roussillon Domaine Olivier Pithon “La Coulée” ($20.99) “La Coulée” is a great introduction to both the terrior of the region and to Olivier’s non-interventionist style. This grenache-based red (with some carignan and syrah for tannin and acidity) offers copious quantities of sweet red fruit with a spicy note of pepper and local wild herbs. 2004 Cotes du Roussillon Blanc Domaine Olivier Pithon “Cuvée Laïs” ($26.99) Laïs is the name of one of Olivier much cherished Jersey cows. Maybe it’s strange to name a wine after a cow, but, you see, both the wine and cow share something quite significant in common; they are both loved by Pithon! The blend here is maccabeu and white and gray grenache. A proportion of new oak is used in fermentation, but the wood influence is always discreet, allowing the very fresh flowery notes to speak. 2003 Côtes du Roussillon Domaine Olivier Pithon “Saturne” ($28.99) Produced from black grenache and carignan, planted on the rock on shale slopes almost 60 years ago. A touch of syrah enlivens this local base. Very special attention is given to these vines from which you can catch a glimpse of the Mediterranean, the foothills of the Pyrenees and Corbières. 2003 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Blanc Domaine Olivier Pithon “LA D18” ($39.99) For the domaine’s top white cuvee, Pithon borrowed the name of a local road, one that threads its way quite breathtakingly from Calce to Le Col de la Dona. The LA D18 is based on a selection of the best slopes of white and grey grenache and tastes quite like a white Châteauneuf. —Mulan Chan
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