The Wines of Summer

by Abigail

So, summer hasn’t very much felt like summer as of yet. It’s rained, it poured, and it rained some more, but I’m English, so this is a style of summer I’m used to. And for the record, we’re not buried in snow *touch wood* and Calgarians are notorious for making the most of nice weather (i.e. patio-ing as soon as its above 0 degrees), so this evening is all about celebrating summer with wines that are perfect for quenched palates.

When thinking about wines that are summer friendly, it’s always safe to find styles of wines that are brighter in style, a touch lighter, and maybe lower alcohol (dehydration is REAL people!). For example, big heavy reds tend to have more of a comfort/warming effect, and that’s why they work so well during the winter months. But in the summer, we tend to switch directions, craving food/wine that have more of a cooling effect, which are wines that aren’t as bold or brash, rather wines that are brighter and fresher. For tonight’s line up, I wanted to showcase other wines to explore during the summer months, not just Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir (even though they are perfect for summer, or any time of the year). Tonight, we are going on an adventure for the perfect summertime juice!

Saint Cyr Pet-Nat NV
St. Cyr is based in the beautiful region of Beaujolais. The vineyard is planted mainly in the town of Anse, where the sun beats down on the land. They practice only organic agriculture, limiting the use of chemicals on the land, and not adding any gunk into the wine. All of their wines on our market are perfect for summer, but the Pet-Nat is something special. Made from 100% Gamay, this dry, unfiltered sparkling wine shows notes of cloudy apple juice, blossom, citrus and a touch of spice. It’s a wine that is easy, breezy, yet energetic. Enjoy any day of the week, especially if a patio is involved. $36.99

Domaine du Haut Bourg Pavillon Muscadet 2017
Located in the heart of the Appellation Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu, the Domain du Haut Bourg has been built by four generations of winegrowers. The first vine was planted in 1944 and today the total area of the vineyard has grown to 40 hectares. Pavillon is the name of the parcel where the grapes are from. The vines are 40 years old and produce a fine wine that is chock-full of minerals and bracing acidity. Showing greater length and complexity, this wine opens up to classic melon, citrus notes in the nose, but more reserved and more complex. $22.99

Tenuta di Castellaro Bianco Porticello 2017
I chose this one because not only is a perfect wine for summer, but the wine itself is named after one of the most popular beaches in Lipari! Malvasia Bianco and Carricante grapes from the volcanic island of Lipari, just north of Etna. Salvo Foti is the guru. All bush vines, no chemicals, all by hand, native yeasts. A dry white wine, with a straw yellow colour with bright green reflections, which comes from the combination of the liveliness of the Carricante and the aromaticity of the Moscato Bianco and Malvasia delle Lipari. The scent is herbaceous and fruity notes, with hints of apple, make it fresh and balanced. $29.99
Winner for the evening!

Terra Vecchia Une Ile Rose 2018
Set in Corsica, known as “lle de Beaute”, the domaine stretches between the sea and the mountains, on land filled with history. The combination of terroir and ancient Corsican grape varietals has given Domaine Terra Vecchia worldwide recognition. This rose is a very expressive and complex, combining notes of red fruit, candy and citrus. Fresh and full on the palate with aromas of grapefruit and red currants. The long and delicious finish is the expression of a stylish, well-made wine. 100% Nielluccio. This wine can be enjoyed on all drinking occasions. Its freshness makes it perfect as an aperitif and its elegance allows it to accompany the finest Mediterranean or exotic dishes. $25.99

Cacique Maravilla Pipeno 2017
The history of the estate goes back to the conquistadors and the first vines were planted at that time. The Malbec and Pais originate from vines planted in 1766 (10 years before the United States declared independence!). Farming and winemaking are done in a traditional, natural approach. All farm work is done organically and the vineyards are dry farmed which allow a fuller expression of the unique volcanic soils of the area. Located in the Bio-Bio Valley in Chile, Cacique Maraville shows the true essence of ancestral winemaking. There Pais is something most would not recognize. its tart, earthy and full of life. It’s definitely the curveball for this tasting, but it also comes in a 1 Litre bottle, so perfect for sharing! $40.99

Tenuta di Castellaro Ypsilon 2016
Another wine from Castellaro, but this one is certainly a great red for summer sipping! The latest addition to the Castellaro home: a new red wine that takes its name from the geographical shape of the Aeolian archipelago, which draws a Ypsilon lying on the sea, off the Sicilian coast. It is a blend that harmonizes three red berries characteristic of Lipari, Sicily and Etna: Corinto, Nero d’Avola and Alicante in a wine ready to drink, purple and full-bodied that maintains freshness and minerality. $33.99
Winner for the evening!

Merayo Sangria NV
Merayo winery is Pedro Merayo ́s dream. With the help of his oenologist and friend Fermín, he modified the fruit warehouse and started the adventure of commercializing quality wines based on the varieties Mencía, Godello and some Valenciana. They have been helped by the fact that they have some amazing old vines and recovering almost 20 hectares of southern orientated vineyards near Valtuille de Arriba and Villafranca, from where you can see the ruins of the wine-press of Penediños.

This Sangria is a special production originally made just for friends. We would like to consider ourselves friends because this is a semi-exclusive wine to Kensington Wine Market and we are one of the only places in the world outside of the winery itself where you can get it. With this amazing wine you don’t have to worry about mixing, adding fruit or doing anything else other than cracking a bottle and trying to make sure you don’t drink it too fast, because it is that delicious! The term ‘dangerously drinkable’ was possibly originally created to describe this wine.

We are sharing it with our friends so now you can get a bottle or three (while it lasts) to share it with yours! $25.99

Hopefully, this tasting or this blog post opens some new ideas of what to enjoy this Summer. Thank you to everyone who attended, and thank you to Peasant Cheese for supplying the nibbles!

- Abigail Pavka
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