A winemaker needs intuition
Substance Ch Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2019
Being intuitive is certainly an asset for a winemaker. Combine it with daring, passion and talent and then add the drive of a former rock band manager and you get … Charles Smith. This self-taught wine producer creates lively, punchy wines with character, under the brand name Wine of Substance, and they can be drunk young.
The chardonnay is the most recent wine to be developed. The 2019 vintage is subtle with scents of chervil and pear peelings. The acidity holds without decreasing the fullness and smoothness, allowing notes of citrus, meringue and vanilla to wind everything up beautifully.
Save the Christmas turkey leftovers and pair this Washington rockstar with turkey in mushroom sauce au gratin.
Domaine des Huards Envol 2019
This red made of wines from the Loire valley is associated with the emblematic cabernet franc. However – in the assemblage of wines bearing the appellation Cheverny – this latter, which has become an accessory, gives way to pinot noir and gamay.
An early adopter of biodynamics, the Gendrier family offers this assemblage (mixture) in the “Envol” vintage of the Domaine des huards. The brilliant ruby-red colour announces the wine’s freshness. And indeed, the initial aromas of wood strawberries, raspberries and – lightly – of blackberries are associated with a flexible, succulent mouth on an aromatic finish tinged with liquorice.
This is the kind of wine you serve slightly chilled (16˚C), and simply, with deli-style meats or fish (mackerel) in a mustard sauce for those who love red wine.
Izadi Reserva 2017
It is fascinating to see how the root systems of a grape vine behave in poor to very poor soil. The roots dive and dig, sometimes as far as 12 metres, as they seek water. They nourish themselves, as they search, with the trace minerals needed for the proper development of the above-ground part of the plant.
The vines of the house Izadi are planted in the arid soil of the Rioja Alavesa. This next wine, the Reserva Bodegas, made 100 per cent from tempranillo, surprises with its generous aromas of ripe fruit and the elegance of its tannins. Dry and mineral with a subtly woody finish.
There’s sure potential here for aging, and also for immediate sampling with a comforting roast beef au jus.
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