Varsity Liquors' Wines of the Month
Planeta "La Segreta" 2001, Sicily Italy
The winery of Planeta in Sicily is currently producing some of the world's most exciting wines. "La Segreta" or "The Secret" is a white wine consisting of the grapes Grecanico, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay, and let me tell you -it is good! "La Segreta" combines an expansive nose of grapefruit and mango with a palette that is substantial without being ponderous or heavy. This wine spends no time in oak so the purity of the fruit shines through. This wine would find itself paired well with all but the most delicate of seafood dishes and would serve admirably with Swordfish in a mango-jalapeno Salsa.
Chateau de Pizay Morgon Cru Beaujolais 2000, France
The hot and lazy days of summer make it hard to justify the choice of a red wine when those chilled whites look so appealing, but we aren't here for just the easy jobs. A nice summer choice in a red would be a Beaujolais-Villages, but an even better one would be a step up in the form of a Morgon, a Cru Beaujolais from the village of Morgon. The bright cherry fruit and dose of crisp acidity make this a wine easy to enjoy with lighter dishes and appetizers. Salmon en Pappillote would make a good culinary match. Chilling it a little (15-30min) before the meal would also enhance the experience of drinking this wine.
Chateau Puey-Saincrit "Montalon" Bordeaux Superieur 2000, France
This Bordeaux possesses a feel of richness and a depth of texture all to rare in modestly priced Bordeaux. The designation of Bordeaux superieur means the wine has to have a slightly higher alcohol content than just regular A.C. Bordeaux. This often means they have a fuller body, more character, and represent a good value in this ever pricier category. Enjoy this wine with such filling entrees as Roast Pork Loin with Grilled Vidalia Onions and Rosemary Potatoes, or a Hunters Stew of rabbit, venison and root vegetables.
Belisario San Leopardo Rosso 1999, Marche Italy
The region of Marche is well known for its white Verdicchio's with red wines being mostly an afterthought. Belisario is trying to change that with the San Leopardo being a step in the right direction. This wine is bright, with copious fruit and a rustic edge on the finish lingering and crying out for a hearty meal of with pasta, sausage and strong cheese. The predominant grape is Sangiovese, the noble grape of Chainti and Brunello, but in Marche it takes on its own character, with less elegance but more spice and youthful intensity.
Bodegas Castano "Hecula" 2000, Yecla Spain
Bodegas Castano is responsible for some of the most deeply flavored and complex wines available. The "Hecula" is a blend of Mourvedre, Tempranillo, and Merlot that comes together in a vinous expression of power and grace rarely seen for less than $25 a bottle. Think of this as the wine equivalent of Ali in his prime. In addition, this wine has received very favorable reviews from the Maryland based high priest of wine, Robert Parker, with previous vintages being rated over 90pts. Given the tendency for wines to disappear once they are "blessed", if you like this one, give us a call ASAP.