Varsity Liquors' Wines of the Month
Belisario Verdicchio de Matelica Riserva “Cambrugiano” 1998, Italy
White wines from northern Italy are typically crisp and lightly fruity wines, long on simplicity, and short on character. This wine has all the crisp fruit one would expect and more depth than most of its Northern Italian neighbors. Pinpoint flavors of citrus rind and meringue dance across the palate, while the concentration that sets it above its competition, shows itself in the long and persistent finish. As far as pairing with a meal, I struggle to think of a seafood dish that it would not pair well with. From swordfish being served with mango chutney, to a broiled flounder in a fennel and herb sauce, it has the balance to go anywhere culinary chance or circumstance would choose to take it.
Chateau de Carles 1997, Fronsac Bordeaux
This wine comes from the small commune of Fronsac, not too far from the esteemed estates of Pomerol. Merlot is the grape of choice on the predominantly clay soils of this region of gently undulating hills and gullies. The aromas of this wine just leap out of the glass, with full and round scents of tobacco, earth, and black fruits, fighting each other for attention. One might expect a bruising and tannic wine based on the effusive aromas but that is not the case. Elegance is the word that comes to mind as the soft tannins caress the palate, making for a wine ready to drink now with a variety of cuisines.
Palha-Canas Vinho Tinto 2000, Estramadura Portugal
The rolling hills north if Lisbon are home to some small Quintas that are applying themselves to the pursuit of high-quality winemaking. One of the more successful ventures is the property of Quinta da Boavista, where consulting enologist Jose Nieve Correira has championed the native grape varieties Periquita and Touriga Nacional over international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon. In this wine, the soft touch of oak provides balance to a wine possessing rich fruit and moderate acidity. This flexible wine is a good choice for quiet nights by the fire, when having dinner delivered in seems to be the best course of action.