While we're clearly not going to have one of those amazingly sunny and hot Seattle Aprils, here are some solid reds to keep you going and dreaming of BBQ season...
DOMAINE DU SOMAIL MINERVOIS
80% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah
This lovely little Minervois comes from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, known to some as the oldest wine region in the world. Dark crimson in color, this complex nose leads with aromas of iris and violet, followed by a touch of almond and dark cherry. It drinks fresh! Generously full bodied with a touch of spice, but balanced in all the nice ways with gentle tannin.
Domaine du Somail finds it their duty to honor their roots by caring for their vines with biodynamic practices in order to preserve their region’s most valuable resource: vineyards. They prioritize understanding their soil types and using the rhythm of the cosmos to help them reveal the full potential of their terroir and vines. All of their grapes are hand harvested, gently vinified, aged in French barrels, and naturally clarified during the winter before blending and bottling at the estate.
LA GRANACHA COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES
mostly grenache, touch of mourvedre
Created in 2000, “La Granacha” was named as a nod to the Spanish origin of this varietal and the name of this variety in the local dialect. These 80-year old vines produce a big, meaty wine that’s not for the faint-hearted (ABV is 15.5%), but which will reward lovers of full, mouth-coating flavors and tannins. Lots of crunchy, ripe red fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, cherry alongside spices like pepper, licorice. Juicy, meaty, and spicy, this will linger in the mouth for a long time, finishing with chewy tannins.
Les Vignerons d’Estézargues is a co-operative in the small town of Estézargues which is located at the tip of the triangle between Montpellier and Marseille in southern Rhône. Starting in 1995 the ten different growers in this co-op began to vinify their wine separately and make single cuvées from their best plots. On the heels of the single cuvée project, Les Vignerons d’Estézargues began to practice natural winemaking. They use no cultured yeasts, no filtering, no fining and no enzymes during vinification or aging and only add a small amount of SO2 at bottling. This was aged half in tank and half in French barrels.
ROUTAS PROVENCE ROSE
Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
The 290 hectare Estate of Chateau Routas is nestled between the old town elegance of Aix-en-Provence, and the white sand beaches that line the Gulf de Saint Tropez. This fresh Provence rose will delight you with freshly sliced watermelon, ripe peach aromas and floral notes that lead to a palate alive with wild strawberries and hints of mineral notes. Crisp acidity and a refreshing finish, a classic Provence-style rose that won’t bore you.
Chateau Routas is a sustainably farmed estate that abounds in the agricultural diversity that is key to vine health. The 716 acres encompass wheat fields and olive trees, and black truffles stud the earth. Red poppies give way to brilliant yellow sunflowers, and in the fall, the surrounding forests yield abundant mushrooms-cepes (porcini), fragile girolles, and morels. Helpful insects play their part in keeping the vines disease-free. The elevation is among Provence’s highest, providing cool nights that slow the ripening of the grapes, contributing complexity, and dictating harvests that are up to a month later than those nearer the coast.
60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot
Gualdo Del Re is a 45 hectare, fourth-generation family-run winery. This Super Tuscan offers a ruby red color in the glass with good intensity. Fruity and elegant aromas with layers of complexity including red berries, black fruit notes and pleasantly spicy sensations. Lively and harmonious, with solid structure characterized by a smooth and pleasant tannin that delivers long persistence. A crowd-pleasing wine born from the Tuscan sun!
The vineyards are situated on low hills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Suvreto on the Tuscan Coast. The estate's certified 100% organic vineyards were once the hunting grounds of the Holy Roman Emperors and are surrounded by a number of Tuscany’s most renowned wineries. The wines are made by noted enologist Barbara Tamburini.
All Frappato from the very Western tip of Sicily described as “a wine inviting you to enjoy the silence, to evoke mysterious far places at sunset, this Frappato expresses a modern style able to correctly interpret the sunny and mild climate where it grows”. Ahhhh, that sounds nice. Doesn’t that sound NICE? Like, can I just BE this wine? Enjoying silence and seeking gorgeous secret sunsets. I think I’m gonna be this wine. All month long… heck, all year long! I’m going to correctly interpret the sunny and mild “climate” where I grow.
Oops! Sorry… back to the wine…
Shiny red ruby in color, a sensorial harmony of wild fruits are disclosed in a fresh way on the nose. This is the key feature of this wine born from the Trapani countryside. Slight mineral notes follow on the nose, then fruity fragrances of black cherries are the background singers to blackberries and small red fruits. All this releases smooth and enveloping sensations on the palate. A little briny, definitely tasty, smooth tannins, and a long finish of blackberries and raspberries.
This wine comes from an estate called Baglio Sorìa, where the vineyards are harmoniously integrated with the breathtaking natural setting at the borders of the nature reserve of the Trapani and Paceco salt pans. This native ancient vine variety, Frappato, comes from the union of both traditional and modern agronomic techniques. The goal in mind is to refine the contour of this dark colored grape that often delivers intense fragrance of grape skins and seeds. This varietal is also grown in other parts of Sicily where the wine expresses more spicy aromas. It is the high percentage of clay with the presence of red marlstones at Baglio Soria that give their frappato a rounded flavor of red fruit, making these grapes absolutely unique in the Sicilian winescape. While it is hard to compare this wine to anything else, the interesting palate makes it almost similar to Cerasuolo (our Northern friend of Lazio), ensuring extraordinary sips.
MAURO MOLINO DOLCETTO
Mauro Molino is nestled in the far Northwest corner of Italy in La Morrrrrrrra (cue strong Italian roll of the “R”), in the heart of Piedmont. Their winery is located just north of Barolo and just south of Alba, the hills are picturesque! Just like the winery itself, this dolcetto is young and dynamic, but strongly connected to its tradition and roots. A bouquet of violet and red fruit touch with a hint of almond. This wine is absolutely delicious on the palate… soft, elegant tannins dance with rose petals, plums, cherries and fresh herbs. True to its Dogliani form, a touch of earth, but the elegance and cleanliness of this wine pursues.
Founded in 1953 in La Morra, Mauro Molino is located in the town of Annunziata. In 1982, Mauro Molino produced his first bottle of Barolo from the vineyard Conca, known as “the charm of Barolo”. He purchased this land, and other parcels in Barolo crus, while he worked to update and improve the home and land his father passed down to him. Today, Mauro’s firstborn son, Matteo, runs the winery alongside his wife. Their daughter recently joined the team after graduating from Alba Winemaking School, just like her father and grandfather did. While they produce wines from Barolo, Langhe DOC Nebbiolo, and Barbera d’Alba, the total area of land they own amounts to 18 hectares, 50% of which is meant for Nebbiolo for Barolo. Mauro Molino has always operated with the utmost respect for their territory, and Matteo has spearheaded practicing environmental sustainability and organically with as little intervention as possible.