Wine Reviews: Locals’ Summer Selections

Happy Labor Day weekend! I, for one, am excited to see September again. We finally got a break from the heat and humidity here in the Mid-Atlantic region, and I’m sure the autumnal decorations and pumpkin spice will be arriving en masse soon.

Growing up two blocks from the beach on the Jersey Shore, we called September “locals’ summer,” and it was my favorite time. The tourists tended to clear out from our beach town while the air and water temperatures stayed delightful all through September. And we still have about three weeks of summer left (meteorologically speaking), so there’s plenty of time to hit the ocean, the lake, the river, or gather up family and friends for a grill-out.

As such, here’s a handful of wines that I’d welcome to any locals’ summer gathering.

I’ve got another Alentejo white this week because, well, they are delightful and fit the bill. And a Godello from Pagos del Galir in Spain will certainly keep the summer vibes going.

Rosé needs a place at the table (or beach), so I’ve got an exceptional offering from Sonoma’s Ram’s Gate and delicious pinks from Languedoc and Provence. I also have some crushable bubbles with an impressive Cava from Poema, and some value-driven Northern Italian wines with Corvezzo’s offerings.

As the evenings get cooler, I’m looking forward to some juicy, spicy red wines, and Chile is a great place to go. I’ve enjoyed the serious depth and value found from the Primus label, imported by Gonzalez Byass. Sourcing organically grown Cabernet and Carmenere from Apalta and Maipo, these wines provide grill-friendly appeal, plenty of stony, earthy complexity, all with very moderate price tags.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

Whites and bubbles

2020 Quinta da Fonte Souto Portalegre Branco – Portugal, Alentejano, Alentejo, Portalegre
SRP: $26
Deep yellow color. The nose is packed with goodness. I get richer tones of honey, almond and baked bread, pineapples, with brighter and fresher notes of lemon, sea salt, and white flowers. The palate shows a creamy texture, supporter by lively acidity, and the lemon, papaya and pineapple fruit is ripe but tangy. The notes of chalk, honey, hay, nougat, crushed oyster shells and white flowers add a lot to love and contemplate. This is versatile, delicious and beautiful, and I think it should age nicely for a while as well. Arinto with 25% Verdelho, and 60% of the wine was fermented in oak on the lees. (92 points IJB)

2020 Virgen del Galir Godello Pagos del Galir – Spain, Galicia, Valdeorras
SRP: $21
Medium yellow color. Beautiful fruit salad aromas of yellow apple, kiwi and white peach, along with fresh basil, chalk dust and mountain streams. The palate has delightful zestiness and a crisp texture but plenty of depth, with yellow apples, lemons and limes, white peach fruit. Accents of white flowers, basil, honey and sliced cucumber add a pleasant, fresh touch. Focused, fresh, complex, this Godello delivers. Aged six months in stainless steel and barrels. (90 points IJB)

N.V. Poema Cava Brut – Spain, Cava
SRP: $15
Rich yellow color. Lovely nose, a mix of spritely and deeper tones, with limestone and river rocks, hay, yellow flowers, over orange peels, lemon and papaya. Crisp and clear on the palate, the acidity is really bright and the palate has this pleasantly creamy texture with fine bubbles. Pears, lemon and papaya fruit mix with clean, stony, mineral-laden goodness. There’s a ton of complexity packed in here for the price. Xarel·lo, Macabeu, and Parellada, aged 12 months on the lees. (89 points IJB)

2020 Azienda Agricola Corvezzo Pinot Grigio Organic & Vegan – Italy, Delle Venezie
SRP: $13
Medium yellow color. Super floral on the nose with all sorts of yellow and white flowers, mixed with nettle and cucumber slices, over zesty lemon and green apple fruit. Racy acidity on the palate with a creamy feel and flavors of white peaches and kiwi. Notes of rosewater, celery seed and…

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