Wine Reviews: Father’s Day Selections

If you’re a wine-loving dad, you know your palate best. Or if you’re buying a gift for a wine-loving dad, you know what they enjoy. But in advance of Father’s Day, I’ve selected a wide range of wines that I think dads can nerd out about and pair with whatever you’re up to.

I’m a huge fan of Austrian Rieslings and Gruners, and I really enjoyed geeking out over a quartet of wines from Domane Wachau. They’re all iconic single-vineyard wines from 2021, made by an historic producer that purely express their grape and terroir. And, especially given the quality, they’re priced incredibly well – what dad doesn’t like saving money? Picking up a mixed six-pack of single-vineyards could give you a great tasting lineup for a party with some summer seafood or grilled chicken and veg.

Also included are some delicious reds for grill-outs and gatherings, and I highlight some serious values. From a fascinating producer in New Mexico, Vara, who blends Spanish and California grapes, to delightful values from Chile and Argentina, there should be something in here you’ll enjoy.

Lastly, I want to highlight some Sonoma Pinots (and a Chard) because, well, they’re just great. I visited Sonoma in April with my brother and his family, and we dads had a great time cooking with local ingredients and tasting local wines. And when I’m cooking (which is usually the case in my house), and I’m opening Sonoma Pinot – everyone is happy.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted, except for the Wachau white wines, which were tasted single-blind.

Wachau White Wines

2021 Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Ried Liebenberg Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
SRP: $27
Vibrant yellow color. The aromas are spritely with lemon, green apples, guava, topped with rushing notes of limestone, oyster shells, and nuances of celery seed, mint, it all gets the palate salivating. There’s a lovely creaminess to the mouthfeel on this wine, but the acidity is so crisp, with delicious crunchy fruit, limes, lemon, green apples. A razor-like focus, with rushing mineral intensity, talc, crushed stones, along with spicy herbal elements that accentuate the overall package. This is a beautiful young Gruner at a great price, and if you’re looking to get deeper into this grape or region, this is a perfect place to start. (91 points IJB)

2021 Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Ried Kellerberg Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
SRP: $50
Rich yellow color. So many stony, mineral, oyster shell vibes here (love it), with generous but zesty pineapple and lemon, and there are all these cool tones that come out with air: green onion, bread crumbs, hints of basil, yellow flowers – just a lot going on. Racy acidity frames the wine well, as a generous texture and beautiful fruit play their game (guava, papaya, drizzled in lime). I get a complex host of crushed shells, chalk dust, flinty, mineral, stony elements. And there are these white tea, mint, shaved ginger nuances as well. Beautiful stuff and a long-ager for sure, as everything is deep but balanced. (93+ points IJB)

2021 Domäne Wachau Riesling Federspiel Ried Bruck Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
SRP: $27
Medium yellow color. The nose pops with sweet guava, fresh green apples, and limes, along with crushed rocks, shells, a sweet honeyed tone but the wine still smells so fresh and inviting. The palate has bright acidity and a bed of sweet yellow apple, white peach, and kiwi fruit. Balanced and fresh with a nice mix of crushed sweet tarts, chalk dust, limestone, mountain riverbed with stones and all that good stuff. Crushable and delicious right now, but has a lot to think about and parse through as well. From a very steep site, this is a precise expression with a lot to love. (90 points IJB)

2021 Domäne Wachau Riesling Smaragd Ried Achleiten Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
SRP: $51
Medium yellow color. A bright and inviting nose that shows a bouncy…

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Wine Reviews: Father’s Day Selections  
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