Varsity Liquors' Wines of the Month
Salviano Turlo 1999, Lago di Corbara Umbria Italy
As Tuscan wines spiral upward in price in response to the wine press' critical acclaim, the frugal wine buyer has to look far and wide for affordable and quality-driven wines. As far as Italy goes, Umbria seems to be enjoying the same sort of renaissance enjoyed by Tuscany in the 70's and early 80's, often with familiar names. The "Turlo" is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet that offers up flavors of dark fruit and supple tannins as well as a rich lingering finish worthy of a wine twice the price. Try this Super-Umbrian with Grilled Tuscan Pork with a Rosemary coating and a Red Pepper Relish (for recipe see epicurious.com)
Domaine Brusset 1999, Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Villages Blanc France
Founded in the village of Gigondas in 1947, this estate has been one of the highlights of the Rhone Valley's series of exceptional vintages in the late 1990's. This wine is a blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Rousanne, and Viognier, which shows a floral nose of acacia followed by a hint of vanilla. It possesses a crisp mouthfeel and finishes with a hint of minerality that would encourage a pairing with dishes featuring a cream sauce such as seafood Newberg or Fettuccini Alfredo.
Luis Pato Baga Beiras Portugal 1999
The grape used in the making of this wine is Baga, the region is Beiras in northern Portugal and the wine is full, powerfully deep, and complex. Baga is a grape possessing very thick skins that impart large amounts of flavor and color to the wine. Under the careful guidance of winemaker Luis Pato, the grape shows the dark fruit and earthy characteristics one might expect of Bordeaux while not being overly tannic and harsh.
Worthy of particular note is the finish on this wine, lingering and in complete balance, it cries out for an aged Sirloin done simply on the grill or a Lamb Shish Kabob.