NV Ayala Brut Rosé ‘Majeur’, Champagne, FR
Bring out the grilled lamb! Sparkling rosé might be the best pairing wine in the history of pairings. Seriously, ask your local sommelier at the restaurants you frequent. It works with everything!
The Ayala Champagne house, based in Äy since the 1860s, is known throughout the fizzy heads’ world for its refinement and complexity. 50% Chardonnay comes from the Montagne de Reims and 40% Pinot Noir & 10% Pinot Meunier come from Äy. 6% red wine comes into play here and only 7 grams of dosage makes this wine dry with just a hint – I’ll say again… hint - of sweetness. A fine bead of bubbles, suave mousse if you will, a flowing journey with a great ending. When’s the sequel coming out?
2016 Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino ‘Vigna Spuntali’, Tuscany, IT
We know it’s really easy to think of Tuscany and immediately go to pasta and tomato sauce, but the bistecca di Toscana are legendary, and when you’ve got a wine as burly and towering as a Brunello, you go for the red meats. Get me that T-Bone, that Porterhouse steak, that perfectly charred Tomahawk chop.
The Val di Suga property in Montalcino has been producing amazing wines for over 40 years.
One of their vineyards, the Vigna Spuntali is one of the oldest Brunello made with the concept of the single vineyard, and one of the best cru in the area.
100% Sangiovese Grosso fermented in concrete vats, followed by 6 months in 300 liter French oak casks, then 18 months in 25 hectoliter Slovenian oak, then 24 months in bottle before release. The 2016 vintage for Brunello will go down in history as one of the legends. Too easy to resist to drink now, but has the stuffing to age for decades.
2019 Tor Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard ‘Cuvée Susan’, Carneros, CA
Like the B-52s, you’re gonna rock this with lobster! Crushed oyster shells and jasmine/peach aromas, coupled with an insane, complex and layered mid-palate. The fruit has just a touch of oak, but this full-bodied and luscious wine has a slightly zippy finish. It’s as good as new world Chard gets!
A Chardonnay master, honing his skills for 27 years at Beringer vineyards in the 1980s and 1990s, and actively studying under the greats of Napa valley; Warren Winiarski, Andre Tchelistcheff, and Robert Mondavi to name a few.
For over three decades Larry Hyde has been growing Chardonnay in his beloved Carneros vineyard. Tor Kenward stood in line for 14 years before he was able to get access to this fruit, and he only got a small parcel, just enough to produce 5 barrels.
2018 Bergström Pinot Noir ‘Silice’ Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, OR
Time for Swine and Wine! Pigs and Pinot! Oink oinks and…. Well, I can't think of a joke here.
A salmon steak will highly do this wine justice as well, but there’s nothing like the smoky flavors of pulled pork or the crunchy skin of a perfect piece of pork belly. *Drool*
Smith’s #1 favorite Pinot Noir in the store is this beautiful specimen from Oregon. Silice is the French word for “Silica”, the shiny quartz in the sand, found in the deepest soils of the Bergström estate vineyards.
Oh so pretty in aromatics with pink flowers, spice and herbs. A meaty, medium-bodied, but dense Pinot Noir showcases the terroir of the vineyard but also gives you generous cherry-led fruit as well as hints of pepper, nutmeg, sassafras and anise. Wow, just wow!