I've got a few new picks I think you'll love.
You may be wondering how I choose my wine? Well, it starts with quality producers using quality grapes from a quality region creating a quality product. Then, I try and find value by picking Louis Vuitton quality for the price of Coach. Check out these premium wines at pretty reasonable prices, all things considered.
2015 Charles Baker, Piccone Vineyard Riesling, Vinmount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment, Canada at $37.20
Niagara has a cool growing climate, perfect for varietals like Riesling. Is there more affordable Riesling, of course, is there better in this price point, hardly! I’ve had the pleasure of sipping Charles Baker before and it’s like the Louvre in Paris or the Guggenheim in NYC, impressive in an artistic and structural perspective. Lime zest, white peach fuzz, granny smith apple, chamomile wafting out of the glass but with acid that can cut through anything from Pork Belly to even some fried chicken. Chill, swirl, sip. Repeat.
Cabernet Franc, known for its black fruit notes such as blackberry and black cherry with a green bell pepper/jalapeño/sage green note. Traditionally used in Bordeaux blends, specifically from the right bank, as well as in Chinon, Loire Valley. Grown here in Ontario, I’m intrigued by this Cabernet Franc from Mendoza. It’s fun because unlike France and Ontario, this will be warm climate Cabernet Franc. Rich juicy black fruit, soft and plush with that typical green note which should match well with burgers topped with salsa, cilantro being key. Deluxe beef filled Nachos? Wine not.
If you were to ask what I would drink, simply put, stuff like this! Syrah, matured in 500L large old French barrels for 12 months (10% new oak) offering a more subtle and oxidized style of oak influence rather than a vanilla bomb and baking spice overdose that small new oak can sometimes punch into a wine. This wine will seem more natural, more terroir focused, almost as if you can see the rocks, the dirt, the faint salty air from the southern Pacific gently caressing the grapes just from tasting it. Dark fruit, black pepper, olive brine umami richness, superb. I would pair this with two nice lightly peppered steaks on the grill, salsa verde and some early summer grilled greens. Decant 30 minutes or more, serve 18C.
If you’ve ever read my blog you know I’m quite passionate about my Cru Level Beaujolais. Not the entry Beaujolais Nouveau stuff that tastes like cotton candy, bubble-gum and strawberry juice at $9 a bottle, but a big boy and big girl Beaujolais. Fleurie, one of the ten crus’ in Beaujolais is considered close to the top in quality. This wine should float on your palate and sting like a bee especially from the warm 2015 vintage. Not exactly, but sounds fun to say. This wine should be both floral and elegant yet with some modest depth below that. It’s a little warm outside for classic Burgundy dishes like Coq Au Vin or Beef Bourgogne so go with grilled burgers, excellent! Decant 30 minutes, serve 16C.
If you want to be my friend, pour me some Cru level Beaujolais from Moulin a Vent. If you want to sleep with me, pour me some Barolo. Now that we have established my standards, let's discuss the wine. 100% Nebbiolo from Barolo, in Piedmont Northern Italy, this wine really does punch and caress at the same time. I love the decaying rose petals, dry red cherry and earthy, smokey tar notes all meshing together in harmony. I find a well-made Barolo enters your palate smoothly until the seductive tannin and acid let you know this wine means business. If burgundy grew a backbone, would it be Barolo? Bordeaux light? Burgundy with a knife? Pair with a special night in, charcuterie and simple Insalata to start with a fabulous gnocchi or ragu with freshly shaved truffle on top. If that doesn’t get your mojo going then I suggest couples counselling. Just think of this as ½ priced therapy. Decant at least 30 minutes into 1 hour, serve 18C.
I only recommend wine I would personally drink and honestly, I'd gladly sip each of these bottles and that's what makes these Ryans Wine Picks.
Ryan....the guy behind Ryan's Wine Picks.