Friday Sips

RoseSpecial, New Pra Soave
92 point Pinot Noir for TwentyBucks
Spring has Sprung indeed with four enjoyable wines for the upcoming nice weather

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Soave is another one of those bastardized names such as Valpolicella and Chablis. These are names that you have heard of because in the past the focus of these areas was high-volume, mass-produced wines that were extremely cheap. Yet over the past two decades, the Soave zone located in Northeast Italy has seen a surge in excellence. Great producers like Gini, Pra, Pieropan and Suavia have always made outstanding wines and now a batch of newcomers are making their statement as well.

Back to Pra, this is one of the champion producers and the newly arrived 2023 ‘Otto’ Cuvee is a beautiful spring-summer white wine (although we like to drink it all year long). Articulating hints of wet stone, lemon, and orange on the nose, the pleasure starts from the instant it is poured. In the mouth, there is excellent intensity without compromising its high-elevation crispness. Lots more citrus fruits in the mouth, great zing, and a long finish make you keep coming back for another glass. At this price, one can afford to have this stocked up in the refrigerator and with its verve, lift and minerality this can pair well with a plethora of seafood dishes.

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$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Time to step it up a level into Pra’s latest Staforte Cuvee. A reserve offering from the Pra family, this is a blend of several top Cru vineyard sites. The name comes from the old name Pra’s home village of Monteforte d’Alpone and was created back in 2004. Graziano Pra went against the grain and trend at the time and aged this upper register cuvee in stainless steel versus oak.

Essence of the region, the 2021’s interpretation is one that is a mineral monster with a backdrop of honeyed lemon, papaya and lychee and seashore scents. In the mouth, it is suave and sophisticated with plenty of voltage and palate coverage. The minerality really picks up in the driving, flavorful mid-palate and keeps on going to the livewire, nervy, persistent finish. A great white wine to drink with a seafood/asparagus risotto, grilled prawns with an Asian influence or a nice Robiola cheese.

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[reg. $18.99] SPECIAL - $13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Just as Oasis is referred to as the Poor Man's Beatles, the Loire Valley region of Cheverny was once regarded as the Poor Man's Sancerre during a time when this band (and many of us wine folk) were coming up. Whites from mostly Sauvignon Blanc are the focus, but like Sancerre, red and rose are also made and over the years, we have seen the region and its wines forge their own identities.

A year in bottle later, the 2022 is singing quite nicely. Made from 65% Pinot Noir/35% Gamay it is an explosive pink torpedo that detonates then electrifies the senses. Bursting with hawthorn, raspberry, smoke, and lemongrass and highlighted by mouth-watering vibrancy, and plenty of nervy tell-tale stony minerality, this Rose wants you to adore it and finish the bottle - then uncork another and another. Brilliantly sunny, summery stuff, enjoy it with clams, goat cheese or by itself.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

92 Points – Wine Enthusiast Magazine - This is me messing with yinz all. Well, not really because we are all searching for the holy grail which is a delicious twenty-dollar Pinot Noir. Forager is from the Scenic Root Winegrowers who produce wine in Beaujolais, Oregon and this scrumptious Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast appellation.

A bit fuller and bigger than Oregon Pinot, the aromas greet you with plum, black raspberry, smoke and red earth tones. Luscious, creamy and nicely intertwined with subtle spice and deceptive earth tones. One suspects that a fat dose of new oak would cause it to be twice the price, but as it is, you have a delicious-drinking, over-delivering everyday Pinot Noir for not a lot of money!