The transition from summer to fall is the most exciting season in terms of produce; late summer fruits and vegetables are still at the farm stand and squash, beets and other autumn treats are arriving at the market as well. We’re not ready for stews or chili or Boeuf Bourguignon and certainly don’t want to spend some of the nicest days of the year watching the stove, but we are eating slightly heavier foods than in summer. Wines with light to medium tannins, full mouthfeel, complex texture, and good acidity should be on the menu as well to pair with the wide variety of tastes we encounter this time of year.
Just as we don’t have to limit ourselves to one type of food, we don’t have to limit our wine choices either. Full bodied whites with some oak aging, rosé that is also aged in oak, and reds with softer tannins such as Pinot Noir are perfect crossover wines to enjoy with meals as days grow shorter and nights become cooler.
Darioush 2021 Signature Viognier, Napa Valley
Enticing aromas of orange blossom and night blooming jasmine pave the way for flavors of ripe stone fruits and crystalized ginger in this exciting Viognier from Napa Valley. It is aged on the lees for seven months in neutral oak barrels before being racked in preparation for bottling.
Flowers 2021 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Fermented with 100 percent native yeast and aged in French oak barrels, this Chardonnay rests on its lees for a full 10 months, which results in a creamy textured wine. It has a bouquet and flavors of Anjou pear and almond blossom with a strong backbone of minerality.
Three Sticks 2020 Alana Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Grapes for this intriguing Chardonnay are often blanketed in dense morning fog. It has a nose of honeysuckle and vanilla and flavors of Honeycrisp apples and pear crostata. It receives 14 months of ageing in French oak barrels before bottling.
Chateau D’Esclans 2020 Garrus Rosé, Cotes de Provence
Garrus represents the top of the Chateau d’Esclans portfolio. It is made from Grenache, Syrah and Vermentino grapes grown on old vines and is aged in 600 liter oak barrels. It is pale pink in color with scents of white peach and apricot followed by a whiff of freshly ground white pepper. In the mouth it explodes with juicy fruit flavors that are then gently restrained by bracing minerality.
LVE French Sparkling Rose
A collaboration between singer John Legend and winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset, LVE French Sparkling Rosé is pale salmon in color with aromas of citrus blossoms and red raspberries. In the mouth the bubbles are lively and dance on your tongue with flavors of red grapefruit and red currants.
Le Chiffre 2020 Chardonnay, Saint Ante Vineyard, Croatia
Hailing from Istria in coastal Croatia, this elegant Chardonnay has a bouquet of flint, wet river rock, lemon curd and citrus blossoms. In the mouth there are flavors of caramelized pineapple, green apple and gooseberry and a strong backbone of minerality. Only 3,000 bottles are made each year at the only Croatian winery to boast Michel Rolland as their consulting winemaker.
Kellerei Cantina Terlan 2020 Kreuth Chardonnay, Alto Adige, Italy
A bouquet of passion fruit and citrus blossom draw you in to the glass. Grown in high-altitude vineyards in Alto Adige, this wine is generous on the palate with flavors of white peach and Bartlett Pear with hints of brown baking spice. It has bracing minerality in the finish.
Domaines Ott 2021 Chateau de Selle, Cotes de Provence
Pale pink in color, this delightful rosé has a nose of freshly sliced apricot, white peach and lime pith. It is refreshing on the palate with stone fruit flavors and a zesty finish accentuated by bracing salinity and strong minerality.
Domaine Du Cellier 2019 Aux Moines Givry Premier Cru, Burgundy, France
Scents of freshly picked red cherries, red raspberry and red currant lead you to a seamless transition of red fruit flavors that explode on your palate. Voluptuous in texture, this wine keeps calling you back to take another sip.
Shaw + Smith 2019 Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills, Australia
Both destemmed grapes and whole grape bunches are pressed to make this intriguing Pinot Noir from Adelaide Hills. It has aromas of dark black cherries and freshly picked blueberries with silky tannins on the mid-palate. It is generous and round, with enticing flavors of brown baking spices and vanilla bean in the persistent finish.