Wine: Special September
by Kay Pfaltz
If August’s theme was “oddballs”, September brings us “special.” Special light, special days and special wine. There’s a change to the light that seems to hold onto summer, while at the same time heralding fall. Even as the sun beams down, there’s something in the air—a touch of coolness to the breeze, shortening days, the late-summer sounds of katydids zztz-zztzing out their last hoorah—that feels like autumn. The carefree, out-all-night party of summer comes to its end, and a comforting quiets steals into our homes and hearts. And since sweet September straddles that arbitrary mark of red/white wine weather, red drinkers rejoice, as minds slip to fires and hearty glasses of Cabernet or Nebbiolo while white wine drinkers quaff quickly, grateful for once for that last trace of hot humidity.
Max Richter Brauneberger Kabinett, 2011 – An impeccably made Riesling from Germany’s Mosel. If Riesling is one of the most misunderstood grapes, it is also one of the most versatile with great vintages and late harvest bottles capable of aging for decades—then morphing to complex, nutty, golden nectars with everything from classic notes of diesel to lychees and peaches. The Kabinett makes an excellent partner with a wide range of food, including poultry, river fish, shellfish and cheese, and it’s as crystal clear and clean as September’s late-afternoon light. Jefferson thought the Riesling of the Brauneberger (translated “brown-backed”) mountain the best in the world. My recommendation: a chilled bottle on your back porch, a chunk of Roquefort cheese, a hunk of crusty bread, and September figs and pears. $20
Domaine de la Solitude, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2009 – I may be chomping the bit, but it’s almost Châteauneuf-du-Pape time. An exceptional value from an exceptional estate, one of the most ancient families in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which boasted two bishops… and a pope. Very smooth with a perfume of plums, prunes and roasted herbs. At $39 we think we’ve the lowest prices anywhere. But if still too steep, try the estate’s earthy Côtes du Rhône at $16.
Like a taste of adventure? Taste wine in Argentina! October 2013. For details: [email protected].
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