Spring Forward into Wine

Spring Forward into Wine

In the tranquil setting of a spring garden, where the fragrance of blossoms fills the air, a young couple finds themselves immersed in a moment of courtly love. The woman, poised against the sturdy trunk of a flowering tree. Her gaze, momentarily diverted from the pages of a slender manuscript, meets that of her suitor, who kneels before her with a gesture of reverence. The manuscript is filled with verses of love poetry. He offers her a refreshing cup of wine to share, a romantic courtship begins.

This fifteenth century Iranian scene unfolds with timeless elegance. Spring symbolizes a period of transition, not just in the natural world but also in our tastes for wine. It's time to break free from our usual heavy winter favorites. Much like selecting the appropriate attire for changing temperature, the perfect Spring wine is chosen based on its weight, texture, crispness, and rejuvenation, rather than color.

What is also fun for City Vino is shifting the wine program to be in line with seasonal changes which means bringing in new wines for the tasting bar. With a plethora of varietals available—each boasting one’s own distinct characteristics—discovering harmony between wine, season, and cuisine is a genuine pleasure.

White wines are quintessential for springtime sipping, offering a refreshing and thirst-quenching, crisp acidity and light body that will beg for you to want more. These wines are best served chilled, making them the perfect companions for warmer weather. The first wine is 2021 Zlatan Pošip Vrhunsko Vino form Dalmatia, Croatia. Pošip is native to the Dalmatian region, particularly the island of Korčula. The exact origins of Pošip are not definitively documented, but it is believed to have been cultivated in the area for centuries. The grape is known for its ability to thrive in the harsh climate and rocky terrain of Dalmatia, producing high-quality grapes even in challenging conditions. Pošip grapes typically ripen early, allowing them to retain their acidity, while achieving optimal sugar levels, resulting in balanced and flavorful wines.

In recent years Pošip has gained recognition, both domestically and internationally, for its quality and distinctiveness, leading to increased plantings of the variety across Dalmatia and further research into its cultivation and winemaking techniques. The Zlatan offering this week exhibits honeysuckle aromatics, with vanilla iris florals, apricot, yellow apple, bosc pear, and citrus lemon-lime with wisps of salty air. This is intensely floral and fruity on the palate, which would pair with lighter dishes like shrimp scampi in brudet sauce.

We sail east to the Greek island of Santorini where we meet 2021 Kaldera Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko’s exact origins are uncertain, but it's believed to be one of Greece's oldest grape varieties. Thriving in Santorini's volcanic soil and hot climate, Assyrtiko produces a wine that is very pale lemon-green in color, with aromas of lemon drop, lime, ripe pineapple, tropical fruit, lightly floral, and wet stone. The palate has mouthwatering acidty caused by a saline and citrus touch, which resolves into a white peach, lemon zest finish that lingers. The Kaldera would be great with a chicken salad on a croissant.

Red wines need not be abandoned in warmer weather; when chosen thoughtfully, they can be perfect companions for a brisk spring day. Opting for medium-to-light-bodied reds, with higher acidity and lower tannins, can be a palate-pleasing experience that complements both lighter spring fare and lingering hearty winter dishes. A possible thought for you includes pinot noir, tempranillo, or grenache.

Usually cabernet sauvignon would be too big for this category, but the 2021 Ancient Peaks Winery One Stone Cellars takes a softer approach in production, with integrated, smooth tannins. It has wonderful aromas of red flowers, red cherry, currants, black olive, graphite, and wet stone. Continuing to the palate flavors of black plum, blackberry, black cherry, sage, and caramel. You will want to pair this one with portabella mushrooms, burgers, and aged cheddar or gouda.

Ancient Peak’s One Stone project was an answer to the need of encouraging women in the wine industry. Incidentally, March is International Women in Wine month. Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins, of Ancient Peaks, started Dream Big Darling to which some profits of the One Stone Cab Sauv go. The idea is to give back to the women in the wine industry by creating educational opportunities.

Sometimes, March can be a temptress, where you just want to get outside and start grilling but are still not too sure of the weather. How many times has Fredericksburg experienced a March that comes in like a lamb and out like a lion? The 2018 Bleasdale Broadside from Langhorn Creek in South Australia, can help you straddle that line. Mostly it is a Shiraz with a dabble of cabernet sauvignon and malbec blended in.

Frank Potts, the founder, was an adventurer. He started out as a Navy Captain for England back in the 1800s. He was tasked with bringing the convicts to Australia. When he retired, he built a winery in South Australia not too far from Barossa. Taking a big risk on a new wine region, he engineered irrigation systems. That adventurous spirit carries down though the generations. The wine style just begs you to get out of the house and do something outside in the nice, new Spring weather.



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