Fresh Wines for Hot Summer Days
As I bathe in sweltering heat in the Pacific Northwest, it's easy to let my mind wander to crisp, fresh wines with bright acidity. These August Somm Picks aren't necessarily all in that genre of wine, but we're thinking about refreshment over all. I don't often recommend dry Riesling here usually, but trust me, the one below is worth a look.
Jackson's Somm Picks
2015 Achaval Ferrer, Finca Bella Vista
Now for a wine that is destined for nearer-term drinking (but will certainly cellar a few more years). This is one of the single vineyards that Achaval-Ferrer produces in Argentina. A ripe, profoundly intense Malbec from some of the best plots near Achaval-Ferrer's winery near the Mendoza river, this hand-harvested Malbec spends 15 months in French oak. This has notes of crushed blackberries, plum, chocolate, nutmeg and potpourri. Drink this with a steak and be happy.
2015 Donhoff, Riesling Felsenberg GG
Donnhoff is arguably one of the greatest producers making Riesling today. Situated in the Nahe, it's run by the eponymous family and overseen by father and son Helmut and Cornelius Dönnhoff. What makes these fresh wines so special? It's hard to say exactly. There's many great Riesling producers in Germany, but Dönnhoff's wines have a particularly intense concentration of flavor and a power behind their style. They're velvety and indulgent, yet never cloying or out of balance. There's always a vein of intense mineral quality undergirding the fruit and floral character. This Felsenberg comes from a steep Nahe vineyard and is vinified as a dry wine, denoted by the GG which stands for Grosses Gewächs, a German term for Grand Cru. It's a study in bright key lime, white peach and orange blossom, finishing with wet stone and lemon candy. A truly brilliant dry Riesling that can cellar for years.
We hope that you can find something in these August Somm Picks that is in your preferred taste profile, but also don't be afraid to be adventurous. The Dönnhoff dry Riesling and the Vatan Sancerre are true leaders in their categories and very respected in the sommelier world. Thank you for tuning into this month's somm picks!
View more of our Master Sommelier’s hand-picked wine selections here: