august pick 24

We start this month’s Pick 24 selection with three wines from the second largest premium wine producer in the United States sporting more than 700 licensed wineries, twelve AVAs (American Viticultural Areas)  and 40,000 acres of vineyard – Washington State. Big things are happening in Washington State and so it is appropriate to choose three big wines with immense character. The first is Charles Smith Syrah 2010 Boom Boom! If you are not familiar with this vintner, the time has come, especially given this latest endeavor called  the ‘Modernist Project’, which is this winemaker’s answer to how people are drinking wine today – immediately – and about putting as much into the bottle as possible. Boom! He has done it here with a BIG black cherry fruit-bomb that explodes with flavor. If you are even thinking of grilling out this month, this needs to be near your side as it is the impeccable grill master’s companion.  Dunham Cellars 2010 Three Legged Red Blend, named for Winemaker Eric Dunham’s dog Port, is another big winner from the state with a coveted Editor’s Choice rating from Wine Enthusiast. Its cherry flavors with cloves, licorice and black pepper finish also make it a grilling sensation. And let’s not forget the whites. Did you know that Washington is the largest Riesling producing state in the USA? Chateau Ste. Michelle, the oldest winery in Washington, produces an incredibly versatile food wine with their Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling 2010 – ideal this time of year.

We’d also like to give a big shout-out to Hugo winery in Austria, as they have us handling this heat wave much better than we otherwise would.  Hugo Winery produces a couple of outstandingly refreshing wines that are so popular they sell out every season. Thankfully, we’ve got them back in stock and are particularly grateful for their freshness, elegance and sheer coolness (in every sense of the word). Hugo Grüner Veltliner 2010 and HUGO Rosé Sparkling wines will continue to be our go-to refreshers. Also right up there in the “cool” category are two French whites that deserve acclaim for their rich and aromatic qualities: Mâcon-Lugny Les Charmes Chardonnay and Domaine Guindon Muscadet des Coteaux de la Loire.

Finally, from the Languedoc region of France, Domaine Laroque Cabernet Franc is front-and-center this month as a must-try for red wine lovers. As much as we love them in the cooler seasons, highly tannic reds tend to bite back when consumed in the overly hot weather. But giving up an elegantly rich, leather and spicy experience just isn’t in the cards, so we turn our attention to Cab Franc this time of year and Domaine Laroque happily reminds us why we do.

Still not sure which to buy? Well, join us for our Pick 24 Release Party Wednesday, Aug 1st, when we’ll crack open all 24 wines and give you the opportunity to ‘Try Before You Buy’ and we guarantee you’ll find just the right wine, to enjoy all month long at just the right price.

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 Vine & Table #301