Unforgettable: Irresistible red wines to drink this spring!
Oh Spring, where have you been! It feels like we have been waiting so long to see the flowers bloom and the birds sing. The air is filled with endless possibilities, good vibes, and just a hint of floral driven allergies. Spring just also feels like the perfect season for drinking irresistible red wines from all over the body spectrum. From light bodied, to medium bodied, and even a couple of full bodied red wines there is something awesome for you to sip on this Spring.
Light bodied red wines
It just seems right doesn't it? Light bodied red wines have that zip and zest to them, are super easy to drink, and pack a fruity punch that just screams Spring strawberries and flowers. A couple we would suggest...
No, the fashion designer did not design a wine grape, but they might as well have. Saint Laurent is just as cool as its designer namesake. Super light, super easy to drink, and an amazing aromatic light bodied red wine, Saint Laurent is one of those wines that seems to have everything going for it. But this wine is super rare in its native Austria, and even rarer here in the United States. Folks say Saint Laurent grapes can be fussy, so winemakers who dabble have to take extra care to produce something of note. Basically they work their ass off for us to enjoy it, which kind of makes it even better!
Forlorn Hope 2016 Ost-Intrigen is a Saint Laurent that lives up to its high fashion namesake and just kills it. Its bright and yet hearty, fruity, spicy, and savory all at the same time.
Valdiguie is something we talk about a lot at Vynl, because we are amazed by just how this is about as retro cool with a modern twist. Lets not be mistaken though, this is no Super Nintendo controller cover for your iPhone, this is a record player with bluetooth so you can hook it up to your Sonos speaker and listen to your Led Zeppelin and Beatles vinyls all over your home. Valdiguie has coming roaring back from obscurity in recent years, and given us a taste of things light fruit rollups that we loved when we were kids. Lots of strawberries and cherries, but in a more refined form that takes makes you feel like a grown ass kid.
Cruse Wine Co has a brilliant Valdiguie that is light and easy to drink, but still complex enough for the super wine geek. Bright, fresh, but with a little bit of heft in the body.
Medium bodied red wines
Lets not shy away from medium bodied red wines this Spring. Medium bodied reds are versatile and delicious, great with a host of food, and always a pleasant wine to have on a cool evening. You might want to look out for some...
Light on the tannins, full on acidity. Something is so awesome and different about Barbera that it just makes us feel as if its misplaced and could in fact be a fantastic party wine. This is a wine of the people. Super accessible, fun and easy to drink and yet it has enough body to stand up to all sorts of meals from pasta to poultry and even rich red meats. Drink up comrade!
You will have to request an allocation, but it is well worth doing so to get your hands on some Idlewild Barbera. Its deep, dark, and brooding with lots of luscious fruits like fig.
Cabernet Franc is a wine that will capture your best moments and help you to remember them forever. It is also a great wine for chilling with friends, getting together and having a good, close time. Fruits, spices, herbs, and earthy notes like gravel make just about every Cabernet Franc a well rounded drink that will warm your soul and at the same time have you chatting on about what is good in life.
For amazing Cabernet Franc look first towards lighter Loire Valley red wines, especially anything from Chinon. However California and Oregon are battling hard over who can produce sublime examples of the wine here in the United States. Our friends over at Ram Cellars and Enso Winery in Portland make some amazing Cabernet Franc's that are jammy punches of fruit, while over in California the Broc Cellars KouKou is a Cab Franc that is fast becoming a cult hit.
Full bodied red wines
How could we leave out the sumptuous full bodied red wines that make our Spring evenings so rich, and full. As it is Spring we tend to take a step away from the bodacious, in your face pedal to the metal, uber full bodied wines like Petite Sirah, Syrah, or even Malbec. We instead look for the wines that are easy enough for us to drink, but still have that heft to them.
We often think of Nebbiolo as one of those wines that sits somewhere on the border between medium and full bodied wine, but wherever you put it on the spectrum this wine is just phenomenal. The wines have a bright acidity and a real tannic bight that will cut through fatty foods and hearty red meat dishes. Nebbiolo wines are also great for drinking with your best friends as you plot your way through life together, looking at the grander, greater picture ahead of you. Its a thinking persons wine, complex and paradoxical, rich, and full with flavors of bright cherries and leather.
Idlewild makes what could just be the best Nebbiolo outside of Italy, maybe the best Nebbiolo that does not have "Barolo" on the label. Also if you want to go all in and go baller then you probably want to do a Barolo on a special occasion this Spring. Wind Gap wines also make a grand Nebbiolo, and though we have not had the pleasure of trying it yet, it is one of our favorite wineries and we are excited to see their winemaking philosophy go into this noble varietal.
Nero D'Avola is full bodied red grape originating from Sicily that has quietly made its way over to California. Just a handful of producers are working with this grape but hey, it makes sense! A few parts of California have a warm mediterranean climate that suits these wines ever so well. Its fruity, spicy, and vivacious. When aged in oak it can be as rich as any California Cabernet Sauvignon, and when its left out of the oak it can be bright and racy. What makes Nero D'Avola different from so many other full bodied red wines, and why it is such a perfect wine for Spring, is because it is a happy wine. By which this wine makes you smile, makes you happy, and lifts up your soul rather than being a heavy brooding wine for contemplation of the grand.
If you want a happy wine then you want a happy winemaker. So you'll want Martha Stoumen's Nero D'Avola from Mendocino County. Bright acidity, soft tannins, red fruits, and a touch of Worcester sauce (her words, but cool!). Lifts her heart, will surely lift yours too.