What’s Harry Drinking? Spring 2017


You asked for it…a dozen wines that Harry is drinking this season.  Mostly under $25 retail.  These are the fun, everyday wines that you’d find open in Harry’s kitchen.  Print it out and take it to your favorite store.  If it’s in Alabama or South Carolina, let them know they can get all these wines from Grassroots.  If you are out of state, a good wine steward can use this list to help you pick a killer case of fun, energetic wines.

Spring 2017: I love the Spring! 

The change in weather and the seasonality of fresh vegetables and seafood allows for a fun diversity of wine drinking.  I love that in the spring you get cold snaps when you can cook up rich, meaty, winter vegetabley dishes and pull out some big reds; followed by warm sunny days filled with fresh peas, soft shell crabs, and bright spring time Rosé.

Printemps – Rose de Provence – 2016

Printemps has a special place in my heart- after all, I make it!  We work with a fantastic group of farmers in the coldest commune in Provence to produce this Grenache dominant Rosé

Domaine Gueguen – Chablis – 2015

A new winery from an old Chablis family.  The 2015 is certainly not your typical, steely Chablis as it was a really warm vintage, but I still love the freshness and minerality of this wine.

Christophe Richel – Apremont La Combelle – 2015

From the Savoie region in France- the foothills of the Alps.  Apremont is the appellation, Jacquere is the grape.  A laser focused, acid driven white.

E&M Berger – Gruner Veltliner 1L – 2015

Gruner is an all-time Spring classic.  To me, it straddles serious and quaffable like Spring straddles winter and summer.  It’s also a great wine to pair with hard-to-wine-match vegetables like peas and asparagus.  This liter bottle of Berger is exceptional in the 2015 vintage. 

Michel Delhommeau – Muscadet Cuvee Harmonie – 2015

Muscadet is the wine of the western Loire where the river spills into the Atlantic.  This region is known for among other things, its oysters.  Consequently, Muscadet is known at the classic oyster wine in France.  It works here too.  It’s also just a nice, fun wine to drink and is an outstanding value generally.

Lieu Dit – Sauvignon Blanc – 2015

Lieu Dit, literally “said location”, is a project by friends of Grassroots Eric Railsback and Justin Willett.  Lieu Dit focuses on wines native to the Loire Valley of France but grown in Santa Barbara, California.  They make wines from Chenin Blanc, Melon d’Bourgogne, Cabernet Franc, and this super Sauvignon Blanc.  This wine leans way for French in character that typical Californian.

Bulliat Morgon – Nature – 2015

I kind of look for any excuse to open up a bottle of Beaujolais. So yeah, sure Sping time is a great time for Beaujolais.  Seriously though, there are huge differences in the characteristics of Beaujolais depending on which Cru they are from and how they are made.  This wine, made all naturally- natural yeast, no sulphur, etc.- strikes the perfect balance between easy to drink and thoughtful.  It’s a wine I sometimes serve almost cold if it’s hot outside.

Domaine les Pins – Bourgueil Les Rochettes – 2015

Bourgueil is one of my favorite wine words, right behind Sciacarello.  It kind of sounds like a frog’s croak: Bore- Geel.  Bourgueil is the appellation in the Loire Valley, Cab Franc is the great.  It’s a great wine with a bit more body than the Bulliat Morgon.

Mas des Etoiles – Petite Etoile Cahors – 2013

This Malbec from southwest France (Cahors is the appellation) is attractively more lean than most Argentine Malbecs.  By lean, I mean it has great fruit, but not the sticky sweetness sometimes associated with hot climate Malbec.

Paul Jaboulet Aine – Parallele 45 Rouge – 2013

Jaboulet is a legendary name in the Northern Rhone and their Parallele 45 Côtes du Rhône is a steal.  It’s 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah and likely one of the most versatile reds you’ll ever drink.

Lompoc Wine – Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir – 2014

Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman own arguably the most significant wine project in Santa Barbara, Domaine de la Côte.  Lompoc Wine Co. Pinot Noir comes entirely from the Domaine de la Côte estate’s eastern edge.   It’s made by Sashi and cost half of Domaine de la Côte’s least expensive bottle.  It’s young vines, designed to drink young, and it is awesome!

Bedrock – Old Vine Zinfandel – 2014

The winery is first and foremost a mission-driven operation dedicated to preserving and rehabilitating old vineyards around California. The Old Vine is 77% Zinfandel and a generous 23% mixed other fruit.  This is the intro wine Bedrock and a blend of different AVAs from all over California.  This wine is so pretty and balanced, I can drink it even when it’s hot outside- just put a little chill on it.

5 Under $50- Some special bottles available in the market:  Lot’s of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir this time around.

Tyler – Santa Barbara County Chardonnay – 2014

Another wine from Justin Willett.  There’s talk about Justin being the best Chardonnay winemaker in all of California.  Taste this and it’s hard to argue. 

Sandhi – Santa Barbara County Chardonnay – 2014

There’s a heft to California Chardonnay that I seem to appreciate more during the temperate spring than the hot summer.  Maybe because spring in the south often feels like summer in California.  Regardless, this wine, made by Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman hit all the right notes at a great price.

Big Table Farm – Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – 2014

“we are a winemaker and an artist, we grow and produce what we love to eat and drink”  How’s that for a motto?  The Willamette Valley is a blend of all 8 sites BTF works with.  Hand applied, letter-pressed labels aren’t the only thing pretty here.

Anthill Farms – Anderson Valley Pinot Noir – 2014

When we started working with Anthill, the amount of wine they were able to sell us was miniscule, but oh, so good!  The winery has grown some, but we are still incredibly lucky to get any of these wines to our market.  Sourcing only from cold Pinot Noir sites, Anthill uses ample whole cluster fermentation, neutral ok and no fining or filtering to make incredible, distinctive wines.

Domaine Vacheron – Sancerre Rouge – 2014

Vacheron is easily one of the leading wineries in the Sancerre and really the world.  They have been pioneers in so many way, most recently in Biodynamic Viticulture.  While Sancerre is best known for its white Sauvignon Blanc,   Sancerre Rouge is always Pinot Noir.  In Vacheron’s case, made in a very Burgundian style and a super deal.

5 under $12- You don’t have to spend a lot to drink like a Root.  These wines are all in my house right now:

Palazzone – Orvieto Classico “Vignarco” – 2015

A banging blend of Procanico and Grechetto from just north of Rome.

Selbach – Riesling “Incline” – 2015

Steep sloped vineyards, pure, crisp and just a touch of sweetness. Yum!

Bodegas Riojanas – Canchales – 2014

100% Tempranillo that sees partial carbonic fermentation.  What does that mean?  It means they use some whole clusters of uncrushed grapes during fermentation.  Inside each grape, fermentation starts in a closed (no oxygen) environment.  This makes a wine that is typically fruity with low tannins.  In other words, gulpable. 

Scarpetta – Frico Rosso IGT Toscana – 2014

Maybe the most popular wine in the house.  A Tuscan field blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Merlot. 

Chono – Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 2013

When it’s time to go big, this is a wine I often reach for.  Dark, rich, and luscious.

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