Wine Trick or Treat
Hello Leschi—welcome to October! In my head, this is best said in the legendary voice of Lou Gellermann, the longtime iconic welcoming voice of Husky Stadium at the University of Washington: “Hello Dawg fans, welcome to Husky Stadium!” That voice (and accompanying siren) was planted in my head from the time I was little and stayed with me through my time as a student and now decades long (yes, plural) alum. Hearing the roar of the crowd on Saturday afternoons while playing at my grandparent’s house is also something I’ll never forget. Funny how a phrase, or statement can just take you back like that in an instant.
Well, time to get back on track—Fall is in the air, October is here and there is a spooky holiday at the of the month. The last few Octobers we’ve explored “Trick or Treat?” in terms of wine, and I thought it would be fun and appropriate to explore this topic again, albeit in a formal, organized fashion as you would expect.
One ground rule clarification: there actually aren’t any tricks, only treats!
So, let’s dive into the goodies:
If you have yet to experience the pure joy of Domaine Ott…well, I’m not sure what you are waiting for. These pinks set the bar extremely high for all its kind. Spoil yourself—you deserve it and you can thank us later. I realize these are not every day priced rosé, but they are both well worth it. Pairs well with Thanksgiving, if you need the excuse, or also, depending on availability, there might be some by Ott still hanging around for $25, just ask. You really oughta!
2020 Domaine Ott Chateau de Selle Rosé $47.99
Pale and coppery, boasts restrained aromas of peach, melon and citrus underscored by hints of crushed stone. In the mouth, it’s medium-bodied and concentrated, with ample intensity, a slightly creamy texture and a long, mouthwatering finish. ~Robert Parker, 93-points
2020 Domaine Ott Chateau Romassan Bandol Rosé $47.99
Mourvèdre, with smaller proportions of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Scents of crushed stone accent notes of peach, strawberry and lime on the nose, while the medium-bodied palate is silky in texture, streamlined in shape and extremely long on the finish. ~Robert Parker, 93-points
Remember, no tricks—only treats! Have you ever tried a wine from Switzerland? I teased these last month, and really want to get the word out about this more obscure/not commonly thought of wine producing region. Open your mind and your treat bag and make room for these—one red and one white wine.
2019 Avalanche Fendant Valais, Switzerland $19.99
Fendant is a Chasselas wine from Valais in Switzerland. Boasts delightful aromas of lemon blossom, fresh zest and wet river rock lifted by a whiff of peppermint. It has a strong backbone of minerality, with flavors of apple, pear and lemon curd. Well balanced, crisp, and refreshing. ~Jeff Jenssen, Wine Enthusiast, 92-points
2018 Avalanche Pinot Noir Valais, Switzerland $22.99
This wine offers enticing aromas of red cherries and just-picked raspberries. The palate shows flavors of black cherry and raspberry, with a subtle touch of Christmas baking spices. It is well structured and well balanced, with silky tannins and a smooth finish. ~Jeff Jenssen, Wine Enthusiast, 91-points
Two white wines that don’t get enough credit for being absolute treats. Bracing acidity, food friendly and not the sweet treat you are expecting. An Albariño from our own backyard and a German Riesling worth your attention.
2020 Thurston Wolfe Albariño Yakima Valley $16.99
High but not overwhelming acidity, vibrant peach/ nectarine, and a dry taste create the perfect marriage in this high-quality wine. Albariño is a fantastic choice for pairing with exquisite dishes like ceviche, fish tacos, seafood pasta, and shrimp. ~Winemaker notes
2019 Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett Mosel Germany $18.99
It is a fully ripe vintage, with vibrant aromatics and a pronounced acidity that gives brilliant structural precision to the wines. ~Winemaker notes
Interesting fun red wines to close out the month with. Bardolino is best described as the Gamay of Italy. A fresh, fruity, easy drinking, everyday red. The Rossojbleo, pronounced: Rosso-ee-blay-oh, is a slight step up in complexity and a fascinating red from Sicily. Rounding out the wines are two can’t misses—an earthy Oregon Pinot and a powerful Gigondas that need no introduction. Cheers and enjoy everyone!
2019 Le Fraghe Bardolino Veneto $14.99
Fruity hints of black cherry and blueberries and the spicy hints of cinnamon and black pepper. Soft tannic structure with a perfect balance between the not too pronounced acidity and its flavor. Blend of Corvina and Rondinella. ~Winemaker notes
2018 Gulfi Rossojbleo Terre Siciliane Rosso $17.99
Very deep ruby. Perfumed violet, black cherry, citrus fruit and minerals on the enticing nose. Then fresh juicy and very lively, with youthfully chewy tannins and fruit forward elements of plum and dark cherry. Finishes flinty and long. ~Vinous, 91-points
2016 St. Innocent Momtazi Pinot Noir Willamette Valley $39.99
Opens with tar, damp soil and decaying leaves scents, with a core of blackberries and black cherries. In the mouth, it’s medium-bodied, concentrated and earthy with a grainy frame and long, fresh finish. This will benefit from a decant. ~Robert Parker, 90-points; 91-points James Suckling
2018 Saint Cosme Gigondas $39.99
Provençal bouquet of red and black currants, peppery herbs, leather, and loamy soil, the 2018 is medium to full-bodied, has a forward, sexy style, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s terrific today yet still has enough tannins to evolve for 10–15 years if you’re so inclined. ~Jeb Dunnuck, 93-points
Kenneth Benner, a Seattle area native, is a trained chef and has worked in such restaurants as Barbacoa, B.O.K.A. Kitchen + Bar, and Dahlia Lounge. Ken is the wine buyer at Leschi Market. He has a passion for learning, a meticulous palate, and a tenacity for searching out the best for his customers while offering some of the most highly coveted wines in the area. His monthly column is intended to inspire and explore new choices in wine, learn about wine with his readers, and share his knowledge and experience in the wine world. Check out the latest at www.LeschiMart.com or to request to be added to email updates at firstname.lastname@example.org.