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The Cellar: Great Wines for Outdoor Parties

Friday, May 10, 2013

 

With Memorial Day weekend around the corner, now's the time to pick up wines that are perfect for outdoor parties of any size.

Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner, and this week’s wine journey takes us from Mendoza, Argentina to perhaps the world’s most famous wine region—Burgundy—with an eye toward wines that work beautifully for outdoor entertaining.

 Eugene Blanc, Mâcon-Villages, France

This week’ first wine is an extremely rare find. Why, do you ask? Because it's a good Chardonnay from France’s Burgundy wine region that is widely available and for under $15. That’s why! More specifically, this

wine is from the sub-region of Mâcon-Villages where only white wines are produced. Whereas white wines labeled simply Mâcon tend to be light and simple, the Chardonnay grapes that go into the more geographically specific Macon-Villages are sourced from specific villages and generally considered a step up in quality.

Mâcon-Villages is located in the southern part of Burgundy. This sub-region, which covers more than 6,000 acres of vineyards, includes 43 villages. One of the biggest co-operatives in this region is Cave de Lugny, which makes wine under its own label as well as sells portions of it to Negociates like Eugene Blanc. Voted the best white Burgundy for under £10 ($16) by Decanter Magazine, this 2010 Mâcon-Villages is crisp and clean with apple and citrus fruits, minerality and only subtle hints of oak on the finish.

2009 Viñalba Reserva, Malbec – Cabernet Franc, Mendoza, Argentina

This week’s second wine is a red blend from famed Argentinean producer Viñalba whose winemaker, the French-born Hervé J. Fabre, makes wines that are both delicious and affordable. Hervé especially likes to

experiment blending Malbec with other red grapes that originate from Bordeaux, making wines that showcase Argentina’s purity of fruit and clear varietal expression with the elegance and complexity that are the hallmarks of Hervé’s classical background.

The 2009 Viñalba Reserva is a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Franc with 60% of the blend having been aged for 12 months in French oak. In making this wine, Hervé has taken the rich fruit forwardness and spiciness of Argentinean Malbec and blended it with the savory flavors of Cabernet Franc. The result is a flavorful full-bodied wine that I think a lot of you will like - displaying sweet dark fruit flavors and spice, as well as hints of vanilla from the oak. Savor it by itself or pair it with something off the grill.

Enjoy!

Steffen Rasch CSW is ready to answer any wine-related questions, comments or concerns you may have. Feel free to email him at srasch@golocalprov.com. And as always, don’t forget to follow GoLocalProv’s Wine Cellar on Facebook and sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.

 

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