Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Petillant, Frizzante, Crackling, Spritzy...



I've posted before about the glories of vinho verde. Like a lot of you, I go for the petillant, frizzante, crackling, spritzy, low-alcohol white wines when the temperature rises to 80 degrees. And now I've found one so compelling I feel obliged to call attention to it, even though it's already received all kinds of good press. I'm referring to the 2010 aVinYó “Vi D'Agulla” from J. Esteve Nadal, a winemaker in the Penedes known best for his cavas. (For some amusing background on the Nadal family, click here for comments from Jay Murrie at 3Cups.) On the nose, lemon zest, honeysuckle, and oceanic brininess. On the palate, more lemon, a bit of green apple, and even more briny mineral character. It is as though someone took the best characteristics of Txacoli, Vinho Verde, and Gaillac Perlé (might throw in Muscadet, too, since we're on the “briny” thing) and rolled them into a single, irresistable wine.

As if that weren't enough, this is made from 100% organically grown Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, a grape shunned in certain precincts for fear of sweetness. If this wine doesn't cure the “muscat is always sweet” crowd of their prejudices, I guess nothing will.

At 10.5% alcohol, this is an eminently gluggable thirst-quencher. Although at $15 a bottle, you may want to glug with a bit less abandon.

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