2020 Mylonas, Savatiano — Mylonas is a tiny, self-described “micro winery” in Attica, north of Athens in Central Greece.
It dates back to 1917, but it was in 2000 that the third generation, brothers Stamatis and Antonios Mylonas, inherited and modernized the old family winery. The most important and most widely grown white grape in the Attica region is Savatiano. It is one of the main grapes used in Retsina, the infamous resinated Greek wine. But it can also produce fresh, aromatic white wines of great character and finesse. And the Mylonas brothers have made the grape, sourced from their 50-plus year old bush vines, a focus of their winery. This one has aromas of white flowers and fleshy stone fruit, and rich, complex flavors of citrus and flint. Three months’ lees aging adds texture and depth. It is a very versatile food wine, and could pair with seafood, poultry, or cheese dishes, such as soufflé or quiche, or with Asian fare. $19.75
2020 Domaine Barons de Rothschild, Les Légendes R Bordeaux Blanc — Château Lafite Rothschild has been producing wine in Bordeaux for six generations. Over the years they’ve added additional estates, in Bordeaux and other parts of France, and in South America, all managed with the same exacting care and dedication. They created the Collection Barons de Rothschild series to produce elegant, distinctive Bordeaux wines in a more modest price range under the Légendes R label. This white is 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Sémillon. It is fresh and crisp with notes of citrus and tropical fruit from the Sauv Blanc, and rich texture and depth from the Sémillon. Expressive and elegant, with a nice lively finish, you could enjoy this one anytime with seafood dishes or appetizers. The winery suggests pairing it with mango and crab salad. $19.75
2017 Famille Gras, Côtes-du-Rhône Les Vieilles Vignes — The Gras family has been making wines in Gigondas, in France’s Côtes-du-Rhône region, since 1874. They own Domaine Santa Duc, producing delicious wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas, but also make affordable wines with classic regional character under the Famille Gras label. For these they source fruit from organically-farmed vineyards in various parts of the Rhône. This wine drinks like a baby Gigondas. It is 60% Grenache, with 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and a mix of Cinsault, Counoise, and Carignan which adds notes of black pepper, garrigue, and game. It is medium bodied and aromatic, with black fruit flavors and a hint of earth, bottled unfiltered with minimal added sulfites. Try it with lamb (Moroccan lamb tagine), cassoulet, or Mediterranean fare. $17
2020 City Limits, “Street Art” Syrah — Morgan Lee co-founded Two Vintners Winery in 2007 with the owners of Covington Cellars and he has been winemaker at both wineries for years. He created City Limits as a side project where he could “bring the beauty of high quality Washington wine to your table at an everyday price.” With his long history and great respect as a winemaker, he has access to excellent vineyard sites. This 100% Syrah comes from a number of them, including Les Collines, Pepper Bridge, and Boushey, some of the most coveted vineyards in the state. Fermented with native yeasts and aged in 10% new French oak 500-liter puncheons for ten months, this is a rich, aromatic, and silky-textured Syrah, with complex layers of dark fruit, wild herbs, and a touch of smoked meat. Enjoy it with anything off the grill. $18
2019 Château Andriet, Bordeaux Supérieur — This small Bordeaux property has been in the Brothier family since 1850. Current winemaker Thierry Brothier works as a dentist four days a week, and in his winery Friday through Sunday. His ten hectares of vineyards are located in Périssac, on the Right Bank. Wines labeled Bodeaux Supérieur must meet higher standards than basic Bordeaux regarding vineyard management, vinification, and aging. This wine is predominantly Merlot, with 12% Cab Sauv, grown on gravel and sandy soils and aged one year in neutral French oak. It is rich, elegant, and well-structured, with dark red fruit, hints of earth and spice, and great minerality. The tannins are smooth and well in check and it is very approachable and food friendly—perfect for meat dishes or mushroom stew. $15
2017 Alta Luna, Phases Red Blend — Alta Luna (or “high moon”) was established in northern Italy in 2011. They source their fruit from select hillside vineyards situated in the foothills of the Dolomite Alps bordering Trentino and Alto Adige, with glacial-alluvial soils. The summers are warm here, allowing the grapes to develop good concentration and aromatics, while maintaining good acidity during the cool evenings. This wine is a blend of two local grapes, Teroldego (40%) and Lagrein (30%), with 30% Merlot. Aged 12 months in oak, it is ripe and juicy, with dark fruit flavors of cherry and plum from the Merlot, and nice, earthy texture from the Lagrein. The Teroldego contributes rich, concentrated fruity character. The wine is nicely balanced by soft tannins and bright, food-friendly acidity. They recommend pairing it with pasta dishes, grilled meats, pork, or flavorful cheeses. $14