Dog Days of August Roundup: Santorini Assyrtiko, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Loimer Grüner

Photo by 1 Wine Dude, Joe Roberts, CSW

At the recent Texsom, one of the best seminars was the one Brian Cronin MS and Laura Williamson MS presented on Greek Wines.  The darling grape of the summer is Assyrtiko, evidenced by numerous blog posts, print articles and general media buzz. I admit to liking this wine immensely, so I can understand the draw. The following posts from three of the top bloggers in the business, 1 Wine Dude, Do Bianchi and Brooklyn Guy, show the ascendant popularity of this attractive wine from one of the most beautiful spots on earth.

Endangered Species: Santorini Wine Fights For Its Survival

George Koutsoyannopoulos has a round, friendly face that belies the seriousness of what he is telling me, one arm on the steering wheel of his “Volcan Wines mobile,” the other gesturing over me towards the passenger side window as we ride up the twisting, winding passage towards one of Santorini’s higher points.  We’re on our way to lunch at the local taverna; a Greek lunch, mind you – the kind that is of Homeric epic proportions even by European standards.  It’s the kind of lunch that will last hours and showcase the best local cuisine that the island has to offer, the kind of lunch where you might just forget how to walk by the time it finally concludes.

Typical day at the office, right?…more

from 1 Wine Dude - July 21, 2010

Two favorite white wines for summer (and the ultimate sushi wine?)

Assyrtiko grapes, has a slightly oxidative thing going on. Anyone who’s been following Do Bianchi this year knows that I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the wines of Santorini. (Check out the thread here.) I was hired this year to create content for the Boutari Social Media Project and …more
from Do Bianchi - Aug 19, 2010

A Load of Santorini Assyrtiko Wines

Assyrtiko is the most important grape grown on Santorini. It is yellowish and fleshy, and it retains its vigorous acidity even when very ripe. The other grapes that commonly appear in Santorini wines are Aidani and Athiri.–Santorini sees a lot of sun and a lot of heat. Vines are trained in coiled baskets in order to shield the grapes…more
Jancis Robinson weighs in too, with a review on the Sigalas Assyrtiko 2009 Santorini

In other feeds after the jump, The Wine Curmudgeon, Jeff Siegel, plunks down big bucks for bubbly and Becky Murphy points us to another darling of the sommelier set, Grüner Veltliner. Happy weekend!

Expensive wine 17: Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV

Source: The Wine Curmudgeon
August 20, 2010
Jeff Siegel

The Wine Curmudgeon held out as long as he could. But the most important special occasion of the year was coming up, and the fact that Ruinart’s price, thanks to the weak dollar and the shortsighted Champagne business, had increased by 16 percent in 18 months was no excuse.

Sometimes, even I have to admit that spending a lot of money for a bottle of wine is worth it. The Ruinart ($84, purchased) was everything it has always been, and even a little more. The bottle was gone in 45 minutes, despite our best efforts to make it last. And I swear that the wine changed at least three times during that period. It was bit tight but still excellent when we opened it, becoming more caramel after 20 minutes or so. And then, when there was but two glasses left, it delivered bright and amazing pear fruit followed by some kind of lemon something or other.

This is sparkling wine to celebrate with, even at this price. Highly recommended. And the food pairing? Popeye’s fried chicken, actually. It worked quite well (as I always told my students it would). And if Popeye’s isn’t what it once was, it’s still worth reckoning with.

Wine of the Week: Weingut Fred Loimer, Niederösterreich, Lois Grüner Veltliner 2008

Source: Dallas Morning News
August 18, 2010
Rebecca Murphy

Weingut Fred Loimer, Interrelationship,Lois Grüner Veltliner 2008, $12.99

This just may be the best price for quality grüner in the market. It’s made by Fred Loimer, who makes incredibly intense single-vineyard grüners, so he knows his way around this Austrian grape. He also understands that wine labels can be confusing, so all you see on the front label is Lois, which is also the name of his oldest son.

It’s just the kind of wine you want at the end of a hot summer day: refreshing and invigorating. Aromas of white peaches and apples with a whisper of flowers are followed by spicy tropical fruits in the mouth. It finishes with a zesty acidity to keep the mouth watering for more. Enjoy by the pool or with a seafood salad.

Loimer is the second generation to make wine the family’s sole business. Like many of the younger winemaking generation, he got a formal wine education, then worked at wineries in different countries, including Schug Winery in Sonoma. He took home new ideas to improve the wine quality. This grüner is fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to highlight the luscious fruit.

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