Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wine List

The wine list at 1022 South is driven by the desire to bring excellent wines at a great price to the guest. Though our list is at present rather small, we hope to expand our offerings as public interest grows. Stop by on Tuesday nights to receive 50% off all of our bottle prices!

Admittedly, I have a bias toward European wines. That said, our most affordable bottles are from Mont Pellier in California. They produce one of the best “value” Pinot Noirs I’ve encountered, and a rather crisp Viognier as well. From the press kit: “This casual, light-bodied [Pinot] has bright cherry fruit on the bouquet and tangy berry flavors on the palate. Lively acidity gives zest and balances the fruit.
Tannins are moderate, and a hint of herbal complexity enhances the finish.” Of the Viognier: “Delicate aromas of white peach and apple with a hint of almond blossom.
It’s light-bodied on the palate and shows the creamy texture of Viognier with citrus accents and a pleasant crisp dryness on the finish.” These are both great ‘after-work’ wines, with fantastic prices to match. Regular price is $6/gl, $24/btl. We offer happy hour (4:00p-8:00p every day) pricing for these wines, at $4/gl.

Finding affordable Champagne can be a challenge, but there are plenty of reasonably priced Crémants from all over France, including Alsace, Bourgogne and Loire AOCs. From the Loire AOC, home of Chenin Blanc, we found a beautiful sparkling wine from Baumard, famous for making the very sweet Quarts de Chaume, an after dinner sipper, and Savennieres. The non-vintage Crémant, however, is quite dry. Mostly Chenin Blanc with a bit of Cabernet Franc, the wine is very pale in color with a fresh, nettley nose. The wine is balanced on the palate, between fruit and acid. Fresh apple and pear predominate with a dry, mineral finish. Nice, small bubbles here. We serve this one for $56, but on Tuesdays you can get one for $28. Irresistible, in my opinion.

One of my personal favorite varietals is Grüner Veltliner from Austria. It’s often quite dry and minerally, great for cutting through rich, fatty foods, and hence makes a wonderful cheese wine. A freshly opened bottle will also offer a hint of effervescence toward the finish, making it a refreshing summertime glass. We serve Lenz Moser’s Heuriger Grüner Veltliner, which is a young wine by classification. Huerigers are meant to be enjoyed during their first year in the bottle, keeping the fruit flavor bright and lively. This bottle in particular shows a stone fruit body with loads of white pepper on the nose, and a long mineral finish. The flavor is bold, yet balanced. Our price is $6/gl, $35/liter.

I decided to try some Chardonnay this winter, and so brought Joseph Drouhin’s Laforet on to the list. The Laforet wines are sourced from all over Bourgogne, and represent the front line bottles for their winery. This Chardonnay is quite simple yet elegant, and I’m almost certain that no oak aging has been used here. The flavors are apple and grape (weird, huh?) and a touch of almond. Our price is $9/gl, $36/btl. Except for Tuesday…

We’ve really been enjoying wines from Delas Freres the past few months and so managed to sell out of both their Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Ventoux. Faced with these unfortunate outages, I replaced them with Perrin’s ‘Nature’ (organic) Côtes du Rhône. All three of these bottles comprise Grenache and Syrah grapes, but the Delas wines had a bit more Syrah than the new Perrin. In these blends, Syrah gives the wine excellent body and more sturdy structure than Grenache alone tends to offer. The Perrin ‘Nature’ comes off a bit lighter on the palate, but still delivers “red and black plum and berry on the nose that follows through in the big, chewy flavors with a rich core of fruit and leathery undertones.” (George Heritier, Try it with our goat cheese for $8/gl, $32/btl.

In my search to find a cheap and bossy Italian wine, I came across the 2008 Chianti from Antonio Sanguineti. The requisite 75% Sangiovese has been completed with a little Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, and Colorino for structure and finish. This wine is TIGHT coming fresh from the bottle; be patient! Buy a bottle and have your bartender decant it. In a couple swirls the wine becomes full-bodied, with loads of dark red fruit, a touch of spice-box and that classic, leathery-tannic Chianti finish. Try it with our charcuterie plate and a couple of friends. $8/gl, $32/btl.

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