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Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Italy and France offer some nice wines to help us transition to cooler weather this week, including a lovely sangiovese, a mineral white from Sicily and two noteworthy sauvignon blancs from the Loire Valley. For good measure, here’s a lovely pinot gris from Virginia – limited in availability, but worth a road trip, with scenery as a bonus.

Gregorina Sangiovese Superiore 2013

Two and a half stars.

Romagna, Italy, $20

A lovely, spicy and racy sangiovese, it has tart cherry flavors and a hint of cocoa. ABV: 13 percent.

Domaine du Loriot Menetou-Salon 2015

Two and a half stars.

Loire Valley, France, $19

This is terrific sauvignon blanc, crisp and mineral, with a saline bite to the finish that makes it an ideal partner to seafood. ABV: 12 percent.

Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fumé Vieilles Vignes 2015

Two stars.

Loire Valley, France, $21

Pouilly Fumé lies in Sancerre’s shadow, having many of the same qualities but less glamour (and a lower price). Value hunters, take note. This sauvignon blanc, from the ripe 2015 vintage, is mouth-filling with orchard fruit flavors, and perhaps less mineral than we might expect from the Loire in a cooler vintage. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Slater Run Vineyards Pinot Gris 2015

Two stars.

Virginia, $19

From a new winery in Upperville, in Virginia’s Fauquier County, this one had me puzzled: It’s labeled pinot gris, suggesting Alsace as its model, but its fresh acidity suggested the lighter Italian pinot grigio style. Yet as the wine warmed up (another reminder not to drink our white wines too cold from the refrigerator), I noticed its body and a sly, sneaky richness. Delicious. ABV: 12.5 percent.


Nicosia Grillo 2015

Two stars.

Sicily, Italy, $13

Crisp and citrusy, this wine reveals a hint of Meyer lemon. Pair it with antipasti such as olives, lighter pasta dishes or fish. ABV: 12.5 percent.

– – –

Three stars Exceptional, two stars Excellent, one star Very Good

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

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