Monday, May 17, 2021
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Vintage Wine Recommendations

These selections from Andrew Stover’s Vino50 portfolio represent the variety of wines now being produced all across the United States. “Wine country” is not just California anymore. It’s everywhere.

Galen Glen Stone Cellar Gruner Veltliner 2014

GREAT VALUE Three stars.

Lehigh Valley, Pa., $20

Galen Glen’s flagship wine is textbook grüner, by which I mean delicious. It features the classic flavors of lemon grass, white flowers and stones, with a limpidity that makes it easy to drink while disguising the refreshing acidity. Galen Glen also produces a reserve grüner veltliner available only from the winery, and, yes, it is even better. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent.

Galen Glen Stone Cellar Zweigelt 2014

GREAT VALUE Three stars.

Lehigh Valley, Pa., $20

I had tasted Galen Glen’s gruner before, so I knew it was good. But I was skeptical of the zweigelt because even many examples from its native Austria are under-ripe, giving the wine a pronounced flavor of caraway seed. But this zweigelt is silky and ripe, with blueberry and cherry flavors. It brings out my antisocial side, because I don’t want to share it. ABV: 13 percent.

Breaux Vineyards Jolie Blonde Seyval Blanc 2014

GREAT VALUE Two and a half stars.

Virginia, $15

Anyone who has been following local wines as long as I have will recognize seyval blanc as one of the French-American hybrid grape varieties the East Coast wine industry was built upon while winegrowers were trying to figure out how to ripen the classic vinifera varieties. Breaux’s Jolie Blonde gives us reason to celebrate those varieties and be glad they haven’t all been planted over to chardonnay. This is crisp and bright, with flavors of stone fruits and white flowers. Lovely, indeed. ABV: 13.9 percent.

Old Westminster Winery Andrew Stover’s Somm Cuvee 2012

Two stars.

Maryland, $35

Old Westminster has been gaining acclaim since its debut releases in 2012. Stover crafted this blend of merlot, syrah, cabernet franc and petit verdot with winemaker Lisa Hinton. It’s a stylish, savory wine with dark fruit flavors and a hint of herbs on the finish. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Sawtooth Vineyards Riesling 2014

Two stars.

Snake River Valley, Idaho, $15

Riesling thrives in the Pacific Northwest, especially the Columbia River Valley in Washington, the Willamette Valley in Oregon and the Okanagan Valley in Canada’s British Columbia. Add Idaho’s Snake River Valley to that list, as Sawtooth’s ever-so-slightly-off-dry version attests. ABV: 13.3 percent.

– – –

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

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

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