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Spring into Lighter Wines

 



girls cheering with wine bottles
It's time to break out the spring wines

After a season spent in sweaters and boots, it’s always nice to shed that heavy shield for breezy dresses and sandals. I find the same for wine. I love big reds, but as the days get hotter (especially here in Phoenix) it encourages me to pull out lighter, brighter whites and rosé varietals. With the mercury inching upward, here are a few Spring wines I’ve uncorked lately.

 


Spring Wine 1: Tenuta Argentiera Eco di Mare Vermentino 2022



bottle of white wine
Easy drinking spring white. Photo: Tenuta Argentiera

Last year I spent several days on the Tuscan coast in Forte dei Marmi. Tenuta Argentiera winery is located about an hour south of there, also on the coast, and sipping this Vermentino brought back great memories of a day spent on a Mediterranean beach.

 

Located high in the hills overlooking the sea, the winery is known to have the best views of any Italian vineyard (which is saying a lot!). On a clear day you can see Corsica and Elba. Born near the sea, this wine has salinity, minerality and high acid. It was perfect for cutting through the decidedly non-spring Raclette at a friend’s recent dinner party. With notes of stone fruit, pear and banana it was more fruit-forward than other Vermentino I’ve had. It is extremely easy drinking, almost too much so.

 

Spring Wine 2 Clos Solene Hommage Blanc



bottle of white wine
The white wine for red wine drinkers. Photo: Clos Solene

Spring is a time of new beginnings, so what better than a wine that springs from a great love. Guillaume Fabre came from a winemaking family in France. When his parents moved from the Languedoc-Roussillon region to Bordeaux, he stayed behind unconvinced to move until he met Solene. It was a coup de foudre moment, but eventually, life took her to Spain and him to Paso Robles, California. The romance endured, Solene moved to America and in 2007 Clos Solene was born. As someone who had a long-distance relationship with my European husband until he moved here, I love this story. Even better, I loved the first wine I tried from the estate, the Clos Solene Hommage Blanc.

 

The wine is a blend of the French grapes Fabre grew up tending-Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. On the nose I got scents of pineapple, honeydew and a beautiful floral bouquet. It’s a more weighty white than most and I think it’s a great spring sipper for red wine lovers. The wine is perfect to drink now, but thanks to its structure could age up to 10 years.

 

Spring Wine 3 Cantina Zaccaagnini Brut Blanc de Blanc




Bottle of sparkling wine
Perfect spring time bubbles. Photo Cantina Zaccaagnini


In my mind bubbles are good any time of year, but are a natural in spring. The Cantina Zaccagnini Brut Blanc de Blanc is available for the first time in the U.S., and with a low alcohol content is perfectly suited for today’s trends.

 

The wine hails from Abruzzo, Italy and is made using the Italian grape Pecorino and crafted in the Charmat method. This means the secondary fermentation happens in tanks, rather than in the bottle like it does with Champagne. The Pecorino grape is sensitive and expressive and thrives in the Abruzzo region. In this sparkling version, you’ll get citrus notes along with some apple and herbal tones. The wine is light and is an ideal aperitvo. I served it with shrimp cocktail before Easter dinner.

 

Spring Wine 4 Villa Cerna Primocolle Chianti Classico



bottle of red wine
A Spring wine for red wine lovers. Photo: Villa Cerna

When first coming into the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany the historic Villa Cerna winery is the first you’ll see. The winery villa dates to the 11th century when it was a monastery. Villa Cerna is known for its Primocolle, which means first hill in Italian. It’s a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% the Italian native varietal Colorino. This grape is often added for the deep coloring it adds to red blends.

 

The wine has a unique bouquet with scents of cherry, smoke, black olives and roasted tomatoes. It is more herbaceous than fruit-forward and very much crafted in an old-world style. Its high acidity makes it a wine that staunch red wine only drinkers can enjoy in the warmer months.

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