5 Wines That Represent Their Country Better Than Donald Trump Represents His

Our head wine judge and wine director at New District fills your wine passport with some new entries.

January 31, 2017

By DJ Kearney


Italy

Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio 2015, $23

Why Trentino-Alto Adige is the chilly northern Italian region that this estate calls home, where the land is steeply hilly and cooled by alpine breezes. The limestone-rich Dolomite Mountains provide the soil backdrop for Lageder wines, and you’ll note a fine, chalky presence in this special pinot grigio. You’ll also find lip-smacking citrus flavours, with crisp green apple, a hint of peach and high, mouth-watering acidity.

Pairing Salt Spring Island mussels with white wine and garlic.


France

E. Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône, $23

Why Guigal’s mighty Côtes-Rôties are among the world’s rarest and most expensive bottles, but it’s this Côtes-du-Rhône that brings the value, capturing the essence of the Rhône region and echoing the style and character of the great wines at a fraction of their lofty prices. A classic blend of grenache, syrah and mourvèdre, it manages to transcend mere “varietal character,” powerfully evoking the dry, dusty and heady aromatics of the countryside garrigue.

Pairing Daube-braised beef gently simmered in red wine.


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California

Sans Liege Côtes-du-Coast 2013, $39

Why There’s life after chardonnay in the Golden State. This baby is big, rich, opulent, warm, exotic, extravagant—this is, like, so totally Californian—it just uses classic Rhône grapes to get there. Fragrant, peachy and sumptuously mouth-filling, this wine has a textural dimension—plush and creamy, yet still fresh and lively.

Pairing Deserves the very best fresh seafood.


South Africa

AA Badenhorst Secateurs Red Blend 2012, $31.50

Why From rugged, unspoiled Swartland, north of Capetown, where old bush vines grow on granite slopes, this wine is made by Adi Badenhorst, one of the great characters of the wine world—irrepressible, energetic and irreverent. This is a no-holds-barred (and utterly improper) blend of shiraz, cinsault, tinta barroca, mourvèdre and grenache that can very safely be referred to as unique. It is smoky, earthy, gamey, feral and deliciously gulpable.

Pairing A decent piece of well-charred meat. 


Spain

Terras Gauda Rias Baixas “O Rosal” Albariño 2015, $32.50

Why Rías Baixas is in Galicia, the green, rocky and cold extreme northwest corner of Spain that juts out into the blustery Atlantic Ocean, a world away from the palm trees and Moorish architecture of the picture-postcard south. The granite-grown wines are crisp, lemony and raspingly dry—perfect for Galicia’s legendary shellfish. Their steely freshness makes them a classic aperitif: this one combines aromas and flavours of peaches and almonds, a lovely wild yeastiness from plenty of lees contact, and a wonderfully crisp finish of green apples, pears and salt tang.

Pairing Gooseneck barnacles. 

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