“Big Sexy Wines” to Stifle Summer Stress
Just last night, I had the opportunity to share some exceptionally sexy, undiscovered wines with a group of fabulous ladies in the Austin area. Many of them bogged down with traveling husbands, endless emails, and “mommy brain,” which they assured me is a real thing to look oh so expectantly forward to later in my future, they reached out to VoluptuousVines for an in-home Rx of a night of sips and stories with a sommelier. So for relentless women who dream of diapers and see Angry Birds swarming in their sleep, VoluptuousVines swooped in to have them feeling free, sexy, and liberated by six new wines to keep on stock for the whirlwind months of Summer Vaca.
Here are some of the wines we loved. Ask your local vendors and somm’s where to find bottles in the same great styles, turn off mommy brain, and enjoy your summer too!
Domaine Herve Azo Chablis 2012 – $25
“The Virgin” – Light, lean, untainted by Chardonnay’s dirty reputation. Young and precocious with more restraint than most of her friends, this Chablis is as refreshing and pure as they come.
The truest expression of 100% Chardonnay you’ll find in the marketplace, this citrus and mineral driven beauty comes from 30 acres of completely organically farmed vines that so mesmerized Herve Azo decades ago that he walked out on his corporate job in Paris to pursue world class winemaking on the steep slopes and ancient fossilized soils of Chablis, nestled peacefully between Paris and the country’s northernmost region, Champagne.
Hugl Weine Gruner Veltliner 2012 – Weinviertel, Austria – $10-14
“The Daisy Duke of Austria” – Racy, exotic yet still feminine and classy, Gruner is as unique and expressive as a Southern Belle and as sassy as an independent, ball-busting guy’s girl. Graceful and feisty with a racy acidic backbone, Gruner is a seductive dichotomy making her great along side most any dish but perfectly happy alone.
Making up over 1/3 of all Austria’s plantings, Gruner has been slowly but surely making its way to the forefront of wine circles over the last few years. Because the grape ripens relatively late in the season and grows on predominantly well draining chalk/shale soils, its flavors are exotic concentrated aromas of citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, white pepper, and spice with a spunky minerality from the country’s cool climate.
Sauvion Chinon Cabernet Franc 2013 – Chinon, Loire Valley – $15
“The Dirty Girl” – Fruity, funky, with a signature earthy character, Cabernet Franc often gets forgotten by mainstream drinkers because she likes to get down many other grapes and rarely sleeps alone. One of the most unspoken heroes of Bordeaux blends, Cab Franc traditionally plays a fundamental role in Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends, but is definitely worth getting alone if you can track her down.
This example of Cab Franc, from the 15 square mile Chinon region of the Loire Valley in north central France, was certainly one of the unexpected fan favorites from guests at the Big Sexy tasting. Bringing familiar red and dark fruit flavors as well as pleasantly rustic funk with unique herbal aromas, this overlooked French classic is strong enough to satisfy “big red drinkers” and smooth enough to sip for an afternoon on the patio.
If You See Kay Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – Lazio, Italy – $25
“The Classic Sex Symbol” – The king of Bordeaux, California, and countless other wine regions, Cabernet Sauvignon is the headliner, Oscar winner, Playboy centerfold of wine. Classic, ageable, and typically expensive, Cab is meant to satisfy and impress. If You See Kay is suave as George Clooney and as provocative as Magic Mike.
Owned and produced by Jayson Woodbridge, proprietor of Hundred Acre wines, If You See Kay is a wild card, break the mold expression of a classic grape from an unconventional region. Because of its international prescence and acclaim, Cabernet Sauvignon often carries a hefty price tag and can be quite a headache when seeking good quality at affordable prices. So start looking outside traditional Bordeaux and Napa Valley regions! Try up and comers like Chile (Colchagua/Chacapoal regions), Paso Robles, Washington (Columbia Valley, Walla Walla, etc.), Australia, and certain Super Tuscans from the Bolgheri and Maremma areas of Tuscany.
Mother’s Milk Shiraz 2012 – Barossa, Australia – $21.50
“The Flirt” – Upfront, outgoing, and unreserved, this wine is fruity, fun, and a pathological flirt. A great wine to please a big crowd, she shows everybody a little love and attention, but isn’t as easy as she seems. She’ll laugh at your jokes, go out to dinner, but isn’t looking for either a one night or a wedding band.
Soft, surly, ripe, drinkable, Shiraz has collectively adopted an unfortunate reputation as jammy, alcoholic, and cheap. And while Australian Shiraz in general is riper and less serious or structured than other rustic, age able expressions of Syrah, the Barossa region is the king of quality Shiraz. Yielding supple tannins and big, voluptuous body with ripe berries and hint of spice, these wines are meant for a fun first date, no strings attached.
“The Christian Grey” – Burly, powerful, and borderline sadistic in certain bottlings, Northern Rhone Syrah is too strapping and meaty to play anything but Mr. Grey inspired character. These wines are power packed and meant t
o age, so they can seem aggressive in youth, but their dark fruit, herby, peppery, and meaty properties are so inherently complex that it’s hard not to be seduced by the delicious chaos of flavors.
With Syrah as the single only permitted red grape variety in the Northern Rhone Valley, these wines are 100% man. The inherent dark fruit, briery, tar, meat, pepper, and dried floral flavors of this grape are only amplified by the rugged, mountainside vineyards and whipping mistral winds that push the vines in this region to their brink of exhaustion. The good news? All that pent up power of fighting nature’s attacks explodes out of your glass as the deepest and most complex wines of this big, sexy flight.