The Grapevine – Patio Wines

It’s a beautiful summer’s eve on the patio anticipating a gorgeous Big Sky sunset.  Sharing an evening like this with someone special can only mean one thing, wine, but what is that perfect selection for relaxing on the patio?

The weather has finally turned, the days are getting hot and the mountains remain emerald green from the spring’s plentiful rainfall.  A refreshing wine to suit everyone’s palate is welcome on a warm summer’s night.  Wine is seasonal and personal, dictated by your individual taste.

This month I have a diverse selection of wines to share that will please even the most discriminating palate.  Not only do these wines offer great value in quality but they are budget minded too.  You will find the WineGuyMike recommendations at Liquid Planet located in the heart of Downtown Missoula.

Yves Grassa, the proprietor of Domaine de Pouy, has produced this light-bodied dry white that is the standard to which others are held.   This wine is a perennial favorite of mine.  The estate is located in the foothills of Pyrénées about two hours southwest of Bordeaux in the Southwest-Armagnac region of France.   The 2011 Domaine de Pouy is a blend of 60% Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano in Italy) and 40% Colombard.  Crisp, fresh, and aromatic wine with subtleties of green apple and lemon grass this wine is refreshing to drink.  Experience a pleasing mouth-feel, wonderful balance of fruit and acid, a very food friendly wine.

L'Ecole41 Chenin BlancThis second generation, family-owned artisan winery located in the historic Frenchtown School of Walla Walla was founded in 1983; they are the third oldest winery in the Walla Walla Valley AVA.  This estate grown and produced wine, L’Ecole Nº 41 Chenin Blanc, focus is terroir-driven, distinctive, and expressive.  All of the L’Ecole’s Walla Walla Valley wines are made from grapes which are certified sustainable.

This fresh, tart and delightfully fruity Chenin Blanc presents aromas of Asian pear, honeysuckle, and orange blossom.  The palate is aroused with flavors of apple, apricot, and grapefruit, crisp minerality, lightly sweet, yet delivers a cleansing finish.  This wine offers great value and is also food friendly.

The Tariquet Chenin Chardonnay, a unique blend, 75% Chenin Blanc, and 25% Chardonnay wine from the Southwestern Languedoc-Roussillon region.  The wine is both crisp and creamy with a price point the makes this wine a real treasure.

The contrast between the Chenin Blanc minerality and the creaminess of the Chardonnay is somewhat reminiscent of sweet and sour cooking.  Refreshing, bold and full of flavor on the entry, with underlying notes of crisp ripe grapes followed by a fresh and satisfying finish.  Faint floral shades of vanilla and toffee take turns revealing their delights, while a touch of saltiness leads to a pleasant lingering finish.

Great Rose whether sparkling or still is simple, refreshing, and crisp like a nice white wine, yet possessing subtle nuances like that of a red wine.  Here are two that I know you will enjoy.

The 2011 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir exudes aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries, peach, watermelon and a touch of baking spices.  The lovely aromas from the wine lead to a rich mouth-feel on the palate, big on flavor, long on finish.  Perfect patio wine on its own this Rosé will pair well with anything from bouillabaisse and grilled shrimp, to goat cheese, ham and poultry entrees.

Gruet’s non-vintage Brut Rose is a beautiful garnet Rose color; it has been aged 24 months en tirage.  This patio pleaser has a lovely, bright floral bouquet with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry.  On the palate, it is rich and fruity with berry and cherry flavors in a dry, brut style.  This sparkler is fun and festive.

Remember to visit my blog for the rest of the story at  Liquid Planet is located in the heart of Downtown Missoula, stop in and pick your perfect patio wine that has been priced especially for you.

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