Summer Sippers- May 2020

summer sippers

About the Region (Summer Sippers)

May is one of my favorite months to drink wine. While the weather in March and April still has that post-hibernation escape feel, May provides a particularly reassuring sense that the warm temperatures are officially here to stay. For this month’s shipment, I’m sending you a hodgepodge of ‘summer sippers’ that I think are perfect for settling into the outdoor drinking season. Simply pop a quick chill on these bottles (reds included), post up beneath the sun, and let the good times roll!

First up is Brand Weissburgunder. There are so many things I love about this wine. First and foremost, it comes in a liter bottle, so it has more bang for your buck – who doesn't love that? Secondly, the Brand brothers are the perfect combination of antiquity and modernity. Although Daniel and Jonas are relatively young, these guys represent the fifth generation of winemakers at their family’s estate. Weissburgunder, otherwise known as Pinot Blanc, doesn’t really get the love it deserves, as other better-known white varieties tend to take the spotlight. However, when made well, Pinot Blanc can show quite a bit of texture, depth, and complexity. I absolutely love the zesty and fruit-forward nature of this bottle. Plus, its screwtop closure makes it perfect for picnics, patios, and outdoor parties everywhere.

Next up is an off-the-beaten-path rosé that’s extremely near and dear to my heart. Seriously, this Grignolino-based rosé is one for the books. Hailing from the Valle de Guadalupe region in Mexico, this insanely high-acid and thirst-quenching bottle is made by a trio of sommeliers that I’m lucky enough to call personal friends. Their winemaking venture, Tresomm, was inspired by their shared passion for this rugged Mexico region, and I can certainly relate. The terroir down here is nuts. Located just 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean, this sea-influenced region is characterized by sandy, granitic, and clay soils; salty ocean breezes; and extremely dramatic temperature swings. After scouting around the region searching for the perfect viticultural partner, the trio eventually crossed paths with local legendary winemaker Camillo Magoni. The rest is history.

The first of your two reds is a bottle of chuggable, chillable, and downright delicious Gamay. I mean, seriously, is there any better go-to red variety for outdoor sipping? With this bottle, I want to take us a bit out of our comfort zones and step away from Beaujolais for a moment – don’t worry, the region will always be there (and will certainly always be one of our go-to picks). Many Beaujolais lovers aren’t aware that Gamay also thrives in the Loire Valley. Here, cooler temperatures generally lead to higher acid and more tart fruit.

This means that the resulting wines are rather delicate, fresh, and light-bodied in style, making them perfect for crushing outside on warmer spring evenings.

Lastly, we’ve got a bottle from Monte Rio Cellars. I love this project! Renowned California winemaker Pax Mahle and long-standing New York sommelier Patrick Cappiello teamed up to create this joint venture just a few years back, and I seriously can’t get enough of what they’re doing. Rather than flocking to the usual go-to sites of the North Coast, the duo hones in on lesser-known appellations and varieties to make their wines. Along with native yeasts and whole cluster fermentations, the pair frequently implements carbonic maceration in their vinification regimen, which results in lively, fruit-forward, and immensely refreshing wines – think traditional Beaujolais meets sunny California.

This is such a fun time of year for drinking wine outdoors, and best of all, it’s only a preview of the next few months to come. Get ready, we’re in for a seriously delicious drinking season!

Dustin Wilson, Master Sommelier


The Wines

Brand Weissburgunder (1-Liter)

Brothers Daniel and Jonas Brand are two of the Pfalz’s most exciting up-and-coming winemakers. The duo took over their family’s Bockenheim-based estate just five years ago, and have since expanded it from 12 to 18 hectares. This varietal Weissburgunder, otherwise known as Pinot Blanc, comes from organically farmed cool-climate vineyard sites dominated by limestone-rich soils. Additionally, the Brands implement some biodynamic principles, as well as the use of homeopathic oils, teas, and herb-based treatments in the vines. The wine shows zesty flavors of green apple, pear skin, honey, and salt. It’s perfect for quenching your thirst on a warm afternoon!

PAIRING IDEAS: The bright acid and easy-drinking nature of this varietal Weissburgunder is ideal for sipping as a pre-dinner aperitif. Pair with creamy cheeses, fresh shrimp, or crudité platters.

Tresomm ‘Gringolino’ Grignolino Rosé

Tresomm was founded in 2017 by sommeliers Taylor Grant, Conner Mitchell, and Master Sommelier Christopher Miller. After a life-changing meeting with one of the region’s leading winemakers (and many shared glasses later), the trio decided to put their unique individual talents and shared passion for the Valle de Guadalupe region together to form this one-of-a-kind project. Winemaker Camillo Magoni mainly focuses on Italian and French varieties, including Nebbiolo, Grignolino, and Aligoté. This ‘Gringolino’ rosé is crafted entirely from the Grignolino variety and is marked by flavors of tart strawberry, red currants, and blood orange. The wine’s ripping acidity leads to a lingering (and lip-puckering) finish.

PAIRING IDEAS: Here at Verve Wine, we believe that rosé pairs exceedingly well with nearly everything, Above all, we believe that rosé is great to drink year-round. However, we are definitely partial to sipping this bottle alongside a solid #TacoTuesday setup.

Henry Marionnet (Domaine de la Charmoise) ‘Première Vendange’ Touraine

Domaine de la Charmoise has been in the Marionnet family since 1850. It’s currently run by Jean-Sébastien Marionnet (Henry’s son), who has worked alongside his father at the winery since the young age of 10. Back in the 1960s, Henry Marionnet became a regional face for well-crafted Loire Valley Gamay, as local producers were more focused on other varieties at the time. ‘Première Vendange’ is the Marionnet’s thirst-quenching and zesty sans-soufre (no sulfur added) Gamay. The wine shows flavors of tart red fruits, potting soil, and rose petals, and is marked by zingy acidity and a lingering finish.

PAIRING IDEAS: The high acid and low levels of tannins in this wine make it the ideal ‘chillable red’ that’s perfect for #PorchPounding all summer long. Sip with your favorite happy hour snack and let the good times roll.

Monte Rio Cellars Mission

Our good friends Patrick Cappiello and Pax Mahle recently joined forces to create Monte Rio Cellars, a California based project that highlights lesser-known grapes, wine making styles, and growing sites across the North Coast. This deliciously smashable red is produced from the Mission grape (known as Pais in Chile or Criolla in Argentina), which is harvested from 80-year-old vines in the heart of Lodi. The duo carbonically macerates the clusters for ten days and ferments the juice with native yeasts in a combination of steel and concrete, followed by six months of aging in old wood. The resulting wine is fresh and fruit-for- ward, marked by flavors of sour cherry, cured meat, fresh herbs, and white pepper. This is ‘New California’ at its finest!

PAIRING IDEAS: We absolutely love the balanced and food-friendly nature of this bottle. Although it pairs well with a variety of dishes, we particularly love it with roast chicken, charcuterie boards, and traditional tapas.