2200 Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA 22202
Tonight, Greg from Metro Cellars is showing us some new wines, some new vintages, and some just ideal summer wines from their portfolio. Dodge the small chance of rain and prepare for the great weather heading this way over the weekend by trying a few ideal for sipping on the patio and sharing with friends!
- Gorka Izagirre Txakolina 2016: Very few wineries can boast about having a 3 Michelin-starred restaurant as neighbor (and partner) but this is the case at Gorka Izaguirre, just 20 kilometers away from Balboa. Where Azurmendi sits on the hill above the winery as part of a oenological and culinary complex, that includes the winery, an informal bistro, event spaces, and the three-starred restaurant. The winery is a family project designed to produce high quality Biscay white wine using local grapes, Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Zerratia, cultivated on the steep and rolling slopes of the Basque Country. They care for 40 hectares of vines in small plots with low yields that are manually harvested in October. Using only the finest grapes and taking meticulous care with the latest technology, they produce modern style wines. This Txakolina is a 50/50 blend that is fresh, sharp, cheerful, and appetizing. It is excellent with a variety of appetizers but comes alive with seafood, especially shellfish dishes.
- Lady of the Mandrake “The Golden Apple” 2016: In folklore dating back to pre-biblical times, the mandrake root was imbued with all manner of magical powers. It was known to be an antidote against enchantments, to make the barren fertile, and, most commonly, to have power as a love potion. Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love, was sometimes known as the “Lady of the Mandrake” for the root’s association with life’s carnal pleasures. And, when she was given the distinction of the most beautiful goddess, her prize was an apple made of gold. This wine pays homage to this sensual goddess, this magical root, and the tradition of winemaking that is as old as these two legends. Sourced primarily from old-vine Chenin Blanc (80%), grown in the Clarksburg AVA, this wine was aged for 6 months sur-lie in a combination of stainless steel tank and neutral French oak barrels. A splash of organically farmed Sauvignon Blanc is also part of this blend. Citrus and juicy apple notes jump out of the glass, followed by slatey minerality and fresh spring flowers. On the tongue, there are touches of ripe apricot before finishing with a bright, clean acidity that would make this a great pairing with a summer salad, grilled fish, or a tropical fruit salad. Only 503 cases produced.
- Ampelos Rosé of Syrah 2016: Ampelos is named the greek word for “vine” because they believe great wine starts in the vineyard and because they have close ties to Greece. They purchased 82 acres in 1999 in the area that would later become the Sta. Rita Hills appellation in Santa Barbara County, CA. The vineyard was one of the first in the US to be certified Sustainability in Practice, Organic and Biodynamic. They produce about 5,000 cases per year using a combination of traditional and innovative methods, focusing on keeping their wines as natural as possible. All the extra grape skins, stems, seeds, and lees are composted, and they hand punch-down their wines to minimize use of electricity. In fact, they absorb more CO2 than they produce. Additionally, since 2011, they have not been using commercial yeasts, instead letting mother nature do its job – producing a long, slow fermentation. This rose is a blend of 80% syrah, 15% grenache and 5% riesling that has had no contact with oak and has a brilliant pink color that looks like it make glow in the dark! It has a vibrant nose, full of strawberries, watermelon, pomegranate, apple, and more. The ride across your tongue is full of bright red fruits, white lilies, and just a touch of tropical fruit with a long lasting, fruity finish. Try this at a barbecue or just as a patio sipper.
- Hacienda El Ternero Torno Crianza 2011: The history of Hacienda El Ternero date back to 1077 when it belonged to the Monastery of Santa Maria de Herrera. Sheltered by the Obarenes mountains, among spruce forests, stands a group of buildings that were formerly used as monastery, military headquartes, school, hospital for pilgrims of the ‘Camino de Santiago’ and chapel, which remains open today to shelter our patron saint, the Virgen de la Pera. Its history, geographical location and the altitude of its vineyards, make Hacienda El Ternero a unique winery. The vineyards, located at an altitude of 650 meters and sheltered by the Obarenes mountains, benefit from a privileged microclimate, ideal for growing grapes, with cold and dry winters and warm summers. “Torno” is their Crianza bottling. It is 100% Tempranillo, fermented in stainless steel and then aged in a combination of new and used French oak for 12 months before bottling. This wine is not fined, filtered, or stabilized before bottling. It has nice soft purplish color. Lovely aromas of violets, vanilla, and leather over background of light cherry. Fresh and well-balanced in the glass, smooth tannins and nice fruit harmonize with a touch of caramel on the finish. An easy to drink Rioja that will pair great with grilled and roasted meats.