Bouchard Aine & Fils – 2006 Bourgogne Pinot Noir

There are no hard and fast rules about when to decant a wine, and my tasting experience this time taught me a valuable lesson about that.  I opened this Pinot Noir with expectations about that “typical” pinot noir experience.  The aromas of red fruits were everywhere – cherry and currants mostly, and yet there were noticeable bursts of herb and eucalyptus.  I swirled the jewel red wine a few times and took a sip, and found the wine to be spicy and even “hot”, despite modest alcohol.  I was a bit surprised by the flavors, and decided that perhaps decanting would help.  I was so glad I did.  After an hour of so, I tasted the wine again, and to my delight I discovered beautiful smoothness in the wine.  The spiciness toned down, and I was able to enjoy the fruits and fairly long finish.  No heat, no edge.  This wine paired very well with a juicy burger.

Kemblefield – 2012 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Pale and refreshing, this wine gives up aromas of light gooseberry and pineapple, overlaying a citrus background.  The flavors are crisp and bright, with citrus predominating.  The acidity is fairly pronounced, and even though the alcohol is very modest at 13%, there was just a hint of heat on the tongue.  Be sure not to over chill so that the flavors and aromas can fully develop.  This wine has a nice finish, and pairs very nicely with a crisp summer salad of greens and fruit, with grilled chicken.

Rondel – Brut Cava

Sometimes you just need something sparkly and light – just for the fun of it.  This sparkling Cava is a tremendous value, and quite nice for the price.  On the nose you’ll get some bright green apple from the Parellada, with stone fruit intermingled with some citrus.  The flavor of stone fruit was definitely more pronounced, and even had just the tiniest bit of earthy spiciness to it.  This Cava paired very well with sliced pears, a mild truffle cheese, and a fresh baguette.  For your every day celebrations, this is a hit.