The Hills Are Alive ….

I’ve recently run into a number of wines all from wineries with “mountain” in their name.  Coincidence?  Well, when you do a web search, there are quite a few results that pop up – quite a few.  Not surprising, then, that not long ago I had an Early Mountain Viognier at an area wine bar.  Then on the 4th  I had that Glass Mountain Chardonnay.  And, to boot, this past week I bought a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at a local watering hole and live music venue – Iota Club and Cafe – from the folks at Sunday Mountain.

I realize, of course, that terroir (soil, topography and climate) is important in growing grapes that can be turned into good wine.  So I can see how some wineries would naturally incorporate the name of the major nearby topographical feature into their own moniker.   Or maybe it’s just a marketing ploy by big beverage conglomerates to suggest a certain type of terroir by choosing a name with “mountain” in it.  Either way, it seems the hills are, indeed, alive with wine for me right now.  That doesn’t mean you’ll hear me singing from the peaks, but I just might be belting out a tune from the bottom of a bottle.  (Well, it was an attempt at a joke.)  Ha!

Winemaker:   Sunday Mountain
Varietal:  Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  New Zealand
Price:  $11.99

Notes:  Color in the glass was a light straw.  The bouquet was quite pungent with scents of ripe melon and grass.  It has good, even bright, acidity.  Flavors included melon, pear, and lots of grapefruit.  Alcohol was at 12.6%.  I thought it was pretty darned OK, especially for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc served in what is primarily a local, live music venue.  I’m impressed with the folks at Iota.  I also had a barbecue pork sandwich which was tasty and so darned stuffed with pork and fixins that I couldn’t hold it together.  I just hate generous portions.  Psyche!  lol   The Sunday Mountain was OK with the sandwich, but I think it might be even better with a hearty seafood dish.  It isn’t a refined glass of Sauvignon Blanc, but it is most definitely flavorful.

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La Bastarda Bianco di Toscana 2012

Here is a light, refreshing white blend from Tuscany by Renzo Masi.  I had this at the pub I’ve mentioned before where they have a lot of live music.  The establishment is called Iota Club & Cafe.  It’s a very popular spot in the local area and attracts a lot of fine musicians.  The club has very recently retooled it’s wine list, and this was a new addition.   I look forward to trying some of the other new items as well.  Although I did get some odd looks from a few folks who saw me drinking a light white wine in what is generally a beer-swigging joint, I lifted my wine glass with pride and confidence.  Of course, nobody but the bartender saw the label on the bottle!

Winemaker:   Il Bastardo by Renzo Masi
Wine:  La Bastarda Bianco di Toscana
Varietal:  White Blend
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:  Toscana, Italy IGT
Price:  $7.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:   This Italian white blend was very pale yellow in the glass.  On the nose I caught floral scents and pear.  On the palate I found flavors of pear, peach, young honeydew melon, grass and peach pit.    The finish is extremely quick, ending with what I can only describe as a sip from a mountain stream – you know, cool water with a slight mineral taste to it.  It was light bodied, acidity is good, and alcohol is at 12.5%.   The mix of grapes here is 70% Trebbiano and 30% Chardonnay.  I think it’s a nice, light, brisk summer cooler.  Actually it’s a lot like a wine cooler.  And this is one to definitely serve chilled.  As it warmed to room temperature it developed a chalkiness that became a little distracting.  So ice it down, and serve it up.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.