Having just returned from a 10 day trip to Spain, it was time to tighten the belt a little bit. Fortunately, I found two new arrivals at Chambers Street Wines under $14 that we fantastic. I had started to give up hope for the under $15 bracket, but this has given me new found hope.
The first wine was the Tue-Boeuf 2008 Touraine Le P'tit Blanc du Tue-Boeuf which costs $13.99 and is made from Sauvignon Blanc and Menu Pineau. I have a soft spot for Tue-Boeuf's Brin de Chevre which is 100% Menu Pineau. Menu Pineau is also called Arbois, is an old Loire varietal that survives in some areas, but is rarely vinified on its own. The Brin de Chevre used to be served by the glass at Le Cercle Rouge in TriBeCa when Jorge ran the wine program there. It paired perfectly with the onion and goat cheese tart they had as an appetizer. The residual sugar and slight funkiness was a perfect match.
The Le P'tit Blanc du Tue-Boeuf seems to be mostly Sauvignon Blanc with a little Menu Pineau, but it's a great fully dry, crisp Loire white which we drank as an aperitif with bread and surimi baby eels. It's medium bodied, with floral notes, citrus, apple, honey.
The second wine was the Hauner 2008 Salina Bianco IGT which we paired with dinner. Dinner was parpardelle pasta with flaked salmon fillet with onion and peas. I really like this wine and was stunned by how good it was for just $11.99. And by good, I mean interesting, complex, delicious. Medium bodied, but crisp. There's a lovely brininess which I always enjoy in white wines - especially when I am having fish. The color is straw, gold, and there are citrus and exotic fruits with some almond in there. I think I just found my new house white. It's made from Inzolia and Catarratto (two grapes I had not heard of). Here's some information I found on the two grapes from winegeeks:
- Inzolia is a varietal confined mainly to Sicily although it is also found in Tuscany under the synonym Ansonica. Together with Grillo and Catarratto part of the blend that goes into both sweet and dry versions of Marsala.
- Catarratto is the second most-planted light skinned varietal in Italy, most notably the island of Sicily, where it dominates the western portion of the island. Used in great quantities in Marsala, a wine that can be made in either sweet or dry styles, although a large portion is also used to make industrial alcohol.