New Corks, Unlimited Possibilities
When it comes to fall, there's nothing wrong with Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon—two of the most widely recognized wine varietals with plantings around the world—but there are niche wines worth exploring, too. From Furmint and Muscat in Hungary to Catarratto grapes in Sicily, here are some suggestions.
2016 Cline Cellars Pinot Gris, Sonoma Coast, California
Pinot Blanc gets all the glory, but the similar Pinot Gris should be explored, too. Mango and delicate orange notes on this very clean palate are rich in minerals, leading to a creamy vanilla finish.
2014 Patricius Tokaji Furmint Dry, Hungary
Effervescent and bright, there’s a nice salinity on the finish of this dry Furmint wine and stone fruit notes throughout. While Furmint has been growing in Hungary’s Tojaji-Hegyalja region since the 13th Century, it’s currently trending (and more widely available) in the U.S.
2015 Patricius Tokaji Yellow Muscat, Hungary
Beginning with its orange blossom nose, this full-bodied Muscat is full of surprises, including sweetly layered nectarine notes and a chalky finish. Muscat is also grown in Croatia and Northern Italy.
2012 Domaine L'Ostal Cazes Grand Vin, Minervois La Livinière, France
This red-wine blend (70% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 10% Grenache, and 5% Mourvèdre) from the Languedoc region expresses a raspberry pie nose and black pepper notes, with a lingering finish that intensifies into notes of black cherries and currants.
2015 Anthilia Donnafugata Sicilia DOC Bianco, Sicily, Italy
Notes of white peaches and a backbone of salinity are hallmarks in this wine. It is crafted from Catarratto grapes, stemming from the 160-year-old winery available through Folio Fine Wine Partners and owned by Michael Mondavi.
2015 Predator Six Spot Red, Lodi, California
This first vintage from Rutherford Wine Company results in a dessert-like palate with chocolate notes and a long finish laced with spice. It’s a pure expression of Lodi fruit.
2015 Aia Vecchia Vermentino Maremma, Tuscany, Italy
A blend of Vermentino and Viognier grapes, this import from Dalla Terra features nectarine notes and a profound nuttiness (almond), as well as a creamy round mouthfeel before it slips away seamlessly.
2016 Olianas Vermentino di Sardegna, Gergel, Italy
Notes of grapefruit and spicy layers, coupled with a round mouth-feel, make this a great wine to sip with Asian food. Also with any dish with a spicy backbone as it can hold up quite nicely.