I don’t get to New York for tastings and luncheons as often as I used to. So I have to pick my spots carefully. The Weygandt Portfolio Tastings are just the right size and usually have some interesting wines including the following:
Sollner is a small Austrian producer of biodynamic wines made from grapes grown on the hillsides of the Donauland overlooking the Danube just east of the Kamptal. The 2011 Soellner Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Wagram Wogenrain ($16) has juicy, crisp apple fruit and a touch of menthol. Less impressive, though still a good candidate for summer quaffing, is the 2011 Soellner Grüner Veltliner Qualitätswein Trocken Wagram Danubio, which is $18 for 1.5 liters.
Domaine Alary is run by a long line of grape growers in the Côtes du Rhône. Its 2010 Côtes du Rhône La Gerbaude ($16) is 60 percent Grenache, 25 percent Syrah and 15 percent Carignan and shows all those characteristics I love about Côtes du Rhônes. It’s dark and meaty with rich fruit and a touch of smoke. Bring on the cassoulet!
Avan is made by the Juan Manuel Burgos winery, a small producer of Tempranillo wines from Ribera del Duero. The 2009 Nacimiento ($21) is deeply colored, fragrant wine with loads of juicy fruit balanced beautifully by racy acidity. A tremendous value.