Man, oh man, can you beat the weather! Is this a false spring? Will winter return, frigid, austere and overbearing, like the high school principal from hell? Oh, who cares, because I have the wine to remind you of balmy days and sunshine no matter what happens to the sweep of jet stream and the vagaries of La Nina.
This is the Peter Lehmann Layers 2010, from Australia’s beautiful Adelaide region – I’ve been there – and it’s a blend of five white grapes: Semillon (37 percent), muscat (20.5), gewürztraminer (19.5), pinot gris (19) and chardonnay (4). Perhaps you’re thinking, “Can 4 percent chardonnay in a wine make any difference?” The effect may be subtle, but the answer is, ideally, “Yes.” For example – Education Alert! – 2 or 3 percent petit verdot grapes can noticeably affect the color and floral element in a cabernet blend. The trick is that the grapes need to be truly complementary, so that the whole of the wine is not some unholy anonymous mishmash.
For Your Very Own Bottle
4734 Spottswood Ave., $20
Kirby Wines & Liquors
2865 Kirby Parkway, $20
9005 U.S. 64, Arlington, $20
The complementary requirement is certainly accomplished by the delightful Layers 2010, made all in stainless steel tanks to retain ultimate freshness and appeal. The color is shimmering pale straw; aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle, lemon balm and lemon curd, greengage and yellow plums and peaches entice the nose, opening to slightly leafy and grassy elements and a hint of beeswax. The wine is delicate, clean and crisp and to the citrus and yellow fruit adds traces of tangerine and pear, with, in the spicy, stony finish, a boost of grapefruit bitterness. Completely charming, a harbinger of summer’s easy-sipping aperitif wines. Also try with seafood risotto, chicken salad, and white gazpacho.
For more about wine, check out Koeppel’s blog at www.biggerthanyourhead.net.