Here are recommendations for some nice end of summer wines, including two affordable California pinot noirs, an excellent Gruner Veltliner from Austria, a cheap and tasty white wine from the south of France and a bargain bubbly that can help turn any day into a celebration.
Lompoc Wine Co. Pinot Noir 2014 Sommelier Raj Paar and winemaker Sashi Moorman are trying to shift our paradigm of wine away from power toward a sleeker, more elegant, lower-alcohol ideal. This pinot doesn’t leap out of the glass and grab you by the throat; it quietly draws you in with its savvy, savory nature. It is not widely available and can be found primarily in restaurants. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.
Rainer Wess Grüner Veltliner 2015 This is a great example of the fine 2015 vintage in Austria, offering textbook grüner flavors of white flowers and lemon grass, with a hint of peppery spice. Refreshing and food-friendly.
Angeline Pinot Noir Reserve 2014 This blend of pinot noir from Mendocino, Sonoma and Monterey counties falls on the darker side of pinot, with dark-fruit flavors of blackberry and cherry and a hint of mocha on the finish.
Belle Jardin Blanc de Blancs Brut What a delightful sparkling wine, delicious and cheap. This bargain bubbly should be an easy choice for large parties, weddings or weekday celebrations. Stock up.
Domaine des Cadastres Picpoul de Pinet 2015 Picpoul typically gives a crisp, refreshing and simple white wine. This example, from the opulently ripe 2015 vintage, offers more effusive fruit flavors of peach and apricot, still balanced by that fresh acidity.