Planet Wine Shop, my local wine go to in Alexandria, had a great tasting for their usual Wine Wednesday…Summer Wine Bargains. I don’t know about you but I tend to go through more wine  in the summer (it’s hot and I love sitting on the balcony at sunset), so it helps to discover great wines under $15.

Wednesday’s tasting included Italy, France and Uruguay.

  • Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2010, Dolomoti, Italy, $14: nice crisp northern Italian
  • Domaine de Laxé Côtes de Gascogne Blanc 2011, Côtes de Gascogne, France, $12
  • Vignerons de Buxy Buissonier Rosé 2011, Burgundy, France, $15: big cranberry and red currant flavors
  • Domaine Laurent Gauthier Chatenay 2007, Chiroubles, France, $12: from very old vines, big pepper notes
  • Bodegas Carrau Tannat de Reserva 2010, Los Violetas, Uruguay, $15

My two surprise favorites from the tasting were…

Domaine de Laxé Côtes de Gascogne Blanc 2011

  • Variety: 60% Colombard, 40% Ugni Blanc from France
  • Aroma: Bright citrus
  • Taste: Refreshing acidity with hints of exotic fruit
  • Price: $12
  • My thoughts: Very interesting wine coming from extreme southwest France. Ugni Blanc is one of the grapes used to make Cognac and I don’t see it in wine a lot. The combination of grapes made a nice unique discovery. Perfect for the summer heat.

Bodegas Carrau Tannat de Reserva 2010

  • Variety: 100% Tannat from Uruguay
  • Aroma: Red fruit and spice
  • Taste: Vanilla and caramel
  • Price: $15
  • My thoughts: I haven’t tried many wines from Uruguay but this one is fantastic. I’ve also tried a few bad Tannat wines so it was a pleasure to taste this one. Tannat is originally a southern France variety and makes a very tannic wine. Made in Uruguay, it is lighter in body but full of flavor. The Carrau family wine business started in Spain in 1752 and added Uruguay in the 1930s. Nice red wine for when it’s slightly cooler, say low 80s. I’d like to try some more of their wines too.

Cheers to summer wine bargain discoveries