Here’s a look at what our contributors have been drinking…

Katie Myers: Chateau Pradeaux 2006 Bandol Rosé
I love fall. But with the weather still fairly warm and produce aplenty, I’m clinging to the last vestiges of summer. This 2006 Chateau Pradeaux rosé is a great transitional wine.

I briefly visited Provence this summer and was reminded of the cardinal rule of Bandol wines: they must be aged. Usually big and bold, they need a bit of time to mellow before approaching (kind-of like some people, now that I think of it). This rule holds true for rosés as well – given a chance, the often assertive elements yield to layered, nuanced and well-knit flavors.

Now for the Pradeaux — Dry as a bone, the fruit flavors are muted, Soft savory spice, floral and herbal notes weave together nicely through the palate.

I paired with Spanish cheese, chorizo and Chinese takeout (don’t ask).

It worked.

Amy Zavatto: Domaine Chante Cigale 2011 Chateneuf du Pape Blanc
I like a curiosity. And the sight of a bottle of white Chateneuf du Pape is one that definitely stops me in my wine-seeking geeky tracks. CdP, after all, is a crazy 95% red in production, so I was really excited to spot this one on shelves at the little wine shop I write for inBrooklyn.

It smells like citron and the Italian nougat candy, torrone, that my mother-in-law always used to love at Christmas time. The blend is 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Roussanne, 25% Bourboulenc (yet another quirk here since apparently Bourby is pretty rare here), and 25% Clairette.

There’s pretty vanilla bean notes, likely from the small percentage of the lusty Roussanne that gets fermented in new oak, and those herby, citrusy and nougat notes keep on going in your mouth, with a funny but great bit of saltiness, too.

Drank it with roasted, crispy chicken and buttery, sauteed Brussels sprouts and was not disappointed!

Mark Grimaldi: Weingut Hiedler 2011 Gruner Veltliner “Thal”
I drink a lot of Austrian Gruner.  I just like them.  They are good values and come in many different dry styles, making them very food-friendly.  From the little, crisp, citrus, peppery ones you chug on the beach, to the complex, fruit-forward, laser-focused, pedigreed ones from the ancient vineyards and wineries.

This one is from Hiedler which is the Kamptal region of Austria.  Hiedler, for me, is always on the richer side of the spectrum.  The wines go through malo most of the time I believe, and depending on the vintage, can be pretty ripe.  This one is a single-vineyard bottling from the “Erste Lage” (this is a fairly new classification system in Austria.  Standout vineyards are now being given a “cru” status by law, similar to Burgundy, and they call it Erste Lage”) site called “Thal”.
On the nose it’s very floral, with hay/straw notes , a touch of pepper and almost a mild wasabi note or something touching on Asian, like something I’ve smelled while eating sushi.  On the palate it’s crunchy, almost a bit spritzy, with this crushed aspirin thing I sometimes pick up in gruner and dry riesling. It’s fruity, but not fat (I am thinking this wine did not go through full malo), and tightly wound. I think it could benefit from some serious air, because it’s evolving in the glass as I write.
We had this tonight with some roast chicken and a cauliflower, fennel, garlic pasta dish.  It paired nicely.

Len Dest: Bergstrom 2009 Oregon Riesling
Oregon is best known for pinot noir, with considerable accolades for the wonderful pinot gris and most recently some renowned chardonnays.  But the best kept secrets of Oregon’s Willamette Valley are the wonderful rieslings produced by a number of wineries. The cool steep hillside of the upper ridges of the Willamette Valley’s western range is a perfect place to produce high-quality riesling.

Bergström is an Oregon wine producer that exclusively produces wines from the Willamette Valley’s pre-eminent hillside vineyards.  Since 1999 they have been dedicated to sustainable farming of wine grapes.  Bergström uses biodynamic viticulture methods and artisanal winemaking. Unfortunately the 2009 Bergström Riesling is the last made by the winery as owner and winemaker Josh Bergström has decided to focus the winery’s resources on pinot and chardonnay.  When we visited the winery last year we were fortunate to purchase six bottles and have it shipped east.

This is an extraordinary domestic riesling. Various wine reviewers have given it 90-92 scores and I believe it merits a higher score as it is one of the best rieslings we have tasted, if not the best.  As my wife is German, the Bergström reminds us of great Mosel wines, with aromas and tastes of pear, apple, combined with all the minerality of slate and chalk, and of course that unique riesling petroleum nose. It has as good a balance of residual sugar and acidity as any riesling we have ever drunk.

As with all rieslings, the Bergström is food friendly and can go well with poultry, white meats, as well as with spicy Asian dishes.  As this wine has such German characteristics we had it with braised pork chops, red cabbage and spaetzle.

David Flaherty: Perennial Ales Peach Berliner Weiss
Perhaps it’s because my mother severely limited my access to sweets.  So much so, that no matter how much I’d busted my hump to fill up mulitple pillow cases of treats on Halloween, she’d still make us dump all our candy in a big pile, and equally distribute up our booty to the other siblings.  This was unfair, if you ask me.  Socialism at it’s worst.

While I’m not a huge candy guy now, I am a sucker for anything sour.  Especially in my beverages.  Pour me a beer bursting with acetic acid, and I’m a happy man.  Pour me a riesling bristing with enough acidity to make me pucker like a goldfish, and I’ll sleep like a baby (at least one that actually sleeps for more than a 3-hour stretch).
With that in mind, I locked onto this little beauty in my local beer shop like a tractor beam from the Sour Death Star.  Hailing from St Louis, this beauty from Perennial Ales was brewed with 750 pounds of Missouri and southern Illinois peaches.  The fruit had integrated beautifully with the beer, and it was neither sweet, nor cloying.  It’s lip-smacking sour zip sent shivers of excitement down my spine.  And if I happened to have a pillowcase on me, I would have loaded it up with bottles, and not shared it with my siblings.
Lenn Thompson: Domaine Karydas 2008 Xinomavro
Over the weekend, my colleague Mark Grimaldi came over for dinner and a little wine. I told him I was going to open a couple domestic nebbiolos  (which didn’t go over very well with any of us, admittedly). Knowing that we were tasting nebbiolo, he brought over a bottle of this Xinomavro, which you may remember he likened to nebbiolo several WWDs ago.
And it was what I was hoping for from the domestic wines, and at the same time was unlike any Xinomavro I’ve ever tasted before. It wasn’t trying to be New World merlot or cabernet or anything else.
Savory and floral, the nose packs a wallop of leather, dried cherry/cranberry, dried leaf earthiness and a hint of star anise.  Rustic but not underripe, the earthy, savory palate is framed by good acidity and grippy tannins that should give this the ability to age for some time. All for under $30 on the shelf? Sign me up.