April 29, 2008
J. Lohr 2007 Monterey Wildflower Valdiguie, about $9
Bridge seasons can be tough for wine lovers: One day, you want a white wine to celebrate the return of green vegetables and warm sun; the next, it's 45 degrees and raining, the sort of weather that sends you looking for a warming red.
J. Lohr's valdiguie is a terrific way to deal with the schizophrenic weather. It's a red wine filled with dark purple fruit flavors (blueberries, boysenberries), but it has a white wine body (light, bright, lively). That means it goes as well with a cold-weather plate of sausages and polenta as it does grilled hot dogs on a warm evening. Either way, give it 15 minutes in the fridge before serving to show its fresh fruit at its best.
About the grape: Valdiguie is so obscure in California that, for years, it was thought to be gamay (the same grape found in Beaujolais); it turns out to be from southwest France, land of duck fat and cassoulet, with which it would also be delicious.
J. Lohr Vineyards, Paso Robles, Calif.; jlohr.com
This review first appeared in the Denver Post.