One small solace we’ve been able to take away during these times, spending more time in the homes that we so love here on the East End, is the ability to connect with family and loved ones to a degree that may never be repeated in our lifetimes. To discover things about them, and ourselves, that may have gone unnoticed in earlier days. Embrace that. Cherish that. Discover yourself, your friends, your family. And raise a glass of wine and toast them all.
Wine is predicated on discovery. Every single bottle is different, and that’s what we love about it. Here is a curated collection of off-the-beaten path bottles that are worth exploring and finding room for in your cellar. We have decided not to play favorites with any of our local offerings, since we couldn’t choose from among so many, and have gone a bit farther afield. Whether you enjoy these wines now or later, may you discover something memorable in them all.
A pinkish hue on the cellar color palette is always in line for the summer months, but you can enjoy it any time.
Chateau de Pampelonne Cotes de Provence Rosé 2019, Provence, France
With vineyards practically bordering the beaches of St. Tropez, this wine takes you back to the home of all things rosé, when travel restrictions might dictate otherwise. Sharp, crisp and elegant, this wine is a quintessential pairing for grilled fish and vegetables.
Vintage “r” Rosé v. XI – Domaie Serene – Yamhill County, Oregon
Standard pink this is not. From one of the most highly acclaimed producers in Oregon comes this unique twist on the unofficial wine of summer. Successive releases of this nonvintage, blended rosé are notated by the production lot (not specific year), with the current release version “XI”. This a beautiful, opulent, barrel-aged rosé that takes the category to a new level.
2019 – Kutch Pinot Noir Rosé – Sonoma, California
The most fruit driven of the rosés listed herein, this effort by Jamie Kutch combines typical bright red fruit indicative of the Sonoma Coast. Think fresh strawberries with a backdrop of cranberries, this concentrated rose is one to savor alone or with food.
White wines are often the first thought for summertime revelry, and here is a great quartet that pair well whether you are relaxing waterside or engaged in a bit more formal setting.
2015 Chateau de Beru – Clos Beru Monopole – Burgundy, France
Farming this wine from a single plot alongside the family’s 13th century chateau, Athenais de Beru consistently delivers light-textured, mineral-focused wines from this famed terroir. Classic Chablis, this biodynamic-focused producer has emerged as one of Burgundy’s finest in a matter of a few short years. If you need something alongside those Montauk Pearls, look no further.
2019 Jurtischitsch – “Mon Blanc” – Kamptal, Austria
From the oldest winery in the Kamptal region of Austria (dating back to the 16th century) comes this summertime gem. From a vineyard farmed organically for over a decade now, this is a gorgeous blend of Gruner, Riesling, Weissburgunder and Muskateller. Floral and balanced, this is as easy drinking as the come.
2017 Zyme – Black to White Il Bianco – Verona, Italy
Hailing from the Veneto region, this apprentice of Quintarelli produces a warm-weather classic from a blend Rondinella Bianca, Gold Traminer, Kerner and Incrocio Manzoni – varities seldom seen state-side. For when you have that plate of marcona almonds and cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto, look no further.
2017 Tyler – Bien Nacido W Block Chardonnay – Santa Barbara, California
A benchmark for California Chardonnay, this effort is as complete as one can find from west coast. This beautiful example is derived from 45 year-old vines of the historic Bien Nacido vineyard. Well-balanced and nuanced, this rich and powerful and white from Tyler is enjoyable in just about any setting.
On those cooler evenings, or for when the grill perhaps dictates a different option that the usual whites or rosés in your cellar, some reds in your quiver are always great.
2017 Aston Estate – Sonoma, California
Hailing from the famed Ridgetop vineyard in the True Sonoma Coast, this wine mixes power, finesse, lush fruit and ageability. From formal settings to backyard bbq’s, this Thomas Brown gem is the quintessential cellar wine which cuts across the many Hampton’s occasions.
2018 – Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Rouge, Loire, France
There was once a time when the region of Sancerre was known equally for their reds as for their whites, and Domaine Vacheron is a throwback to that era. Hand-harvested and vinified in neutral oak, this is a wonderful expression of Pinot Noir and great to drink all summer (and fall, winter and spring) long.
2019 – Jolie Laide Gamay Noir, El Dorado, California
Light, refreshing and charming, this is as summer-red as summer-red goes. Vinified by whole-cluster carbonic maceration with neutral oak, this wine is light, fresh, fruity and great if served slightly chilled.
2019 Jour de Soif – Domaine du Bel Air, Loire, France
A different take from the Loire Valley, Jour de Soif is a stock-up, everyday wine for your cellar. An easy drinking Cabernet Franc from the Gauthier family, this wine showcases ample fruit and great mouthfeel. From a legendary producer, this is a fantastic entry-point wine for all levels of vinous sophistication.
These may reside a bit deeper in the cellar. One day, whenever you find a reason to celebrate, perhaps remove the cork from one of these outstanding bottles:
2006 Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs
2016 Boars’ View Chardonnay
2009 Quintarelli Amarone Riserva
2008 Tokaji Essencia – Royal Tokaji