It's the middle of September. Labor Day is just a memory, and Columbus Day floats on the horizon. It's safe to say that summer is over. Rather than mourn the season past, let's celebrate autumn and all its ephemeral beauty. Like its sister, spring, fall is short, and it's sweet, and it's colorful, and it's gone before you know it. We only have a couple of short weeks to bundle up in sweaters and scarves before we have to pull out the heavy coats. Cherish this time of transition, colored leaves, decorative squash, and growing chill.
Today, I'm offering three wines that celebrate autumn. The first is a Valpolicella from the family-owned-and-operated Nicolis estate. This is a smoky, juicy, spicy wine and it's a total bargain--just $22! I'm always delighted when I can find value-oriented bottles that live up to my standards, and this Valpolicella is one. Barat's Village Chablis is another, and the 2011 bottling I offer today complements those bright, sunny September and October days when you want to wrest all the warmth you can before winter comes. This is serious Chablis, and it's less than $23!
Finally, in a class by itself is Le Macchiole Messorio 2009. Like Masseto, like Redigaffi, this mono-varietal Merlot helped to put Bolgheri on the collector map, and year after year, Le Macchiole's Cinzia Merli, who assumed control of the estate after her husband's passing, knocks it out of the park with her varietal wines. This '09 Messorio, somewhat misunderstood by critics upon release, is just coming into its own now, and it is pure pleasure to drink.
Here's to fall and to enjoying this fleeting season and all its jewel-like beauties with the people you love!