Le Dû’s February Top 10 Under $30

Every month, the Le Dû’s staff gets together to nominate and vote on the 10 wines that we’re most excited about for the month – in both over $30 and under $30 categories. Below you’ll find the Top 10 as selected by Le Dû’s for February 2019!

Max Ferdinand Richter’s Old Vine Gracher Domprost Riesling is one of those amazing anomalies that can slip through the rather confusing German classification systems. It has more concentration than a Kabinett, yet with a similarly, barely off dry, character. This is a perfect wine for richer preparations of white meats, something to chug while you eat too many chicken wings or a giant ham n’ cheese sandwich.

The Riojans have an immense talent for reaching into their (often out-of-style) past, combining that with a new idea, and producing something fresh and exciting. The 20% Viura in Tentenublo’s Xerico is quite hefty by modern Rioja standards, though it was common in the past. This softer, rounder wine would be torn up by the traditional American oak, so they’ve opted for French oak to produce one of the silkiest, most soothing Spanish wines you’ll ever taste.

A dead ringer for Sancerre (at a fraction of the price) from one of the most beautiful regions in France. This is storybook land and a storybook Sauvignon Blanc with controlled green citrus and focused, chalky minerality. You’d need to spend almost twice as much to get a Sancerre as good!

You could count on your fingers the winemakers in the world with more pure skill than Elisabetta Foradori – if indeed there are any. In command since 1985 at the age of 19, she has taken up the mantle of her family estate and elevated her tiny valley in the Dolomites, and its native grape Teroldego, to a seat at the table of the world’s great wines. Her experiments with amphora-aging and near-natural winemaking make her wines the paramount bridge between the rustic and the fine.

The Garrafeira Branco is a wild ride of a wine, opening up with an intense lemon/lime citrus, candied lime blossoms, and a feral, untamed coast minerality. The wine is texturally massive yet focused, like a blackhole of gushing acidity and minerality that demand the palate’s attention long after any sip. A wine that stays with you.

This is the world’s only still Flora produced outside of Australia/New Zealand. The grape, a cross between Semillon and Gewurztraminer, was developed by the ‘Indiana Jones of Viticulture’ Harold Olmo at UC Davis, then planted by one of his students, Charles Coury, at David Hill Vineyard in the Willamette Valley. It is now vinified by winemaker Jeff Vejr to create a soft, heady white wine that is remarkably soothing.

The 2016 Viré-Clessé is loaded with class, a distinct limestone minerality intermixed with the acacia flowers, Asian pear, and fresh peach greets on the nose with a palate which enters like a Chablis, with tart orchard fruit, but then expands outward into more tropical citrus, suggesting kiwi, lychee, and honey suckle. By the quality here, if this was from a more famous appellation, it would be twice the price!

Yuki Otoko refers to the famous ‘abominable snowman’ of the Niigata area. Perched high on a mountain, this traditional brewery only operates in winter – and thus, the brewers arriving in the snowy morning look quite like abominable snowmen themselves. Clean, luscious, and lovely to drink at any temperature, this is a classic traditional sake infused with the vigor of a new generation of sake masters.

Classic, fresh, and quaffable, this is a perfect example of why Gruner Veltliner is so en vogue right now. Lovely as a simple sipper or as a table wine sure to please.

Frank and forthright red fruits offer a very attractive, glowing ripeness – making this an enticing glass of wine. Poised and lively fruit on the palate with plenty of bitter notes to provide a cleansing mouthful, plus accessible acidity.