Archive for July, 2012
photograph by Kalei Nuuhiwa, Makakolu Photography
The Pacific Ocean of California is VERY different from the same body of water we experience here in Hawaii. Where our water is warm & inviting, it is real cold & gnarly there. The winds that come of the ocean there are therefore quite chilling….& it follows the cut in the mountains by the various rivers such as this one to create very different climatic conditions, especially during the respective growing seasons.
The Rudesheim hillside wraps around a sharp bend in Germany’s Rhein river…..truly breathtaking & picturesque. I was amazed at the breadth of Leitz’s vineyard holdings & thankful how many of his wines are so amazingly well priced given the sites were they were born.
Just as with wines, there is also a real connoisseur level to coffee. Undoubtedly one of the most unique, gourmet coffees of the world comes from Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.
There just has not been enough correct and detailed information available to the average Joe to better & fully understand the differences between all of the coffees labeled as Kona, and therefore appreciate how special (or not) some of these can be.
By Chantal Sarrazin
A drop of white in an ocean of rosé: the image of Cassis is deeply entrenched. Influenced by the Mediterranean climate, these white wines are infused with minerality drawn from the clay and limestone soil. At Clos Sainte-Magdeleine, this feature is amplified by the élevage.
Winemaker/owner Adam Tolmach left Au Bon Climat to start his own label, Ojai. His Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir is from the highly revered “N Block”, which was planted in 1973 to Martini clone. The 2008 is stellar….classy, vinous & complete with great texture. Very impressive…..BUT not obvious.
In case you are not familiar, Aldo Conterno is the brother who left his family’s domaine, Giacomo Conterno to start his own namesake winery. This 1995 we opened the other night was fabulous, with wonderful perfume, intricacy on the palate & evolution & a long, inspiring finish. What a fabulous drink!
1976 was quite a banner year for Rieslings in Germany. I have heard more than one winemaker over the years say it was so ideal alot of winemakers didn’t know how to handle what this fabulous vintage offered. These two 1976 Auslesen, however, were fabulous! The Von Buhl was glorious, rich, lush & the once apparent residual sugar had changed into a much more tactile, creamy sensation. The Dr. Fischer, in comparison, although higher toned, full of pedigree & much more refined, this particular bottle is starting to get what I call charcoal notes, which tells me it is time to drink up. In both cases, what an experience!
Out of the gates, the 1988 was lighter in color, much more refined, precise & high toned. In comparison, it took the 1982 some air time to really start opening up & show its stuff. It eventually & really proved to become quite a remarkable glass of Champagne–nutty, toasty, much more lush, deep, harmonious & interesting.
The first older Pinot Noir of the night. The nose had some interesting nuances, but overall, yes, it is showing its age. We suggest you drink up.
I last had this wine roughly 2 years ago…at which time I was absolutely blown away with the wine! It was served at a tasting at the Kapalua Wine & Food festival over on Maui…and it clearly was THE wine for me. On this night, I was shocked at how youthful & oaky it appeared on first smell & taste. After an hour & a half, however, the wine started to open up & was again an absolutely sensational experience. Oh my goodness! It’s really too bad Fred Scherrer doesn’t produce Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir any more (2000 was his last one).