Author Archive

Sep
02

Rustic Reds 08-20-14

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Some interesting Mediterranean RED wines were opened & shared by the gang on this night.  They also made sense for the kinds of foods we do in VINO.

02e1989 CHAPOUTIER Hermitage “Sizeranne”

Chapoutier owns 79 acres of prized parcels on Hermitage hill.  That is a sizable chunk, to say the least.  The core of their Sizeranne bottling comes from Les Bessards & its predominately granitic soils.  There is also some Le Meal (old alluvial terraces with gravel & some calcareous) & some Les Greffieux (silt with shingles at the foot of the hill).  The grapes are de-stemmed, fermented in concrete & aged in casks for 12 to 14 months.  This 1989 was wonderfully aged–a peach/nectarine aroma with red & black fruit, dried flowers/hawthorne, forest floor, leather, peppercorns, camphor, sandalwood….very refined, classy & sophisticated.  The various components were very much in harmony & this proved to be a fabulous drink.

Categories : Red, Wine, Wines Revisted
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Aug
28

A Trio of Sweeter Wine 08-21-14

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Sweet wine is an interesting topic.

How does one get such ripeness & sweetness in the wines?

One answer is to simply leave the grapes on the vine longer or until they start to raisin.  This is a very tricky line to walk.  As the sugar rises, the acidity lowers.  If you are therefore not careful, you could end up with a cloying or flabby wine.  A simpler way is to stop the fermentation early, so the finished wine has residual sugar.  Another way, would be to dry your grapes, such as they do in Italy, on straw mats.  Yet, another way, is to encourage botrytis cinerea to infect your grapes.  This beneficial mould will essentially get rid of water & thereby concentrate the extract & acids in the grapes.  Or, one could do a combination of the above.  The point being, there is more than one way.

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Aug
24

New Releases 08-16-14

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0b1Palmina

As you may know, Palmina is a wine project dedicated to Italian grape varieties grown & produced in the Santa Barbara appellation by Chrystal & Steve Clifton. The 2012’s are a truly stunning set of new releases…..actually better than most Italians we taste. The quantum leap in quality is because their vines are maturing AND the wines are now wild yeast fermented & aged for a short time in OLD oak, as opposed to only stainless steel as we saw in the past. The minerality & terroir is still clear & transparent, but with more round-ness & texture.

Categories : New Releases, Wine
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3 epic, rustic red wines from the 2007 vintage (7 yars old)—2 from Italy & 1 from Spain.  Each should really ring your bell.  It is VERY important for us at VINO to continually feature top caliber wines from the Mediterranean basin.  Yes, it is our passion….BUT….it makes sense with the kind of foods Chef Keith creates.  How does the lay person sift through all of the labels & marketing jargon to better determine what to buy?  Here are 3.  Yes, just another opportunity to learn!

01c2007 Ciacci Picolomini Brunello di Montalcino  “Pianrosso”

Categories : Red, Wine, Wines Revisted
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http://www.winophilia.com/2014/07/25/favorite-summer-whites/#more-6608

Categories : Wine, Wine Thoughts
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Aug
20

New Arrivals 08-16-14

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A while back, a  friend asked me to start digging around for interesting Washington state wines. He strongly felt, this is the time, as there is a whole, NEW generation of winemaking phenoms emerging in the Washington state wine scene AND taking it by storm.  This whole scene reminds me of what unfolded in Paso Robles, Santa Barbara & the Anderson Valley, where a group of young bucks are looking to change the game.  Furthermore, the Rhone varietal based reds can provocatively fill that opening between Pinot & Cabernet, in terms of weight & drama.  Thankfully, the pursuit is making wines offering better natural balance without compromising depth & true character.

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Aug
16

In Search of Good Wine 08-14-14

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Again, one of our goals for 2014 is to feature more & more good wines……those which others can be compared to. This will help tasters create a solid base to work from as their tasting adventures continue. It is not as easy as one would think. Here are 4 standouts for our tasting in VINO tonight.  Yes, just another really good opportunity to learn!  Wines like this just don’t happen along!

00132006 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino

Categories : Wine, Wine Thoughts
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One of our goals for 2014 is to show more & more tasters what is “good” wine.  On this night, there was no serious agenda.  It was just to show some of our wine friends, how blind tasting could help discern different attributes of some, what I think, good wines.

0A42011 Andis Zinfandel “Orginal Grandpere Vineyard”

Categories : General, Wine, Wine Thoughts
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Jul
02

Red Zinfandel 07-01-14

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042009 Scherrer  “Old & Mature Vines” 

The Scherrer Vineyard is located on a bench in Alexander Valley, above the Silver Oak planting.  The first vines were planted in the 1912. The “Mature” vines were planted in the early 70’s..  The best way, I can describe this SENSATIONAL bottling, is to say, this is a superb old vine Zin crafted by a Pinot master—elegant, suave, well textured, seamless & so impeccably balanced.

2010 Robert Biale “Monte Rosso03

Categories : General, Red, Wine, Wine Thoughts
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Jun
22

Rustic Mediterranean Reds

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Here are 4 tasty, very interesting red wines from southern France.

2010 Vinci  “Rafalot”  00005

I have become a real sucker for Old Vine Carignane, especially when it is grown & produced in the hands of an artist like this.  Yes, this is a relatively new domaine, but the vines of this 1 hectare parcel are over 100 years old & now really showcases the clay-limestone soils the vines grow in.  It really is about the hands on farming & the

hands off winemaking.  BUT you really need to know what you are doing! 

00002

Categories : General, Red, Wine
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