As though creating one of the hottest properties in Priorat weren’t enough, the Wall Street Journal’s Wine Blog points to Sergi Ferrer’s wine temple, Monvínic, as the world’s best wine bar:
“Despite my best efforts, I haven’t been to every wine bar in the world, so it may be that there are other contenders to the throne, but Monvínic in Barcelona is certainly the best wine bar I’ve been to in recent memory. When the sommelier at El Bulli tells you you can’t miss it, you would be foolish not to act on the advice.
“I’m only sorry I didn’t check out Monvínic till my last night in Barcelona, but it’s definitely one more reason to return.”
Read more about the design and special offerings of Monvínic here.
The Institute of Masters of Wine recently hosted a symposium to answer an age-old question: who serves the wine consumer best, big corporations or family-owned companies?
Errazuriz’ Eduardo Chadwick attended on behalf family-owned approach, contributing to the candid and eloquent conversation about the heart of the wine business:
“As the dialogue developed, it was clear that both families and corporations had a role to play in bringing the greatest of wines to the consumer. At the end there was consensus on the fact that the business of wine is about people and passion. Irrespective of ownership, those that are true to terroir are the custodians of a precious asset with a duty to produce the best wine each vintage which reflects the sense of place and time.”
New Zealand’s WineNZ magazine has named the 2008 Delta Hatter’s Hill the best value in Kiwi Pinot over NZ$30 (US$21). With the elegance, class and charm of a bottle twice it’s price, the Hatter’s Hill is one of the best wines Marlborough has to offer. Says WineNZ:
“Skilled winemaking is evident in Matt Thomson’s Delta Hatters Hill Pinot Noir 2008. Immediately one is greeted by bright, juicy, vibrant boysenberry and blueberry on the nose. The palate is clean and ripe with blackberry, blueberry, vanilla and spice all in good concentration. This wine shows polished texture and managed to be at once a delicious and approachable wine.”
Who hates California Chardonnay? While some renditions from the Golden State get a bad rap, the Sacramento Beestaunchly defends California as one of the greatest areas for growing this noble grape. Exhibit A in their lineup is Chateau Montelena’s iconic Napa Chardonnay, still the Bee‘s go-to white for a special occasion.
“A 1973 chardonnay from Calistoga’s Chateau Montelena helped put California on the wine world’s map after winning the legendary ‘Judgment of Paris.‘
“Almost 40 years later, this winery remains dependable with its flagship white wine. This chardonnay was tasted recently in a lineup that included white Burgundy, and the Chateau Montelena was an overwhelming favorite for its impeccable balance, underlying acidity and gorgeous flavors of stone fruits, with a touch of smokiness.
“A joy to drink, this chardonnay is one to keep in mind for a special occasion.”
Australia’s finest Sauvignon Blanc has done it again, receiving the highest score Wine Enthusiast has ever awarded an Aussie Sauvignon, an incredible 92 points! Says critic Joe Czerwinski:
Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Adelaide Hills
“The best Sauvignon Blanc yet from Shaw & Smith, the 2009 boasts terrifically fragrant aromas of passion fruit and pink grapefruit. It’s intense and long, easily the qualitative equal of its top Kiwi cousins and better than most.” 92 Wine Enthusiast
A fantastic score for a fantastic wine, and a true testament to what Shaw + Smith has achieved in the Adelaide Hills.
From bucking tradition and pursuing the “new Barolo” to staking an emphatic claim in the potential of Valmaggiore in Roero, the Sandrones have shown themselves to be as fiercely individualistic as they come. Their latest project is very much in that vein, as they attempt to take their new winery, located at the base of Cannbi Boschis on the outskirts of Barolo, completely off the grid.
When we visited the winery in December 2008, they had already started drawing from their own water supply, and now they have taken another large step towards independence. The recently installed solar panels will allow the winery so produce 30% of its own electricity, a step that will allow them to greatly reduce their carbon footprint while ensuring uninterrupted operations all year round.
For a peak inside the Sandrone winery, check out Matthew Gavin Frank’s memoir, Barolo. Frank got serious about food a few years back and wound up in Barolo helping with Sandrone’s 2008 vintage. The tales he spins about the characters of Piedmont are lively and engaging; check out excerpts from the book here and here.
Mas Belles Eaux’s Les Coteaux 2005 was featured in the Washington Examiner‘s recent roundup of terrific values from the Languedoc. According to critic Scott Greenberg:
“A huge blast of blueberry fruit on the nose leads to warm flavors of black fruit and spice on the palate. The firm tannins and ripe fruit allow the wine to be enjoyed young but also provide aging potential.”
That succulent profile makes Les Coteaux the ideal wine for summer grilling, a rich, juicy red that suits just about anything passed across the barbecue pit. Greenberg’s full post is here.
The 2008 Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay has been awarded 91 points and named an “Editor’s Choice” by Wine Enthusiast! A perennial overachiever among Aussie chards, the M3 benefits from the long, cool growing season in the Adelaide Hills, which preserves the tangy acidic backbone that marks the finest expressions of this grape. As Wine Enthusiast says:
More great news for Noval BLACK, The Tasting Panel magazine has awarded the wine 90 points!
Quinta do Noval BLACK “Rich and dense with chocolate and ripe cassis, dried plum and spice; balanced and lively with long, concentrated flavors. A modern and surprisingly affordable port.”90 Tasting Panel
Also, The Drinks Report has a nice post up about BLACK’s UK launch. “This port, in its strikingly elegant yet contemporary packaging, packs a punch of intensely concentrated grapes bursting with juicy red fruit and sweet spice flavours. It’s a premium wine that should appeal to both traditional Port palates as well as first-time drinkers.” The full post is here.