Some extraordinary reviews for Errazuriz just out in the latest Wine Advocate. Viñedo Chadwick is the single top-rated wine, with a 97 point review. With the #1 wine and 3 of the top 5 scores in this year’s reviews, Errazuriz is head and shoulders above the competition. This star turn confirm’s Errazuriz’s position as the premier family wine estate of Chile. Full reviews are below the jump. Congratulations to the whole team at Errazuriz!
Check out this video of Bo Barrett, Master Winemaker at Chateau Montelena, discussing the 2010 vintage. As has been widely reported, 2010 was a freakish year of abnormally cold weather, but, with proper management of the vines and a nice warm spell at the end, the grapes had long hang times to mature and develop slowly while maintaining moderate potential alcohol. This is right in line with the Montelena style of classic, restrained Cabernets that offer finesse and purity, and, in short, 2010 may turn out some of the finest wines of the decade.
That’s what Jancis Robinson has to say about Noval’s 20-Year Tawny in her annual review of “strong and sweet” in the Financial Times.
Quinta do Noval 20-Year Tawny
“Pale fox red. Complex, rancio with an exciting array of dried fruits aromas including prunes. There is so much going on here… This is really vital and has much more excitement than most 20-year-old tawnies. Really great stuff!”
Jaime Goode of Wine Anorak also sings the praises of the 20-Year Tawny, saying:
“This is definitely Port weather. My tipple of choice is the fabulously complex Quinta do Noval 20 Year Old Tawny. It’s pretty serious: warm, rich, spicy, beguiling, and utterly delicious.”
Jaime’s full post (with puppies!) is here.
Petrolo has joined forces with other leading Italian wine producers to help fight AIDS in Africa with the Wine for Life project to help DREAM, an intitiative run by Italy’s Comunità di Sant’Egidio. For every bottle of Galatrona and Torrione sold, Petrolo donates 50 Euro cents to the cause. DREAM, short for Drug Resource Enhancement Against AIDS and Malnutrition, focuses on administering antiretroviral treatment through centers in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroun.
Petrolo’s Luca Sanjust was featured in a recent article from Reuters about the project, and had this to say:
“It’s all about love, taking the love that we receive from nature, in the form of wine, and giving it back to the earth, in the form of helping our needy brothers and sisters in Africa,” said Luca Sanjust, owner of the Petrolo winery in Tuscany.
“This is about life, it is not about business,” said Sanjust, 51, whose wines for the project include his Galatrona and Torrione labels, contributing tens of thousands of euros to the programme each year.
“Wine to us is sacred. Life is sacred. I think the people who are doing this work in Africa are living saints,” Sanjust said at a recent benefit and wine auction for the programme.
The full article is here.
A quick note from the New York Times, where Eric Asimov recommends the Disznoko 5 Puttonyos in his “Gifts for Wine and Cocktail Lovers” column. Says Asimov:
“Even more off the well-trodden path is one of the greatest sweet wines in the world, Tokaji aszu, from Hungary. These wines are measured on the puttonyos scale of sweetness, from three up to six. A five puttonyos Tokaji aszu from a good producer like Disznoko can be a thrilling balancing act of sweetness and refreshment.”
This week’s Washington Post wine column from Dave McIntyre is dedicated to port, including our own “swashbuckling” Noval BLACK. Says McIntyre:
“This year’s entry is Noval BLACK, from the prestigious Quinta do Noval, a lively ruby that is almost as edgy as its sleek label. If vintage port conjures images of Britain’s upper-crust society at the height of the empire, these rough-and-tumble rubies remind us of the swashbuckling adventurers who built that empire.”
James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator is in Bordeaux tasting the 2008 and 2009 vintages, and spent a day in Pomerol with the master of the region, Christian Moueix, and his son Edouard. In a wide-ranging interview, there are great mentions of Château Providence and Château La Fleur-Pétrus, along with a superb video of Christian Moueix at Château Providence explaining how he prunes his vines.
The tour continued at Providence, back in Pomerol, where the small, efficient cellar has both cement and stainless steels vats.
“I love the cement vats for their temperature inertia,” said Moueix. “I am a bit old school. But they are large so it’s hard to do smaller parcel selections in them, and we are going more and more that way as we look for precision. The stainless steel tanks give us that flexibility.”
Precision is now the buzzword around Bordeaux. It’s what all the vignerons say they are striving for in their wine, the way Rhône vignerons talk of minerality for example. In Bordeaux, it’s popular to tout the latest technological toy—an optical sorter for example—as the châteaus try to leapfrog each other in pursuit of the precision.
“I am looking for precision,” said Moueix, when I press him on the issue. At what point does human control of the winemaking process become too much? Can you eliminate complexity by searching for an unattainable goal of perfect precision?
“It’s true, we have become maniacs with selection. I agree at some point it could be too much. This is a question we have to ask ourselves,” said Christian, before turning to Edouard.
“You’re right,” said Edouard. “There is the old school and then there is technology. They can work together if you ask yourself first, before you try something new, ‘Who am I?’. If you can answer yourself that question, then you can move forward.”
Molesworth singles out the Providence 2009 as one of Moueix’s top-flight wines, along with the 2009 La Fleur-Pétrus, both VINTUS US exclusives.
Château Providence 2009
“The Providence Pomerol 2009 is super lush, but refined at the same time, with raspberry, cherry compote and red licorice. It stays pure and driven and has latent power but this is about finesse, even in a grippy vintage like ’09.”
Château Lafleur-Pétrus 2009
“The Château La Fleur-Pétrus Pomerol 2009 (Merlot with 10 percent Cabernet Franc) is very tight today and showing its wood too, with a briar note on the edges of the dark raspberry, blackberry and cherry compote notes. It has a long, spice- and tobacco-filled finish and is showing lots of range and plenty of grip too.”
Fred Tasker at MiamiHerald.com agrees with the rest – Noval BLACK sends the perfect holiday message to bosses and in-laws and close friends alike. Pair its black cherry and coffee aromas with a dessert of dark chocolate to complement any menu. And you can skip the corny bag – the gift box can carry its own.
Read more here.
A great piece on the San Francisco Chronicle’s “The Cocktalian” blog. Tasked with creating an easy, approachable new punch for the Chronicle’s Christmas party, resident mixologist Gary Regan whipped up a fantastic recipe using BLACK as a spicy backbone.
“I used Noval BLACK Port as a secondary ingredient. This new baby is a doozy of a bottling. Big, and rich, and spicy and fruity, and perfect for cocktailian endeavors.”