In the May 2013 issue of Food & Wine Magazine, a small feature gave readers four great Almost-Extinct Grapes to try – Malagousia, Nascetta, Godello, and Pecorino. “Winemakers across Europe have worked to save indigenous grape varieties from extinction, often bringing them back from a few surviving vines.” The 2011 Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil Godello was selected as a “Bottle to Try” in the Godello category. See below to read a little more about each of the almost-extinct grape varieties.
Château Boutisse has passed along their 2012 Harvest Report as well as a brief video allowing viewers to discover the new vintage. At Château Boutisse, children of Xavier and Agnes Milhade, Marc and Elodie are preparing for the 2012 vintage to be unveiled in Bordeaux. In the video below, the whole family shares the emotions of their daily marathon towards excellence and customer satisfaction!
The blog PlanetaVino.net published a great review for Ferrer Bobet wines. Entitled “Spanish Wine Review: Ferrer-Bobet Vinyes 2010″, Mary O’Connor writes “I love Ferrer Bobet wines because they totally embrace the terroir that has made the Priorat region famous but also have a slight modern and clean edge that makes them stand out from the pack.” As O’connor writes, the winery is amazing to visit and truly represents the perfect intersection of total dedication to the unique land of Priorat and cutting edge winemaking techniques. She tasted both the 2009 and 2010 together, click the image below to read her full review of both vintages.
The New York Times featured an article on Condrieu, France entitled “An Elegant, New Balance for Condrieu”. The article explains all the factors that makes Condrieu frustrating and yet very elegant at the same time. Below is an excerpt where even Philippe Guigal comments.
“Among the thousands of New World viogniers, as well as the Condrieu imitations from elsewhere in the Rhône Valley and other French areas like Languedoc, there are surely some good wines. But viognier is a tricky grape to get right. It needs to be harvested very ripe, otherwise it tastes vegetal and diluted. But ripeness often comes with high amounts of alcohol, and in many viogniers the hot, bitter burn of ethanol is the dominant sensation.
Condrieu is not immune from this problem. Especially in recent, warm vintages, alcohol levels of more than 14 percent — high for any wine, but especially for whites — have become common. Because Condrieu competes with powerful New World viogniers in export markets, producers have been tempted to push things even further.
“Some people have been making huge wines,” said Philippe Guigal, oenologist of the prominent Rhône Valley production and merchant house that carries his family name. “The challenge today is to make a Condrieu this is digestible, with a certain balance.”
For all of these reasons, Condrieu is a wine that I have often left on the shelf. And when I traveled to the tasting where I met Mr. Terrisson — in the town of Ampuis — it was with the intention of deepening my knowledge of the reds of the Northern Rhône, including appellations like Côte-Rôtie, Saint-Joseph, Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage.
Instead, I was won over by the 2011 Condrieus. This is a vintage that clearly favors the balance that Mr. Guigal cited; many of the wines combine the signature golden richness of viognier with the freshness and elegance that mark the best of French winemaking. While viognier can by fruity and flamboyant, almost exotic, these wines are structured and restrained, with a bit of the noble salinity of another Northern Rhône white variety, marsanne.”
To read the full article click here.
In a recent visit to the Disznókő winery, wine lover and blogger, Luiz Alberto shared his experience on his blog TheWineHub.com. Alberto spent a week in Hungary, making his first stop Disznókő and as he put it, it “couldn’t have started any better”. After walking the vineyards and learning how to prune, Disznókő applies short-stalk pruning, he and his group of fellow wine lovers sit down for an amazing tasting of over 10 Disznókő wines including a personal favorite, the 6 Puttonyos 1993. Click here to see some of his great photos and read more about Luiz Alberto’s visit!
The Wine & Spirits Restaurant Poll Issue was just released, highlighting some of the most major trends on wine lists at the most popular restaurants across the country. Quinta do Noval climbs back up to the #6 Port Brand and was the fastest growing Port Brand last year. Champagne Bruno Paillard also appeared on this year’s poll. Bruno Paillard’s Brut and Rosé come in as the #11 By the Glass Brand in the country topping big brands like Santa Margherita, Moet & Chandon, Ruinart, Banfi, and Louis Martini. In this high end, sommelier-heavy poll Paillard also comes in as the #4 Sparkling Brand in the country, ahead of La Marca and Roederer Estate. Click here to see a summary of the great results!
It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Jim Barrett, founder/owner of Chateau Montelena, passed away last week after a brief and sudden illness. NPR published a great tribute to his life and legacy. Jim Barrett made history with Chateau Montelena with the 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay, which put California wines on the map by winning the Paris Tasting in 1976. ”The guy went from being an attorney to being on a submarine in the Korean War to owning one of the best American wineries,” says Scott Wilson, one of the 3 Wine Guys, a podcasting trio of wine experts. “I mean it’s a pretty amazing life. When Barrett showed up in Napa Valley in the 1970s, he says, the place was hardly the lush green countryside we see today.” The photo below is Jim Barrett holding a bottle of the famous Napa Valley 1973 Chardonnay back in 1996. Click here to read the full tribute.
Markus Del Monego and Andreas Larsson, Best Sommeliers of the World in 1998 and 2007, respectively, released their top picks for 2009 and 2010 Bordeaux from a blind tasting they held of over 360 wines.
Chateau La Fleur-Pétrus has an incredible showing, with the 2010 placing as the #5 wine (97 Points) and the 2009 placing as the #13 wine (95 Points). Click here to see the full article, and below to see the reviews for LFP.
“Clear, dark, ruby colour. Still youthful on the nose with fine purity, a mineral notion, dark plum, chocolate and floral notes. The palate is dense and concentrated without heaviness, very elegant dark fruit, well integrated oak, a gentle toastiness and magnificent quality of tannin. Superbly long and powerful finish; a remarkable wine with a great potential; still in its infancy, but doubtlessly potent.” 97 Points Andreas Larsson
“Dark, purple red with violet hue and black centre. Nose quite open with opulent aromas, elegant spices and almost balmy fruit. On the palate excellent length, great finesse and complex character.” 97 Points Markus Del Monego
“Dark, ruby red; rather discreet nose, well settled oak, earthy and dark fruity with some vanilla and fine spices. Very dense and structured, lush fruit kept back by fine silky tannins, very good length; good depth and harmony; still young, but should develop really well; discreet elegance.” 95 Points Andreas Larsson
“Dark, purple red with violet hue. Very elegant style, vanilla and butterscotch, dark berries and mild spices. On the palate well structured, elegant with excellent length freshness. A wine with its own class.” 95 Points Markus Del Monego
In the first ever Berlin Tasting carried out in the United Arab Emirates, Errazuriz flagship wine, Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve 2009, was placed on top of some of the best wines of the world. More than 40 attendees – consisting of sommeliers, members of the Middle East wine trade, and some VIP consumers – gathered together in Dubai to blind taste historic vintages of Chateau Margaux, Chateau Mourton-Rotschild, Chateau Lynch Bages and Opus One. Don Maximiano 2009 took 2nd place in the blind tasting, beating out some of the best wines of the world! Click below to read the full article.
The wine blog Vinography, by Alder Yarrow, has a new post on the brand new releases from Dog Point Vineyard. There is some great information about the winery and the wines, which he notes as “some of the most refreshing wines being made in New Zealand’s Marlborough region.” His tasting notes are below. All of the new vintages received scores of 9 out of 10 or higher! Click here to read the full blog post.
2012 Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of gooseberries and wet stones and lime juice. In the mouth bright lime juice, wet chalkboard and passion fruit flavors have a nice chalky quality to them that is quite pretty. Classically styled but somehow more mineral than someMarlborough Sauvignon Blancs. Wonderful acidity and balance. Nice lemony note on the finish 13.5% alcohol. Score: 9-9.5/10 .
2011 Dog Point Vineyard “Section 94″ Sauvignon Blanc
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of struck match and white flowers with a hint of lemon curd. In the mouth bright lemon curd and lemon juice flavors mix with stony deep minerality and an almost tannic quality. Wonderfully long finish.14% alcohol. Score: 9-9.5/10 .
2011 Dog Point Vineyard Chardonnay
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of wet stones and a hint of white flowers with lemon curd backing that up. The tiniest hint of toastiness comes through as well. In the mouth pink grapefruit and lemon juice mix with lemon curd and a deep wet granite character that is quite compelling. Lean and bright without any signature of new oak (the wine is made with 15% new barrels). Fantastic acidity and great balance. One of the best Chardonnays I’ve ever had from New Zealand. 14% alcohol. Score: 9.5/10 .
2011 Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of forest berries and forest floor. In the mouth gorgeously smooth forest berry flavors mix with a wonderful earthiness . Excellent acidity keeps the wine bright and fresh, and the powdery tannins that grip the palate are smooth and supple and allow the generous, stony fruit to shine. 14% alcohol. Score: Score: 9-9.5/10 .
2010 Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir Southern Valleys
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of slightly sweet cherry and cranberry. In the mouth cranberry and a wet stony character are dusted with nearly imperceptible tannins. Good acidity keeps the wine bright. Moderate finish. Score: 9/10