Snooth - Articles Read the opinions of wine professionals en-us Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:57:50 -0500 Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:57:50 -0500 Snooth Life Before and After Brunello Mark Angelillo <p>Montalcino, a Tuscan town in Central Italy, is known for its superior wines. It is home to the highly extolled Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino, two Sangiovese grape-based wines of great renown. Both classifications (Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino) are produced in accordance with strict Italian winemaking laws that ensure quality product. Brunello di Montalcino received its classification in 1966. Rosso di Montalcino followed in 1984. We&rsquo;ve discussed these wines at length over the years.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> But something else happened in Montalcino in 1984 &ndash; another DOC was granted, one that is often overshadowed by its bigger and bolder brothers. Here I am referring to DOC Moscadello di Montalcino. The wines must be made with 100 percent White Muscat. In addition to late harvest wines, some still and sparkling versions are produced. These wines are Easter eggs on the US market. They are hard to find, but well worth the pursuit. As wine drinkers start to consider, more and more, a place for late harvest wines in their oeuvre, we turn out attention to Moscadello di Montalcino.<br /> Late Harvest Moscadello di Montalcino dates back to the 17th century. It is referenced in Franceso Redi&#39;s circa 1685 poem &quot;Bacco in Toscana&quot;. As the popularity of Brunello grew, many producers replaced their White Muscat vines with Sangiovese. People drink more red wine than late harvest wine, and that&#39;s a fact. The decision to replace the vines was a matter of economics -- not poor quality. Gratefully, there are a handful of producers who uphold the tradition of these wines. Production is small. If you can&rsquo;t find one of these at your local retailer, be sure to visit one of these wineries during your next visit to the region.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Mastro Janni Botrys Moscadello di Montalcino 2007</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Candied orange peel and peach notes with the creamy nutty aromas of age showing here on the nose. Thick molasses and orange marmalade flavors on the palate with rose petal floral notes and dried apricot fruit. This is showing its age at this point but still has a lot of flavor. Syrupy sweet and decadent.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Caprili Moscadello di Montalcino 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Fragrant aromas of lychee fruit and honeyed ripe pears on the nose are very inviting and quite floral. Off dry in the mouth and very juicy, this has just enough acidity to balance the sweetness and liven the full, robust palate of honey, honey crisp apple, light lemon and creme br&ucirc;l&eacute;e cream.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Capanna Moscadello di Montalcino 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Highly floral gardenia and white peach aromas with a bit of salinity. Off dry on the palate and while this does show good fruit flavors of apple and melon, somehow the sweetness overshadows the other notes, leading to a mostly floral rose garden finish.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Capanna Moscadello di Montalcino 2011</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Today this shows some developing notes of caramel, candied orange peel and butterscotch with a lemon creme note on the nose. A bit of oxidization has led to a caramel color and like flavors on the palate, this could almost be a dessert wine due to the full sweetness and the rich texture that comes with age. It&#39;s soft now, and I&#39;m not sure how many years might be left here but right now it&#39;s quite lovely.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Castello Banfi Florus Late Harvest Moscadello di Montalcino 2012</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Savory orange marmalade and candied lemon peel aromas with fresh flowers on the nose. Fresh, nectarine and tangerine flavors on the palate, medium full bodied and sweet without being viscous, a touch of brown sugar, lemon Crema and melted butter through to the finish. Decadent and fruity with a spicy edge throughout.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>La Poderina Moscadello di Montalcino 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Honeyed and floral tangerine notes with a bit of a flour and yeast note and preserved lemon peel. Medium-full bodied and off dry on the palate, this is deceptively sweet, presenting orange peel and orange liqueur notes with juicy acidity and a finish that&#39;s somewhat lighter, quite floral and with good length.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Mocali Moscadello di Montalcino 2013</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Earthy, dry and herbal aromas of savory butter, clay, with orange and apple fruit taking a back seat. Much fruitier in the mouth with orange marmalade and white blossom notes, this has driving oak through the mid palate, a creamy texture and a continued hint of something savory and barnyard like, quite pleasant and intriguing. More orange and grape flavors on the lengthy finish.</p> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 article7020 Drink Port for Warmth this Winter Michelle Williams <p>Symington is an iconic name in wine. For over four generations the Symington name has been synonymous with high quality port. If the name is unfamiliar their port houses are certainly not; Graham&rsquo;s, Cockburn, Dow, and Warre are among the best producers in the world. After spending week with the Symington&rsquo;s I came away with a few observations: First, they are a kind, hospitable, and humble family; second, they fully understand quality port starts in the vineyards and they honor this with organic and low intervention practices; third, they honor their heritage and customers by marrying modernization with traditional practices to make the best port possible; and finally, I need to drink more port.<br /> <strong>History of Port</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Port wine owes its birth to England. Grapes have been cultivated in Portugal since antiquity, but it wasn&rsquo;t until the 17th century that wines known as Port, or at that time Oporto, were shipped from Portugal to England. During this time England, a country until recently unable to produce its own wine, imported wine from France. When war broke out between the two countries in the 17th century England boycotted French wine, looking to Portugal to fulfill its wine needs. However, the Portuguese wines struggled to survive the long sea journey. To stabilize the wine a small amount of brandy was added. This fortified the wine, allowing it to survive the journey.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> In 1703, England and Portugal signed the Methuen Treaty, stipulating Portuguese wines imported into England were subject to 1/3 less tax than French wines. This encouraged English and Scottish merchants to begin a long history of Port trade.&nbsp; In 1756, the Marqu&ecirc;s de Pombal demarcated Portugal&rsquo;s Douro region. From that point &ldquo;true&rdquo; port wine can only come from this region. During the phylloxera outbreak in the 19th century the Douro, like other wine regions, was devastated. During this time many Portuguese vintners walked away from their vineyards in economic collapse. This marks the shift in vineyard ownership from Portuguese to British/Scottish, and the founding of many of today&rsquo;s famous Port houses.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The Symington Family has Scottish, English, and Portuguese ancestry. Their lineage in Port traces back to the 17th century. In 1882, Andrew James Symington sailed from his home in Scotland to Porto at age 19 to work for Grahams. By 1905, he became a partner in Warre &amp; Co, established in 1670, and the oldest British port house in Portugal, and by 1908 was its sole owner. Today the Symington&rsquo;s have 2,461 hectares of land in the Douro spanning 26 estates. These quintas house more than 4,000 hectares of vines. These estates have been cared for by the Symington family for centuries and amount to the most significant vineyard holding in the Douro. This family owned and managed business is one of the leading port producers, responsible for 32% of the ports crafted in all premium Port categories.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>What is Port</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Port is a fortified red wine from grapes grown in Portugal&rsquo;s Douro Valley. There are up to five grapes that are blended to make port. These grapes are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta C&atilde;o, and Tinta Barocca, with the first three used the most. The production of port begins like any other wine. Grapes of the Douro battle low rainfall, high temperatures, grueling sun, and low-nutrient soil. After months of these conditions, the grapes are harvested in the fall, a difficult task given the Douro&rsquo;s steep terrace vineyards. The difficult climate, rugged terrain, and transportation challenges combine to make the grapes of the Douro the most expensive wine grapes in the world.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Following harvest, the grapes are pressed using lagares. Traditionally this was done with rows of &ldquo;foot treaders&rdquo; lightly crushing the grapes in large open-air cement or stone tanks. However, in 1998 Peter and Charles Symington introduced the first modern lagar in the Douro. This modern lagar is a machine designed to replicate the gentle action of the human foot to crush the grapes, in a temperature controlled environment where the winemaker uses a computer to determine duration and frequency needed to produce the desired level of fermentation. These modern lagars are now used throughout the Douro. When the winemaker determines the desired amount of the grapes natural sugar has been converted into alcohol the neutral brandy fortification begins, stopping the fermentation and allowing the wine to maintain its youthful fruit notes. This allows the wine to reach up to 20% alcohol while heightening its sweetness.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The Symington Family are responsible for 9 wineries across the Douro. They utilize organic practices where possible while embracing limited intervention in all of their vineyards. Due to the extreme conditions in the Douro there is no need for pesticides and herbicides. As mentioned earlier the Symington&rsquo;s&rsquo; are responsible for the modern lagar, and they are the only port company with their own cooperage. With over 55,000 oak pipes, having coopers on site at Graham&rsquo;s Lodge allows them to actively maintain of these barrels essential to the aging of port.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The Douro is divided into three categories. The majority of the Symington&rsquo;s vineyards are located in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior regions. This allows them to grow the highest quality grapes to produce the best ports possible.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>&ldquo;We want to make serious port wines, but wines people can enjoy without waiting 20 years.&rdquo;</em> ~ Rupert Symington<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Types of Port</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> As the wine ages in large oak pipes the winemaker has to determine what type of port it will become. This is where to fun begins.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Ruby Port</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> This style is fruit forward, approachable, full-bodied, young wine aged for a short 3 years&rsquo; time in oak pipes. This youthful wine is crafted into Late Bottle Vintage Ports or Reserve Ports. These wines are intended to be consumed young, are very food friendly, and quite popular in the US. Ruby port can be consumed upon purchase and served just below room temperature. Once open it will last if kept cool for several days or longer.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Cockburn&rsquo;s Special Reserve</strong>, the world&rsquo;s number one choice of reserve port. This reserve is lively and easily approachable. Notes of concentrated black cherry, baked plums, dark chocolate, licorice, espresso, medicinal notes, fading red flowers, the aromas go on and on. This is a seductive port, a real crowd pleaser, with layers of flavors and a beautifully balanced palate. No wonder its number one. Serve it in a full wine glass at a cooler room temperature. Rupert Symington explains, &ldquo;Cockburn&rsquo;s is about Douro Superior. It&rsquo;s not a terror based wine, but it&rsquo;s about a terroir.&rdquo;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Graham&rsquo;s Six Grapes</strong> is a young and fruity port. This port is typically a blend of two different vintages from grapes sourced from Graham&rsquo;s five mountain vineyards, and aged up to two years in season oak casks. It is designed to be enjoyed upon purchase rather than aged. Stewed fruit, balsamic, eucalyptus, dates, cocoa; seductive, layered, and highly enjoyable.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Dow&rsquo;s 2011 Late Bottled Vintage</strong> is dark and jammy notes of black fruit dance with dried raisin notes of black and red fruit, rich dark chocolate, holiday spice notes of cloves, cinnamon, and added complexity of damp tobacco notes with violets; muscular in body and style, bold and rich through the finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Warre&rsquo;s Warrior Reserve</strong> is the oldest brand of port in the world, having been shipped continuously since the 1750&rsquo;s. Its traditional style remains today in the full body, rich wine. Notes of dried fruit, red berries, figs, balsamic, Asian five spice, dark chocolate, coffee, and licorice; full-bodied, more masculine, rich, and opulent. This is a meaty port in a traditional style.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Tawny Port</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> This style is a blend of older vintages. Its deep amber color is due to its time in oak. Tawny port has notes of dried figs, apricots, nuttiness, and even caramel or butterscotch. Aged tawnies are commonly designated as 10, 20, 30, 40 years. This refers to the characteristics of the wine, rather than its exact time aged in pipes. Aged tawnies are blended with other tawnies of various ages with the compilation of their age equally the number on the bottle. Think non-vintage Champagne. Each Port house has a style they seek to achieve with each designation of their aged tawnies. Tawny port can be consumed upon purchase, enjoy chilled. Once opened it will last if kept cool for several days or longer.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Graham&rsquo;s 10 Year Tawny Port</strong> is elegant, striking a delicate balance between notes of a rich nuttiness, honey, and fig and deeper notes of spices with a hint of dark chocolate that develops due to its aging in seasoned oak casks until it reaches the peak of maturity.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Graham&rsquo;s 20 Year Tawny Port</strong> offers notes of figs and dates, pumpkin pie spice notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, orange peel, caramel, roasted espresso, roasted nuts, with a rich body that is beautifully balanced and lively acidity. It is elegant and sophisticated yet lively and energized. It feels like Coltrane&rsquo;s notes dancing across the palate.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Vintage Port</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> This style is crafted of the best grapes from the best vineyards in the best years. Not every vintages produces a vintage port. Vintage ports can be crafted of a blend of grapes from a blend of vineyards (known as <em>quintas</em>), or it can represent a single <em>quinta</em>, this is up to the winemaker&rsquo;s discretion. The decision to declare a vintage is made two years after harvest. If the winemaker decides the port meets vintage criteria the wine is bottled for further aging. Vintage ports can be enjoyed in their youth with an array of primary aromas and flavors, but to experience the full secondary notes of a great vintage port cellar it properly and it will last for many decades. Enjoy slightly chilled. Once opened it will last several weeks.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Cockburn&rsquo;s 2011 Vintage Port</strong> offers layers of juicy cherries, raspberries, and blackberries, with red floral notes, dark chocolate, kirsch, leather, minerality; pure, powerful, masculine, refined, complex wine that delivers on every level.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Dow&rsquo;s 2004 Quinta do Bomfim Vintage Port</strong> is decadence in a bottle. Notes of ripe berries, red flowers, raisins, baking spice notes of cinnamon and cloves; with firm tannins and balanced acidity provide many decades of cellaring for this beautiful wine. Bomfim is a classic river quinta with an A-rating that is the heart of some of the Dow&rsquo;s best ports. Furthermore, Dow&rsquo;s 2011 Vintage was awarded Wine Spectator&rsquo;s Wine of the Year. Rupert Symington explains, &ldquo;Dow&rsquo;s is a true craft port.&rdquo;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> If you can get your hands on any of the Symington&rsquo;s 2011 ports do so quickly. Rupert Symington predicts, &ldquo;We will look back on the 2011 vintage in 20 &ndash; 30 years and say &lsquo;Wow.&rsquo;&rdquo;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Rupert Symington explains, &ldquo;Port is driven by house style. Consumers graduate to a style they like the most.&rdquo; Each of these ports is crafted in the individual style of the port house. If you are new to port I encourage you to get to know each of these four labels, their style and their charms. Each brand produces an array of port styles.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The Symington Family invites you to visit them. Cockburn&rsquo;s Lodge is located across the river from Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia. Visitors are welcome for a fun tour and tasting experience; book your appointment online. Nearby is Graham&rsquo;s Lodge. Here you will not only experience a wonderful tasting and tour, but as Graham&rsquo;s is a working cellar, sounds of cooper&rsquo;s hammers drift through the air, providing an authentic experience. Furthermore, Graham&rsquo;s is home to Vinium Restaurant and Wine Bar, providing authentic local cuisine paired with only the best wines of the Douro. Book early for a spectacular view of the Gaia and Porto. Finally, travel into the heart of the Douro Valley to experience Quinta do Bomfim, offering tours of the cellars and vineyards, and tastings on the terrace overlooking the Douro River and vineyards.</p> Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 article7018 Premium Wine for Your Holiday Table Mark Angelillo <p>I taste a lot of California wine in any given year. There are so many impressive California wines out there, but this producer brought my understanding of wine&rsquo;s possibilities to new heights in 2017. These wines bring new meanings to overused terms like &#39;complexity&#39; and &#39;depth&rsquo;. Wine that can impart this kind of sensory experience is worthy of deep discussion. It&rsquo;s a great time to visit the Napa Valley. When you do, I encourage you to stop by Alpha Omega. These are superior quality wines that warrant their price point.<br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Surprisingly delicate aromas of lavender and violet with soft black cherry and blackberry notes, dark plum and a bit of earth. Dense and rich palate of dark blackberry and black currant fruit, thick dark chocolate and leather notes, an earthy backbone and pleasingly structured tannins, a touch of heat today but this will develop nicely for years to come. Finishes clean and flavorful with rich berry notes, vanilla and oak. 91 pts.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Alpha Omega ERA Napa Valley 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Dark blackberry, rich toast and vanilla. On the nose black currant and soft floral spice. Blueberry pie and baking spice on the palate, thick tannin and dry warm earth, even a bit of red fruit coming through - cherry, raspberry and light plum notes with a tartness that&rsquo;s redolent of plum paste and a finish of chewy tannin and oak spice.<br /><br /> 90 pts.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Alpha Omega Proprietary Red Wine Napa 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Dark, plummy aromas of blackberry and black currant preserves with a note of licorice and milk chocolate. Juicy, refreshing and full of lively fruit flavors of ripe cherry, cranberry and raspberry, notes of dark chocolate and resinous earth, thick tannins and a blueberry and cream freshness towards the finish that is cool, textured and spicy. 91 pts.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Alpha Omega Chardonnay Napa Valley 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Cool, and inviting on the nose with fresh and light peach and apple aromas with excellent depth and lightly floral dried apricot notes. In the mouth this is beautiful and elegant with fruit notes of peach, fresh melon, pineapple and green apple. Juicy and expansive on the palate with creamy vanilla and oak notes coming in strong on the very long finish. Creamy and refreshing. 93 pts.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Alpha Omega Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Napa Valley 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Lovely shifting nose of black currant fruit and earthy resinous depth with a savory plummy note throughout. On the palate, this is full of rich fruit notes of blackberry preserves and plum with mixed baking spice and juicy black currant fruit. The tannins are supple and full of texture and depth with dark chocolate and chewy cola flavors and earthy root stock notes. 90 pts.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Click here for more information from Alpha Omega.</strong></a></p> Fri, 29 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7015 Argentina’s Secret Stash of Wines Mark Angelillo <p>Argentina is a key player on the 21<sup>st</sup> century wine scene. Hands down, the country is known for making some of the best Malbec wine out there today. The Argentine interpretation of the French grape demonstrates a ripeness and robustness of black and blue fruits that is unequaled. &nbsp;But what I want to make clear here is that when we talk about Argentina, we should not focus on Malbec alone. By concentrating attention on just one of the things the region does well, we miss out on a trove of superstars. Many of them are widely available at fantastic values.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> It was late 19<sup>th</sup> century European immigrants to Argentina (Italian, Spanish, Swiss) who seized upon the country&rsquo;s wine potential and set to planting vineyards around the Andes mountains. Grapes are grown at spectacularly high altitudes in Argentina &ndash; over 10,000 feet in many cases. Because the region is so new, comparatively speaking, it continues to grow and change at a rapid pace. This is exactly why we must pay extra attention to what&rsquo;s happening in the evolving region. Here are my top eight picks, beyond the Malbec grape. For a full list of my 2017 wines tasted from Argentina (including the region&rsquo;s signature grape, Malbec), <a href="">click here</a>.&nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /> <strong><em>Sparkling</em></strong><br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Domaine Bousquet Chardonnay Pinot Noir Brut Mendoza</a></strong><br /><br /> Musky earthy aromas of sandy soil and clay on the nose with hints of peach, melon and dried sage. Continues to be earthy and concentrated on the palate with lemon and grapefruit citrus fruit, floral peach and dried apricot and a pervasive leesy earth throughout that&#39;s dusty and drying.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong><em>Pinot Grigio</em></strong><br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Callia Alta Pinot Grigio Argentina 2016</a></strong><br /><br /> Lively floral notes of quince, pear, apple and peach on the nose. This is smooth, delicate and a touch zesty on the palate with fresh fruit notes of peach, apple and grapefruit, excellent balance and a pleasant spice on the finish. Wonderful presentation of the grape. 91 pts.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong><em>Torrontes</em></strong><br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Trivento White Orchid Blend Torrontes Reserve Mendoza 2016</a></strong><br /><br /> Highly floral aromas of perfumed rose petal and potpourri, fruit notes of fresh peach and lychee. Tropical and floral in the mouth, this is presented with a bold, high acidity and lots of flavor, tart lemon and fresh mango, pineapple and melon with a short finish of dried fruit and more blossom notes. Lives up to the White Orchid name.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong><em>Chardonnay</em></strong><br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Chakana Estate Selection Chardonnay Uco Valley 2018</a></strong><br /><br /> Fresh green apple and lemon balm aromas with a grassy green note and some tart citrus. Cool and juicy on the palate with lemon, soft melon and green apple fruit, some creaminess and a medium texture in the mouth. Turns a bit warmer on the finish, releasing some pleasant peach notes and a bit of oak spice.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong><em>Cabernet Franc</em></strong><br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Bodega Lagarde Guarda Cabernet Franc Lujan de Cuyo 2014</a></strong><br /><br /> Savory earth and dark berry spiced aromas with touches of tomato leaf and crushed violet flower. This is pure, clean fruited and delicate on the palate, a great showcase for the grape with fresh cherry and raspberry fruit, a pleasant baking spice throughout and a finish of structure and finesse, framed by oak and earth. 91 pts.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong><em>Syrah</em></strong><br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Benegas Estate Single Vineyard Finca Libertad Syrah Mendoza 2012</a></strong><br /><br /> Richly aromatic, darkly fruited aromas of black currant and black cherry, pleasant spice and light flower petal notes. Smooth and bold, creamy textured and tannic, with a sheen of vanilla and oak coating fruit flavors of black currant, blackberry and an endless cacao and brown sugar finish. Lots of depth and complexity with very expressive fruit and excellent texture. 90 pts.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong><em>Cabernet Sauvignon</em></strong><br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Carmelo Patti Cabernet Sauvignon Lujan de Cuyo 2007</a></strong><br /><br /> Nice complexity here with savory mineral notes of loamy earth, baking spice and classic black fruit components - mostly black currant and blackberry. Silky, sultry and elegant on the palate with deep fruit notes of black cherry, black current and blackberry, a bit jammy but still quite fresh. This is ten years young today and drinking beautifully, enough age to smooth out any edges and produce creamy textured coffee and chocolate notes, fresh acidity and a plummy, pleasant medium finish. 93 pts.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong><em>Red Blend</em></strong><br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Domaine Bousquet Gaia Red Blend Tupungato Valley 2013</a></strong><br /><br /> Smoky, heady aromas of rich mineral earth, dark chocolate and round blackberry fruit. Full bodied and sticky with resinous earth in the mouth, this is full of bold flavors and zesty acidity, blueberry and blackberry fruit, firm tannins and a ripe black currant preserve on the finish. 90 pts.<br /><br /> </p> Fri, 29 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7017 The Sparkling Wine Trendsetter of 2017 Mark Angelillo <p>Back in 2010, less than one million cases of Prosecco were imported to the United States. These days we&#39;re looking at about 4 million cases. The holidays are incomplete without Prosecco for so many Americans. But for me, the holidays are incomplete without Prosecco Superiore DOCG. The distinction is terrifically important for a variety of reasons.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Much of the Prosecco Superiore you see is made in Conegliano Valdobbiadene, a region located just north of Venice. It has been synonymous with premier quality Prosecco for many generations. During my first region visit in 2015, I was sold. Vines have been grown here since the beginning of knowable time. The people of this region know their land inside and out. This is why you will see bottles of Prosecco DOCG labeled by specific rive (<em>hillsides</em>) and cru (<em>field</em>). While they are joined together as a single region, <em>Conegliano</em> and <em>Valdobbiadene</em> are two separate towns; you may see one or the other on the label.<br /> What I appreciate most about Prosecco DOCG is the vibrant aromatics in every bottle. The Glera grape, once known as Prosecco, delivers gentle and complex floral and lemon citrus aromas. Still versions of the Glera grape (known as &ldquo;Tranquilo&rdquo;) are not widely available, but when I had the chance to taste one I jumped. Still Glera demonstrates the grape&rsquo;s inherent characteristics, and I was impressed to discover that this essence is preserved in sparkling Prosecco DOCG &ndash;&nbsp; this is not something one can say for all sparkling wines. Prosecco wine is disarming, delicious, and available at fantastic values. Read on for some of my favorites.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Morene Tranquilo Prosecco Conegliano 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Clean, light melon and lemon aromas with touches of green apple and soft spice. A bit tart on entry, this fills in around the edges with pear and melon flavors and a silky texture, finishing with an earthy, dry finish with a glimpse of honeysuckle.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Sei Uno Rive di Carpesica Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Light melon and peach aromas with notes of honeysuckle and toasted oak. Easy drinking and approachable on the palate with a zesty fruit blend of lemon, peach and kiwi, this is tart and precise, boldly spiced yet somehow delicate on the mid palate with a nicely sustained mineral finish. 90 pts.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Malibran Credamora Col Fondo Prosecco Valdobbiadene 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Intriguingly cloudy appearance, creamy and biscuity aromas of mild wet clay with fresh lemon and grapefruit notes. On the palate this is soft and gentle with a smooth mouthfeel of delicate bubbles, warm floral spice and creamy oak on the mid palate and tart grapefruit and lemon zest adding a lively freshness towards the finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Ruggeri Vecchie Viti Prosecco Superiore Brut Valdobbiadene 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Floral melon and lemon aromas with candied peach and vanilla biscotti on the nose. Smooth, delicate and refreshing on the palate with citrus notes of lemon zest and light grapefruit, a tart mid palate with hints of watermelon candy and a finish of almonds, cream and fresh golden berries.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Masottina Le Rive di Ogliano Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Floral and light with notes of green apple, Meyer lemon, pink grapefruit and powdered sugar on the nose. On the palate this starts off energetic and tart with melon and lemon fruit and bold acidity, eventually revealing a creamy texture with fine balance and smooth nutty caramel and toast notes alongside dried peach. Approachable and refreshing with lots here to like.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Biancariva Rive de Collalto Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene NV</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Yeasty and floral aromas of green apple and melon with a touch of tropical fruit. This is tart and zesty on the palate with lemon pith and creamy texture, notes of buttery brioche and crisp winter pear and green apple, frothy carbonation and a long leesy finish of aged cheese and grapefruit skin.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Silvano Follador Prosecco Superiore Brut Nature Valdobbiadene 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Lightly and pleasantly spiced peach, pear and green apple aromas with some white blossom and vanilla frosting notes. Bold, zesty on the palate with more of a citrus focus, lemon and grapefruit notes with a green note of lemongrass and dried herb, finishing with a bit of apple and light cream. Clean and fresh.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>La Tordera Otreval Rive di Guia Brut Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene 2017</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Creamy almond aromas with a yeasty note and hints of lime zest and green apple. On the palate this is very dry, refreshing and full of zesty citrus notes of lime and grapefruit, green apple and tart lemon pith, finishing creamy and delicate with a nutty, toasted note of buttery brioche with a touch of melon.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Val D&rsquo;Oca Rive de Santo Stefano Brut Nature Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Mandarin orange, lemon and dried herbs on the nose, crisp and light with a light floral note. Pure fruited and floral on the palate with creamy honey butter notes to start, green apple, pear and lemon on the mid palate and tangerine and croissant notes on the finish, zesty and refreshing with tart, stinging bubbles and a nutty dessert quality on the finish. 91 pts.</p> Fri, 29 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7014 Have a Grand Cru Christmas! John Downes <p>Have you noticed that wherever you are in the world, the Christmas lunch menu is set in stone? In England smoked salmon followed by a traditional turkey roast and Christmas pudding has produced broad smiles around the festive table for decades &hellip; I&rsquo;m a big fan but the part that I don&rsquo;t really get is when the same wines are rolled out year on year to accompany our beloved dishes. Come on Snoothers, ring the changes this year! As well as bringing new taste sensations to the table, introducing new labels can also help your festive finances in these tight times.<br /> Champagne (Deutz NV., Taittinger NV., &pound;36, US$55) and English Sparkling Wine (Exton Park NV, Hambledon NV., &pound;30, $45) may be king of aperitifs but if the price tag&rsquo;s too royal pour a princely New Zealand sparkler (Lindauer, &pound;14, $22) or Spanish Cava Rose (Cordorniu, &pound;6, $10) to get the party buzzing. Be trendy and serve your bubble from normal wine glasses - flutes are so yesterday!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Chablis, the crisp, steely Burgundian (William Fevre 2015, &pound;17, $25) is a classic match with smoked salmon but if your budget won&rsquo;t stretch that far and it still has to be Chardonnay look to Chile&rsquo;s cool Casablanca Valley (Errazuriz Wild Ferment 2015, &pound;12, $20); the ripe citrus apple flavours make for an exotic combination.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Grassy, citrus Sancerre will be as popular as ever but if &pound;15 (US$25) isn&rsquo;t, try Touraine Sauvignon Blanc (Domaine Guenault 2016), from just up the road in France&rsquo;s Loire Valley. It may lack the uummph of top Sancerre but it&rsquo;s the same grape and it&rsquo;s six &lsquo;quid&rsquo; cheaper. Staying with Sauvignon Blanc, both Bordeaux (Dourthe 2016, &pound;9, $15) and New Zealand (Villa Maria Private Bin, &pound;9, $15) offer super value. A taste-off between Touraine and Marlborough will make great sport around the table!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> By now you can smell the turkey. &ldquo;Crack open the red&rdquo; is the call from the kitchen. Grenache-charged Gigondas and Vacqueyras from the southern Rhone come to mind but at &pound;16 ($25) they don&rsquo;t come cheap. Fear not, under rated neighbour Cotes du Rhone (M. Chapoutier, &pound;9, $15) offers a tasty alternative. Syrah fans who crave the spicy, black fruit beauties of the northern Rhone will be pulling the cork on Crozes-Hermitage (Caves de Tain 2014, &pound;12, $20).<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> Cru Classe Bordeaux requires a second mortgage so look to the lesser known regions of Bourg, Blaye and Castillon for a very decent bottle of Claret for less than ten pounds. &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Burgundy is generally expensive but a peep into the village vineyards of Rully, Montagny and Givry for Pinot Noir lovers will bring a pleasant surprise. Oh, and don&rsquo;t forget that although Beaujolais is made from Gamay it&rsquo;s still &lsquo;Burgundy&rsquo; and is often a bargain, (Morgon 2016, Chateau de Pizay, &pound;10, $15). Chilean Pinot Noir (Cono Sur 2016, &pound;7, $12) will also hit the spot.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Rioja needs no introduction but for Christmas trade up to &lsquo;Reserva&rsquo; (Cune 2010. &pound;14, $20); that extra boost of toasty, soft red fruit is the result of&nbsp; 12 months barrel ageing in cool Spanish cellars. &lsquo;Talking about Rioja, don&rsquo;t forget White Rioja - several of my friends prefer white wine with the turkey, (Vina Real Barrel Fermented Blanco 2015, &pound;12, US$20). Popping across the border into Portugal will also bring rich rewards - there are some cracking, top value reds from the Douro Valley and Alentejo that will give you change from a ten pound note.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Or, will it be a big up-front New World red with goose or duck? Go for Aussie Shiraz from the baking vineyards of Barossa Valley, (Jacob&rsquo;s Creek Reserve 2013, &pound;9, $15). Shiraz is the same grape as Syrah from the Rhone Valley by the way. Talking big, a cassis-packed Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, (Frei Brothers 2014, &pound;18, $30), will also make for happy faces.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Argentinean Malbec has taken the world by storm and gets the best out of turkey, goose or duck - its crisp dense black fruit is a steal at &pound;10, $15, (Vi&ntilde;alba Reservado 2015). If you have a spare &pound;35, ($50) treat your guests to Salentien&rsquo;s intense Primus Malbec 2013; from low-yield grapes grown at 1150 metres above sea level in Mendoza&rsquo;s Uco Valley. Guests will also have fun comparing an Argentinean Malbec with a traditional yet lesser known Malbec from Cahors in south-west France (Cahors 2015, &pound;8, $15).&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> To hearty singing the flaming Christmas pudding appears from the darkness. The wine match is tricky but little beats the warm, nutty raisin flavours of Tawny Port from Portugal&rsquo;s Douro Valley, (Noval 10 year old). At &pound;22 (US$35) it&rsquo;s not cheap but it will keep its charms in the bottle until New Year&rsquo;s Eve &ndash; the Dutch serve Port as an aperitif &hellip; &lsquo;just a thought as your friends arrive on the 31st.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> If you prefer a sweetie with the pud head to Spain, (Torres Moscatel Oro, &pound;9, $15), &lsquo;Down Under&rsquo; for an Orange Muscat and Flora (Brown Brothers, &pound;9, $15) or, if you&rsquo;re feeling flush, to Sauternes in Bordeaux where a half bottle of Castelnau de Suduiraut, the second label of Cru Classe Chateau Suduiraut no less, will deliver honeyed heaven for &pound;12 (US$20).&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> All of a sudden it&rsquo;s late afternoon. The table&rsquo;s strewn with half empty bottles, discarded glasses, paper hats and crackers. Now&rsquo;s the time relax, reflect on some wonderful wines, applaud the newcomers, sip your favourites and &hellip;&hellip; feel smug at the money you&rsquo;ve saved. &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> A Grand Cru Christmas and Vintage New Year to all my <em>Snooth </em>readers.</p> Fri, 22 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7016 Celebrate the Holidays with Carmenere from Chile Mark Angelillo <p>Over the past ten years I&rsquo;ve watched as Carmenere from Chile has hit the wine scene in a big way. The grape returned from assumed extinction in 1994 &ndash; that&rsquo;s a fairly recent date, especially in wine years. For decades it was believed that Carmenere from Chile was a unique strain of Merlot. Once its true identity was revealed by DNA testing the grape took on a life of its own. I believe that this grape has helped put wines from Chile on the map. I also believe that since wine arrived on the internet in the early-to-mid 2000s, it has become far easier to spread the word about grapes like Carmenere. Our recent virtual master class on Carmenere from Chile is a perfect example. I was joined by five wine thought leaders to taste through a selection of seven Carmenere wines. The wines were hand-picked by the region to represent its very best.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Carmenere is ideal for the warming winter dishes you&rsquo;ll be enjoying over the next few months. Flavors range from blackberry, blueberry, and chocolate with a bit of herbal tea and black pepper. Carmenere can lift flavors from dishes that other grapes can&rsquo;t. Its fruit flavors never overpower; they only enhance. Four of the wines we tasted during the master class are available for purchase here on Snooth at the best price yet. The value is undeniable, especially when you remember how tough it can be to find quality red wines at a decent price point. <a href=""><strong>Click here to get your set of four</strong></a>, and read on for my personal notes from the full selection of seven tasted during our master class.<br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Vi&ntilde;a Casa Silva Cuvee Colchagua Carmenere 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Raspberry and red currant fruit aromas with notes of pepper and light spice. Juicy and fresh on the palate with more red fruit flavors of cherry and ripe raspberry, some herbal notes towards the finish, bold baking spice, good tannins and fresh acidity throughout.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Siegel Single Vineyard Los Lingues Carmenere 2015</strong></a> - Colchagua Valley $28.99<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Herbal bell pepper and dried basil aromas with notes of red currant, tobacco and pencil shavings. In the mouth this has a touch of cranberry, cherry and oak spice with a tart and herbal palate of fresh pepper, tobacco and warm earth and a bit of smoke on the finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Vi&ntilde;a Carmen Gran Reserva Carmenere 2014</strong></a> - Colchagua Valley $15<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Resinous tarry notes of smoke, earth and tobacco with a hint of cherry and raspberry. Juicy and crisp on the palate with blue and black fruit, bell pepper and herb with chewy tannin on the finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Vi&ntilde;a Requingua Toro De Piedra Carmenere/Cabernet Sauvignon</strong></a> - Maule Valley $15<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Rich fruit aromas of black currant and blackberry on the nose with a bit of black pepper and oak spice. Smooth, creamy textured and rich on entry with dark chocolate and black olive notes, dark black fruit flavors and a finish of earth and spice that carries more than a bit of dried herb and vanilla bean.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Valdivieso Single Vineyard Carmenere 2012</strong></a> - Valle de Peumo $23<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Ripe and concentrated blackberry aromas with green pepper and black currant notes. Good acidity and a fresh palate open for this wine which demonstrates generous fruit notes of black currant with sticky earthy tar notes and a finish of dark tannin, plum and blackberry.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Vi&ntilde;a Ventisquero Grey Single Block Carmenere 2014</strong></a> - Maipo Valley $22<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Gorgeous red fruit notes of cranberry and cherry with fresh plum and sweet spice and earth on the nose. Juicy and fresh flavored on the palate this has buoyant acidity and bold fruit notes of cranberry and red currant, a tarry herbal note throughout and a finish of warm berry compote with oak spice, dry earth and chunky tannins.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Valdivieso Caballo Loco Grand Cru Apalta 2013</strong></a> - Apalta, Colchagua Valley $35<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Loads of dark fruit on the nose with earthy, sticky aromas of tobacco leaf, blackberry and cream. Austere and broad shouldered on the palate this has blackberry and crushed floral notes, bold spice and a smooth textured mid palate, finishing with more tobacco, dark chocolate and earth with sweet spice and sticky tannins. Good potential here for a few years in the cellar, this is still young today.</p> Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7013 Experiments in Sweet Bordeaux Jeff Kralik <p>A few months ago, I was minding my own business, mostly, when I received a phone call from my good friends here at Snooth, wondering if I would be interested in heading to Bordeaux for a few days and write a story about my experiences. The trip would focus solely on sweet wines from the region, or what wine types frequently refer to as &ldquo;dessert wines.&quot; Therein was the challenge, however, as the Sweet Bordeaux Association, a subset of the <em>CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux</em> or Bordeaux Wine Council) is striving to change the perception that Sweet Bordeaux is strictly a wine to have at the end of a meal. Thus, the theme of the entire trip was to underscore the idea that the sweet wines from Bordeaux should be considered as a viable alternative for the aperitif, the appetizers, even the main course.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> I was skeptical, to put it mildly.<br /> Most of my adult life, there were precisely three occasions to serve a sweet wine from Southwest France: the aforementioned dessert, with foie gras, and with blue cheese (preferably Stilton or Roquefort). Seeing that I am not a huge fan of blue cheese and foie gras does not constitute even a minuscule proportion of my quotidian diet, I was not entirely sure how the next several days would pan out.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Bordeaux, as a region, is huge&mdash;it has roughly the same number of acres under vine as the entire state of California&mdash;and in an average year, the region produces approximately 700 million bottles of wine, about 90% of it red. Sweet Bordeaux represents a very small percentage of the entire Bordeaux production&mdash;a little less than 2% of what the region churns out every year. Still, that equates to roughly 10 million bottles from over 500 producers<br /><br /> <br /><br /> For many, the terms &ldquo;Sweet Bordeaux&rdquo; and &ldquo;Sauternes&rdquo; are synonymous, but Sauternes, which can be produced in five different communes (Barsac, Bommes, Fargues, Preignac, and Sauternes), is just one of ten different appellations that may produce sweet wines in Bordeaux (other prominent AOCs include Barsac [wines can be labelled either as &ldquo;Barsac&rdquo; or &ldquo;Sauternes&rdquo;], Cadillac, Loupiac, and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont). While the ten appellations vary in soil types and climate, there are a few commonalities across the growing areas.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> First, the sweet wines from Bordeaux are a blend of mostly S&eacute;millon and smaller percentages (usually 25% or less) of Sauvignon Blanc and, occasionally, Muscadelle. Second, the sweetness of the wines comes from the grapes being affected by botrytis cinera (also known as &ldquo;noble rot&rdquo;), a fungus that gradually raisinates the berries by drawing out the water, which concentrates the sugars, acidity, and flavors.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Third, all ten appellations in Bordeaux that produce sweet wines border either the Garonne River, its tributary the Ciron, or both. The Ciron River is a relatively short, but extremely cold river that empties into the larger Garonne River near the town of Barsac, the virtual epicenter of the ten contiguous appellations. It is not until autumn however, after the Garonne has spent the summer heating its waters, that the clash of these two rivers of drastically different temperatures creates a morning mist that envelops both valleys.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> This mist, along with the sweet plump berries on the vines, provides the perfect combination for the development of noble rot. That rot is a bit finicky, however, as it does not attack all of the grapes in a bunch at the same time, and certain bunches might not get affected at all in spite of near perfect conditions. Thus, the fourth common aspect: harvesting grapes to make a sweet wine in Bordeaux is expensive. It often takes at least three passes, often days apart, to harvest a vineyard, resulting in costs that are more than three times the rate for standard red wine harvesting in the region.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Compounding the calculus is the desiccation of the grapes. While a &ldquo;normal&rdquo; vine might yield enough grapes to produce 2-3 bottles of dry wine, producers of sweet Bordeaux wines can typically expect that a single vine might bear enough fruit to make a <em>single <strong>glass</strong></em>.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Those that have tasted the sweet, unctuous wines of Bordeaux can surely attest that the region produces some of the best wines of their type in the world, but pairing them with parts of the meal that do not rhyme with &ldquo;this shirt&rdquo; might still be a tough sell.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> As I said: I was skeptical.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The first pairing was with Japanese food, which I tried at Ch&acirc;teau du Cros in Loupiac. While the wines worked, for the most part, I think that Chinese or Korean cuisine would be a much better pairing which feature spicier, saltier, and more fried dishes.The pairings with Japanese food were fine, but I remained somewhat skeptical.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> That evening, I had dinner at Ch&acirc;teau Guiraud in Sauternes. The meal was impeccably prepared and the wines were sublime on their own. When they were paired together? Whoa. They worked together magnificently. After I realized that what I was eating and what I was drinking were a near perfect match, my skepticism melted away and I pondered the reasons why.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Then it hit me: salt.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Sure, there are other factors at play, but as long as there is plenty of salt in the dish, it will likely pair well with Sweet Bordeaux wines. The rest of the meals over the course of the week followed suit: as long as there was a perceptible saltiness to the food, I was confident that Sweet Bordeaux would be a viable if not preferred pairing. The roasted rabbit at Ch&acirc;teau Guiraud? Perfect. The mushroom and bacon soup (which might just be the best soup I have ever had) at Ch&acirc;teau de Fargues? Divine. Even Burgundian escargots back at the hotel? Fantastic. In just three short days, I went from full-blown skeptic to converted disciple. So much so, that my first meal at home I did a comparison pairing: my chicken with a mushroom/cr&egrave;me fra&icirc;che sauce with a Sauternes and one of my go-to Chardonnays. The Sweet Bordeaux more than held its own&mdash;it won the night.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Since that first meal back home, I find myself regularly pulling out a Sweet Bordeaux from the cellar to serve with dinner, experimenting with friends and family alike. Sure, there are likely still skeptics out there, but I contend that once they try a sweet wine outside of that last course of the evening, they will become a convert as well.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Here are some of my favorite wines I tasted during the week:<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2014 Ch&acirc;teau la Rame R&eacute;serve du Ch&acirc;teau, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont</strong></a>: Only made in best years, deciding whether to make it sometime after pressing and before bottling. Spends 18-24 months in oak. Dark, rich and unctuous. Whoa. This is rich with honey, coffee, and apricot.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Ch&acirc;teau du Cros, Loupiac</strong></a>: One of the best years for Botrytis in recent memory&mdash;had to pick very quickly. Good acidity, but there is also a roundness, a fatness that balances well.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2008 Ch&acirc;teau Manos Cuv&eacute;e Traditionelle, Cadillac</strong></a>: A mineral-driven wine, with touches of smoke around the edges. Coats the palate with savory notes and mocha.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2005 Ch&acirc;teau Giscours, Sauternes</strong></a>: Dark, rich, and unctuous, loaded with caramel and citrus. This is the wine that &ldquo;flipped the switch&rdquo; for me on Sweet Bordeaux.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2015 Bastor-Lamontagne, Sauternes</strong></a>: Just a baby with noticeable oak and plenty of pineapple upside down cake. Rich and unctuous but loads of acidity.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2014 Ch&acirc;teau de Fargues, Sauternes</strong></a>: From the original owner of Ch&acirc;teau d&rsquo;Yquem, rich golden honey in the glass. On the palate. Whoa. Impeccable with great fruit and balance. Incredible. Paired with oysters two ways.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Ch&acirc;teau Laville, Sauternes</strong></a>: Candied apricot and peach dance on the nose and the palate. Power all the way through. One of the more concentrated of the week.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2005 Ch&acirc;teau Sigalas Ribaud, Sauternes</strong></a>: From a particularly warm year. Black tea, creme br&ucirc;l&eacute;e on the nose. On the palate wonderfully nutty with the slightly burned element of the creme br&ucirc;l&eacute;e.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Ch&acirc;teau de Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes</strong></a>: More candied peach and apricot here. Big flavors and plenty of heft. Sweet and unctuous.</p> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7011 The 12 Days of Bourgogne Wine Mark Angelillo <p>It&rsquo;s high wine season &ndash; the most wonderful time of the year. And the most wonderful time of the year requires only the most wonderful wines. Oftentimes you need more than just one bottle to understand the full scope of a region, especially when it comes to a place as venerable and storied as Bourgogne -- or as you may know it, Burgundy. This region has helped define America&rsquo;s taste for fine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. While eighty percent of grapes grown in Bourgogne are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, there&rsquo;s an array of fabulous options on the fringes that are sure to wow your holiday guests. This is precisely why we&rsquo;ve decided to celebrate The 12 Days of Bourgogne on Snooth. The twelve wines we&rsquo;ve selected draw from a number of styles and grapes. What&rsquo;s more, they fall squarely in the value category, ranging from sixteen to thirty-five dollars. This is far below what many people will spend on a holiday bottle of lesser quality. Each one of the twelve wines simply must be paired with a fabulous holiday dish. Note that we have listed the bottles using the following formula: Domaine/winery name, name of wine (if applicable), appellation, and vintage. Please read on and join us as we celebrate the 12 Days of Bourgogne!<br /> </p> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7008 South African Chenin is the Ideal Winter White Mark Angelillo <p>I tasted through a selection of Chenin Blanc for <a href=""><strong>#CheninBlancDay</strong></a> last June. Right off the bat I knew we had to bring these wines to the Snooth audience.&nbsp; I was hoping to do it in the winter months for one very good reason: South African Chenin Blanc retains startlingly robust fruits (more than enough to stand up to warming winter dishes), while maintaining a strong undercurrent of acidity. Alcohol levels are kept in check which isn&rsquo;t often true when drinking fulsome white wines. These are ideal winter white wines &ndash; especially when serving to a crowd. There&rsquo;s value here for all to enjoy. This is a difficult combination to find.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Chenin Blanc is truly recognized as a signature variety in South Africa. There are troves of old vines located across several of the country&rsquo;s regions, all with their own unique bent. <a href=""><strong>Click here to get your own set of six in time for the December holidays</strong></a>. Read on for my notes on the wines in this special set of winter whites.<br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Thelema Mountain Vineyard Sutherland Sauvignon Blanc Elgin 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> A bit of herbal lime zest and fresh acidity, mineral notes and sea breeze driven aromas. This is dry and juicy on the palate with green apple and pear, a bit of fresh grapefruit, fresh grass and a bright melon finish with tart citrus and dried herbal notes.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay Robertson 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Juicy, honeyed apple and floral peach aromas. Pleasantly spiced with just a touch of honey on the palate with fresh acidity, citrus fruits of grapefruit and stone fruit notes of peach, tart green notes of lime zest and a pleasant herbal finish that&rsquo;s earthy and lengthy and has a touch of cut flowers that sustains past the fruit.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Glenelly Glass Collection Unoaked Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Fresh and lively green apple and melon aromas with a touch of spice. tart and fresh acidity, with tart melon, green apple, pear and lemon notes. A firm, controlled wine with good balance.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>The Wolftrap Western Cape 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Lovely aromatic notes of floral white peach and melon. This is creamy on the palate with a nice heft, nice acidity and flavors of lime zest, a bit of peach, fresh melon and a tart citrus zest and spiced toast note towards the mid palate with a slow long finish that&rsquo;s wooden and earthy.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Chenin Blanc Swartland 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Steely lemon and mineral driven aromas. Well balanced, fresh fruit notes of lemon, green apple, peach and dried apricot, a touch herbal and a bit juicy. This brings good acidity, steely minerality and a bit of a citrus pith note towards the finish that adds another dimension to the wine before it settles into an earthy, toasted and wooded note.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Raats Original Unwooded Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2016</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Mineral-driven sea breeze, lime leaf and melon notes on the nose. Pleasant, warm notes of citrus, white blossom and peach, green apple and herbal spice. a bit of dried fruit, good medium-plus acidity and a solid, bold and assertive palate that is herbal and steely towards the finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Click here to get your set of six now! Offer ends on December 31st, 2017.</strong></a></p> Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7007 There’s something new in French Sauvignon Blanc… John Downes <p>With Christmas lunch now on the radar, Snoothers who enjoy cooking are already thinking about a wine match with the inevitable smoked salmon starter. For French Sauvignon Blanc lovers Sancerre is a popular choice but how about ringing the changes this year by pulling a Sancerre lookalike off the shelf. Cheverny and Touraine Sauvignon Blanc may not have the ooouumphh of a top Sancerre but they&rsquo;ll definitely get the table buzzing and save a few dollars along the way.<br /> Cheverny is little known but, like Touraine Sauvignon Blanc hails from the Touraine region of France&rsquo;s Loire Valley. Both whites give that crisp, zippy citrus kick to lift the smoked salmon flavours even higher. Just in case you&rsquo;re wondering, Sancerre comes from the well-named Central Vineyards region of the Loire Valley to the east of Touraine.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The Cheverny vineyards, located to the east of the city of Tours and south of the town of Blois, lie on soils that vary from sand and clay to gravel and limestone and although Cheverny also produces red wines, the chilly northerly climate lends itself to whites with Sauvignon Blanc being the main player. The region gained its Appellation d&rsquo;Origin Controllee back in 1993, the A.O.C. status specifying that Sauvignon Blanc has to make up between 60 and 85 per cent of the blend, the balance being either Chardonnay, Arbois or Chenin Blanc.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> By the way, Cheverny&rsquo;s red and rose wines are produced from Pinot Noir and Gamay blended with a minimum of 15% Cabernet Franc or Malbec (known as Cot in the Loire).<br /><br /> <br /><br /> For my anorak followers, Cheverny covers 24 communes and approximately 532 hectares located between the Loire and Cher rivers. The appellation covers the communes of Cand&eacute;-sur-Beuvron, Cellettes, Cheverny, Chitenay, Cormeray, Cour-Cheverny, Feings, Foug&egrave;res-sur-Bi&egrave;vre, Fresnes, Huisseau-sur-Cosson, Maslives, Mont-pr&egrave;s-Chambord, Monthou-sur-Bi&egrave;vre, Les Montils, Montlivault, Muides-sur-Loire, Ouchamps, Saint-Claude-de-Diray, Saint-Dy&eacute;-sur-Loire, Saint-Laurent-Nouan, Sambin, Seur, Tour-en-Sologne and Vineuil. Hopefully not a question in your local pub quiz this week!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Globe-trotting <em>Snoothers</em> who wander down the Loire River from time to time and visit the amazing chateaux of Chenonceaux, Chambord and Cheverny, will have driven through the neighbouring Cheverny vineyards and maybe without realising enjoyed the wines en route. That said, every Loire traveller enjoys a glass or two of Touraine Sauvignon Blanc as it&rsquo;s a regular on restaurant, hotel and wine bar lists.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> With the festive season fast approaching perhaps the wines will bring back some happy memories or, better still, inspire a Loire Valley visit in 2018.</p> Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7006 Bordeaux for Next Gen Wine Drinkers Snooth Editorial <p>Bordeaux is an established paragon of quality, but there&rsquo;s more to it than producing gorgeous wines. The region has defined trends. It evolves to accommodate shifting tastes while remaining true to its core values. Suffice it to say, with a unique combination of history, esteemed quality, and value, Bordeaux is uniquely positioned to capture next generation wine drinkers.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Last month&#39;s <a href=""><strong>Back to Bordeaux</strong></a> trade and consumer tasting in Brooklyn, New York, was a demonstration of the region&#39;s commitment to evolution. A master class, led by Mary Gorman McAdams, MW, and featuring Sabra Lewis (Sommelier Terroir Tribeca) and Nicola Allison (of Graves&#39; Ch&acirc;teau du Seuil), examined the role of vintage and market perception. There are about 6,800 growers in Bordeaux offering a variety of wines in different styles and price points. In the past, wine audiences have singularly focused on premium level selections from specific vintage years. These days, wine drinkers are digging deeper. Value and story are of the utmost importance. The value wines of Bordeaux are plentiful and in demand. The many family-owned wineries across Bordeaux have lots of stories to tell about the wines, too.<br /> It&rsquo;s time to embrace value Bordeaux. The wines can acknowledge the strengths of all vintages, be kind to your pocketbook, and tell a good story to boot.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Here are a few of our favorite values from St. Emilion:<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Grand Moulin Macquin Montagne Saint-Emilion 2014</strong></a> ($13)<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Pleasant ripe and expressive cherry notes on the nose, fresh cranberry and a floral note coming through. Smooth, elegant on the palate with a bit of austere spice and a pleasant, oak note, plenty of earth and a crisp earthiness, good acidity and ripe cherry and raspberry fruit. Excellent balance and approachability.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau Haut-Piquat Lussac Saint-Emilion 2014</strong></a> ($15)<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Dusty and dry on the nose with a light mushroom note, earthy red fruit notes of raspberry and cherry and a hint of candied berry. Restrained, delicate and textured on entry with balanced acidity, dry earth and smoky tannins adding a chewiness to the finish with notes of dark chocolate and espresso.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau Vrai Canon Bouche Canon Fronsac 2014</strong></a> ($24)<br /><br /> <br /><br /> A touch spicy on the nose with notes of black pepper, black currant and lively heat. This is richly fruited and smoky on the palate with heady notes of dark blackberry and black currant, sticky resinous tannins throughout, good mineral notes of earth and dark plum with the tartness of young fruit, a touch of dark chocolate and a creamy finish.</p> Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7005 The One and Only Wine You Need This Thanksgiving Snooth Editorial <p>According to a YouGov poll, forty-one percent of Americans enjoy wine with Thanksgiving dinner. It&#39;s no wonder we spend so much time planning our drink menus. Turkey Day wines have been discussed on Snooth at length over the past ten years. Tastes have evolved to include more than just the mainstays. Traditions have been shattered, and most meals are a patchwork of wines and flavors from beginning to end. This leaves ample opportunity to serve multiple selections that suit a variety of palates. In fact, one bottle of wine per guest is a good rule of thumb. But what if you had to choose just one wine to serve with your Thanksgiving meal? There would be no sparkling wine for a toast to gratitude with your dear friends. You couldn&#39;t follow up with a few whites and a couple of reds. And there would be no Port to send your uncle to sleep. Yes, you would serve a single wine throughout the entire meal. It&#39;s a daunting task, but the web&#39;s best wine writers are up for the challenge. Read on to learn about their one and only Thanksgiving wines<br /> <strong>Gundlach Bundschu Gewurtztraminer</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Choosing one Thanksgiving wine feels like choosing just one side for the turkey. The wide range of flavors lends itself to a variety of wine. To compliment the meal, I often lean towards blends, specifically Rh&ocirc;ne. Sometimes Oregon wines, Pinot Noir, Gris, or Blanc. However this year, I am going for a sentimental favorite. This year, I would choose Gundlach Bundschu Gewurtztraminer. Not just for it&#39;s smart and playful marketing or it&#39;s ability to make your guests swoon, but because this year it is so important to continue supporting wineries in Napa and Sonoma. Gun Bun does their Gewurtz in a dry style, with vibrant fruit and acidity. While I have not tasted this vintage, it often has tropical and stone fruits, citrus and floral mid-palate, finishing with rich, nutty spice. It is a wine that can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with turkey and stuffing. As reports of damage at Rhinefarm circulated, my heart sank. It is there that I became enamored with wine. It is there that I began writing. The Bundschu family has navigated and survived the great quake, prohibition, and now the fires of 2017. So this year, I will toast them with gratitude for their spirit, ingenuity, and resilience, thankful for Rhinefarm and all it represents.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Alissa Leenher</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>SAHMelier</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Kalin Cellars Cuv&eacute;e DD Pinot Noir</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> We were the only wine writers in a group of foodies at Emeril Lagasse&#39;s Delmonico in New Orleans when assistant sommelier John Hanvy approached us, conspiratorially, with a bottle of Pinot Noir. it was 2009 and I was a skeptic, as most Pinot Noir I tasted were cherry bombs with a side of dried leaves. This was not. Burgundian, stern, yet soft flavors of dried strawberry, cola and a bit of leather, the Kalin Cellars Cuv&eacute;e DD Sonoma County 1998 was their current release. It took me another 6 months to get on the buying list of this quirky California winery. They don&#39;t have a fancy website, but restaurants and wine lovers know their name. They don&#39;t cater to famous wine writers, but release the vintage when they, alone, think it&#39;s ready. For the last seven years both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have graced our Thanksgiving table. If I had to choose just one of those, it would be the Cuvee DD Pinot Noir. First released in April 2010, the &#39;99 Cuv&eacute;e DD Sonoma is still their current release.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Amy Corron Power</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Another Wine Blog</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2005</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Choosing one single wine for any celebration is mission impossible for me. I always like a variety of the wines at the table, to allow people drink what they want. Nevertheless, let&rsquo;s do this. My strong preference for Thanksgiving is to go with all American wines. And when I thought about this one single wine to chose, the answer was not what I expected, but I will go with it. I&rsquo;m choosing a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Let&rsquo;s detail further. Let&rsquo;s go to Howell Mountain appellation. How about Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon? And let&rsquo;s now be absolutely precise. How about 2005 Ladera Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon? 2005 was one of the great vintages in Napa Valley. The wines are ready to drink now (they still will be for another 20 years). Mountain fruit offers the combination of complexity, balanced power and finesse - what else you can ask for? Bring on the turkey. And make it smoked this year. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Anatoli Levine</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Talk-a-Vino</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Sartori di Verona&rsquo;s Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG &ldquo;Corte Br&agrave;&rdquo; 2010</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Since Thanksgiving is a special occasion where family and/or friends come together to enjoy a long meal, I prefer to serve a special wine to savor that might be of interest to different types of wine lovers. And so, I will go with an old school wine that is now taking a new approach: 2010 Sartori di Verona&rsquo;s Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG &ldquo;Corte Br&agrave;&rdquo;. Amarone is often mistakenly thought of as a traditional wine that is too sweet, overripe and heavy for today&rsquo;s taste, since part of the process includes drying the grapes. Well, there are many types of Amarone&hellip; yes, the alcohol content of this wine is 15.5% abv but it is dry, fresh and the alcohol is perfectly balanced. The 2010 &ldquo;Corte Br&agrave;&rdquo; is one of Sartori&#39;s top-shelf wines and a strict selection of grapes that show the new style of this great winemaking area&hellip; fresh black cherry flavors with complex notes of tar and dried sage, that has a good structure with an elegant finish. Amarone producers are starting to use more of their local Corvina variety, a grape recognized as their noblest variety, which adds acidity and bright fruit flavors. Amarone&rsquo;s evolution to a higher quality fine wine has been noted by their elevated status to DOCG, in December of 2009. This wine is a chance for older and younger wine drinkers to come together and enjoy the idea that when traditions are respected, yet open to some progress, the results are ideal for everyone involved.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Cathrine Todd</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Dame Wine</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Domaine Labruy&egrave;re&rsquo;s Coeur de Terroirs Moulin-&agrave;-Vent 2014</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> My Thanksgiving Day pick hails from the Beaujolais region of France. The Gamay grape is King in Beaujolais, and Domaine Labruy&egrave;re&mdash;one of the oldest wine producers in Moulin-&agrave;-Vent appellation (est. 1850)&mdash;makes delicious wines from the variety. Moulin-&agrave;-Vent is one of ten &lsquo;crus&rsquo; (think of them as villages), and the crus carry the highest quality of wines produced in Beaujolais; with each cru having its own personality. Moulin-&agrave;-Vent is known for producing some of the most powerful, long-lived wines of all crus. Find Domaine Labruy&egrave;re&rsquo;s 2014 Coeur de Terroirs Moulin-&agrave;-Vent. Be sure to swirl this one vigorously, and sniff deeply&mdash;the aromas are simply wonderful. The flavors include pretty red berries, juicy plum, and floral hints suggestive of violets. In the mouth, it shows some richness, and is full yet streamlined&mdash;with ripe fruit notes propped up by a firm spine of acidity. There&rsquo;s good depth and concentration, too. This wine is a pleasure to sip. And like most Beaujolais, the wine&rsquo;s bright personality allows it to pair well with a wide range of foods&mdash;especially traditional Turkey Day fare. You should be able to find it for $25 or less. Here&#39;s wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving. Please let us know how you enjoyed the wine, or whatever selection you were able to find from the region.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Dezel Quillen</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>My Vine Spot</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Hudson-Chatham Winery Chelois, Casscles Vineyards</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that many of the contributors and readers have never had the wine that I would call my one and only. However, as I reflected over the course of the last five years of Thanksgiving celebrations in preparation for this contribution, I could only recall this wine from my celebration two years ago as truly a standout. At the time, I fondly called it &quot;The One&quot; among many wines my friends and I drank over the course of that evening, wines from California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. The wine we could not stop tasting and talking about was Hudson-Chatham Winery&#39;s Chelois, Casscles Vineyards, from the Hudson River Region of upstate New York. For those who are not familiar with Chelois, it is an Albert Seibel hybrid, Seibel 10878, which is a cross of Seibel 5163 and 5593. Its parentage is about 50% Vitis vinifera, including grape varieties such as Aramon, Alicante Bouschet, Black Hamburg, Dattier, Grenache, and Piquepoul. What makes this wine my one and only is its lively acidity, subtle tannins, and lower alcohol. Characterized by rustic, red berry flavors and a soft, textured mouthfeel, thanks to aging in neutral, French oak barrels, this wine is the perfect accompaniment to rich, traditional, holiday fare, such as turkey, pork, casseroles, and stuffing.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>​Elizabeth Smith</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Traveling Wine Chick</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Foggy Ridge Cider Final Call</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Given the diverse range of foods on the Thanksgiving table &mdash; salty ham, boring and bland turkey, sweet cranberry stuff, vinegar collards, delicious oysters &mdash; selecting just &lsquo;one bottle&rsquo; can be tricky. However, our &lsquo;one and only&rsquo; bottle for Thanksgiving dinner this year is an easy choice &mdash; Foggy Ridge Cider Final Call. This refreshing, bright and delicious cider will be our one and only bottle for Thanksgiving as much for the story as for the quality and versatility. Grown by Diane Flynt, Final Call is the culmination of over two decades cultivating traditional cider apples and setting the standard of American fine ciders. Flynt, who is widely considered an American fine cider pioneer and rockstar, will be returning to the orchard full-time so Final Call is the final cider to bear the name Foggy Ridge Cider. Final Call is a field blend of Harrison, Newtown Pippin and Hewe&rsquo;s Crab apples grown in the Foggy Ridge estate-orchard in the Blue Ridge Mountains; the apples were blended in the orchard and pressed together. The freshness and bright acidity will elevate many foods on the Thanksgiving table; the story of Diane Flynt and her contribution to the cider world will elevate conversations around the Thanksgiving table. For these reasons, Foggy Ridge Final Call is our &lsquo;one and only&rsquo; bottle this Thanksgiving!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Frank Morgan</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Drink What YOU Like</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Channing Daughters Ramato 2014</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> When choosing a single wine for the Thanksgiving table a number of things need to be considered. First and foremost a plethora of traditional dishes exist for this holiday and most everyone adds to those with their personal family or regional traditions. Pairing wine to so many diverse foods requires serious consideration, if you want to get it right. Often the tastes of those dining are even more far afield than the cuisine, so you need a wine that will make everyone happy. The 2014 Ramato from Channing Daughters located on the South Fork of long Island checks all of the boxes. Ramato is made entirely of hand harvested Pinot Grigio sourced at their Estate in Bridgehampton and one additional vineyard located on the North Fork. It was fermented on the skins using native yeasts for 16 days. This gives it a vibrant orange color that shimmers beautifully in the glass. After Fermentation it spent 18 months in older Slovenian and French oak. The fermentation and barrel aging provide texture and body that allows it to standup to more substantial foods. But it retains tremendous freshness and has terrific, racy acid. Stone fruit aromas punctuate the intoxicating nose. Flavors of white peach, apricot, and bits of brewed tea dominate. The finish here is long, lush, and impressive featuring bits of mesquite honey, baked apple and a host of spices. Most importantly the 2014 Ramato is simply delicious. The fact that it shares qualities of both white and red wines makes it a natural partner for the bevy of foods you&rsquo;re likely to have on your Thanksgiving table as well as the myriad of taste buds. As a bonus it&rsquo;s also likely that a fair percentage of your guests don&rsquo;t have much experience with skin fermented whites; often referred to as Orange Wines. So in addition to the other benefits you can introduce your friends to an unfamiliar category.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Gabe Sasso</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Gabe&rsquo;s View</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <b>Bollinger RD Extra Brut 2002</b><br /><br /> <br /><br /> If I could have just one bottle or type of wine at my Thanksgiving and I am glad I can have many types and choices. But if I could only have one type of wine it would be Extra Brut Champagne. And I know this seems like an odd choice--sounds like a New Year&#39;s choice. I do think for me Champagne is versatile and popular thought is that it is only a celebratory wine. I lean heavily on Blanc de Blancs and perhaps could enjoy this everyday. But for Thanksgiving I want to lean on Extra Brut with a composition of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The richness and finesse of the wines partner well with Thanksgiving fare&mdash;the fuller and a bit more body add elegance. For me I always want dry, dry, dry---I more often than not seek Extra Brut. For some paletes are accustomed to a Brut style and the dosage does speak volumes. Regardless of occasion food or no food extra brut is a delight. With food a delight especially for those who want a bit more sweetness to balance their food experience. Here is the specific wine I would pick this Thanksgiving: Bollinger RD Extra Brut 2002 &ndash; 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay&mdash;while I would like this through the entire meal&mdash;the turkey or main course portion is when I would serve this wine. So if you don&rsquo;t want to spend $300 a bottle you can find a bottle of Extra Brut and if you make it a non-vintage an even lower price point. Reach out to your wine merchant for a lower price point Champagne.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>James Melendez</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>James the Wine Guy</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>iOTA Cellars Pinot Noir 2006</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> My one and only bottle for Thanksgiving is iOTA Cellars Pinot Noir.&nbsp; If I can only have one bottle, it better be a magnum! First, it&#39;s a delicious Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, and after all, American wine should be the first choice for the Thanksgiving table. iOTA Cellars was created and has matured in the hands of our close friends and ex-next door neighbors. A bottle from their first commercial vintage in 2006 was my vinous &quot;Aha&quot; moment. Not that I knew what I was doing, but on opening the bottle, I decided that maybe I wanted to dive deeper into this wine thing after all.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jeff Burrows</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Food Wine Click</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Amarone from Valpolicella</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Thanksgiving, it&#39;s all about time shared with family and friends and of course delicious food and wine. With such variety of dishes on the table how do you choose the best wine to pair? I go with the ever popular &ldquo;drink what you like&rdquo;. I always have a white and a red to enjoy that day and although I&#39;m not always true to a particular white grape I do always enjoy a bottle of Amarone from the Valpolicella wine region of the Veneto in northeastern Italy. I typically hang on to these bottles for special occasions and the holidays are the perfect time to pick one out. Typically a blend of the corvina, rondinella and molinara grapes, I enjoy the complexity and depth of these wines starting with rich aromatics and full body full of dark fruit and raisin-like notes due to the appassimento, or drying process, of the grapes. Definitely a wine that needs decanting. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jennifer Martin IWS</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Vino Travels</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Gloria Ferrer Brut Ros&eacute;</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> I&#39;m not a &quot;one wine&quot; guy at Thanksgiving. Much to my wife&#39;s dismay, I like to serve up to six wine variations for a large crowd of people, and pour a slew of things that are fun, unusual, and delightful pairings. But I&#39;ve been asked this question many times, and my answer has evolved over time. Last year I began to emphasize that as much as I love all the world&#39;s wines, for this one, uniquely American holiday, I believe we should pour only American wines for Thanksgiving. And so my answer has two parts, so here goes: 1) Brut Ros&eacute;. 2) From California. My one wine choice is Gloria Ferrer Brut Rose. This wine provides bubbles, and gorgeous red fruit with great acidity, which allows for elegant palate cleansing and the fruit profile I usually want from pinot noir or nebbiolo&nbsp; wines for a savory dinner wine pairing. The flavor palate on the Brut Ros&eacute; is simply delightful and is ideal for this holiday meal: rich strawberry, followed by a blend of raspberry &amp; cherry, with lovely baking yeast, and a glorious mouthfeel with moderately sized bubbles. Have one taste and you&#39;ll realize you could just sit and sip this all day long. But serve with your dinner and find how it elevates food so well! Aligning with the cranberry we love on Thanksgiving, brut ros&eacute; is the perfect foil to your turkey or ham, the stuffing and gravy, the starches and greens. It&#39;s also easy on the wallet: a quick search had seven stores near me selling it between $20-25/bottle, and it&#39;s readily available in retail wine shops across the USA. Sitting on the porch of Gloria Ferrer recently and enjoying this wine while looking across their fields to stunning and disarming views, both gorgeous and devastating from the fall colors, shifting into nearby recent wildfire damage right across the road, on another set of vineyards. This wine can remind you how thankful we should all be.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jim van Bergen</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>JvB UNCORKED</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Hazelfern Cellars Winter Ros&eacute; 2016</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Raised in a family where tradition runs deep, my passion for cooking and entertaining was instilled in me at a very young age. Thanksgiving was, and still is, the holiday I look forward to most of all. Vintage vinyls of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin spin softly in the background while integrated aromas of fall spices, fresh herbs, baked apple pie and mouthwatering roasted turkey fill the air - keeping my childhood memories alive and in motion.&nbsp; If I had to choose just one wine to have with Thanksgiving dinner, I&#39;d choose a dry Ros&eacute; - a style of wine that typically pairs well with just about anything. But not any Ros&eacute; will do for this special occasion feast - <a href=""><strong>Hazelfern Cellars</strong></a> 2016 Winter Ros&eacute; is unmatched and the absolute perfect wine for Thanksgiving. Produced specifically to pair with heartier, cold-weather meals, this 78% Pinot Noir, 19% Chardonnay and 3% Tempranillo Ros&eacute; is barrel-aged for 12 months in used French oak.&nbsp; It&#39;s chock full of black cherry, raspberry and pomegranate fruit; along with, subtle savory herbal characteristics of sage and rosemary and a hint of earth, sea salt and hazelnuts. Vibrant acidity plays a crucial role in making this a phenomenal wine to pair with a myriad of flavors; especially with roasted turkey, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash, cranberries and so much more. With Hazelfern Cellars 2016 Winter Ros&eacute;, choosing &quot;My One &amp; Only Thanksgiving Wine&quot; was easy breezy.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Julia Crowley</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>The Real Wine Julia</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>LVVR Sparkling Cellars Ros&eacute;</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Naming a &quot;one and only&quot; bottle for a Thanksgiving table is tough, as the range of flavors, textures, and need to drink from the early stages of the meal to the end are tailor made for a variety of wines. That being said, to me the one wine that can handle this Sisyphean chore is sparkling wine, specifically a sparkling ros&eacute;. Search out a lesser known sparkler to make it more special and to make sure your guests haven&#39;t had it before. My suggestion is LVVR Sparkling Cellars Ros&eacute;, young, fresh and tasting of the locally sourced Lodi fruit - classic sparkler flavors with yeastiness, floral notes, and then berries sprinkled throughout. Cheers!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Kovas Palubinskas</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>50 States Of Wine</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Macari Vineyards &quot;Early Wine&quot; Chardonnay 2017</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> A traditional Thanksgiving dinner is as diverse as it gets. You have somewhat neutral turkey, stuffing &mdash; with or without sausage or oysters or whatever depending on your traditions &mdash; buttery mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts or green beans or sweet potatoes or roasted squash, oh and cranberry sauce. That&rsquo;s a myriad of textures and flavors &mdash; before we even consider the preparation variants on each. How can any single wine &mdash;&nbsp; no matter how amazingly food-friendly or delicious &mdash; make each of these taste better, while also tasting better itself? It can&rsquo;t. That&#39;s why I suggest just drinking wines that you like. Drink good wine. But if I had to pick one, which is the point of this story, I&#39;ll be drinking a lot of Macari Vineyards 2017 &quot;Early Wine&quot; Chardonnay. In essence, this is a chardonnay nouveau. It was just released and it checks all of the boxes -- it&#39;s a celebration of the just-past harvest season, offers bright green apple and juicy citrus flavors, has crackling acidity and, most important, will appeal to everyone at my Thanksgiving table. I don&#39;t like wines that I need to think too much about at Thanksgiving, but they have to be delicious. This is just that.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Lenn Thompson</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>The Cork Report</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jordan Cuv&eacute;e by Champagne AR Lenoble</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Thanksgiving is the wine and food pairing superbowl.&nbsp; With everything from strange, but traditional sides (Jell-o Salad anyone?) that can be savory, sweet or both, to glossy, fatty, butter infused foods, how can you possibly pick a single wine?&nbsp; Actually, it&#39;s almost like rigging the game: choose Champagne.&nbsp; Its acidity, bubbles and celebratory character make it an easy pair with Cheese Balls, salads and desserts as easily as turkey with gravy.&nbsp; Just be sure to source enough bottles to carry you through your meal.&nbsp; This Spring, Jordan Winery teamed up with Champagne producer AR LeNoble to bring to the US market a great value delicious Champagne.&nbsp; According to the Jordan site: &quot;The blend is 30% Grand Cru Chardonnay from Chouilly, 35% premier cru Pinot Noir from Bisseuil and 35% Pinot Meunier from Damery. The Jordan Cuv&eacute;e is a special selection of the AR Lenoble Brut Intense that was packaged exclusively for Jordan. Twenty-five percent of the blend is reserve wines, and the base wine is from vintage 2012. This wine spent four years aging on the lees before it was released and has a dosage of 5g/l. AR Lenoble Jordan Cuv&eacute;e Brut NV retails for $49 and will only be sold direct from the winery.&quot; A pale golden color with tight, active bubbles, the wine is gifted with wonderful acidity, freshness, subtle autolytic notes, hints of green apple and honey. Affordable and delicious real Champagne will enable you to take home the food and wine pairing trophy.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Liza Swift</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Brix Chicks</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Cabernet Franc</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> One wine above all! Is that even possible? Thanksgiving is around the corner and the wine you place on the table is an important decision. Is it even possible to choose one wine to pair with an entire meal? To me, wine parallels my mood so what is my favorite wine one day, may be replaced by another, depending on what happened in my life that day. When charged with deciding on a &ldquo;One and Only Wine&rdquo; for Thanksgiving, my mind immediately wandered to several aspects and three wines came to mind. An Albari&ntilde;o because it&#39;s light-body, high acidity, salinity and dry citrus flavors scream out for white meat and pairs well with green vegetables. Zinfandel entered the spectrum of thought, because it is considered an All American grape. Introduced to California during the Gold Rush somewhere between 1852 and 1857 and currently the third-leading wine grape variety in California, it would be a perfect selection for the All American holiday. But in the end, I had to choose Cabernet Franc. The father of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenere is one of the most versatile grapes you can pour. For me, Thanksgiving does not involve turkey and Cabernet Franc truly shines with vegetarian dishes. Fall flavors such as rosemary, sage and thyme all pair well with the tart flavors of Cabernet Franc while it&#39;s lighter tannic structure and medium body is designed to highlight the lighter meats such as turkey. Cabernet Franc is an all around meal pleaser. Thanksgiving is not about a single dish, rather about a variety of foods and being with family and friends. Cabernet Franc&rsquo;s profile allows it to be the one wine that embraces the diversity of food and palates.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Lori Budd</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Dracaena Wines</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Toil Oregon Pinot Noir</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> Our perfect bottle of wine for Thanksgiving is <a href=""><strong>Toil Oregon Pinot Noir</strong></a>, which is gorgeous and glorious &mdash; not often words we use to describe Pinot Noir.&nbsp; Big and complex, Toil&#39;s earthy and savory notes, plus the spices and long, juicy finish, make it perfect to pair with turkey, stuffing and a number of different side dishes. Happy Thanksgiving!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Margot Sinclair Savell</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Write for Wine</strong></a> &ndash; <a href=""><strong>It&rsquo;s Wine O&rsquo;Clock Somewhere!</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Ros&eacute;</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> If I had to choose only one wine for Thanksgiving it would a ros&eacute; sparkling wine! A sparkling ros&eacute; combines two of the most food friendly wines &ndash; sparkling wine and ros&eacute; to create a synergy that is a must-have for your Thanksgiving meal. We all know that sparkling wine elevates the dining experience. A sparkling ros&eacute; not only makes a great aperitif, it&rsquo;s bold enough to pair along your dinner. Its red fruit character also makes a great complement to the cranberry flavors often found at the Thanksgiving table and its effervescence acts as a palate cleanser to rich gravies and meats. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, I prefer an American wine. Furthermore, given the recent wild fires in northern California, I recommend the Schramsberg <strong>Mirabelle Brut Ros&eacute;</strong>. Schramsberg has been making sparkling wine in the Napa Valley for over 50 years! It&rsquo;s a multi-vintage blend (that includes a surprisingly high 25% aged reserve wine) of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from cool climate vineyards in Carneros, Anderson Valley, Marin County and the Sonoma Coast areas of Northern California. It&rsquo;s an expressive well-balanced and zesty wine with a strawberry cream, raspberry, watermelon, and baked pear character with hints of citrus and spiced vanilla.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s a wine your guests will give thank for and you&rsquo;ll feel good about helping those affected by the devastating wild fires. And at an SRP of $30 it won&rsquo;t break the bank! Happy Thanksgiving! And may you and your loved ones continue to be blessed!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Martin Redmond</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>ENOFYLZ Wine Blog</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Champagne Pierre Peters, Ros&eacute; d&#39;Albane</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> The one wine that I would serve on my Thanksgiving table would have to be champagne. I personally love all things Pierre Peters, but I&rsquo;d go with the Ros&eacute; d&rsquo;Albane Champagne, which would stand up to the richness of the multitudes of food on the table while keeping the celebration that a bubbly brings. For me, the Champagne Pierre Peters Ros&eacute; d&#39;Albane, is bursting with raspberry, currant, strawberry with floral notes like rose with baked bread and mineral notes. Rodolphe P&eacute;ters of Champagne Pierre P&eacute;ters is one of the most highly respected growers in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. This cuvee was first introduced in 2007. For me, it&rsquo;s the perfect celebration and way to give thanks for the wonderful people sitting around the table.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Melanie Ofenloch</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong></strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Pierre Gimonnet &amp; Fils Cuv&eacute;e Mill&eacute;sime Brut 2002</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> My one and only bottle would be a 2002 Pierre Gimonnet &amp; Fils Cuv&eacute;e Mill&eacute;sime Brut from Champagne, France. It&rsquo;s a delicious, hand-crafted gem, with an innate ability to pull you in and not let go. Notes of apple and toast linger from start to finish, with an underlying mineral finesse that dances in the glass. In one word, it is extraordinary!&nbsp; And it will be the easiest wine to pair with food&mdash;it&rsquo;s almost fool proof! From oysters to roasted turkey, and brussel sprouts to pecan pie, you&rsquo;ll rock your guests&rsquo; expectations.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Pamela Heiligenthal</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Enobytes</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Grenache</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> With so many friends. family, and flavorful foods spanning the two leaf Thanksgiing table, selecting the right wine can be difficult. &nbsp;When one views a table loaded with turkey, mashed potatoes, rich flavorful yams, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and often tastes and spices of brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, butter, and perhaps even a little bacon, you need that right glass to make you do the happy dance. The choice, Grenache. Grenache is the second most planted grape on the planet, and offers red fruits, licorice, pepper, spice, and often a lush texture. Grenache brings the rare ability to pair with almost any of these foods quite well, and will not tire ones palate. Another great aspect of Grenache, is it&#39;s ability to appease so many, and more bang for your buck than many other options. Those drinking it at their Thanksgiving table, will indeed, be thankful for Grenache.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Shawn Burgert</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Wandering Wino</strong></a><br /><br /> </p> Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7004 It’s a New Era in Sweet Bordeaux Mark Angelillo <p>The golden wines of Bordeaux are a sweet force with which to be reckoned. While Sweet Bordeaux white wines are revered for quality they&rsquo;ve been pigeonholed as &ldquo;dessert wines&rdquo;. This is beginning to change. I do not mean to imply that these wines are completely unsuitable for dessert. It would be folly to make the suggestion. What I wish to illuminate is that the sweet white wines of Bordeaux can be enjoyed during all phases of a meal and on their own. The timing couldn&rsquo;t be better as American food tastes trend away from the bland and overly filling toward the textured and spicy; the golden wines of Bordeaux are a slam dunk pairing for savory dishes with a dash of heat. Sushi is an excellent choice, not to mention a wide range of cheeses. This is just the beginning.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Admired wine educator Fred Swan and I recently tasted a selection of eight Sweet Bordeaux wines in the virtual company of top sommeliers, wine writers, and wine influencers. Fred toured a few sweet wine producers in Bordeaux just last month, experiencing the harvest first-<em>hand</em>, if you will. Read on for more details. You can <a href=""><strong>click here to watch the full virtual tasting now.</strong></a><br /> Sweet wine production makes up less than three percent of Bordeaux&rsquo;s total vineyard area. The development of Sweet Bordeaux is both tedious and magical. Morning mists hang over the vines and encourage the development of a special fungus known as Botrytis Cinerea or &quot;Noble Rot&quot;. The fungus causes each and every grape to shrivel thereby concentrating sugars and acidity. New chemical compounds are created in the process, bringing yet more unique delights to the eventual wine.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Sweet Bordeaux wines are a blend of the following three grapes: Semillon dominates the blend, followed by Sauvignon Blanc, and just a dash of Muscadelle. It&rsquo;s rare to see more than 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% of Muscadelle used in a blend. The thin-skinned Semillon grape is the perfect playground for Botrytis.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The harvesting process is long and arduous. Sweet Bordeaux wines bring new meaning to the term &quot;hand-harvested&quot;. Pickers may take multiple turns through the vineyards as they seek perfectly desiccated grapes. Some grapes are less desiccated than others, bringing small differences that shine in each individual wine.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Each grape experiences desiccation at the hands of Botrytis in a different way. In the end, it comes down to sugar content, or how much sugar has been concentrated in the berry during the desiccation process. While a standard wine grape contains about two hundred grams of sugar per liter, a Sweet Bordeaux grape can have up to 400 grams per liter or more. &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> There are ten regions to look for on your bottle. Some of these names are synonymous with superior quality sweet wine &ndash; and with good reason &ndash; but I encourage you to explore additional sweet wine regions. They are widely available at great values. The regions are: Sauternes, Barsac, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, Loupiac, Cadillac, Premi&egrave;res C&ocirc;tes de Bordeaux, Graves Sup&eacute;rieures, C&ocirc;tes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire, C&eacute;rons, Bordeaux Sup&eacute;rieur.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> I can&rsquo;t think of a better way to jazz up a holiday table than a few bottles of Sweet Bordeaux. These wines will be inviting to newbie wine drinkers thanks to a mineral-rich sweetness. The veteran wine drinker will be impressed with your ability to spot a growing trend, especially when it comes to pairing. Here are eight selections that are sure to intrigue your guests, plus some suggested pairings for your holiday table.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau Manos Cadillac 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Apple, Blue Cheese, and Hazelnut Salad on Endive Leaves</a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau du Cros Loupiac 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken</a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau La Rame Sainte Croix du Mont 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Autumn Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce</a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau Filhot Sauternes 2009</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Creamed Oysters in Acorn Squash</a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau Lapinesse Bordeaux Sauternes 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Root Vegetable Gratin</a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau Lauvignac Cuv&eacute;e Sahuc Sauternes 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Barley, Butternut Squash, and Shitake Risotto</a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Chateau Dauphine Rondillon Loupiac 2009</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Creamy Parmesan Polenta</a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Haut Charmes Sauternes 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Crispy Braeburn Apple &amp; Almond Sheet Tart</a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Click here to watch the virtual tasting and learn more!</strong></a></p> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 article7003 The Great Red Wines of Austria Snooth Editorial <p>The red wines of Austria are an underappreciated jewel of the wine world. Two-thirds of Austria&rsquo;s vineyard land is dedicated to white varieties. The remaining one-third belongs to red. The red wines of Austria are a closely guarded secret among wine lovers, but demand is on the rise. Vineyard area for red wine grapes has doubled over the past few decades. The country&rsquo;s heritage grapes -- Blaufr&auml;nkisch, St. Laurent, and Zweigelt -- are growing in popularity. The first two grapes are the proud parents of the third. Here we explore this grape family tree and suggest some stunning selections from top brands available for purchase in the United States.<br /> In addition to the heritage grapes, Austria boasts some gorgeous interpretations of red varieties from around the world. They, too, are available at fantastic values from your local retailer. Read on for more.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Blaufr&auml;nkisch</strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> The grape family patriarch, Blaufr&auml;nkisch, offers layers of complexity with lots of gamey and spicy notes. Acidity is high and tannins are fine. Blaufr&auml;nkisch takes well to oak, which softens the acidity and amplifies fruit character. Wines created with Blaufr&auml;nkisch have a dark, ruby color that is particularly striking in its beauty. This grape creates food-friendly wines anxious to express the nuances of terroir and vintage. While you can find plantings in Italy (as Franconia Nera), Germany (as Lemberger), Croatia (as Borgonja) and more, Austria is the grape&rsquo;s true home. The Blaufr&auml;nkisch name first appeared in 1862 at a grape variety exhibition in Wien. The International Ampelographic Commission in Colmar, France, officially adopted Blaufr&auml;nkisch in 1875. Blaufr&auml;nkisch is Austria&rsquo;s second most planted red variety after its offspring, Zweigelt, and accounts for 6.5% of Austria&rsquo;s total vineyard area. There are large concentrations of Blaufr&auml;nkisch vines in the Burgenland and Mittelburgenland regions.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> Burgenland selections are especially attractive thanks the Pannonian Plain&rsquo;s warming winds. Nearby hills protect the grapes from harsher conditions. The grapes can get at least three hundred days of sunshine per year, and rainfall is low. Blaufr&auml;nkisch is particularly good at expressing mineral notes of Leithakalk, a marine sediment found in the foothills of the Alps.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> A few to try:<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Anita and Hans Nittnaus Eastside Blaufr&auml;nkisch Burgenland 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Pungent, dusty floral notes of violet and ripe cherry blossom with a hint of raspberry and brown sugar. Tart, earthy and acidic on the palate with fresh cranberry and cherry fruit, drying tannins streaking through the center with a perfumed character throughout and a nudge of cherry compote and coffee cake crumble on the drying finish.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Heinrich Blaufr&auml;nkisch Burgenland 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Floral, mixed berry aromas with a clean, light and fresh cherry note. Crisp and clean on entry, this brings cherry, cranberry and red currant fruit with a smooth and medium-light body, hints of tarry earth and a savory spice on the finish with more sticky, smoky cranberry.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Eisenberg Wines</strong><br /><br /> <em>&nbsp;<br /><br /> Eisenberg, Austria&rsquo;s smallest appellation, is renowned for its Blaufr&auml;nkisch. Thousands of years ago Eisenberg was known for high quality ore which was farmed and sold to the Roman empire. In modern times, the iron-rich soil contributes to the terroir of superior quality Blaufr&auml;nkisch.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Wachter Wiesler Bela-Joska Blaufr&auml;nkisch Eisenberg 2013</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Intriguing savory spice, notes of beef bouillon and floral violets on the nose with fresh cherry and soft earth. Ripe, fresh and medium-full bodied on the palate, presenting up front with loads of berry and cherry fruit, but tightly wound at first, this unravels towards the finish, releasing waves of tannins and tart acidity with an herbal oakiness on the finish.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Straka Blaufr&auml;nkisch Eisenberg 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Light, vanishing aromas of cherry and plum. Rich and full on the palate with a licorice and spice palate, notes of smoky tar and dusty earth, firm tannins and baking spice. Finishes with a smooth, full palate of chocolate and violets.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Click here for a complete list including others to try.</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong>St. Laurent</strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> The official name of this Austrian grape is Sankt Laurent, but you may see some bottles use &ldquo;Saint Laurent&rdquo; (the German spelling). The &ldquo;St&rdquo; abbreviation helps to keep things simple. St. Laurent plantings in Austria have grown over the last few decades. Producers appreciate the grape for its ability to ripen early and its potential for quality, aromatic wines. The name refers to St. Laurentius, a 3rd century archdeacon of Rome and Catholic martyr. His feast day falls on August 10, which is around when the varietal begins to ripen. St. Laurentius is considered a patron saint of grape growers and winemakers. Wines made from St. Laurent bring aromas of blackberries, sour cherries, plums, and chocolate alongside firm yet silky tannins.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> Thermenregion, known for its hot springs, is the warmest part of Lower Austria (also known as Nieder&ouml;sterreich). Red varietals are planted in the south near the towering Anninger mountain (2,214 feet tall). Reams of limestone soils contribute to the unique terroir.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> A few to try:<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Weingut Schneider Sankt Laurent Thermenregion 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Nicely fruity aromas of concentrated black cherry, black currant and blackberry with a creamy vanilla note. Good acidity, nice spice and warm fruit notes of cranberry, cherry and red currant on the palate with a tart and focused herb and spice which gives some complexity to this approachable, lively and refreshing wine.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> &ldquo;Dorflagen&rdquo; is a German term for &ldquo;village&rdquo;. The St Laurent grapes for this wine were selected from fifteen to twenty year-old vines concentrated in the village of Gols.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Pittnauer St. Laurent Dorflagen 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>A bit restrained with cayenne spice and ripe plum and red currant fruit on the nose. Crisp cranberry, red currant and cherry fruit on the palate with loads of acidity and chewy tannins, turning a bit green towards the finish with a pepper and herb note, some black pepper and a bit of licorice.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Click here for a complete list including others to try.</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Zweigelt</strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> The child of Blaufr&auml;nkisch and St. Laurent is a spritely sort, filled with ripe blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry fruits plus a touch of floral. Zweigelt plantings grew 48% between 1999 and 2015. It is the most widely planted red grape variety in Austria. Viticulturist Fritz Zweigelt made the first cross in 1922 and called it Rotburger. It was later renamed Zweigelt in his honor. These much-adored Zweigelt wines come in a variety of styles. Some are enjoyed young while others exhibit aging potential. Like most all Austrian reds, Zweigelt can be appreciated for its freshness and crispness &ndash; facets of wine that are limited to white varietals in other regions. Zweigelt wines are widely appealing to both red and white wine lovers precisely for this reason.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> A few to try:<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> &nbsp;<a href=""><strong>Hugl Weine Zweigelt Nieder&ouml;sterreich 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Complex aromas of fresh bell pepper, perfumed sweet spice, fresh black cherry and raspberry jam and soft clay. Good acidity and an earthy texture open for a fruity blend of blueberry, black cherry and currant with zesty, warming spice.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> Carnuntum is the only region in lower Austria where red grapes dominate over white. This is made possible by the nearby Danube river&rsquo;s (Donau in Austria) cooling influence. Zweigelt thrives in the loamy soils of this area.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Netzl Rubin Zweigelt Carnuntum 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Tarry, earthy and smoky with a dark cherry and raspberry fruit hiding underneath the rich earthy aromas on this brooding nose. A bit more fruit expression on the palate, with chunky blueberry and blackberry fruit wrapped in spice, acidity and a vanishing creamy texture that all but disappears on the finish when gripping tannins and espresso notes take over with a gasp of acidity. Austere and assertive.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Artner Wines Zweigelt Klassik Carnuntum 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Raspberry, cherry and red currant aromas are quite fruity. Generous fruit notes of cranberry, cherry, red currant and plum on the palate, tart acidity and fresh cut flowers with a blueberry jammy finish with a hint of coffee candy.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> Until 2007, Austria&rsquo;s Wagram wine region was known as Donauland. The name referred to the nearby Danube (Donau) river. The region decided to establish an identity unique to Austria with a name change. Wagram means &quot;shore&rdquo;, and it references the nearby town where most of the region&rsquo;s vines are located. Wagram primarily grows white wine grapes (like Gr&uuml;ner Veltliner, Riesling, and Roter Veltliner) but they also make delicious Zweigelt.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Diwald Zweigelt Grossriedenthaler L&ouml;ss Wagram Austria 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Stately black cherry and blackberry aromas with perfumed flower aromas and fresh anise seed. Zesty and prickly in the mouth, this comes with plenty of red fruit notes of cranberry, cherry and currant, some tart plum skin, blueberry and oak spice towards the finish of gritty tannins, herbed pine and dark chocolate.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Click here for a complete list including others to try.</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong>Pinot Noir</strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> A new style of Pinot Noir is emerging from Austria &ndash; one that delivers the same coolness and crispness you see in all of the country&rsquo;s wines. These are notably graceful and careful expressions of the grape that will be attractive to all Pinot Noir lovers. The grapes are perfectly ripened yet they retain an aromatic complexity that is hard to capture in a finished wine. Pinot Noir constitutes just 1.3 percent of acres under vine in Austria, but this represents a 58.6% increase in plantings between 1999 and 2009. &nbsp;<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> A few to try:<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Hillinger Eveline Pinot Noir Burgenland 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Sweet spice and lightly floral aromas with rich, syrupy cherry notes and soft strawberry jam. Explosive fruit and bold acidity on entry with a smooth core of blueberry, cherry and strawberry fruit, very juicy and fresh with a pop of fresh spice towards the finish that plays well against the tart cranberry and herbal pine and eucalyptus notes and finishes with cinnamon and nutmeg spice.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>De La Rosa Oneg Pinot Noir Weinland Austria 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Dusty herbal and darkly spiced on the nose with a mineral note coming off savory oak notes. Tart and red fruited on the palate with dried rice syrup, plum and earthy cranberry notes, a bit of medicine and some pleasant minerality towards the finish of cherry and toast.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Malat Pinot Noir Reserve Furth-Palt Nieder&ouml;sterreich 2013</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Tart, spicy and floral with a bit of heat and ripe cherries on the nose. Herbal on entry with tart cranberry, licorice root and birch bark, bright, sharp acidity and a thick streak of tannin coming through with a bit of sticky resin and maple syrup, finishing with a warm spice and a touch of cream.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Click here for a complete list including others to try.</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <strong>Red Blends</strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> If you don&rsquo;t wish to commit to a single varietal right now, Austria&rsquo;s expert winemakers offer a number of carefully crafted red blends too.&nbsp; This is where winemakers showcase the skills they and their ancestors have cultivated over multiple millennia making wine in Austria.<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> A few to try:<br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Heinrich Red Burgenland 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Made with each one of the heritage family grapes, Zweigelt, Blaufr&auml;nkisch, and Sankt Laurent. Dark raisin and plum aromas with a toasted smoky richness and soft red fruit notes. Bold and assertive on the palate with zippy acidity, full bodied cinnamon spice and black pepper, and fruit notes of cranberry and sweet cherry, this finishes with a core of dusty earth and smoldering heat, dried eucalyptus leaf and mixed berry.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Biokult Zweigelt Pinot Noir Burgenland 2014</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Floral licorice notes with soft sawdust aromas and fruit notes of plum, black cherry and savory minerality. Round and juicy on the palate with blue and red fruit notes - mostly black cherry, red currant and bilberry with a richly creamy textured body, soft tannins and a puff of light smoke and fertile earth on the finish.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Nastl Klassik Cuv&eacute;e Zweigelt-Merlot Nieder&ouml;sterreich 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>Soft clay and stone earth aromas with some savory spice and a spiky heat somewhat obscure the cherry and cranberry fruit notes. There&#39;s no missing the fruit on the palate though, with a bold generous palate of cherry, cranberry, strawberry and red currant on entry that gives way to a pleasant jaunty spice towards the finish of zesty acidity, dark and smoky roasted cocoa beans and grainy tannins.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Kirnbauer Das Phantom Burgenland 2015</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>A combination of Blaufr&auml;nkisch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Earth, dark spice and bold fruit aromas with a stately blend of black cherry, blackberry and black currant fruit on the nose, somehow restrained even in its expression. Dark and brooding on the palate with stormy black cherry and blackberry fruit roiled by strong tannins, bold acidity and a punchy backbone of fresh baking spice, but finishing with an astringency and buoyancy of character and some light cocoa notes.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Click here for a complete list including others to try.</strong></a></p> Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0400 article6991 A Sicilian Wine Renaissance Michelle Williams <p>Sicily has a jaded reputation. Thanks to the illustrious movie making of Francis Ford Coppola, Americans have believed for decades that Sicily is mafia. Having visited Sicily twice I have yet to meet a Corleone. What I have experienced in Sicily is a carefree atmosphere, affable people, delectable cuisine, and well-crafted wine.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Sicily is the largest of all the Mediterranean islands, the largest wine region in Italy, and in terms of volume one of Italy&rsquo;s top producing regions. It is an island country within a larger country and Sicilians want to make sure visitors understand this point. A rich history of conquerors including Sicanians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Germans, and Spanish have left a tapestry of influences across the island. These influences, as well as Sicily&rsquo;s island nature, keeps it detached from mainland Italy.<br /> Sicily began producing wine under the Greek occupation. Production thrived along with their reputation. The Romans furthered Sicily&rsquo;s wine reputation. Legend has it Mamertine, a sweet wine, was believed to have been a favorite of Julius Caesar. As the twentieth century arrived Sicily&rsquo;s wine production had become a woeful tale. The mentality shifted from quality to quantity. Bulk wines became the focus, quality winemaking became a rarity, and producers were only bottling 20% of production. Something had to change. In the 1970&rsquo;s-80&rsquo;s quality Sicilian winemakers started a wine revolution. They began to rip out planting of grapes that did not belong in Sicily, revamp winemaking practices by investing in and embracing modern techniques, and winemakers began to explore the Mt. Etna region.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Today Sicily is one of the world&rsquo;s most exciting wine regions. Its topography varies greatly across the island, but characteristically Sicily offers an undulating terrain, poor quality soil, and unyielding sunshine. These conditions are ideal for vitis vinifera. It is home to 23 DOCs and one DOCG. However, many are not well known; therefore, producers often opt for the catch all IGT designation. A few DOCs of note are Etna (gaining attention for its rich volcanic soil wines), Marsala, and Pantelleria (more below). Sicily is home to many international varieties that are worth seeking out; however, the time is now to discover Sicily&rsquo;s top indigenous varieties.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Sicily produces more white grapes than red; however, there are two white grapes you want to know: Grillo and Carricante. Grillo is a chameleon grape of endless potential. If you like Sauvignon Blanc you must try Grillo. It is crisp, savory, even flinty, and often expressive of ripe tropical and stone fruit. It is the grape of Marsala that can also be enjoyed as a dry still, sweet, and sparkling wine. Carricante is often used as a blending grape but can also be found in single varietal wines. It is a workhorse grape, straw yellow with green hues, herbal, citrus, floral notes combined with high acidity make it a great wine to choose.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Sicily is home to many red grapes but I&rsquo;d like to draw your attention to these three as the stars of the bunch. The best known of Sicilian reds is Nero d&rsquo;Avola. It is planted in over 16% of all Sicilian vineyards. Nero d&rsquo;Avola is a dark skinned grape that can be crafted in a variety of styles from light and fruity to rich and robust. Its typical characteristics include dark fruit, floral, minerality, with medium tannins. Its lighter styles are perfect for seafood, a Sicilian classic.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Another red grape is starting to steal some of Nero d&rsquo;Avola&rsquo;s thunder. Nerello Mascalese can be considered a cross between Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo. This grape is grown in the rich volcanic soil of Mt. Etna. It offers red fruit and floral notes with structure of tannins and acidity to promote age-ability.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> A final Sicilian red grape of note is Frappato. Formerly a blending grape, Frappato has come into its own. Popular with somms and savvy wine purchasers, this red grape crafts wines that express red fruit and spice in its youth, as it ages the fruit notes dry and are joined by dried floral and herbal notes as well. This is another red to enjoy with fish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> One cannot have a conversation about Sicilian wines without a mention of Zebbibo, aka Muscat of Alexandria. These grapes grow on the tiny island of Pantelleria, an active volcanic satellite island off the coast of Tunisia. The island was under Arab rule for four centuries; during that time they introduced grapevines to the island. Zebbibo is crafted into dry still wines; however, it is most revered as Passito di Pantelleria. This sweet dessert wine is rich and viscous with flavors of dried apricots, figs, and honey. It typically offers a balanced mouth-feel with plenty of acidity.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Here are some suggestions to get your Sicilian wine exploration underway:<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2016 Firriato Altavilla Della Corte DOC Sicilia</strong>: 100% Grillo; pale gold in the glass; medium+ aromas of Korean melon, fresh squeezed citrus, floral notes, honey, almonds; classic wine, refreshing, light and lively on the palate, dry with medium acidity, this is an easy wine to drink and enjoy.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2016 Tenute Gorghi Tondi Kheir&egrave; DOC Sicilia</strong>: 100% Grillo; medium- lemon with gold hues in the glass; pronounced aromas of ripe melon, stone and tropical fruit (pineapple), citrus zest; full on the palate, pronounced acidity, elegant wine with good structure, potential for aging, long mouth-watering finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2016 Pietradolce Archineri Etna Bianco</strong>: 100% Carricante; pale gold in the glass; delicate aromas of stone fruits such as peaches and apricot, pears, and white floral notes all resting on a backbone of firm minerality; racy acidity, a complex wine that evolves throughout the bottle, long crisp finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2016 Firriato Le Sabbie Dell&rsquo;Etna DOC</strong>: 80% Carricante, 20% Catarratto; pale gold in the glass; medium aromas of stone fruit, pears, jasmine, and honey; mineral driven palate, medium+ acidity, crisp and zesty with a mouth-watering long saline finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2015 Tenute Gorghi Tondi Sorante DOC Sicilia</strong>: 100% Nero d&rsquo;Avola; medium+ ruby in the glass; medium aromas of black fruit, violets, baking spice, dried herbs, black pepper, medicinal; the fullness of the nose follows through on the palate, expressive wine, rich and round, medium acidity and tannins, earthy with a medium finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2015 Donnafugata Sed&agrave;ra Nero d&rsquo;Avola DOC Sicilia</strong>: Predominately Nero d&rsquo;Avola with some added Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and other grapes; medium- ruby with scarlet hues; medium+ aromas of fresh picked blackberries, cherries, blueberries, and cranberries, dried violets, sweet baking spice, black pepper; a medium body wine with medium acidity and tannins, fresh and elegant on the palate, easy to drink, youthful and pleasing.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2015 Pietradolce Contrada Etna Rosso</strong>: 100% Nerello Mascalese; pale scarlet in the glass; medium aromas of blackberries, dried red flowers, dried herbs, black tea, black currant leaf, medicinal; black fruits envelop the palate, layered and complex wine with medium+ tannins and acidity, round with a nice lift on back palate, rich, elegant, full body, long finish.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2015 Firriato Le Sabbie Dell&rsquo;Etna DOC</strong>: A blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio; pale ruby in the glass; medium aromas of red berries, dried roses, baking spice, savory herbs, tea, and medicinal notes; medium body wine with medium+ acidity and grippy tannins, easy to drink better with food, minerality present, crowd pleasing wine.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2015 Baglio di Pianetto BDP Y Frappato IGT</strong>: 100% Frappato; medium+ scarlet in the glass; medium aromas of dark red and black fruit, roses, dried herbs, eucalyptus, minerality; light wine, well-structured, balanced with medium tannins and acidity, nice earthiness mid and back palate, high approachable easily enjoyable wine.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2015 Firriato Sor&igrave;a Frappato DOC Sicilia</strong>: 100% Frappato; medium+ ruby in the glass; medium+ aromas of red fruit, candied violets, baking spice, tobacco; lush and silky mouth-feel, good structure, balanced with medium+ acidity and tannins, this is a crowd pleasing porch pounding wine.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>2014 Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria DOC</strong>: 100% dried Zibbibo; deep amber with gold hues in the glass; pronounced aromas of dried apricots, dried figs, orange blossoms, toasted almonds, candied ginger, spice notes of cardamom and cinnamon, and orange blossom honey; rich and decadent on the palate this sweet wine is beautifully balanced with firm acidity that wraps the palate, long sultry finish that begs for another sip; a wine to dazzle the senses.</p> Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 article6997 A Washington Winery Worth Watching John Downes <p>Most press trips are dominated by wall to wall tastings and seminars run at an unforgiving pace topped with long days, little sleep and no down time to reflect or gather thought. Inevitably the result is a fuzzy memory of the wines and more frustratingly, a journey home searching for that all important sense and feeling of place. Whilst organisers believe &lsquo;more is more&rsquo;, the journos. know that &lsquo;less is more&rsquo; for better press. As I&rsquo;ve always said, on a demanding trip the clever winemaker greets you with those magical words. &ldquo;fancy a beer?&rdquo;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> My recent trip to Washington and Oregon inevitably fell into the &lsquo;more is more&rsquo; category, especially the Oregon leg, but whilst Christophe Baron didn&rsquo;t offer us a beer on arrival he did give us a clear vision of his wines and a meaningful sense of place at Cayuse, not to mention a one man show full of passion, gesture and emotion that wouldn&rsquo;t have been out of place on the London stage.<br /> Amazingly many visits on the trip did not include vineyards but Christophe knew that his vines - and his famous cobblestones - were the soul of Cayuse and the starting point to give weary visitors a better understanding of his wines and domaine, not to mention sunshine and a breath of fresh air.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Christophe, brought up in the family&rsquo;s Champagne House, trained in Avize and then Beaune before buying Cayuse in 1997, &ldquo;as soon as I saw the cobblestones my thoughts went to Chateauneuf du Pape, planting Syrah and creating a world class &lsquo;Rhone&rsquo; wine&rdquo;, he recalled as he opened the show. His stage was a metre high mound of cobblestones, &ldquo;Cayuse means stones&rdquo;, he explained. Syrah has the leading role with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Merlot, Tempranillo and Viognier in the chorus line.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Today, Cayuse comprises 5 vineyards, namely Cailloux (10 acres), Coccinelle (4.5), En Cerise (10), En Chamberlin (10) and Armada (7), producing 14 labels totalling about 4500 cases. All are planted in the stony soil, resulting in &ldquo;highly stressed vineyards with an average yield of only two tons per acre&rdquo;. The winery is located in the vineyards, &ldquo;which means that we can taste the grapes as opposed to relying on analysis from 100 miles away&rdquo;, he smiled.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> From the very beginning Cayuse vineyards were farmed organically and in 2002 Cayuse became the first domaine in Walla Walla (great name for Christophe&rsquo;s one man London debut) to implement biodynamic viticulture. Cayuse crushed its first biodynamic fruit for the 2005 vintage, &ldquo;using the inter-relationship of earth, plants, and animals in a closed, self-nourishing ecosystem and an astronomical sowing and planting calendar&rdquo;, Christophe explained.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Cayuse&rsquo;s first plantings were on a 10 feet x 4 feet grid (1089 vines/acre), the second plantings were 6 feet x 4 feet (1815 vines/acre) followed by 3.5 feet x 3.5 feet (3555 vines/acre) with the latest vineyard boasting a tight 3 feet x 3 feet (4840 vines/acre) layout. The latter is planted with Syrah and worked by horses, &ldquo;it preserves the old ways but is also efficient for such a tight grid&rdquo;. &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The tasting was held in the winery with Christophe and his assistant vigneronne Elizabeth Bourcier holding centre stage with a cast of 12 wines;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> God Only Knows Grenache 2012, Cailloux Vineyard Syrah 2013, Bionic Frog 2010, 2006 Armada Vineyard Syrah, 1999 Cailloux Vineyard Syrah, 2003 The Widowmaker (100% Cabernet Sauvignon), 2008 Impulsivo (100% Tempranillo), No Girls 2009 Syrah, Horsepower Vineyards 2013 Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache, Horsepower Vineyards 2013 Sur Echalas Vineyard Syrah, Horsepower Vineyards 2011 The Tribe Vineyard Syrah and Hors Categorie Vineyard Syrah 2014.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> To compliment biodynamic farming and hand harvesting, in the winery Christophe and Elizabeth favour &ldquo;native yeast primary fermentation and native MLB, concrete fermentation, punchdowns and pumpovers, cuvaison of 2-3 weeks, partial whole cluster, ageing in French demi-muid and foudre&rdquo; for the majority of the wines. The exceptions were the 2008 Impulsivo and the 2003 The Widowmaker which were destemmed.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> When it came to the wines, as with most visits the opinions of the group were healthily varied. I liked them &hellip; my notes included &ldquo;similar wine style over the varieties - good intensity of juicy red and black fruits, liquorice overtones, friendly tannins, balanced oak, wines aged well - hellishly moreish &hellip; a bottle would disappear very quickly&rdquo;. That said, these biodynamic beauties come at a price, ranging from $75 (No Girls 2009 Syrah) through $120 (Horsepower Vineyards 2013 Sur Echalas Vineyard Grenache) to the 2014 Hors Categorie Vineyard Syrah which sports a $250 price tag. &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Christophe Baron and Cayuse were one of my highlights of the trip; his enthusiasm in both vineyard and winery was infectious and ensured that we didn&rsquo;t leave with a fuzzy memory of the wines or without an understanding, sense or feeling of the estate &hellip; just the opposite, when I close my eyes I can still &lsquo;taste&rsquo; the wines and I&rsquo;m back amongst the cobblestones and horses.</p> Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 article6992 This Wine Region is Trending Snooth Editorial <p>According to the Wine Institute, in 2015, over 28 million liters of wine were produced by sixty-three different wine producing countries. There are currently 195 different countries in our world, which means that a whopping one third of it is making wine. We all cherish our favorite wine countries and regions, but there are some superior wine producing areas lurking in the shadows. Their cult followings are starting to billow and capture new swaths of wine lovers. Thirsty for the next big thing? The web&rsquo;s finest wine writers are calling out the latest and greatest trending wine regions. Have you tried a bottle from one of these trendy regions yet? Grab a bottle and get on board.<br /> <strong>Alentejo, Portugal</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>An overlooked wine region I think is poised for dramatic growth in the US is the Alentejo region of Portugal. While not as well-known as the Douro region, the Alentejo wine region, which covers about a third of Portugal produces the most popular wines among the Portuguese. The terroir features undulating topography, and an even very warm growing season with plenty of sun.&nbsp; It also has remarkable portfolio of indigenous and international grapes that Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein refers to as the &ldquo;United Nation of Grapes&rdquo;. The red wines are typically made from These wines are typically made from Aragonez(Tempranillo), Castelao, Trincadeira or a combination of the three. But Alentejo has also been quick to adopt international varieties like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. And there is not better place in the world to grow Alicante Bouschet. The region&rsquo;s progressive winemakers, informed by, but not bound by tradition use its diverse selection of indigenous and international grapes to produce (mostly red) wines with generous fruit flavors and refined tannins. The region is also famous for making wine in clay amphorae called talhas.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation, though today the techniques (and equipment) for making wine in clay vessels is being refined. In some ways Alentejo reminds me of California because of its climate, many progressive and modern wineries and focus on sustainability.&nbsp; Alentejo&rsquo;s combination of making generous, thoughtful wines in a sustainable way, the region&rsquo;s natural beauty and vibrant gastronomic scene wines make it a natural for wine tourists and foodies alike. The wines have shown well against the against the wines of France, Spain and Italy. While the wines of Alentejo can be challenging to find &ndash; for now -&nbsp; they are worth seeking out!</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Martin Redmond</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>ENOFYLZ Wine Blog</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Applegate Valley, Oregon</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>The varietals grown in Southern Oregon&#39;s Applegate Valley AVA are as diverse as the myriad of micro-climates that make up this unique grape growing region.&nbsp; &quot;Too warm for classic Pinot,&quot; says Craig Camp, General Manager of Applegate Valley&#39;s <a href=""><strong>Troon Vineyard</strong></a>, &quot;and a growing season too short for Cabernet Sauvignon and [Cabernet] Franc means that we are focused on far more exciting varieties - Tannat, Vermentino, Malbec and the Rhone varieties.&nbsp; The Applegate has altitude, a warm dry growing season and, on the Kubli Bench, granitic soils.&quot;&nbsp; Two of several absolutely unforgettable wines I recently sampled from Troon Vineyard included a juicy, savory and smoky Black Label 2014 M*T Reserve (60.1% Tannat and 39.9% Malbec) filled with ripe blackberry, cherry and plum, accompanied by gripping tannins and vibrant acidity; as well as, the distinctive 2016 Riesling Whole Grape Ferment Orange Wine.&nbsp; Crafted much like they do their red wines, this extraordinary Riesling was fresh, dry and loaded with complex layers of flavors. Fermented on its skins, it had a brief stay in mature French oak barrels, lending to its incredible texture and rich characteristics.&nbsp; When asked if he agreed with me that Applegate Valley AVA was poised for an explosive presence throughout the wine industry, including consumers and critics alike, Camp answered, &quot; The Applegate is going to gain attention for the same reason that Sardegna and Corsica are now getting serious attention.&nbsp; Complex, interesting wines at prices people can afford to drink.&quot;</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Julia Crowley</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>The Real Wine Julia</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Cru Beaujolais</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>The Beaujolais Crus in France are poised to overcome their perennial &quot;red headed stepchild&quot; reputation in the US market, emerging from their unfortunate association with Nouveau Beaujolais. However, they have one remaining barrier to their explosive success: the labels on their bottles. Enthusiasts know the Cru Beaujolais are labeled by the individual Cru (e.g. Morgon, Fleurie, Saint-Amour), but newcomers are doubly mystified: Is this a Beaujolais wine? What&#39;s Morgon?&nbsp; The Beaujolais producers need to get together and agree to add the moniker &quot;Cru Vin de Beaujolais&quot; or something similar to their labels, much as in Bordeaux and Bourgogne. Then, look out! They bring great taste and affordability. What&#39;s not to like?</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jeff Burrows</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Food Wine Click</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Franciacorta</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Sparkling wines, in my opinion, are enjoying somewhat of a renaissance as the stigma surrounding their perceived formality subsides and consumers embrace their inherent food friendliness and overall versatility. This shift in consumer perception combined with the millennial generations thirst for something truly unique and authentic are why I believe Italy&#39;s premier sparking wine region, Franciacorta, is poised for explosive growth in the US market. Nestled in the gentle rolling hills within the northern reaches of Italy&#39;s Lombardy region, this young yet fiercely dynamic region has made tremendous progress in their quest for quality and authenticity. Governed by production standards more stringent than those in Champagne and the first in Italy to require that all of their wines be produced in the significantly more costly and labor intensive M&eacute;thode Traditionelle, Franciacorta is serious about sparkling. For much of its short history (the region has only been producing sparkling wine since 1961), the majority of Franciacorta wines never left Italian borders, as savvy locals absorbed the relatively modest production with prideful enthusiasm. But as interest in the region grows, so is production, as well as a focus on increasing exports to the Unites States. When you consider that Franciacorta typically offers a distinct price advantage over sparklers of comparable quality you might understand why I believe US consumers will offer their increasing availability a warm welcome.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Ryan O&#39;Hara</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>The Fermented Fruit</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Georgia</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Overlooked for millennia, Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world, with some winemakers still using the historic terracotta urns called qvevri, though most using more modern methods. Now, people are starting to notice the unique and high quality wines that are being produced there. Salty whites? Brooding reds? Yes and more. Not sure where to start? You could search out safe wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon, but better to go indigenous and find wines made with Rkatsiteli (best known white), Mtsvane, and Saperavi (best known red) grapes for a taste of whites and reds.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Kovas Palubinskas</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>50 States Of Wine</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Hungary</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Several come to mind, including Rias Baixas, Spain (for Albari&ntilde;o), but I&rsquo;m going to go with Hungary. For any region to break out in the national market, I feel it has to 1) be in a position to produce enough wine to satisfy the market, 2) meet quality standards that appeal to consumers and drive demand, 3) the wines need to be accessible to consumers throughout the US, and 4) be backed by a well-executed and robust marketing campaign (@FurmintUSA gets the word out!). The twist in my pick: I&rsquo;m not talking about the region&rsquo;s famed, golden colored, lovely dessert wines from Tokaj&mdash;principally made from the native Furmint grape variety. I&rsquo;m talking Dry Furmint (non-sweet white wine)&mdash;the region&rsquo;s flagship white wine. I visit wine shops virtually every weekend, and surprisingly, Dry Furmint is many consumers introduction to Hungarian wine, and they like that they taste and are eager to explore more. This suggests new growth opportunities.&nbsp; While I&rsquo;m not seeing a huge selection right now, I can walk into area wine shops and pick from several different producers. These wines are usually in the alternative white wine section. Some common characteristics I find are fresh fruit flavors, namely orchard and citrus blossom, along with pretty floral notes, a mineral edge, and a firm backbone of refreshing acidity&mdash;with the latter being most common across the board. These are interesting, if not unique, white wines&mdash;cerebral, in a sense. If for some (odd) reason your local wine shop or favorite restaurant does not carry Dry Furmint, the best thing you can do is ask for it by name. I encourage you to do so. For readers familiar with the wine, please leave one or two of your favorite producers in the comment section. Thank you, and have a great day.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Dezel Quillen</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>My Vine Spot</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Israel</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>On a wine press trip to Israel this past January, I found that they have a wonderful array of elegant wines. One fantastic producer that can be found in the US market is Recanati Winery - I loved their Old Vines Wild Carignan.&nbsp; Another producer, whose wines are unfortunately not on the US scene YET, but whom I am completely impressed with, is Ya&#39;acov Oryah, a winemaker who makes his living by working for larger wineries, but has his own wine that bears his name. He has the only Hunter Valley style S&eacute;millon in Israel, Emek Hatzayadim, as well as an orange wine called Alpha Omega. I have not tasted any of his wines, so why talk about him? Well, during my trip, I went to a wine symposium where I could taste many Israeli wines. Since he was the winemaker for a large wine company, he spoke to my group on their behalf. Ya&#39;acov was a humble man who stood out with a raw honesty and transparency that stayed with me. Only after I came back to the US did I find out that he made his own small production wines&hellip; I then started to research Ya&#39;acov further&hellip; he is not a superstar winemaker with a fancy pedigree; he is someone who is deeply admired from those in the know. Although he himself is a devout religious Jewish vintner, he fights for the rights of all winemakers, no matter their religious beliefs (or lack of beliefs), and he is drawn to wine because it is a way to connect with various people. Ya&#39;acov is not the latest hot-shot in the Israeli wine scene but I truly believe he is the future&hellip; a future that we are all desperately trying to fight for&hellip; learning to live in a globalized world while not losing the best parts of ourselves.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Cathrine Todd</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Dame Wine</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Maryland</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>When people think of Maryland, they probably think of crab cakes. I know I did until my recent trip to Maryland for TasteCamp, an annual immersion weekend for those of us who write about or work with wine and other craft beverages. Did you know that winemaking in Maryland dates back to 1648 and that there are around 1000 acres planted with wine grapes? There are numerous regional wine trails across the state including the Antietam, Capital, Carroll, Chesapeake, Frederick, and Patuxent Wine Trails, as well as cider and mead trails. Winemaking in Maryland includes white, ros&eacute;, red, and sparkling offerings, as well as sweet, off-dry, and dry wines. Although there are many more, a few of my favorite producers from my visit are (in alphabetical order) Big Cork Vineyards, Black Ankle, Boordy Vineyards, Chateau Bu-De Winery &amp; Vineyard and Bohemia Manor Farm, Crow Vineyard, Harmony Vineyards and Winery, Links Bridge Vineyards, and Old Westminster Winery. Whether it&#39;s Old Westminster Winery&rsquo;s effervescent P&eacute;t-Nat of Albari&ntilde;o, Big Cork Vineyards Russian Kiss (a one-of-a-kind wine made from Muscat and Russian grape varieties), a beautiful, Bordeaux-style red blend from Black Ankle, or a mouthwatering, dry ros&eacute; from Boordy Vineyards, there&#39;s a Maryland wine for everyone. I suggest visiting the Maryland Wineries Association website, <a href=""><strong></strong></a>, where you will learn more about Maryland wine and &quot;Create Your Journey&quot; with the association&#39;s interactive map. It&#39;s time to taste Maryland.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Elizabeth Smith</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Traveling Wine Chick</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Paso Robles, California</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>If you don&rsquo;t yet know much about Paso Robles, now is the perfect time to get acquainted. This Central Coast California region boasts more than 200 wineries, which produce wine from more than 40 different grape varieties. Home to California wine country&rsquo;s highest concentration of calcareous soils, and the largest day-night temperature swings (due to the Pacific Ocean&rsquo;s cooling effect through the Templeton Gap), Paso is uniquely situated to produces wines of tremendous depth and complexity. Known mostly for rich Bordeaux and Rhone reds, <a href=""><strong>during a visit in September</strong></a> I found many thrilling wines made from Spanish, Portuguese and Italian grapes as well, and so many of the wines showed vibrancy and freshness to match the sunshiny fruit. It&rsquo;s a gorgeous place to visit with easily-accessible wineries and a welcoming, small town feel. Check it out!</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Isaac James Baker</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Terroirist; Reading, Writing &amp; Wine</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Paso Robles, California</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>When you mention &ldquo;Wine Region&rdquo; to a large portion of people (at least here in the United States) the first thing that comes to their minds is Napa or Sonoma. Although these regions are stellar, there are so many others that have yet to rise into consumers&rsquo; consciousness and that is sad. Willamette Valley, Central Virginia, Texas Hill Country, Walla Walla just to name a few. These regions are producing wines that are beckoning for the people to enjoy, but unfortunately haven&rsquo;t reached that point of popular public recognition yet. One wine region that has been trending as of recently began growing grapes&nbsp; in 1797 when missionaries at Mission San Miguel Arcangel planted over 1000 vines. Paso Robles, located on the Central Coast in San Luis Obispo county, is a wine region definitely on the uptrend. The first commercial wine growing began in the 1880s with Ascension Winery, which later changed names to York Mountain Winery, and today is known as Epoch Estate Wines.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>In less than thirty years, the number of wineries in Paso Robles has gone from less than 20 to almost 300 with over 40 wine grape varieties grown and 40,000 acres planted. With accolades including Wine Spectators&rsquo; #1 wine in the World for 2011 (Saxum), Wine Enthusiast&rsquo;s 2013 Wine Region of the Year and Sunset Magazine&rsquo;s 2016 Best Wine Country Town, Paso Robles has skyrocketed onto many wine consumer&rsquo;s radar.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Lori Budd</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Dracaena Wines</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Paso Robles, California</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>With devastating fires leaving the near future of much of Napa and Sonoma County wine regions filled with uncertainty, Paso Robles stands waiting in the wings.&nbsp; A region where wine making and grape growing actually predate Napa County by about 50 years, the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) is home to over 200 wineries with 40,000 of its 614,000 acres planted to over 40 grape varieties. Located along California&#39;s Central Coast and situated halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, what once was simply &quot;East Side&quot; and &quot;West Side&quot;is now further divided into Paso&#39;s 11 diverse AVAs. Many wines produced here are allocation only -- with small lot productions often selling out to club members within weeks of their release. From the well-known Tablas Creek Vineyard to the tiny production of <a href=""><strong>kukkula</strong></a>, Paso Robles boasts exceptional Rhone style blends from Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache. For those who prefer Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted grape in Paso Robles. Paso also features expressive whites -- Viognier, Albarino, Chenin Blanc and Roussanne among them. And for the beer aficionado Paso Robles is home to the famed <a href=""><strong>Firestone Walker Brewing Company</strong></a>, as well as a new crop of distillers that make their very own gin.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Amy Corron Power</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Another Wine Blog</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Pennsylvania</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>There are so many regions that are worthy and deserving of more attention, but I&#39;m going to go with Pennsylvania -- yes, seriously. Despite a legacy of sweet, mainly hybrid and native wines that weren&#39;t very good, there is a small, and growing, group of winery owners and winemakers -- mostly clustered in the southeast part of the state -- who are redefining what Pennsylvania wines are and can be. Mesoclimates matter a lot in the Keystone State. A single hill just outside of Philadelphia yields some of most delicious, singular field blends in America at Va La Vineyards. Producers like Waltz Vineyards, Allegro Vineyards and Penns Woods are making Bordeaux-variety wines that show both power and elegance as well as delicately balanced chardonnays and sauvignon blanc. A bit further to the north, you can even find North America&#39;s benchmark Gruner Veltliner -- at Galen Glen Winery.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Lenn Thompson</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>The Cork Report </strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Santa Clara Valley, California</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Time, terroir and skill will tell, but the Santa Clara Valley AVA feels poised to make its move.&nbsp; With historical vineyards from the 1850&rsquo;s, like Guglielmo, Soberanes and Under the Mountain, this former farming community has given way to tech sprawl. But in key areas, coincidentally adjacent to Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, which produces some of the world&rsquo;s best wine #RidgeMontebello, conditions are there to produce amazing wines. Another coincidence, it was at the last Santa Cruz AVA grand tasting where I found several delightful Santa Clara Valley AVA wines. One of them was Odonata Vineyards 2014 Grenache.&nbsp; Despite the above 100-degree ambient temperature, the wine delighted me with fresh spicy fruit and a lovely balance. For a producer to invest in labelling its offering with a burgeoning AVA indicates their faith in their product to distinguish itself by making the AVA reference pay off. Of course, producing distinctive excellent wine with a sense of place is step one. Santa Clara has several producers including Clos La Chance (excellent value, beautiful bottles, delicious wines) and Guglielmo (historic winery with daringly varietally specific bottlings of Charbono, Pinot Blancs, et al.)&nbsp; doing that today. With more accolades and more winemakers producing a label with the Santa Clara AVA, all signs are there for the Santa Clara Valley to make a mark in the wine world. &nbsp;</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Liza Swift</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Brix Chicks</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Savenni&egrave;res</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Savenni&egrave;res, a tiny appellation situated in the middle of France&rsquo;s Loire Valley, may be one of the most underrated regions poised to emerge from the tables of geeky oenophiles to mainstream American wine consumers.&nbsp; Chenin Blanc is the grape of the historic region.&nbsp; Savenni&egrave;res is known for expressive, complex, beautifully textured, and high-acid Chenin Blancs.&nbsp; The wines of the Savenni&egrave;res range from bone dry to sweet (though ~95% are dry) and tend to show their true beauty with a decade or two (or more) of age.&nbsp; Look for distinctive Chenins from these Savennieres producers: Domaine aux Moine, Baumard, Domaine d&rsquo;&Eacute;pir&eacute;, Domaine du Closel, and Nicolas Joly.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Frank Morgan</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Drink What YOU Like</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>South Africa</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Hemel en Aarde&nbsp; which translates to heaven and earth, describes not only the beauty of the land, but the quality of the wine and the name of the wine appellation near Hermanus in the Western Cape of South Africa. The charming fishing village of Hermanus is a two-hour drive from Cape Town, but you will scarcely notice the time it takes because the drive is so beautiful. Hermanus is coastal, cool and wet as is Hemel en Aarde which extends along the R320 inland from Hermanus. Hemel en Aarde is comprised of three Wards based on distinct terroir. Closest to Hermanus is Hemel en Aarde Valley, followed by Upper Hemel en Aarde and finally Hemel en Aarde Ridge. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay reign supreme in this region, as you might expect based on the cool climate, and I was swept away by the quality and purity of the wines I tasted on a visit to the region last year. The wines I remember best: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Hamilton Russell and Bouchard Finlayson. The food and wine pairings at Creation Wines demonstrated how enjoyable these wines are with food. And finally, perhaps my favorite of all, Ataraxia for outstanding Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and their lovely Pinot Noir, Cinsault, Pinotage blend called Serenity. Finally, I must mention Storm Pinot Noir (Moya&rsquo;s) which I tasted here at home and prompted my visit to Hemel en Aarde.&nbsp; Whether the wines from this region will present an explosive presence in the US wine market I can&rsquo;t say. I do hope they will. The effort it took to my husband and I to travel from Cape Town to Hemel en Aarde was absolutely worth it and I&rsquo;m certain finding these wines in the US will be worth your while as well. Cheers!</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Nancy Brazil</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Pull That Cork</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Texas Hill Country</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>When I think of an area poised for growth, Texas Hill Country comes to mind.&nbsp; What many don&rsquo;t know is that this is the second largest viticultural area in America with more than 9 million acres planted with several identified microclimates. Grapes planted include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Sangiovese, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Mourv&egrave;dre. The wines range from Bordeaux varietals to Mediterranean styles.&nbsp; Keep an eye on these &ndash; especially in October during Texas Wine Month -- as the prices can&rsquo;t be beat, the wines are award-winning and we take pride in greeting you with a Texas size welcome when you visit &ndash; unfortunately that is the only way you will be able to taste most of these as they never leave the tasting rooms.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Melanie Ofenloch</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong></strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Texas</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>I&#39;ve said it before and I&#39;ll say it again. If you haven&#39;t discovered the wines of Texas, it is time to seek them out. We&#39;ve poured over and poured into what works in the region. While the bigger players have been made available nationally, many have not. To sample smaller producers may require a little more persistence, but your efforts will be rewarded. The wines are as diverse as the terrain. Ranging from rustic to refined, there is a wine to please every palate and pair with every dish. You&#39;ll find some classic Bordeaux varieties and find that Rhone and Mediterranean grapes are thriving. Vermentino to Viognier, Mourvedre to Malbec, even producing lesser known varieties like Tannat and Picpoul. And look for Ros&eacute;s that will make you swoon. The growers and winemakers are particularly excited about this year&#39;s harvest, in quality and quantity. Each year, more producers are committing to make wines made with 100% Texas grapes, a testament to how far we&#39;ve come and how confident we are in our future.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Alissa Leenher</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>SAHMelier</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Virginia</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>For three years, I just ignored Virginia while my fellow oenophiles talked about it as a wine region poised to impact the wine market, the only question being, WHEN?&nbsp; Then, in conversation, I ultimately agreed to stop being a stodgy old grump and taste at least one Virginia wine. Being a champion of the independent winemakers, I eventually got in contact with a small-batch limited-production Virginia winemaker and bought some of his wines upon release. After a snag with shipping, I was regretting my decision. But that feeling turned around when I eventually popped the cork and tasted the wine; I can&rsquo;t begin to tell you the shock I felt when the flavors finally reached my palate. Beautiful fruit flavors, aged in stainless steel on chardonnay lees; a remarkable mouthfeel with medium body, with an overall impression of elegance and luxury. I was impressed, not a little, but a lot. I really liked <a href=""><strong>Jake Busching&rsquo;s viognier</strong></a> and am waiting for a couple of free days to spend with his cabernet franc, which he considers to be &ldquo;Virginia&rsquo;s grape&rdquo;. If Jake is a sole example of what is going right in Virginia, then I have a lot more tasting to do. His viognier is a prime example of excellence in winemaking, and it&rsquo;s just a few states away from home- I want this in my cellar, to share with my guests. You will, too&hellip;eventually.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jim vanBergen</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Jvb uncorked</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Willamette Valley</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Willamette Valley makes expressive Pinot noir, but we often overlook their beautiful white wines. I am particularly fond of their austere Chardonnay styles as well as their food friendly Pinot gris and Pinot blancs, which are fruit-forward, crisp and clean. They are excellent values that showcase the spectrum of styles that are made from this region. And let&rsquo;s not forget the fuller-bodied reds from southern Oregon. Umpqua, Rogue and Applegate are poised to take the market by storm with their delicious red varieties. I find their Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah and Bordeaux styles quite intriguing. And since they are reasonably priced and readily available, they are poised for an explosive presence in the U.S. market.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Pamela Heiligenthal</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Enobytes</strong></a></p> Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 article6989 Wine Lovers Rally Around California Snooth Editorial <p>News of raging fires in our beloved California wine regions is positively heartbreaking. The impact of these fires is felt around the world. We find ourselves searching for updates on the status of our favorite wineries. We pour over photographs of the destruction and think about families who&rsquo;ve lost their homes. Lost their jobs. Lost their lives. It is more important than ever to join together and support the communities whose inherent charms bring so very much joy to millions. California wine country is an American treasure. Its people need our support. How can we help?<br /> There are a number of organizations and funds that will be supporting California wine country during its time of need. Please consider making a gift, no matter the size, to an organization or fund that resonates with you most.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Click here to make a gift to the Napa Valley Disaster Relief Fund.</a></strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong><a href="">Click here to make a gift to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund.</a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Click here to make a gift to the Community Foundation of Mendocino County.&nbsp;</a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href="">Click here to choose a Go Fund Me campaign.</a>&nbsp;</strong><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Photo Credit: Bob McClanahan for the Napa Valley Vintners&nbsp;&nbsp; </em></p> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 article6987 How to Write the Best Ever Wine Tasting Note Snooth Editorial <p>Writing is a cathartic exercise. The same can be said about tasting wine. Amazing things will happen when the two practices are merged. Tasting notes are an opportunity to sharpen your palate and uncover curious flavors. Pineapple tops? Dentist&rsquo;s office chair? A laundry list of chemical compounds commingle in your glass to create unique tasting experiences. When it comes to tasting notes the truth is in the palate of the taster. But like all art, there is some science involved. We asked the web&rsquo;s top wine writers to give us their thoughts on how to write a great tasting note. They also shared some of the most interesting flavors they&rsquo;ve ever found in a wine.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> What&rsquo;s the most unique tasting note you&rsquo;ve ever found? Let us know in the comments.<br /> <em>I was a writer long before I was of legal wine-drinking age, and I learned a lot about my writing style while studying journalism as an undergraduate. I loved interviewing people, posing poignant questions, trying to figure out what made the subject of the interview unique. When it comes to writing tasting notes (and I&rsquo;ve written thousands of them), I take this same approach. I sit back and interview the wine in my glass.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> It all comes down to asking the right questions. Is the color light gold or dark yellow, and what does the viscosity tell me about the wine? This wine smells spicy, but there are thousands of spices &mdash; is this clove, black pepper, anise, fennel? How does the body of the wine or the tannins, if present, balance out with the wines acidity? Fine wine has so many stories to tell, and I try to listen as well as I can when writing a tasting note. When &ldquo;interviewing&rdquo; my first Georgian Saperavi many years ago, I was trying to nail down a unique scent and flavor, and I settled on incense sticks (something I still come across in some Saperavi). I also love the flavor of ocean jetty rocks (yes, I&rsquo;ve tasted them) I sometimes get in great Muscadet (perhaps the world&rsquo;s most oceanic-tasting wine).</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Isaac James Baker</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Reading, Writing &amp; Wine</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>As a writer, I&#39;ve been moving away from tasting notes and focusing more on the total experience, whether it be a visit to a winery, attending an event, or having a meal paired with wine. I write tasting notes more sparingly because wine tasting is subjective and unique to a singular moment in time and place. Food, ambiance, location, and company influence the act of tasting and drinking wine. When I do incorporate tasting notes, I recall Wine &amp; Spirit Education Trust&#39;s Systematic Approach to Tasting&reg; (SAT), but I write in a way that is easily understandable to both beginners and professionals. I describe the aromas and flavors of wine using descriptors with which most people are familiar in everyday life, while I avoid those that are obscure or make no sense to many. Two of the most interesting flavors I have encountered in wine are meatiness in Pinotage and ​the flavor of olives in cool-climate Syrah. As I write tasting notes, I emphasize that my description is solely my impression of the wine that may or may not be the same for anyone else or the next time I taste. It&#39;s rare to recreate the same tasting experience twice. A tasting note is but ​a brief glimpse into my ever-changing, evolving palate.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>​Elizabeth Smith</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Traveling Wine Chick​</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>When I first started making tasting notes on wine, I quickly realized I needed a consistent structure for memorializing my impressions of the wines I tasted. I don&rsquo;t recall where I found it, but to this day I mentally organize my thoughts around the color, aroma, body, taste and finish of a wine. Though the color of a wine may be a tip you of the age and/or condition of the wine, I think it&rsquo;s optional. My primary focus is on describing a wine&rsquo;s aromas, body (including dryness level, the body or &ldquo;weight&rdquo; of the wine, acidity and tannins), taste and finish (the best wines finish last!) For a wine&rsquo;s aromas and flavors I use as many adjectives as possible (e.g. does it smell and taste of fresh or baked cherries or perhaps cherry jam) to flesh out the character of the wine. I prefer straight forward, rather than esoteric wine descriptors because I think that&rsquo;s what the vast majority of wine drinkers relate to. For the body, I think it&rsquo;s important to identify whether the wine is light, medium, of full bodied and to describe its dryness level, acidity and tannins. I like to complete my tasting note by describing the finish of the wine&nbsp; - both how long the taste stays on the palate after the wine is swallowed and whether it tastes spicy, savory, bitter, tart, etc. The key a great tasting note is to find a systematic approach that will enable you to comprehensively capture your impression of the wine on a consistent basis. Find what works for you and practice, practice, practice!&nbsp; Among the more unique and memorable aromas and or flavors I&rsquo;ve captured in my tasting notes have been roasted sunflower seeds, marzipan, and canned peas!</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Martin Redmond</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>ENOFYLZ Wine Blog</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Writing a great tasting note is an involved task. As a writer, the goal is to accurately describe what you see, smell, &amp; taste, with any personal insight from your overall experience. I have my own set of rules to follow. First, Be honest! Shakespeare said it best: &ldquo;To thine own self be true.&rdquo; My brand relies on my integrity and honesty, so it has to start there. Second, Be helpful. Those who read your wine reviews want to know: Will I like this wine? When might I serve it? So it&rsquo;s incredibly important to try and show which wine drinkers will like a wine, with examples of both the wine&rsquo;s profile and possible food pairings. Third, Know your audience and speak their language. The general public does not care for WSET nomenclature, and I have learned the hard way to turn it down a notch. Use terms that are more comfortable. The oenophiles will adore reading &ldquo;medium acidity, notes of petroleum and a hint of cat urine&rdquo;, but those phrases will (and have) freaked out come of my dedicated readers, and they WILL let you know it!&nbsp; Fourth, let your passion flow. If you love something about a wine, share it! That will convince your audience to step out of their comfort zone and try something new.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>&ldquo;Where the heck did you learn to taste that?&rdquo; I&rsquo;ve been asked about some of the most unusual flavor descriptors: barnyard (you can&rsquo;t miss it when it&rsquo;s there), eucalyptus, lychee, burnt sugar (from an 1853 madeira), and sauvignon blanc&rsquo;s worst possible side effect, the dreaded aroma of cat urine. But more than any of these, I get the strangest looks and questions from group tasting when I use geologic and mineral identifiers, such as limestone, clay, slate, granite, sand, flint, &amp; shale. Most of these I can thank my high school and college geology classes for teaching me, and others I learned over time by tasting terroir, as farmers and winemakers do. Growing up in Atlanta, Ga, I learned the taste of several different types of clay just the same way one learns the taste of beach sand- just by playing in it.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jim van Bergen</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>JVB UNCORKED</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>My tasting note varies depending on the wine, or series of wines, that I&rsquo;m talking about&hellip; But if you want to start somewhere, then I would recommend Michael Schuster&rsquo;s Essential Winetasting as a great place to start and constantly refer to as you progress through the years. It&rsquo;s good to get the color, aroma, flavor, structure as well as BLIC (quality assessed by balance, length, intensity, complexity, character, concentration), but as you get those points down you want to form you own style of tasting note. Honestly, I change mine up depending on what the wine inspires in me&hellip; sometimes I write very simple, structured notes&hellip; sometimes they are silly&hellip; sometimes romantic&hellip; sometimes I throw in a reference of how it reminds me of a character in a movie. I don&rsquo;t think I can name the most unique flavors I have ever found in a glass as I taste way too much wine on a weekly basis to just pick the top two or three. So let me tell you about a couple I had recently: Mistinguett Cava Brut Ros&eacute;, made from 100% Trepat, had a distinct note of Rau Ram (Vietnamese coriander) that has a spicy yet lemon blossom note. The second, 2016 Herencia Alt&eacute;s &ldquo;Experimental&rdquo; skin contact, almost orange wine, White Garnacha (Granatxa Blanca) that I tasted in the supposed birth place of the mutation of White Garnacha &ndash; Terra Alta, Catalonia, Spain - it had a unique flavor of sea urchin dusted with cinnamon, which reminded me of a sea urchin dessert I tasted once&hellip; although it may sound odd, it was actually the best dessert I have ever had in my life. Hopefully we will see this new &ldquo;Experimental&rdquo; wine hit the market because it is now on the top of my list for skin contact whites.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Cathrine Todd</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Dame Wine</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>You catch a scent in the air and it reminds you of someone, something, and you&#39;re transported back to another place and time: Old Spice is the hug from your grandfather; Carnations, fir and cinnamon from your first Winter Formal. The most powerful aromas and flavors are not those that demand attention on their own, but that evoke pictures, sounds, feelings, memories. Anyone can fill out a basic form: Color, Clarity, Fruit, Acidity, Tannins and Finish. Is there a presence of flaws? But those are the tasting notes one quickly forgets -- so I prefer to give the reader something more. Something they can carry with them from one bottle to the next, so they can recognize the grape in a different wine. My first Right Bank Bordeaux reminded me of red velvet rope. Not of the 50 Shades or Janet Jackson variety, but the timeless burgundy velvet stanchion of a grand theater. That is how I pinpoint a Merlot. In a Picpoul de Pinet, it is sunshine and seaside - sur la plage with sounds of gulls, the kiss of the breeze, the cold, crisp splash of the waves along the sand, the sun on my face. Is this wine memorable? Only if its aromas and flavors can transport me to a different time and place.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Amy Corron-Power</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Another Wine Blog</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>For tasting notes, I take a no-nonsense approach. I find many people are off-put by too flowery language. I stay true to WSET standard descriptions of fruit, non-fruit, acid, tannins and finish. Since my focus is food pairing, I&#39;m always careful to include how the wine was with the dish I prepared and some notes on why if it was particularly good or not so successful.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jeff Burrows</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Food Wine Click</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Writing good tasting note is more of an art than science. It is easy to get carried away with the technical terms, which make a lot of sense to the professionals (ponder at &quot;rim variation&quot; or &quot;maderized&quot;) - but this would not help general wine consumers to guess whether they will like the wine or not. My personal approach is to go over color, smell and the taste of wine, and come up with some sort of conclusion whether I like the wine or not. It is important to use the words many people can refer to - of course it doesn&#39;t mean to subside to the &quot;sweet&quot; and &quot;sour&quot;, but it is better to avoid the words which refer to the &quot;things&quot; majority of the people never experienced. For instance, how many people can easily imagine the taste of Lingonberry, Jostaberry or Noni fruit? Or can you describe how bramble (Wikipedia: &quot;In British English, a &quot;bramble&quot; is any rough (usually wild) tangled prickly shrub&quot;) tastes like? So the key to writing a good tasting note is ... keep it simple!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> As far as most unusual flavors, I once used the descriptor &quot;socks&quot; for one of the red wines. Another very unusual one would be a &quot;wet dog&quot;.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Anatoli Levine</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Talk-a-Vino</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>Writing a great tasting note about a wine I am reviewing takes a lot more concentration than simply enjoying that glass of wine. What I see, smell and taste in a wine floods my senses. I have to really pay attention to tease out each part of what I experience. Evaluating each wine in the same way every time is essential. It is a skill that takes practice, and one I learned thanks to weekly wine tastings at a local wine shop. That orderly method of evaluating wine was reinforced as I studied for the Society of Wine Educators&rsquo; Certified Specialist of Wine examination. I begin each tasting note with the color (light yellow to ruby for example) and appearance (clear, translucent, dense) of the wine in the glass. Next I describe what I smell, first before swirling the wine in my glass and then after. I try to keep the descriptors as straight-forward as possible. I want them to be meaningful to the reader. Then I move on to the flavors, with the same attention to detail. Along with flavors I describe the weight of the wine in my mouth, the amount of acidity and the amount and type of tannins if present. Finally I describe the length and character of the finish of the wine. Is it short, medium or long? Does the wine finish with flavor or tannins or a combination of both? The flavors and aromas that are often the most interesting in wine are secondary flavors that develop as a result of winemaking decisions and aging in the bottle. I&rsquo;m thinking of the toasty aromas and flavors that develop as a result of aging on the lees, or spice and cedar notes from oak aging and the leather and earthy flavors that develop in red Bordeaux wines with bottle aging. The most unique aroma I remember sensing in a wine is cumin &mdash; in a beautiful bottle of 2012 Storm &quot;Moya&quot; Pinot Noir from South Africa&rsquo;s Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Wine memories, they are the best!</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Nancy Brazil</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Pull That Cork</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>I taste a lot of wine. In the beginning I was intimidated to write a tasting note for fear I would taste something wrong. For the most part I believe people taste what they taste. However, upon embarking on the WSET Level 2 certification I realized there are correct and incorrect wine assessments. Sometimes the &ldquo;correct&rdquo; read on the wine is a nuance. For example, stating a wine has medium- acidity when it actually has high acidity would be considered incorrect. When it comes to naming aromas and flavors in a wine the sky is the limit, almost. It would be incorrect to say a Chardonnay tastes like plums as much as it would be to say a Pinot Noir smells like gardenias. My biggest tasting note pet peeve is when the writer chooses poetry to explain the wine. A poetic tasting note is equivalent to poor driving directions. A tasting note is not the time to try to impress with descriptions that require a thesaurus. I now utilize the WSET Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting in order to provide clear insight to the wine consumer what I am experiencing with the wine. I have tasted a few unique flavors but once I taste them I can identify them with some regularity. A few of my favorites are lychee, dreamsicle and probably the most unusual is mercurochrome (a topical antiseptic for minor cuts), in a tasting note I would write it as medicinal.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Michelle Williams</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Rockin Red Blog</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> <em>One of the most distinctive and unique flavors in wine that I have fallen in love with is salinity. I now crave it, which is amazing to me since I am a mountain girl, not a beach fan. It astounds me how the environment can instill itself into the fruit and become such a dominant feature of the wine. Describing aromas and flavors in wine is a difficult task. Just because I smell a specific aroma and taste a particular flavor does not mean that another person will respond to the wine the same way. That is one of the attributes of wine that I love. It is a personal experience. Some flavors are more common and thereby easier to describe in my notes. Others are more unique and difficult to portray. When it comes to tasting notes, I am tenacious on two intertwined beliefs. Everyone&rsquo;s palate is unique and you should drink what you like, not what someone else tells you to drink. I believe, these opinions make my approach to tasting notes a little different. With each new wine poured into my glass, my objective is always the same. I strive to be able to connect with the wine and provide descriptors so that in the future, I, or anyone reading my notes, can create a mental image and envision what it is like to sip and savor that particular wine, not be told whether it is a good wine or not. My goal is to remain consistent with each tasting by following the same format every time I taste. Through the years, admittedly, I have tweaked and revised that format, but as of recently I have settled on a modified WSET Level III tasting sheet. After being introduced to this format at the last Wine Blogger&rsquo;s Conference in Lodi, California, I concluded the design to not only be simple to follow, but readily accepted by many.&nbsp; A complete picture is created by guiding the reviewer through the three main attributes of sight, smell and taste. This allows me, in my opinion, to provide a complete picture of the wine tasting experience.</em><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Lori Budd</strong><br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>Dracaena Wines</strong></a><br /><br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br /> </p> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 article6985