Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ventisquero Grey Carmenere 2013, Single block, Maipo Valley, Chile

From Ventisquero's Trinidad Vineyard this Carmenere is aged 18 months in French oak barrels.

Dark ruby paints the glass, medium weight but opaque, aromas of verdant black fruits, anise and cassis and fresh cherry pie. Beautiful silky tannins leaning against an even brighter acidity testify to a smooth, clean and smoky palate of blackberry, barnyard and finishes with green pepper.

The flavors settle nicely, yielding to quite an earthy and lengthy finish. This. Is. Wonderful!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Barta Winery Old King Vineyard Furmint 2012

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of getting schooled on a grape I know nothing about, Furmint! The place was the Hungarian Embassy here in NYC which was the perfect setting for my introduction to some of the wines of Hungary.

Furmint, a superior white grape variety indigenous to the Tokaj region, is the undisputed king of Hungarian grapes and being one that ripens late, shows a smooth acidity and some unique minerality. I immediately noticed a similarity to Riesling, especially on the aromatics, but there are also hints of Chardonnay's texture. Here is the first in a series of several I had tasted.

Barta Winery Old King Vineyard Furmint 2012
From Old King Vineyard in Mád, this Furmint is aged in used oak barrels for 7 months. Straw colored and clean in the glass with sharp, nutty aromas piercing a bubble of summer fruit. On the palate are muted flavors of citrus playfully complementing an ethereal minerality and mild acidity.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Auction to Benefit Lake County Wildfire Releif

Please help to rebuild the community devastated by wildfires last fall in Lake County, California.

An auction, LakeCountyRising organized by Congessman Mike Thompson, Grape grower Andy Beckstoffer and Auctioneer Fritz Hatton will take place on Sunday March 20, 2016 in St. Helena at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone to support the long-term rebuilding efforts after the devastating Valley Fire in southern Lake County.