Monday, November 20, 2017

Hess Collection Allomi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

From Northeast Napa Valley, Hess Family Wine Estates, a fifth-generation wine company produces this beautiful and intense Cabernet. Spicy aromas pervade and an assault of black fruit, cassis and raisins ensue. The palate shows hefty tannins balanced with bold and ripe black cherry, blackberry and stone fruit along with a sweet echo reflecting oak, vanilla and spice. Perfect for a pairing with a Thanksgiving Holiday dinner.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Castel des Maures Cote De Provence Rose Cuvee 2016

This pretty Rose is from the French Riviera on the slopes of the Sauvebonne Valley. The grapes are 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault.

Pale pink in the glass, dry and fruity, fresh and mild. Aromas of ripe peach and pear with mild citrus tones, on the palate similar ripe fruits of summer, raspberry and a good long finish.

This is my go-to Rose this summer, I generally pay around $16 but may be found for closer to $12.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2015

Aged in American and French oak for six months this bright Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington is a soft and fresh white for summertime pairing.

Pale yellow in the glass, opens with a floral blast then aromas follow showing green apples and pears. On the palate is a wave of ocean foam and other reminders of the sea, also a hint of butter, lemon rind, honey and raw oak.

Will pair perfectly with a pasta with shrimp, garlic and oil, also worth a try with a salmon and ginger dish or crab.

14% alcohol, lowest price was online at at $8.99

Monday, August 14, 2017

Anthony Road Dry Riesling 2016

Here is a Riesling from Anthony Road in the Fingerlakes region of New York. Colors of pale yellow, clear in the glass, a nose of lemon meringue, pineapple, floral notes and dried herbs. On the palate subtle notes of peach, pear, lemon rind, pineapple, marzipan and honey. Nice fresh acidity but balanced showing an earthy minerality. Beautiful finish. This is another summertime winner easily paired with a Dover sole and a bargain at $17.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Family of Wine

At the Rockefeller Center Farmers' Market I revisited the Anthony Road Wine Company tent, and as I approached saw a familiar face. It was that of John Martini, one of the owners of the vineyard in Finger Lakes (I later searched this blog to discover I had last spoken to him in 2010 at the Union Square Farmers' Market).

While sampling his wines I chatted him up about what had lured him into the wine business in the first place. Apparently a good friend of his made the suggestion and the idea stuck. So in his early 30's he and his wife Ann bought the vineyard and never looked back. Now after over 40 years they are beginning the process of handing over the reins to their children, who by the way, already encouraged him to update the look of the labels.

I said how lucky he and his wife Ann were to have worked at something with such a passion. I'm sure there were times when they both dreaded getting up before the sunrise and would rather have rolled over and gone back to sleep. His said that even though you're at the whim of the weather, he wouldn't have done it any differently. It's more than just a business... it's a lifestyle, a lifestyle that especially works when you have the support of your whole family. John points to a photo of his huge extended family posed in front the vineyard. There must have been two dozen people in that picture and he went through one by one and listed who they were and what work they had done at the vineyard.

And I realized this man and his family are a throwback to what once was the way things worked in this country. And they are living that lifestyle and making their dream a reality while being stewards of the earth. I salute the Martini family and wish them as much good weather and fortune as they need to continue that dream.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cecchi La Mora Vermentino 2014

This luscious white wine from Tuscany is made with 90% Vermentino and 10% various varietals fermented in small and medium stainless steel tanks for over 2 months.

Pale colors of hay in the glass surrounded by aromas of summertime honeysuckle and freshly cut ripe nectarines.

Fresh bright and juicy on the palate with flavors of white flower petals and hints of banana, tropical fruit and lemon rind.

Pairs very well with shrimp scampi, scallops and especially sushi. This is a treat for $19.99.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlboro, NZ

Marlborough, a region in New Zealand known for its pitch perfect Sauvignon Blancs, has done it again. This is a softer and rounder vintage compared to recent years because of a warm and dry summer. And because the grapes were sourced from various spots in the region it allowed for a wider range of flavors and aromas. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and further texture was added by extended lees aging.

Aromas range from a mild tangerine citrus to ripe summer fruits and flavors showing clear resins, hinting guava notes against an herbaceous backdrop. Clean acidity and a freshness that is clearly indicative of the region and a long smooth finish make this a great value at about $13.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Abadia Retuerta Selección Especial 2013, Spain

What a wonderful succulent red blend from La Milla de Oro (the Golden Mile) of Castillo y Leon - Sardón de Duero, in Spain. Instead of the D.O. classification the producers opted for the more flexible "VdlT Castilla y Leon" allowing a terrific blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah and other varieties like Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Aged for 13 months in French and American oak barrels, this viscous red has thick dark colors accented with heady aromas of cherry pie and dark chocolate. The palate shows a richness that treats the tongue to a bombardment of ripe red and blue fruits through a lens of silky tannins and exquisite balance. What a beautiful treat! This bottle goes for about $30.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Left Coast Pinot Noir 2016

From the Willamette Valley, Oregon, where Pinot Noir is king, this "white" version began as an experiment a few years back. Fermented in stainless steel tanks with limited skin contact, this white shows the best of both worlds (red vs. white) with bing cherry on one hand and peach and summer fruits on the other. Almost clear in the glass, with notes of peaches and honey aromas, then juicy ripe pears atop bursts of the ripest peach of summer counterpointing an earthy minerality. A white with balance and bright acidity and a finish that goes on and on. Perfect for this coming July 4th holiday.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Valdivieso of Chile Brut Rosé

From the Central Valley in the southern area of Curicó where the foothills of the Andes make for cool evenings and allow gentle ripening, this sparkling wine made with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay is made using the Charmat method. The wine is mixed in a pressure tank of stainless steel together with sugar and yeast. The fermentation takes place in the tanks not in the bottle. This method is also used to make Prosecco.

The colors in glass are a deep peach and fine effervescence while aromas of ripe summer fruit play with a note of bread. On the palate an off dry effervescence rises out of an intense bouquet of strawberry, raspberry and peach making for a beautiful and refreshing summer wine.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2016 Barossa Valley

“I’m the Dude, so that’s what you call me. That or, uh His Dudeness, or uh Duder, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.” — The Dude

“Careful man, there’s a beverage here!” 
— The Dude

There sure is!  I know it's not a White Russian, but this Two Hands Gnarly Dudes (Named for the gnarled old Shiraz vines that produce this luscious grape) is the beverage here for "The" Dude on Father's Day. 

And it comes from Australia's Barossa Valley made with 100% Shiraz and aged in French Oak for 12 months.

In the glass the colors are a ruby red with brighter red at the rim. The aromas are a stunning and attractive blend of cassis and underbrush with hints of salumi, herbs and slate. On the palate more blackberry and plum with bold, smoked meats and cigar box. Finishing long and bold with a hit of spice and black pepper. 13.5% alcohol. A great way to wish The Dude Happy Fathers Day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Loveblock Pinot Noir 2013, Central Otago, New Zealand

Produced in New Zealand's Central Otago, a terroir perfectly adapted for a Pinot Noir, Loveblock is surely a special red wine with a delicate but intense signature.

The grapes were cooled for a pre-fermentation cold soak of five days, then warmed and innoculated. Hand plunged twice each day and pressed at dryness, the grapes then underwent fermentation.
Aged 11 months in older oak to retain the pure intensity of the fruit.

Aromas of violets and glycerine touched by herbal infused dark fruits, wafting delicious ripe plums and hickory smoked bacon. On the palate are wonderful fresh strawberries counterpointing mushrooms and black pepper and deep earthy tannins. Fine balance of acidity and tannins with a 13.5% alcohol content and a $37 SRP.