Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jean-Louis Chave in Wine Spectator Insider

Outstanding scores for Jean-Louis Chave were published this week on Wine Spectator's Insider newsletter. The Chave Selection Hermitage Blanche 2012 received 94 points, while his L'Hermitage Blanc 2014 was awarded 98 points!

See full reviews here.

The Chave family is based in a small village on the northern right bank of the Rhone.  There have been Chaves growing vines on the famous Hermitage hill since 1481. Gerard Chave took over from his father in 1970 and rapidly achieved megastar status due to the extraordinary quality of his wines and has since passed on the winemaking responsibilities to his son Jean-Louis. The Chave’s methods for all their winemaking are traditional farming, super low yields, full ripeness, and minimal manipulation. Their unmatched meticulousness continues through five centuries to render venerable expressions of the purest of Rhône terroir.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wine of the Week - A.A. Martilde Bonarda

Often referred to as the Tuscany of North Italy, Oltrepò Pavese lies North-west of Lombardy and is one of the largest wine-producing areas in the country. This week, A.A. Martilde's Bonarda is highlighted. This wine is actually made from Croatina grapes, which are distinct from the Bonarda of neighboring Piedmont. The wines are fruity and approachable at a young age, and are one of the particular specialties of this part of Lombardy. Food pairings include salami, cheese, and local game such as rabbit and wild boar. An excellent foil to fattier food. 

Located in Lombardy, Oltrepò Pavese is home to Azienda Agricola Martilde. Here in 1991 Antonella Tacci and Raimondo Lombardi decided to leave their jobs in Milan and make this their new home. The previous owner had died some fifteen years earlier and the grounds were in a state of abandon, so the couple renovated the buildings and cellars while also replanting some of the vineyards – though they did retain the older vine areas, some up to 90-100 years old. Martilde is certified organic, with 3 hectares converting – as such all grapes and treatments applied to them are grown according to organic rules. Each vintage, all manipulations in the vineyard are kept to an absolute minimum. In the cellar, a similar style of non-intervention is practiced, with the goal at all times to produce the best possible wines that are also compatible with the vintage, using vinification to enhance the inherent characteristics of the grapes.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Virna Barolo in James Suckling

This month Virna received outstanding reviews from James Suckling; most notably the Barolo “Cannubi Boschis” 2013 which was awarded 97 points! 


The Borgogno family has owned vineyards in Barolo since 1720, and have always attached particular importance to the work carried out in the vineyards and the selection of only the best grapes. TheVirna label was created in 2001, when Virna Borgogno became proprietor of her family’s estate. Today the estate stretches out over an area of around 12 hectares, producing wines from grapes grown on its own vineyards located in historic crus in the Barolo wine-making area. Though the wines are from different crus, each one represents the heritage and tradition of the Barolo region.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wine of the Week: Raphaël Chopin Régnié "La Ronze"

This week's featured wine is from one of our newest producers, Domaine Raphaël Chopin's Régnié AOC vineyard. One of the most recently recognized Cru in Beaujolais, Régnié is known to be fuller bodied with red currant and raspberry notes when compared to the other Crus in this category. While both the Domaine and its classification have been established recently, the vineyard itself is over 100 years old and is thought to have been the first site where the Romans planted vines in Beaujolais.

Régnié "La Ronze" has a vibrant purple hue and a spicy nose with strawberry and cherry notes. On the palate fresh raspberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant along with spicy mineral notes are balanced by structured yet fine tannins. The Régnié "La Ronze" would pair beautifully with roasted duck and vegetables, chicken with morels, and traditional stuffed cabbage.

Located in Lantignié in Beaujolais is Domaine Raphaël Chopin, a property of about five hectares of vines in Morgon, Régnié and Beaujolais Villages. The Domaine is made up of young vines planted in 1989, which are next to the oldest, gnarled vines planted in 1905. Raphaël’s philosophy is to be respectful of the terroir and the vines in order to offer the best of each vintage. He practices lutte raisonée, and most of the treatments used in the vineyard are of natural origin, such as sulfurs and copper. Vinification is semi-carbonic at a low temperature.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Wine Advocate Reviews Herdade do Rocim

Wine Advocate's Mark Squires takes a comprehensive look at Herdade do Rocim's current line up. The melding of both new and traditional styles leaves Squires impressed, as he chooses to highlight some standouts:

"...They are showing off some monovarietals never seen before, like the Touriga Nacional and the Alicante. The 2016 Alvarinho is the debut vintage. The Amphorae wines (first vintage: 2013) are finally making their way here, too. The Lisboa wines from Vale da Mata are also here, showing about as well as they ever have".

Check out the complete review here.


What better way to celebrate Bastille Day than with a glass of French wine. Santé! ... #bastilleday #frenchwine #drinkfrench #blog #winelover #tgif #vino

via Instagram

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Wine of the Week: Castellaccio Valénte

Castellaccio Valénte is an expression of  true Tuscan grape history. It is 70% Sangiovese and 30% Ciliegiolo Foglia Tonda and Pugnitello. While these varieties have practically disappeared from local winemaking, Castellaccio is dedicated to the recovery and enhancement of these native grapes. The grapes are cultivated using only natural methods and meticulously cared for during all phases of growth, with particular attention given to the period of maturation. They are vinified in the winery using indigenous yeasts. 

The Castellaccio Valénte is a dark, luminous ruby red color with predominant aromas including refined spices, sour cherry and black currants, balsamic notes, vanilla and resinated aromas of mediterranean pine; a highly classical expression of a native tuscan wine. On the palate the tannin is dense and elegant, and heading towards a soft, velvety feel. For an ideal pairing, match with local products, such as robust pecorino cheese, pappardelle alla lepre; egg noodles in a strong-sauce made from wild hare, or grilled meats like a Bistecca Fiorentina steak. 

Podere Il Castellaccio is situated in Castagneto Carducci, in the Livorno area of Tuscany. Alessandro Scappini founded the winery in 2009, but the estate has belonged to his family since the 1960s. The estate is situated on the hills along the Costa degli Etruschi, at an altitude of 100-160 meters above sea level in the world-famous Bolgheri area. The vineyards occupy 3.5 hectares and are planted to Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Foglia Tonda, Pugnitello, and Cabernet Franc. Podere Il Castellaccio is the process of organic certification and the ultimate aim of the winery is to become a certified biodynamic producer in the near future.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wine of the Week - Gérald Dubreuil Bugey Cerdon Sec

The small appellation of Bugey has only about 500 ha of vines in total and is located near Savoie. The AOC specializes in Cerdon, a low-alcohol sparkling wine made by méthode ancestrale, which is a traditional way of making the lightly sparkling, medium sweet wine.

The Dubreuil family has been growing vines in Bugey for three generations. Gérald’s grandfather, Victor, was one of the first in the area to produce Cerdon using the méthode ancestrale. Starting with only 0.5 hectares, within three generations, the family has acquired seven hectares of land in Poncin, a small village between Lyon and Geneva.

Gérald entered the family business in 1998, after earning a BTSA in viniculture and winemaking. Since 2007, when his father retired, he has been solely responsible for the operation. He has great respect for the environment and in 2016 created a company named Harvest Meryem that produces organic grapes.