Monday, April 30, 2018

Virna in James Suckling

James Suckling has reviewed the 2014 Barolo vintage for his eponymous publication and the early news for Virna Borgnono is great! Considered a more difficult vintage, 2014 hasn't been lauded like other recent years, but Suckling finds plenty to like, saying: "What I like about the 2014 Barolos is the balance and finesse of the wines...I am interested in buying and drinking 2014 Barolos myself, as I wait for other vintages such as 2013, 2011 and 2010."

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. The Virna 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.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Recipe Thursday: What to Cook When You Don't Feel Like Cooking

No matter your passion or patience for cooking, there are days when devising a menu, going to the store and conjuring up something fabulous seems more difficult than running a marathon. With a little pre-planning, you can whip up something quick and fresh that will impress your guests. Seafood brochettes are a great option as the ingredients are flexible, the cook time is only about 10 minutes, and they look elegant and taste wonderful. The recipe from This Is Your Cookbook calls for cod, scallops and prawns with peppers and onions, but you can grab any combination of seafood and vegetables that look good at the market.

Photo: This Is Your Cookbook

While the skewers get a good soak and the seafood and vegetables absorb the zesty marinade, pour yourself a glass of Marie-Pierre Manciat’s Mâcon "Les Morizottes" because most of your work is done. All that’s left is throwing the brochettes in the oven or on the grill. The “Les Morizottes” is unoaked with fresh fruit and honey notes, a refreshing combination with the simple yet satisfying seafood brochettes.

What do you cook when you don't feel like cooking?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Wine of the Week - Marie-Pierre Manciat Mâcon "Les Morizottes"

With milder temperatures finally here, it's time to lighten up. And what better way than with this unoaked Chardonnay from Marie-Pierre Manciat? Neal Martin, writing for Wine Advocate says: "The palate is smooth and honeyed with flecks of white chocolate and ginger, an easy-drinking Mâcon with impressive weight and concentration and a welcome tang of spice on the finish."

Marie-Pierre Manciat was born into a family of vignerons that have been making wine since 1871. From a very young age, she spent her school vacations in the cellars and vineyards, soaking up knowledge and experience, all of which helped her when she took over the reins of her family’s estate in 2002 and became a sixth-generation winemaker. Her family has instilled in her a strong sense of tradition, time-honored winemaking practices, and the value of quality over quantity. She now maintains 22 hectares with every bit of the passion she began with, and each year it is reaffirmed with the birth of a new vintage. As she says, this job teaches you to be humble every day— winemakers simply help develop what nature gives them.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Congratulations to @drewfamilywines for their stellar press in @wineenthusiast! Read more about the wines - link in bio. . . . #drewfamilycellars #wineenthusiast #97points #editorschoice #cellarselection #mendocino #andersonvalley

Drew Family Wines in Wine Enthusiast

Drew Family Wines has scored big with Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast. With scores ranging as high as 97 points, three Cellar Selections and two Editors' Choice picks, it's safe to say that the 2015 vintage from the winery is one to look out for! Of the Estate Field Selections Pinot Noir, Gordon writes, "It's hard to imagine a wine with more personality and complexity than this absolutely intriguing mountain-grown Pinot." Congratulations to Drew!

With over 25 years in the wine business in Central and Northern California, Jason Drew brings a vast depth of knowledge and a holistic perspective to his winemaking. Drew focuses on small lot coastal Pinot Noir and Syrah from Anderson Valley and the Mendocino Ridge. For his sourced fruit, he has long standing partnerships with several local vineyard growers who share his passion for sustainable and meticulous farming practices. Single vineyard sources are chosen for their climate, clonal selection and complexity of soil type. Winemaking practices remain focused on traditional methods that include whole cluster and native yeast fermentations, hand punchdowns and no fining or filtering.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Recipe Thursday: Rosé, Where's the Meat?

Think rosé should always be paired with light dishes and appetizers? Think again. Some rosés can stand up to the meatiest of dishes. In particular, there’s nothing better than an Italian Nebbiolo rosé, such as Montaribaldi’s Rosato "Sigiuja", paired alongside a juicy grilled steak. If you’re primarily a red wine drinker, this is a wine you’ll want to have in tow once barbeque season rolls around.

Photo: Dan Goldberg / Sunset

The Sigiuja rosato is full bodied, with intense aromas of strawberries and crushed flowers, the perfect accompaniment to Sunset’s Grilled Rib-eye Steaks with Miso Butter. The umami flavors of the miso butter accent the savory notes of the Nebbiolo rosé. There’s nothing frilly about this rosé pairing; red wine drinkers rejoice!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Domaine J.L. Chave in Vinous

Josh Raynolds reports on the 2015 and 2016 vintages in the Nothern Rhône for Vinous and finds fantastic things to say about Domaine J.L. Chave, particularly their inaugural 2015 vintage of single-vineyard Saint-Joseph Clos Florentin:
"Made from fruit grown in Chave’s Clos Florentin, in the family’s hometown of Mauves, it is among the top wines of the appellation, to my taste...Jean-Louis always knew that, someday, it would wind up as a stand-alone wine, it took until the outstanding 2015 vintage for it to actually happen. To call it a must-buy for northern Rhône junkies is an understatement."

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 Chaves' 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.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wine of the Week - Montaribaldi Rosato "Sigiuja"

Rose is not always the first choice for red wine lovers, however this week's featured wine is an exception. The Montaribaldi Langhe rosato is made from 100% Nebbiolo, the same Nebbiolo that goes into their elegant and structured Barbaresco; and has the structure and complexity to prove it! This rosato is full bodied, with intense aromas of strawberries and crushed flowers. It's bone dry with great acidity that pairs with a variety of meats and dishes. In addition to being an complex and elegant rosato, Sigiuja is also close to the Taliano Family. The wine is named after Luciano's three daughters, who also were the artists behind the playful label!  

In 1968 Pino Taliano founded Taliano Guiseppe. He acquired vineyards throughout the Piedmont and his desire was to create a diverse array of holdings that could highlight the different soils, climatic conditions and traditional varietals of the Piedmont. In 1994, Pino’s son Luciano took over the reins and changed the name of the family business to Azienda Agricola Montaribaldi. The name Montaribaldi refers to the ancient Roman road that linked the winery to the different vineyards throughout the Piedmont, thus creating a philosophical and geographical umbrella that tie Luciano’s forward-looking Domaine to the rich viticultural history of the region. The vision of the Montaribaldi reflects the mantra of “place over process” and the winemaking is done in such a way as to bring this to fruition.