Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wine of the Week - Paul Thomas Chavignol Rosé

Our world tour of rosé rolls on, with our featured bottling - an icon of French wine out of the Loire Valley. The Chavignol region of Sancerre is set apart by its Kimmeridgian limestone soils that are particularly suited to the Pinot Noir used to make this wine. The Paul Thomas Chavignol Rosé is truly a classic, with the International Wine Review giving the 2018 vintage 91 points, saying:
"Light red color. This is an outstanding example of Chavignol rosé with orange citrus and cherry skin scents. It’s full in the mouth with a perfumed palate of raspberry, rhubarb and lingering notes of melon. Great acidity and freshness. Made from 35 year old, organically cultivated Pinot Noir vines grown in the domaine’s 6 ha vineyard in Chavignol."

Domaine Paul Thomas is run by Raphael Thomas, son of Paul. Raphael originally intended to pursue a career in physics, but after his father tragically passed away at the end of the harvest in 2000, he made the decision to carry out his father’s legacy by returning to Chavignol and taking over management of the winery. From just six hectares of vines, Raphael produces 90,000 bottles. 75% of the total production is Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre) while the remaining 25% is Pinot Noir (either Sancerre Rouge or Rosé).

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Recipe Thursday: (Indoor) Summertime Pairing

Holy heat! We are all about alfresco and poolside dining in the summer, but when there’s a heat wave, we’d best keep our munching and sipping indoors. It’s a great time to give the grill a break, and give our nestled pots and pans some love in the kitchen. This is when we bust out a classic, comforting recipe, such as Spaghetti Carbonara from The New York Times, and pair it with an equally classic glass of Cesconi Pinot Grigio

Photo Credit: The New York Times

Immensely food-friendly, crisp and clean, the Cesconi Pinot Griogio cuts right through the rich sauce in the Carbonara. It’s the perfect (indoor) summertime pairing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wine of the Week - Cesconi Pinot Grigio

We hear you - it's hot. So to avoid overcomplicating things, our featured wine this week is a fresh, crisp white that's just perfect for warm-weather drinking. The Cesconi Pinot Grigio comes from the Alpine region of Trentino, which provides this wine with more depth and complexity than is commonly associated with Pinot Grigio. The nose on this wine shows yellow apple, peach, and pear, while layers of fruit continue on the palate, balanced with fresh acidity and a long, crisp finish.


Perched high above Trento on banks of the Adige River is the hill of Pressano. In these rugged Alpine surroundings, the Cesconi family tends their vineyards planted to both red and white grapes. The current proprietors can trace their family roots back to the 17th century, and building on more than two centuries of cultivating and producing wine in Trentino, the four Cesconi brothers - Lorenzo, Roberto, Alexander and Franco - as well as their father Paul, continue the family tradition. The family has a deep appreciation and respect for the achievements of their ancestors, however, they seek to build on this history by perfecting the traditional practices of the Domaine. To that end, the brothers work entirely organically in the vineyards and continue to move towards biodynamic methods.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Virna in Wine Review Online

The 2015 vintage of Virna's Barolo Cannubi has recently received a 99-point score from Michael Franz writing for Wine Review Online. He gives the wine glowing praise, saying:
"I have the highest respect for Virna Borgogno’s wines, and put my money where my mouth is…by buying at least one or two of her wines in her portfolio in most years, ranging from the Riserva through the cru wines and right down to the normale Barolo DOCG bottling. This, however, is the most striking young wine I’ve ever tasted from the estate, and from a vintage that is not my favorite. Perhaps I should write “admirable” rather than “striking,” as what is really special about this is its magical purity."

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. Cannubi is arguably the most historic vineyard in Barolo, and this wine comes from the Cannubi Boschis hill, which is special because it combines the noted limestone soils of the rest of Cannubi with a healthy dose of sand. This soil makeup, along with lower altitude and cooler temperatures, courtesy of the proximity to the Alba and Tanaro Rivers, combine to produce a wine that has both elegance and richness. This wine is made from the Nebbiolo clone Lampia.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Rosé and Grilled Lamb Chops

A full-bodied, robust red is often a go-to when meat is involved in a meal, but what about when you’re headed to an outdoor barbeque and the temperatures outside are quickly heating up? This week we’re here to share a summer wine pairing that will go wonderfully with the meatiest of barbeque dishes, such as Grilled Lamb Chops (Cooking Light), but will still significantly cool you down in rising temperatures. 

Photo Credit: Cooking Light / John Autry; Photo Styling: Cindy Barr

Enter the Château Ollieux-Romanis Rosé Corbières "Cuvée Classique”, a silky rosé full of flavor and just enough body to stand up to luscious, grilled lamb. Slathered in chimichurri sauce, this lamb packs a punch with fresh herbs, echoing the garrigue notes in the rosé.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Don’t miss this Thursday’s tasting at K&L Hollywood! Hope Shiverick will be pouring the Chave Selection lineup, including this ‘Silene’ Crozes-Hermitage. July 18 from 4:30-7:00 pm. #chave #jlchaveselection #crozeshermitage #rhonevalley #rhonewines #instoretasting #hollywood #sunsetandvine #klwines #blog


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Wine of the Week - Château Ollieux-Romanis Rosé "Cuvée Classique"

Today's featured rosé comes from the south of France and looks the part. However, there's a twist to this wine - the Château Ollieux-Romanis Rosé Corbières "Cuvée Classique" is more than just a summer sipper. Garnering 90 points from the Wine Advocate, reviewer Joe Czerwinski writes:
"Plump and medium-bodied, with a silky texture, the 2018 Corbieres Rose Cuvee Classique is a rare blend of 60% Grenache Gris, 25% Cinsault and 15% Grenache Noir. Scents of berries and hints of garrigue and licorice give this rich, textural rosé something extra. Worth pairing with meat dishes."

Located in Boutenac, just south of the village of Corbières in the Languedoc region, Ollieux-Romanis is now one of the largest privately owned wineries in Corbières, spanning some 130 hectares. Along with the Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussanne, all of which are quite common to the Languedoc, the Bories also cultivate Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Merlot, and Mourvèdre, the “unapproved” varietals going into their fun entry-level VdP label Capucines. Ollieux-Romanis is also currently working its way to fully organic status.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Poolside Rosé

What’s the best thing to drink during a heat wave? Water, of course. But also, rosé! It’s called summer water for a reason. Not only does the cold, pink-hued drink make the heat bearable, it also has extraordinary food pairing abilities on hot, sunny days. This week we’ll be dining poolside with a bottle of refreshing Château Lamothe 'Miette' rosé and whipping up some yummy bites, such as Watermelon Salsa and a Grilled Summer Pizzette with Caramelized Peaches, Burrata, Arugula and Crispy Serrano from Food Network.

Photo Credit: Food Network / Chris Santos

The depth of flavor and acidity in the ‘Miette’ rosé makes it a versatile match with many types of food. It does exceptionally well with spicier foods, such as salsa and serrano pizzette, as the fresh palate helps to tone down the heat.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Weingut Max Ferd. Richter in the Wine Advocate

Stephan Reinhardt, writing for the Wine Advocate, has just reviewed the 2017 and 2018 vintage in the Mosel, including the wines of Max Ferd. Richter. We say definitely don't sleep on their Estate and Classic Rieslings, but the whole range of 2017/2018 wines show two strong vintages. Reinhardt says:
"The wines I tasted here in spring this year are fascinating and include several highlights, of which I'd like to point out the Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett as one of the finest Rieslings of the category I tasted this year. I highly recommend trying it." 

The estate of Max Ferd. Richter has been passed down from father to son for the past 300 years. The current reins are held by Dr. Dirk Richter, the 9th generation, and will eventually be passed down to his son Constantin. The estate produces world-class Rieslings from some of the most esteemed vineyards in the Mosel, and all production comes from estate holdings. The terroir of their steep vineyard sites is generally grey slate with different compositions of ferruginous (Brauneberg), mineral quartz (Veldenz) or clay (Graach, Wehlen, Mülheim) soils; those deeply influence character and flavor of the wines. Strict attention to quality and detail is paid to all vines from the QBAs on up through the Eisweins. Through the entire line of wines, their hallmark balance is evident in every glass. Throughout the estate, only all-natural fertilizers, sustainable farming, and hand-harvesting are employed. Vineyards are treated as needed so in some vintages some vineyards are entirely ecological. They use pomace, compost and stall manure as fertilizers. Application is in late winter and early spring. Overall, they are trying to minimize waste, water and energy consumption.

Wine of the Week - Lamothe Rosé 'Miette'

Now that we're in the thick of summer, it's time to ramp up your rosé consumption! This week's featured bottle is the perfect option for hot, sunny days. 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, the Château Lamothe 'Miette' is a bright salmon pink wine that shows notes of strawberry and cherry, with a round, fresh and dry palate.


Located in the commune of Haux southwest of Bordeaux’s city center, Château Lamothe has actively produced estate-bottled wine since the 16th century. Its renovation in the 19th century yielded the distinctive façade now pictured on the label of each of the Lamothe cuvees. It is currently run by The Néel-Chombart family, who have owned the property since 1956. The Château currently spans 80 hectares of clay and limestone slopes in prime Bordeaux growing conditions. Over the past fifty years the family purchased more hectarage under vine and converted what were underground galleries below the chateau into cellars ideal for aging wine. Winemaking technology was also modernized and vastly improved. Today Château Lamothe’s distinctive label is recognized world-wide, and enjoys quite a following. In an effort to increase sustainability, Château Lamothe is working toward ISO 14001 certification, which sets out the criteria and maps out a framework that a winery can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Fourth of July Spread

With the anticipation of fireworks, parades and red-white-and-blue everything, we’re working up quite an appetite for the long weekend. We’ll need a few pairings to tide us over, so this week we’ve lined up a tasty spread of festive eats, courtesy of Bon Appetit, and a lineup of domestic wines to be sipped alongside them:

-- To kick things off, we’ll start with a Slow-Roasted Onion Dip and the Last Light Edna Valley Chardonnay. This aromatic Chardonnay tones down the pungency of the onions and brings out the slight sweetness of the roasted garlic.

-- Next, we’ll move on to a couple of first course/side dishes that go beautifully with a pair of refined Pinot Noirs: The Potek Santa Barbara Rancho La Viña Vineyard and Drew Family Wines’ “Fog Eater.” Try these with an elevated Fourth classic, such as Potato Salad with Old Bay and Potato Chips, or get the grill started with a Grilled Halibut Niçoise with Market Vegetables

Photo Credit: Alex Lau / Bon Appetit

-- With the grill up and running, we’ll of course be throwing on some classic burgers and pairing them with a hearty red, the Clesi Paso Robles Aglianico. Don’t worry though veggie eaters, this rich and complex wine will go just as well with an umami-rich Lentil Burger.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Wine(s) of the Week - Domestic for the 4th of July

It's a great (long) weekend for celebrating and we are highlighting a group of California wines that will be perfect for your 4th of July festivities! Leading off is a textured Edna Valley Chardonnay from Last Light Wine Company. The wine is right gold, with concentrated aromas of fresh pineapple, orange blossoms, lychee and brown spice. On the palate notes of stone fruit and orange meringue are rich and creamy in texture followed by warm spring honey.

Next are a pair of Pinot Noirs. The first is the Santa Barbara Rancho La Viña Vineyard from Potek, of which Antonio Galloni, writing for Vinous, says: "Sweet perfumed and medium in body, the Rancho La Viña is super-refined, a polished wine endowed with terrific palate presence and textural resonance. Red and purplish berry fruit, lavender, spice, plum and raspberry build into the vibrant finish." Further north, Drew Family Wines' Pinot Noir "Fog Eater" beautifully portrays the cool-climate Anderson Valley AVA. Galloni says of the 2017 vintage: "The 2017 Pinot Noir Fog Eater is gorgeous and also one of the finest wines I have tasted from Jason Drew. Bright, floral and beautifully lifted, it is all class. Freshly cut roses, raspberry and mint give the 2017 its distinctive, high-toned personality."

And finally, the Clesi Paso Robles Aglianco is a great go-to for the grill. This wine is deep red in color. The aromatics are floral and bright in contrast to the riper red wines of Paso. This is followed on the palate by firm and robust, dry tannins, black fruits, and minerality.