Thursday, January 30, 2020

Recipe Thursday: Quintessential Winter Pairing

We’ll drink any quality wine any time of year, regardless of varietal, but why is it that a crisp Sancerre tastes so wonderful in the summer and a full-bodied Barolo begs for our attention in the winter? Well, the food certainly contributes -- freshly shucked oysters, enjoyed poolside, is the perfect companion for Sancerre. Meanwhile, a cold winter evening spent fireside calls for both a heartier dish, such as Epicurious’ Wild Mushroom Risotto, and a more robust wine, such as Virnas Barolo Sarmassa

Photo Credit: Epicurious / Nigel Cox

The high fat content of the butter and cheese in the risotto helps to soften the tannins in the Barolo, while the earthy truffle-like characteristics of the wine marry beautifully with the wild mushrooms in the dish. We have no problem spending chilly evenings with this gorgeous pairing.

James Suckling Reviews Virna

2019 was a year of fantastic reviews for Virna from James Suckling. We've put together a compilation here. Kudos to Virna for some stellar scores and press!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Wine of the Week - Virna Barolo Sarmassa

This week's featured wine is one of the single vineyard Barolos crafted by Virna. This small estate has been making great strides in recent vintages, producing excellent wines that have been recognized by the press, like this Barolo from the Sarmassa Vineyard. Monica Larner of the Wine Enthusiast says of the 2014 vintage:
"I am very happy with these new releases from Virna. The 2014 Barolo Sarmassa builds intensity as the wine opens in the glass. It brings on dark fruit, grilled herb and spice—much of which seems to also come from the oak aging. The wine is aged in both tonneaux (both new and used) and botte grande for one year. Sarmassa delivers a contemporary interpretation of Barolo, but there is enough structure and textural richness to pull it all together with seamless integrity and power. Bottle production is very small— only 2,500 units were made."

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.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bernard Rémy in Wine & Spirits Magazine

Champagne Bernard Rémy, a smaller house that is steadily gaining more recognition, has been featured in Wine & Spirits Magazine. Their NV lineup has been reviewed and there's much to like! Of the Brut Rosé, "(t)his is a red-meat rosé, with its fragrant and lusty red-berry fruit and herbal notes. It’s gentle but structured by chalky abrasion and the tannic feel of fruit skin, like the skin of a red pear." The Grand Cru Brut is: "(t)ight at first, seemingly unforgiving in its armor of brisk acidity, this opens into a wine that’s all chalk savor and red-berry gentleness. Firm and trim, it will develop with a year in bottle." And consistent favorite Carte Blanche Brut has: "(s)cents of strawberries and green apples infuse this wine’s limestone acidity with pale fruit. It’s round, smoky and soft, an appealing apéritif."

Founded in 1968 in the southerly village of Allemant in the heart of the Cotes des Blancs, Champagne Bernard Rémy debuted on the domestic market in France in the early 70’s. Bernard’s son Rudy began working under the tutelage of his father in 1996, and completely took the helm at Champagne Bernard Rémy in 2008. Still though Bernard is never too far from sight. This father-son collaboration now offers a fine range of local, Grand Cru, vintage, and rosé Champagnes. The sophistication of the wines and approachable price points highlight Champagne Bernard Rémy’s persistent quest for perfection in each aspect of their product.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Recipe Thursday: 20 Minutes and Eight Ingredients

What’s better on a weeknight than an entire meal made from scratch in less than 20 minutes? This week we’re whipping up a delightful Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage. Just eight ingredients -- the stars being the kabocha squash and pancetta -- is all it takes to construct this flavorful, savory pasta from Bon Appetit. 

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit // Photo by Christina Holmes, Food Styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, Prop Styling by Kaitlyn Du Ross

This meal calls for an equally flavorful wine, so we’re pouring a glass of
Domaine Raphaël Chopin's Beaujolais-Villages "La Savoye". This lively Gamay brings forth exuberant aromatics and soft tannins, which complement, not overpower the pasta. Plus, the hint of spice on the wine pairs nicely with the sage notes in the pasta.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wine of the Week - Raphaël Chopin Beaujolais-Villages "La Savoye"

This week we're featuring a bright and lively red that will make you want to sing. Get in a musical mood, because Domaine Raphaël Chopin's Beaujolais-Villages "La Savoye" is a symphony of flavor and personality. By respecting nature and practicing a non-interventionist style of winemaking, Chopin coaxes the spirit of Gamay out of his grapes, showing a clear sense of place in his wines. The 2018 vintage in Beaujolais was a warm vintage, so expect exuberant aromatics and soft tannins. Semi-carbonic maceration adds some punch and a hint of spice wraps everything up. Enjoy slightly chilled and celebrate this joyful wine!

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. Chopin only adds a minimal amount of sulphites, does not filter, and uses only native yeast. In five years, the domaine will be certified organic.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Recipe Thursday: Cozy Soup and Cider

Photo Credit: Taste of Home
Winter is a great time for hunkering down and eating hearty foods, such as thick soups, stews and more. We like to spend a lazy Sunday making a double batch of Taste of Home’s delicious Hearty Butternut Squash Soup, and freeze half for a quick and cozy weeknight dinner down the road.

We can’t think of a better way to indulge in a comforting soup than with a glass of cider, such as The Drew Brut Cider “Sur la Mer”. The fresh mineral notes on this cider cut right through the thick soup, and the apple flavor marries beautifully with the onion and warm spice notes in the soup.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Jean-Charles in Burgundy Report

Jean-Charles has recently been profiled in Bill Nanson's Burgundy Report. Nanson praises the domaine, saying: "A more than competent range of wines here – all very correct and reflecting their origins – despite such a diversity of labels. There is much to enjoy…" We've long championed these wines as excellent examples of their appellations at friendly prices, and it seems that the press agrees!

The Fagot family has been located in the small village of Corpeau since 1860. Just outside Chassagne-Montrachet, it is located near some of the most prestigious vineyards in the Cote de Beaune, so it would be fair to say that wine is in the family’s blood. Jean-Charles is part of the 5th generation of Fagots in the area and the third generation to own vineyard acreage in Chassagne-Montrachet. On his estate vineyards, Jean-Charles employs lutte raisonée, a method of growing in which chemical intervention is employed only when necessary. The wines are vinified traditionally and naturally, utilizing oak foudres and 12-14 month long aging periods in the Fagot cellars.

Herdade do Rocim in the Press

Alentejo producer Herdade do Rocim has been in the press lately, so here's a roundup of all their recent features! Take a virtual tour of the region with this Forbes piece "What Grows Together Grows Together: The Food and Wines of Portugal's Alentejo." Interested in amphora wine? Sarah Ahmed, a.k.a. The Wine Detective, spends the annual Amphora Day at Rocim learning more about talha wines. Wine & Spirits Magazine highlights the 2018 Mariana Branco as one of its "Best Buys." We're always excited to see this dynamic winery in the news!

Located in the Lower Alentejo region in the southern half of Portugal, between Vidigueira and Cuba, lies the estate of Herdade do Rocim. Catarina Vieira, daughter has been coordinating the development of the estate and she believes that Alentejo has the unique conditions required to produce world-class wines. Since purchasing the estate, Caterina invested greatly in the land by completely regenerating the vineyards and building a new state of the art winery. She believes that Rocim has great potential for producing high quality wines with worldwide recognition, and has hopes of expanding the brand under the umbrella of quality for the region. She has created a project that gives value not only to Alentejo, but to Portugal as a whole.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Wine of the Week - Drew Brut Cider “Sur la Mer”

Many people like to lighten things up a little in January - so this week's feature is the perfect fit! The Drew Brut Cider “Sur la Mer” is a nice alternative to wine and is also a little lower in alcohol. This dry cider is made from heirloom apples harvested from 60 year old trees. This estate orchard is certified organic and is located at an elevation of 1,300 feet only three miles from the Pacific Ocean. From the winery: “We have been restoring our 60 year old apple orchard for the last 14 years. When we purchased this ranch, this old orchard had fallen on hard times. It hadn’t been pruned in 15 years and the grass was four feet tall. You can only imagine the work that has gone into bringing this old orchard back. This cider is a celebration of this effort and a means to keep it viable for the future.”

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, January 9, 2020

Recipe Thursday: A Cozy Winter Meal

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs
Photo Credit: The Stay At Home Chef
Happy New Year! With the holidays behind us, it’s time to put away the festive serving pieces and bring out the good ol’ crock pot. There’s nothing like an aromatic slow cooker recipe to provide extra warmth from inside out on the coldest of days. Short ribs can be made a few different ways, but we love a version made in the crock pot, such as The Stay At Home Chef’s Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs

Six to eight hours later, the house smells amazing, the short ribs are done and we’re about ready for a glass of wine. Thankfully, we have a bottle of the Herdade do Rocim Olho de Mocho Riserva Tinto on hand, the perfect full-bodied Portugeuse red for a hearty meal. The layered black fruit notes in the wine balance out the savory, caramelized notes in the short ribs, while the solid tannins gracefully stand up to the meaty dish.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Millésime Bio 2020

It's the start of wine fair season and producers Shiverick Wines represents are going to be presenting at Millésime Bio in Montpellier, France January 27 – January 29. Also in Montpellier on January 26 - 27, BIOTOP will be held, and Château Revelette and Clos Ornasca will both be present at this satellite event. If you'll be in attendance and would like to meet with any of the producers attending, please let us know and we will facilitate a meeting.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Wine of the Week - Herdade do Rocim Olho de Mocho Riserva Tinto

Our first featured wine of 2020 is a big, bold red that's just perfect for chilly winter nights. Now that the holiday season and its attendant busyness are behind us, it's time to cozy up at home with a delicious bottle of red (roaring blaze in the fireplace optional). The 2016 Herdade do Rocim Olho de Mocho Riserva Tinto is one such bottle, with Wine Enthusiast awarding the vintage 94 points. Reviewer Roger Voss says: "This is Catarina Vieira's single vineyard wine from the oldest vineyard on the Rocim estate. It has density, layered black fruits and solid tannins. Firm, bold and concentrated, this is a fine wine, richly endowed and generous."

Located in the Lower Alentejo region in the southern half of Portugal, between Vidigueira and Cuba, lies the estate of Herdade do Rocim. Catarina Vieira has been in charge of the development of the estate and she believes that Alentejo has the unique conditions required to produce world-class wines. Joining her as General Manager of the estate is Pedro Ribiero. He contributes to the winemaking decisions, as well as running the sales and business affairs of the estate. Since purchasing the estate, Caterina and Pedro have invested greatly in the land by completely regenerating the vineyards and building a new state of the art winery. They believe that Rocim has great potential for producing high quality wines with worldwide recognition and have created a project that gives value not only to Alentejo, but to Portugal as a whole.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Antonella Corda in the Press

Young winemaker Antonella Corda has been making waves at her eponymous property in Sardinia, Italy. This year alone, she has been awarded the coveted Tre Bicchieri, been named a Star of Southern Italy Wines by Decanter magazine, and received 94 points from James Suckling for her 2017 Cannonau (not bad for a wine that retails for less than $25). We can't wait to see what she brings us in 2020. Brava Antonella!

Antonella grew up among the vineyards in a family of winegrowers that stretches back over generations. Her mother gave her a love for the land and her father instilled in her a passion for the work of vinification. Antonella became an agronomist, graduating in Agricultural Sciences and Technology at the University of Sassari and founded her own winery in 2010. She took the reins in hand, transforming it into an ambitious and innovative project that honors its past. She has created a boutique winery capable of producing excellent Sardinian wines worthy of representing the region worldwide. A 40-hectare farm with 15 hectares of vineyard, 12 of olive trees, and the rest left open for crop rotation. Antonella Corda believes sustainable cultivation to be the best way for people to coexist with nature, so it can be passed down to the next generation intact. All of this means that organic fertilizers, integrated pest control actions, and sustainable irrigation systems are utilized in the vineyards.