France, Spain, Washington State and Germany. Bounce around the wine world Saturday from 3 to 6pm as we explore the exciting portfolio of the Opici Wine Company with Paul our savvy consultant. We have a new Provence rosé, a bone dry Rhine Riesling and a high-scoring Washington State Bordeaux-style blend among the five offerings we will be pouring. Stop by, sip and chat with Paul, the Mora’s staff and myself. the entire line up is on the jump page.
Johannishof Riesling Qualitatswein Charta 2009 $15.99
91 Points – Wine Spectator, December 2010
Chateau Beaulieu Rose Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence 2010 $11.99
86 Points – Wine Spectator, Web Only 2011
Domaine de Dionysos Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne La Cigalette 2009 $16.99
91 Points – Wine Spectator, May 2011
Bodegas Hispano Suizas Bassus Premium Utiel-Requena 2006 $17.49
88 Points – International Wine Cellar, July/August 2009
(25% bobal, 20% each of cabernet franc, syrah and merlot, and 15% petit verdot)
Waterbrook Red Mountain Meritage 2005 $32.99
90+ Points – Wine Advocate, June 2008
“The 2005 Meritage is composed of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Petit Verdot, 16& Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 10% Malbec.
Here are my notes from the tasting. From the time of this writing through Thursday June 23
the wines are steeply discounted, after that the prices shown here prevail. It was a
very nice line up. All the wines were new to me, or at least new vintages. The most used descriptors of the day
were “balance” and “elegance” The Chardonnay was not too oaky, the Sauv Blanc didn’t taste like
grapefruit juice, the Merlot had a lot more going for it than oak and fruit and the Cabernet was
a masterpiece. There is something special about great Napa Cabernets. Since three of the five wines were from
the historic Freemark Abbey Winery in Napa, a little background is in order.
Freemark Abbey was established 125 years ago with the usual ups and down and ups again with the prohibition era.
The name does not refer to any monastery but rather is an amalgamation of the founder’s names: Charles Freeman, Marquand Foster and Abbey Ahem.
The winery is known for its prize vineyards sites; Bosche and Sycamore which yield excellent Cabernet grapes as well
as their participation at the famous “Judgement of Paris” in 1976 where they were the only American’s
to field two wines, Cabernet and Chardonnay. Here’s my take on the wines after a couple of laps
around the tasting table:
Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc “The Fumé” 2009
Price: $10.99 90 Points – Wine Advocate, February 2011
Fumé is such a misnomer, the proprietary term “Fumé Blanc” first bandied about by Mondavi to
distinguish a certain style of Sauvignon Blanc has made the distinguishing styles even more difficult. The Murphy-Goode “Fumé” has
a healthy dose of Semillon in the blend and sees some barrique making it much more like Bordeaux Blanc
than anything from the Loire. Be that as it may, the wine is lovely and balanced with subtle citrus and melon notes
and a fleshy roundness that keeps you coming back for another sip, a perfect wine for chicken or shrimp.
Freemark Abbey Chardonnay Napa 2009 Price:
$19.99 92 Points – Wine Enthusiast, November 2010
A really elegant white Burgundy style Chardonnay. The wine is only partially barrel fermented and the
agind is part in stainless tanks and part in French oak. so it has nice apple notes and a hint of creaminess
but more from lees contact than from exposure to oak. Funny thing is the divergence of the descriptions
in the Wine Enthusiast and the Wine Advocate’s reviews. WE describes it as a fat California oak-fruit bomb and
WA describes it as an elegant “vibrant Chablis-like zesty Chardonnay”. I don’t know what Wine Enthusiast was tasting
as I agree with Advocate’s description which goes to show you there is no substitute for coming to our tastings and
trying before you buy!
Ray’s Station Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast 2007
Avery nice value priced Cali Cab sourced from Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties.
It has a pure fruit driven nose of cassis and dark cherry with a lively palate and a crisp
clean finish, nicely balanced and a real crowd pleaser at the tasting.
Freemark Abbey Merlot Napa 2008
Price: $20.99 94 Points – Wine Enthusiast, May 2011
The nose and palate on this one has rich plum scents and flavors with hints of wood and spice
and definitely the classic “Rutherford dust” dustiness, that mineral quality reminiscent of being on a
a dusty road. It is subtle and pleaseant and adds a dimension to the wine. This is a very elegant Merlot
Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosche Rutherford 2005
Price: $80.99 95 Points – Wine Enthusiast, June 2010
The Rutherford breeding is evident in this wine as well, it is very dense and opaque with deeper plum, cassis
herb, oak and the minerality attributable to the prime Bosche vineyard source for the grapes. The tannins are
resolved and seductive and the finish hints at dark cocoa powder and anise. A really fine and elegant wine.
|Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza
Rioja Reserva 2004 1.5L; Buy Now
What a great gift for dad,
The 2004 Remirez de Ganuza Rioja in magnum rated 97 points by Wine Advocate!
This is a real collector’s item, packed in individual wooden cases.
We drank this wine from magnum at a steak house in
Rioja recently and it was wonderful. I’d say it is a drink or hold with a long life ahead of it.
|Single Malt Scotch Club
Send (or receive) one bottle of your favorite spirit each month wrapped and delivered to your door with interesting and useful background on that month’s selection. We carefully select superpremium
spirits each month, you will never see a boring mass produced brand only artisanal liquors with limited production. They are great when you want to be remembered (fondly) month after month by a loved one, a good friend, a business associate or an important client. Many of our club members simply give the gift to themselves as charter members. It’s easy to sign up and you can quit at any time. Please go to
Rich Mora, Mora’s Fine Wines, 280 rt 25A East Setauket NY 11733
call 631-941-4458, email email@example.com
Come by Saturday from starting at 3pm and check out some great new wines from Peggy Fleming’s winery in California, the “Cycle Buff Beauties” Down Under and a delightfully fresh white wine from the French Alps with your tour guide Ted Clark and of course Mora’s great staff. We’d love to see you, if not scroll down for a virtual lap around the tasting table. It’s all there, info, pricing, you can even click and buy but you just don’t get sip and swirl with us. See you Saturday
Pierre Boniface Les Rocailles Apremont Vin de Savoie 2010 $13.99
“Apremont is Pierre Boniface’s signature wine, produced from the Jacquère grape at Les Rocailles, a true earthly paradise nestled in the French Alps. This great value is the perfect introduction to the unique and distinctive wines of Savoie. Delicate and feather-light, it offers green apple and floral aromas on the nose. On the palate, it is dry and extremely refreshing, with crystal clear purity. Enjoy on its own, or pair with cheeses (especially fondue) or simple fish, chicken, or pasta dishes.” -The Importer
Fleming Jenkins Rosé Victories 2009 $14.99
88 Points – International Wine Cellar, July 2010
“(92% pinot noir and 8% syrah) Light, orange-tinged pink. Fresh red berries and tangerine on the nose, with a subtle floral quality adding complexity. Plump raspberry and soft citrus flavors… Finishes broad and silky, with a repeating raspberry note.” -Josh Raynolds
Misfits Wine Company Cycle Buff Beauties 2009 $15.99
Rating and review for previous vintage:
89 Points – Wine Advocate, December 2009
“The purple-colored 2008 Cycle Buff Beauties is composed of 80% Clare Valley Malbec and 20% Barossa Valley Shiraz. It presents a nose of pepper, violets, black cherry, and plum leading to a supple, elegant wine with ripe, savory flavors, good balance, and 2-3 years of aging potential. Drink it from 2011 to 2018.” -Jay Miller
Fleming Jenkins Syrah Madden Ranch Livermore Valley 2007 $44.99
93 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, March 2010
“…The winery skates to the fore (again) with this rich and generous bottling whose lovely, somewhat exotic blending of ripe blackberries, dried spices and whispers of milk chocolate are accurate precursors to the deep and inviting flavors to follow. Supple at entry and gliding effortlessly across the palate at first impression, the wine displays its somewhat stern, tannic side by the time it finishes. Set it aside for three to five years before you bring it back for an encore.”
|Galician River||Valdeorras “the valley of gold”|
Driving from Ribera del Duero to Toro to the northwest corner of Spain was like going from Arizona to Seattle in one afternoon. We went from dry and dusty rolling hills inland to the lush green hills and mini fjords of the Atlantic climatic zone of Galicia. We also went from beef to seafood and from the well established Tinto de Toro grape and Tinto del Pais to the Godello, Mencia and Albariño varieties of the northwest. Honestly the countryside looked like Ireland or New Zealand. We drove into the area called Valdeorras or “The Valley of Gold”, a beautiful countryside of steep hills covered in pines with hillside vineyards apparently growing out of hillsides made of slate. One thing that struck me throughout Spain is the lack of terracing on some really steep vineyards. I’m not sure why erosion doesn’t wipe them out. I know there is terracing in the Douro river valley and in some of the mountain vineyards of Priorat but I didn’t see any in Valdeorras or Malaga. Strange.
|Arcelle & Me||Godello Vineyards|
At the top of one of these hills in the midst of a mixed growth forest we met with Arcelle Fernåndez del Palacio the vineyard manager and Allistair Gardiner the winemaker/enologist. Gardiner is a transplanted New Zealander who (except for the Gallego Spanish) must have felt at home in this terroir. The grapes are another story. They are unique to this area and actually have been brought back from the edge of extinction. After some thirty years of re-cultivating Godello, a variety that dates back to the Romans, there is a total production of only 500 hectares planted at present. So the oldest vines of the true indigenous grapes date back to the 1980′s. The winery however is a bit older.
|Monasteiro de Xogoaza||Arcelle & Soledad|
The winery is the 12th century Godeval Monastery then called The Monasteiro de Xagoaza and founded by a Templar knight of Malta, sort of a warrior monk home from the crusades. The monastery was a religious, cultural and administrative center for a large part of the Valdeorras valley. This was a wonderful trip to another place and time. A little corner of medieval Spanish viticulture that’s been brought back and is doing well. We had a wonderful lunch in the banquet hall of this Monastery. We started with traditional grilled pulpo (octopus) with olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, then arroz con bogavante (rice with langostino) and a dish that was a lot like the Spanish custard (flan)
Regular Price: $16.99
91 Points – International Wine Cellar, November/December 2010
Regular Price: $7.99
A delightful fresh crisp rose, 100% Garnacha with blackberry and strawberry flavors
Regular Price: $6.99
88 Points – International Wine Cellar, November/December 2010
A ridiculously cheap fresh tank fermented Garnacha from Aragon, the home of Garnacha. This one can take a light chill and is a perfect pizza, burger or picnic wine
Regular Price: $8.99
88 Points – International Wine Cellar, November/December
Regular Price: $16.99
91 Points – Wine Advocate, April 2010
This wine is an incredible bargain, the old vines are grown practically next door to the Alto Moncayo vines. The big difference between this and Veraton is that Veraton is barrel fermented and aged
Regular Price: $29.99
89 Points – Wine Spectator, June 2011
Regular Price: $41.99
strong spice, licorice, toast, nut and mineral flavors. Very balanced, very ready to drink and very well integrated, an awesome wine
Last minute addition
|$16.99 buy now/more info|
I love the idea of Dolcetto. It is not sweet as the name implies but light crisp and dry and the good ones have a fruity heart, like this one. That core of red fruits along with the good acidity make it mouthwatering and appealing, especially in the hot weather. It is also a winner for white meats and fish. Great with salmon and tuna or grilled or roasted chicken.