Saturday Tasting Archive:Tasting with Ted- French wine bargains June 30, 2012

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Products Here’s the weekend line up of French wine bargains from Cots de Gascogne, Languedoc, Savoie and Cotes du Rhone with Ted.
More info/Purchase online: L’Escargot Sauvignon Blanc Cotes de Gascogne 2010

“L’Escargot is a Southern French Sauvignon sourced from fruit grown principally on the Domaine de L’Herre in the heart of the Cotes de Gascogne. This has vitality, freshness, energy and class. Beautifully crisp and fresh Sauvignon. The perfect match for seafood. This wine will put many a Sancerre and Pouilly Fume to the test. We love it, and we’re sure you will too!” -The Importer

More info/Purchase online: Pierre Boniface Roussette de Savoie les Rocailles 2010

90 Points – Wine Advocate, April 2012
“The Boniface Les Rocailles 2010 Roussette de Savoie (they label without the added name “Altesse”) is the finest of its kind that I can recall from this address. Scents and juicy, palate persistence of pineapple and fig tinged with lemon and tangerine rinds as well as smoky buckwheat offer in essence an unusually sweetly-fruited but typically pungent expression of this genre. Waxen-textured and expansive, it finishes with persistent pungency, piquancy and smokiness but more than enough primary juiciness not to mention sweet citricity to have broad appeal. This is both an excellent value and an excellent place to discover the wiles of Altesse. It should drink well for at least another three years, though I am most interested to experience it again this year.” -David Schildknecht

More info/Purchase online: L’Escargot Rose Cotes de Gascogne 2011

“This NEW top quality Rose from a domaine in Cote de Gascogne. Early harvest Cabernet (75%) Merlot (25%) grown on clay limestone soils in temperate mountain and ocean influenced climate, delivers a precise nervy rose with loads of bright fruit character.” -The Importer

More info/Purchase online: Puydeval Rouge Vin de Pays d’Oc 2010

“A distinctive blend crafted by winemaker Jeff Carrel, Puydeval is based on Cabernet Franc, which thrives in the cooler microclimates of the generally hot Languedoc region of Southern France. This iconic, eponymous, and admittedly unusual wine has quickly gained a fervent following for its originality and for delivering outstanding value. Big, rich, concentrated and intense. A ripe, polished and well-balanced wine, offering spicy aromas of black cherry and blackberry, with hints of anise, and just a touch of earthy character.” -The Importer

Domaine Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2010

More info/Purchase online: Domaine Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2010

91 Points – Wine Advocate, June 2011
“As for their other values, the 2010 Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Cinsault) displays loads of ripe flavors. It is very concentrated for a Cotes du Rhone, and is actually an amazing wine. Classic garrigue, black cherry liqueur, lavender, licorice and spice box are all present in this full-bodied, intense, and rich Cotes du Rhone that sells for a song. This is a sensational effort to drink over the next 4-5 years, although it might last even longer. Great bargains continue to emerge from Domaine Grand Veneur as well as from their negociant arm of the business, labeled Alain Jaume.” -Robert Parker

Wine Geek Alert: Wines of Savoie from Pierre Boniface

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Pierre Boniface – Les Rocailles
Pierre Boniface wines are produced at Les Rocailles, a true earthly paradise nestled in the French Alps. When Pierre took over from his father he had a modest business, farming 20 acres and buying grapes from another 20 on handshake deals. Les Rocailles is now one of the biggest and best producers in Savoie, with nearly 50 acres owned and grapes purchased from nearly 60 more! Apremont is the signature wine, accounting for 70% of the production.
Growers like Pierre usually look forward to passing their domains on to their children, but in this case, it was just not meant to be. His daughter Miriam is a computer systems architect (who recently interrupted her doctoral studies to get an MBA from Wharton) and his son is literally a rocket scientist (with a PhD in ballistics, he now works on jet engine design for Pratt & Whitney). Pierre subsequently sold the business to Guillaume Durand and Alban Thouroude, two young men (born and bred in Savoie) with MBA’s from the University of Grenoble. All of the winery/vineyard staff has stayed on, and Pierre will continue to actively consult for 5 years. We can confidently report that quality has never been better! -from the importer, Hand Picked Selections

Featured wine: Pierre Boniface Roussette de Savoie les Rocailles 2010

More info/purchase online: Pierre Boniface Rousette de Savoie les Racailles  2010

Tasting Notes: Offers aromas of country hay and citrus with light
floral notes. Vibrant fruit and a voluptuous texture on the palate.
Serve With: Excellent with simple fish or chicken preparations, it can also stand up to richer dishes including veal, butternut squash risotto and more. – from the importer Hand Picked Selections


Featured wine: Pierre Boniface les Rocailles Apremont Vin de Savoie 2010

More info/ purchase online: Pierre Boniface les Rocailles Apremont Vin de Savoie 2010

Tasting Notes: 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.

Serve With: Enjoy on its own, or pair with cheeses (especially fondue) or simple fish, chicken, or pasta dishes. -the importer

The people behind the vines: Napa’s historic Freemark Abbey Winery

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About the winery

For a young country 126 years is a long time to be in the wine biz and Freemark Abbey established in 1886 has survived prohibition and several changes in ownership and had two wines representing the United States at the famous “Judgement of Paris” tasting in 1976. Yet through all the changes  the original, handmade stone winery house built in the 1890’s still stands and their vineyard holdings in Napa produce prime Cabernet Sauvignon. Freemark Abbey owns the Bosche vineyard and a 1972 Bosche Cab was featured at the famous “judgement of Paris” in 1976.

The vineyards were originally established in the late 1800’s by Josephine Tychson. There is an abundance of excellent women winemakers and proprietors now but it was very rare amongst the pioneers of the California wine industry. The first change of ownership was in 1939 when Charles Freeman, Marquand Foster and Albert “Abbey” Ahem bought the place and gave it its current name “Freemark Abbey” which is an amalgamation of the three owner’s name and does not refer to a monastery. Through the years Freemark Abbey has stuck to their guns and made excellent, traditional varietal wine from top Napa vineyards. They helped to make Napa history and are an integral part of it as well.

Freemark Abbey wines available at Mora’s

Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosche Rutherford 2005  rated 95 points Wine Enthusiast  more info/purchase online
Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2003 on sale, save 25% more info/purchase online

Red Wine Value Alert: Cotes du Rhone 91 points from Parker- $13.59

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Purchase Grand Veneur online

Anyone one on a budget that loves those lusty Southern French varieties like Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, knows about our Cotes du Rhones section. It’s all about “Apellation Controleé” in France and the big names or Apellations are expensive for example Pauillac in Bordeaux, Pouilly-Fuisse in Burgundy or Chateauneuf du Papes in the Rhone valley. So save a lot of money and get good but less famous wine by going for the Bordeaux labeled “Medoc”, the Burgundy labeled “Macon” or the Rhone valley wine labeled simply “Cotes du Rhone”? After all this little beauty is made by Alain Jaume who has a killer old vines Chateauneuf du papes that can set you back $100/bottle. His more youthful and simpler Cotes du Rhone is cheaper by one order of magnitude and has a top score from Robert Parker, the review is down below. You will have to judge for yourself whether the difference in price is warranted, but that is a discussion for another day. We’ll be pouring this wine Saturday June 30 at the shop, you’ll have to get your own bottle of the Chateauneuf du papes.

Domiane Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve

Domiane Grand Venuer, Vision Wine Brands, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
Review by Robert Parker
“Wine Advocae” issue #195 (Jun 2011) Rating: 91
Drink 2011 – 2016  Cost: $13-$16
“As for their other values, the 2010 Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Cinsault) displays loads of ripe flavors. It is very concentrated for a Cotes du Rhone, and is actually an amazing wine. Classic garrigue, black cherry liqueur, lavender, licorice and spice box are all present in this full-bodied, intense, and rich Cotes du Rhone that sells for a song. This is a sensational effort to drink over the next 4-5 years, although it might last even longer. Great bargains continue to emerge from Domaine Grand Veneur as well as from their negociant arm of the business, labeled Alain Jaume.” Robert Parker

Saturday Tasting Archive: The Line up from June 23, 2012: Argentina, California, France & Germany

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Everyone’s favorite wine consultant LL Cool Paul leads us in a very cool degustation of divine wines.
Goulart Torrontes Mendoza 2010
More info/buy online: Goulart Torrontes Mendoza 201090 Points – International Wine Cellar, March 2011

“Very pale yellow. Intriguing aromas of lemon, minerals, menthol and white pepper; reminded me a bit of grüner veltliner. Then tactile and supple but dry, with good density and an almost sauvignon-like tang to the flavors of minerals, ginger and flowers. Should make a very flexible wine at the dinner table. This is made from the more minerally Mendocino clone of torrontés, not the Salta clone.” -Stephen Tanzer

Johannishof Riesling Qualitatswein Charta 2010

More info/buy online: Johannishof Riesling Qualitatswein Charta 201093 Points – Wine Spectator, April 2012

“Concentrated tropical fruit flavors of melon and mango are rich and creamy, leading to peach and apricot notes in the mix as well. The vibrant finish is long and precise, accented by plenty of ginger and spice. Drink now through 2022. 400 cases made.” -Kim Marcus

Sebastiani Merlot Sonoma County 2007
More info/buy online:Sebastiani Merlot Sonoma County 200787 Points – Wine Enthusiast, March 2011 “A pretty, polished Merlot, medium bodied and dry, for drinking now. Shows cherry, blackberry and currant flavors, with a kiss of smoky oak, and feels smooth through the finish.” -Steve Heimoff

Aquinas Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010
More info/buy online: Aquinas Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010“Intriguingly aromatic, this wine opens with bold notes of black raspberry, ripe black cherry, tobacco and the smoky toast of new French oak. A rich array of flavor follows ranging from blackberries and Mexican chocolate to cherry reduction sauce and even a hint of Herbs de Provence. The ripe, full fruit flavors are held in check by its moderate acidity and hearty tannins resulting in a beautifully balanced Cabernet Sauvignon with a toasty wood finish.” -The Winery

Chateau Haut-Surget Lalande-de-Pomerol 2009

More info/buy online: Chateau Haut-Surget Lalande-de-Pomerol 2009

89 Points – Wine Spectator, Web Only 2012
“Smoky, toasty notes give this red a modern feel, with its sweet black fruit flavors and firm tannins. It’s quite round, yet fresh, nicely focused, with a spicy finish. Drink now through 2018.” -Thomas Matthews

Vina Alicia Malbec Las Compuertas 2008

More info/buy online: Vina Alicia Malbec Las Compuertas 2008

92 Points – Wine Advocate, December 2010
“The 2008 Malbec (100%) spent 12 months in new French oak before bottling without fining or filtration. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it sports a nose of wood smoke, Asian spices, incense, lavender, and black cherry. Concentrated and intense on the palate with layers of fruit and excellent volume, this mouth-filling effort will evolve for several years and provide peak drinking from 2012 to 2020.” -Jay Miller

Monday morning tasting review: The Line up June 16, 2012, whites, rose and “brown wine” carried the day

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Here are some highlights of our  tasting with John Rooney of Polaner Selections, yes they also make jelly.
Rey Santo Verdejo Rueda 2011

More info/buy online: Rey Santo Verdejo Rueda 2011

This is classic white from  Rueda (pronounced “Rrrrrrrrrrr-ooo-wetha” and run all the syllables together)  this grape, Verdejo will remind you most of Sauvignon blance. The wine is intense, concentrated and very fresh tasting with very great pains taken to harvest late at night (it is brutally hot by day) and using a nitrogen blanket on the grapes during the crush to protect the freshness and prevent any oxidation during the crush. The result is a wine with bright acidity and a vivid complex of fruit aromas and flavors, kind a of like a well behaved New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It show lots of mineral, grapefruit, lime and gooseberry along with some tropical fruit qualities like kiwi and green pineapple. It is very well balanced  yet bold and perfect with freshly grilled fin fish. Very good.

Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cahill Lane Russian River Valley 2009

More info/ buy online: Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cahill Lane Russian River Valley 2009

This beauty comes from the Cahill vineyard planted right in front of Walter Hansel’s front door.  It is a classic, full blown, barrel fermented, full malo rich buttery California Chardonnay beautifully done. long complex flavors of toffee, popcorn some stone fruit and apple with a bit of underlying lees and mineral quality. It is concentrated and powerful yet not heavy, I’d say it is medium to full bodied and would give many a premier cru or grand cru white burgundy a run for its money. Given the league it is playing in, the Walter Hansel Cahill Lane RRV Chardonnay is very reasonably priced and was a crowd pleaser on Saturday.

Crios de Susana Balbo Rose of Malbec 2011

More info/ buy online: Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec 2011

Don’t miss our Summer Rosé Sale going on right now! As our consultant, John Rooney describes it, this is a red wine drinkers rosé, deep color reminiscent of cranberry crysatllite with a ripe raspberry cranberry aroma and quite a kick at 14% alcohol. This would pair very well with sushi or hibachi dishes, yes it would handle beef and soy sauce as well as tuna or salmon sahimi very well. It also is great with beet and goat cheese salad and pizza. Served very well chilled, especially when its hot out.

Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Madeira New York Malmsey NV

More info/buy online: Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Madeira New York Malmsey NV

This is the “brown wine” I refer to. wiki has basic background on what Madiera is I’m becoming a Madiera  addict. Despite its heft and its rich intense flavors, the dry-ish finish keeps you coming back for more. Sometimes too much more. I love the nutty, brown sugar, organge marmalade, spice and wood flavores and it went very will with the slightly stinky washed rind cheese we put out from C’est Cheese of Port Jeffersond A beautiful drink before or after a meal

It’s 90°F, It’s Rosé Weather!

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Summer Rose-ay!
Shop our Summer Rosé Sale

When the summer comes, the menu lightens up, the clothes lighten up and even though the wines lighten, white wine doesn’t always suit my needs. Rosés are great very well chilled, on their own and with food and we list 25 different rosés on our site both still and sparkling. We also have a great special- 20% off select roses on line! This will run for the summer and I will personally remind you of it every time there is a heat wave. Good hunting

Saturday Tasting Archive: The Line up June 16, 2012

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These were the wines from our tasting with John Rooney of Polaner Selections, yes they also make jelly.
Rey Santo Verdejo Rueda 2011
Purchase Rey Santo Verdejo Rueda 2011 

“Estate grown grapes. The Verdejo vineyards are 15 years old and the Viura vineyards are 30 years old. Javier Sanz is in their 4th generation growing grapes and making wine in Rueda. They are located in La Seca. They have very hot and dry summers, but at night the temperatures drop dramatically so there is a big day night temperature shift. They farm the vineyards sustainably. The vines are wire trellised. Harvest takes place very late at night during the coldest part of a day. After harvest the grapes are placed under a blanket of nitrogen to prevent oxidation as the grapes are crushed. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks.” -The Importer

Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cahill Lane Russian River Valley 2009

Purchase Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cahill Lane Russian River Valley 2009 

92 Points – Wine Advocate, February 2011
“The 2009 Chardonnay Cahill Lane (from the old Wente clone off a vineyard in front of Hansel’s house) is a deeper wine offering notes of white peaches, pears, white currants, unbuttered popcorn, hazelnuts and subtle smoke. It is a perfumed, medium to full-bodied white that admirably showcases the purity and elegance of this vintage for Burgundian varietals.” -Robert Parker 

92 Points – International Wine Cellar, June 2011
“Bright gold. Leesy, mineral-accented pear skin, peach and smoked meat aromas expand with air, picking up pungent floral and iodine qualities. Sappy, deeply concentrated orchard fruit and melon flavors are brightened by zesty minerality, which adds focus and grip to the back end. Smoothly blends power and finesse, finishing with outstanding thrust and smoky persistence.” -Josh Raynolds

Crios de Susana Balbo Rose of Malbec 2011

Purchase Crios de Susana Balbo Rose of Malbec 2011 

88 Points, International Wine Cellar, 2012
“Perfumed aromas of red berries and flowers. Cleanly made and lively, with a lovely hint of sweetness to the red berry and spice flavors. Very attractive, fruity rose with dusty tannins and very good finishing lift.”

Il Conte Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Purchase Il Conte Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 

“Intense aroma of dried fruits and flowers with flavors of savory black cherry fruit with velvety soft tannins and good fruit acid balance. Serve with grilled or roasted white and red meats, dishes flavored with mushrooms, garlic and rosemary. Excellent with polenta dishes and game.” -The Importer

Corvidae The Rook 2010
Purchase Corvidae The Rook 2010 

Corvidae’s “Rook” blended red wine is a crowd-pleaser. It’s a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah from three distinctly different vineyards – Ironbird Vineyard, in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley, Erickson Vineyard, in Washington’s Yakima Valley, and St. Isidore Vineyard, in the high priced and trendy Walla Walla appellation. 

Corvidae’s Rook is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 8% Merlot. The ripe and rich Cabernet flavors prevail – juicy loganberry, cassis, and a base note of black plum and cherry. Syrah adds richness, and Merlot smooths the velvet finish.

Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Madeira New York Malmsey NV

Purchase Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Madeira New York Malmsey NV

92 Points – International Wine Cellar, June 2011
“Medium amber. Powerfully scented bouquet combines cherry compote, cola, molasses, pipe tobacco and brown sugar. Lush and expansive in the mouth, offering sweet pit fruit and orange marmalade flavors and a deeper note of espresso. Clings tenaciously on the finish, which leaves notes of bitter cherry and candied flowers behind.”

Portugese wines from Anselmo Mendes, master of Vinho Verde

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The Vinho Verde region of Portugal:
Is the extreme north of the country between the Douro and Minho rivers. Vinho Verde is not green wine or wine from unripe grapes, it is  a regon known for lighter, fresh whites often bottled with a little residual carbon dioxide to give it a slight tickle of bubbles on the tip of the tongue. The serious whites come from the subregions of Moncao and Melgaco where the Alvarinho grape is cultivated. This grape is also famous in Spain and  produces a fuller more aromatic wine which to me is the ideal summer seafood wine, especially shellfish which is big in the Portugese and Spanish diet of that region.

About Anselmo Mendes
Vinho Verde supremo Anselmo Mendes makes Vinho Verde under his own label and consults to, among others, Quinta do Ameal, Casa de Cello (both Vinho Verde) and Douro producer Alves de Sousa. Mendes was born in Moncao,  Vinho Verde’s hotspot for Alvarinho, a grape which he’s “studied” for 20 years.    His grandfather grew grapes and Mendes studied agronomy at university before completing a Masters in oenology, followed by a short but intensive period of work experience in Bordeaux.  He started his own label in 1998, making wines from 25 small parcels.

About the wine

We recently discovered one of his wines, the Anselmo Mendes Passaros Alvarinho/Trajadura blend from Moncao (pronounced “Monshow”  there is a squiggle under the letter c) and have the 2011 vintage in stock. It is crisp and very fresh with citrus and some stone fruit aromas and a lively acidity that makes it great for food. Mendes’ wines are NOT your typical 8% alcohol “Portugese lemonade” type Vinho Verde. This man is devoted to exploring the full potential of the white wines of his region and even produces versions with extra skin contact (sometimes called “orange wines”), barrique aged wines and a passito or dessert type Alvarinho. I’m looking forward to trying them all some day.

“Nano-batch” Bourbons from Buffalo Trace distillers:1396 different taste combinations

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“The Single Oak Project is the most extensive bourbon experiment ever undertaken.

For over two centuries Buffalo Trace Distillery has been a pioneering leader in quality and innovation. The Single Oak Project is our most inventive and comprehensive experiment yet.

It all started with 96 individually selected American oak trees that differed according to the number of growth rings per inch and growing location. Each tree was then cut into two parts – top and bottom – yielding 192 unique tree sections. A single barrel was constructed from each unique section. Prior to construction we varied the stave seasoning times. The 192 barrels were then charred differently. These single oak barrels were then filled with different recipe whiskeys, at various entry proofs and aged in a variety of different warehouse styles.

We believe that this experiment will allow you to directly compare the impact of 7 different critical variables across 192 bottles for a total of 1,396 taste combinations. None of the 192 bottles in the complete set are exactly alike.”  – From the Buffalo Trace Distillery