that Conchord won’t fly: New Zealand to deport overweight chef

Wine & Spirits in The News? Comments Off on that Conchord won’t fly: New Zealand to deport overweight chef

New Zealand immigration officials plan to deport a South African chef being obese. reports the UK Sun in the full article below:

AN OBESE chef from South Africa has been told by authorities to leave New Zealand — because he is TOO FAT.

Albert Buitenhuis faces expulsion from Christchurch – his home for the past six years – because he does not have “an acceptable standard of health”.
Despite shedding almost five stone since moving to New Zealand, the chef cannot now renew his work visa.
His wife Marthie said: “The irony is that at the moment he weighs less than when we first arrived in New Zealand and also less than in his first medical, which was accepted by (immigration authorities).”
She added: “We applied year after year and there were no issues. They never mentioned Albert’s weight or his health once and he was a lot heavier then.”
Immigration officials say the 20-stone man would place too much strain on New Zealand’s health services because of the significant risks of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
A spokesman said: “It is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimise costs and demands on New Zealand’s health services.”
The couple appealed to New Zealand’s immigration minister after their work visas were declined in May.
New Zealand has one of the highest obesity rates in the developed world, with 26% of people overweight.

Read more:

Oz Clarke gives Jacquart Champers a big thumbs up in his new book

Wine & Spirits in The News? Comments Off on Oz Clarke gives Jacquart Champers a big thumbs up in his new book

Colorful Brit wine pen Oz Clarke has just published “My Top Wines for 2013”. His tastes in Champs run parallel to mine as I fell in love with Jacquart about 10 years ago. Here’s what he has to say.
Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique NV $35.99 at Mora’s
“They call this Mosaique because its made up of different wines from a whole mosaic of vineyards in the two best champagne zones – the Montagne de Reims and the Cotes des Blancs – and most of them are grand cru or premier cru, the top sites. But that’s not all. This is a non-vontage wine, and 20 per cent of the blend is of old reserve wines kept back to add richness. Add to that a period of three to four years when the wine lies on its yeast lees, soaking up the creamy softness they exude, and … well you’ll be getting thirsty. But it really works. There are so many mellow flavours flickering in and out of the wine: white breast crust, or is it yeasty dough? Probably both. Baked cream, milk chocolate or creme fraiche? All three. Biscuits, fluffy apples, a friendly foaming cascade of bubbles… very good stuff.”

Saturday Tasting Archive: July 27, 2013 Portugal, Greece, France, California, Washington & Spain

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings No Comments

Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices. Every Saturday at 3pm.
Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Vinho Verde 2012 See details Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos Vinho Verde 2012  save 15% through August 1  

“70% Loureiro and 30% Alvarinho. On those nose there’s a minerality and steeliness to the wine. Tighter aromas of pear, Granny Smith apple are more pronounced and the riper white stone fruit of the Loureiro takes more of a secondary role. Great underlying, balanced acidity on the palate. The Alvarinho adds a wonderful roundness and richness and fills out the palate beautifully. The fine minerality of this wine sits nicely below the surface and the finish is lingering and moreish.” -The Winery

Domaine Sigalas Assirtiko/Athiri Santorini 2012 See details Domaine Sigalas Assirtiko/Athiri Santorini 2012 save 15% through August 1 

“75% Assyrtiko and 25% Athiri aged in stainless steel tanks, under controlled temperature. Yellow, with green hues. Aromatic, with citrus and flower blossom. In mouth minerality is evident, as a result of Santorini’s unique terroir. Refreshing acidity, delightful after-taste. Minerality is evident, as a result of Santorini’s unique terroir. Serve with traditional Greek recipes, sea-food, salads, white meat and fruit.” The Winery

Domaine Lafond Lirac Roc-Epine 2010 See details Domaine Lafond Lirac Roc-Epine 2010 save 15% through August 1  

90 Points – Wine Spectator, October 2012
“This has a fleshy feel, with toasty grip well-embedded, allowing the core of plum sauce, crushed blackberry and black tea notes to glide along nicely. Drink now through 2013. 3,500 cases made.” -James Molesworth

Siduri Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2011 See details Siduri Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2011 save 20% through August 1  

90 Points – Wine Advocate, April 2013
“The 2011 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is striking. Crushed rocks, minerals, rose petals and sweet red berries form the backbone in this focused, beautifully delineated Pinot. Nuanced and articulated, the 2011 stands out for its detail, precision and overall sense of harmony. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016.” -Antonio Galloni

Charles Smith Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Smith Columbia Valley 2011 See details Charles Smith Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Smith Columbia Valley 2011 save 15% through August 1  

“Classy and refined, it’s just damn amazing. Casiss, pencil lead, fresh herb and crushed granite. It is satin smooth and elegant, further defined with a super long finish. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 3% Merlot.” -The Winery

Emilio Lustau Solera Reserve Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Sherry See details Emilio Lustau Solera Reserve Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Sherry save 15% through August 1

93 Points – Wine Advocate, August 2012
“The non-vintage Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Solera Reserva reveals a medium amber hue along with a nutty, honeyed, dry personality with great acid.” -Robert Parker 

90 Points – Wine Spectator, February 2012
#82 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2012
“A more flattering style, with an off-dry edge to the walnut paste, hazelnut, date and clove-studded orange notes, which show nice focus and zip on the finish. Drink now. 2,000 cases imported.” -Bruce Sanderson

Sherry 101: About Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Oloroso Sherries

Wine & Spirits in The News? Comments Off on Sherry 101: About Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Oloroso Sherries

Understanding Sherry

Sherry wine comes from the “Sherry triangle” – three cities – Jerez (Sherry) de la Frontera, San Lucar de Barrameda  and El Puerto de Santa Maria in the province of Andalusia. Though its up and down history goes way back, presently things are really down in Jerez and Spain in general, Sherry wines are trending up in London, New York, DC and I hear New Orleans. there is a crazing for small production artisanal products whether its, wine, whiskey or cheese. The focus with many smaller producers of Sherry is to make the genuine article. You are seeing more Fino en rama which is
as close to directly tapping a barrel as you can get.

Truly understanding Sherry requires a sort of  reversal of how we think about wine. Typically, wine’s distinction comes from the vineyard; as vines grow older, they better reflect their origins.

In Sherry, the virtue of age is not in old vines – many vineyards are replanted fairly frequently – but by moving wine through the solera system, where it can sit for decades. That yields rarities like Valdespino’s Cardenal Palo Cortado, which has been aged for what Ojeda calls “the summary of a life” – typically more than 60 years, or the more affordable Valdespino VOS Oloroso Solera 1842 from a Solera – a system of barrels used for wine time travel – established in 1842.

Read the rest at Mora’s Fine Wines…

About oxidative styles of sherry – Oloroso, Palo Cortado, et, al.
That mysterious “Cask of Amontillado” began life a simple still white wine from Palomino grapes grown in the blindingly white chalky “albariza” soil of some vineyard in Jerez. It is then judged, rectified and depending on its character chosen to age oxidatively such as an Oloroso or to begin life under the veil of the “flor” yeast to age biologically as eithera Fino, Amontillado or Palo Cortado. Some of the wine chosen for biological aging (a wine now known as “sobretabla”) goes into a solera (a system of barrels for aging) designated for fino sherry and will always have flor protecting it as it ages for a few years or it will go to a solera where the flor is intentionally allowed to attenute allowing oxygen to slowly oxidize the wine over many years of aging. These latter casks are casks of amontillado, a well know oxidative syle of sherry.In extremely simple terms “Palo Cortado” is Amontillado that is selected for its special character to undergo further oxidative aging, but that’s a whole other blog post. Oloroso sherry are from base wines that are never allowed any flor and oxidize their whole lives long. These are the sherries that are like liquid mahogany. Remember that the magic is in the solera, not the vines. The changes during aging and the subsequent “saca” or withdrawl of Sherry from the Solera are what define a sherry. As Sherry expert and author Peter Liem says “The solera is going to outlive your vines.”

About Valdespino
Valdespino sticks to  traditional methods for Sherry, their original holdings date back to a 1264 land grant from King Alfonso X to one of his knights for help driving out the Moors who didn’t have far to go to reach north Africa.
The history of Sherry is intertwined with the its long history as a major port and being on the frontier (de la frontera) as well as its traditions of Flamenco, horses, bullfighting and gypsies. Somehow, through the time machine of the Solera system Sherry wine encapsulates the antiquity of history the spirit of its people and in the case of the Finos and Manzanilla Sherries, the fresh briny breezes of the Atlantic. Valdespino’s history has left it with resources. When Beam Global, parent company of Jim Beam, began selling off pieces of the historic Domecq label last year, it was only too willing to sell 500 of Macharnudo’s prized acres to add to there already extensive holdings. This house still barrel ferments and ages its wine way beyond the industry average at all levels.

About Fino Sherry
Jerez might best be known for the dark, rich  oxidized styles of Sherry, like amontillado and oloroso, but the Fino style relies on Sherry’s most unique process: so-called biological aging under the protective veil of a skin of  yeast that lays on the surface of the aging wine and known as “flor”. Thus fino requires a particular connoisseurship. The best provide a certain maturity that defies simple fruitiness – one that can confound newcomers.

“They see too much evidence of wine there,” says Eduardo Ojeda, Valdespino’s technical director, “but it is the perfect wine for a wine lover.” Meaning it is not as transformed as the oxidative styles and it still behaves like a
dry white table wine albeit an aged, oxidized and fortified dry white table wine. At that point the similarity ends and a whole new wine taster vocabulary must be invoked. New associations need to be made with this unique flavor provile that has umami elements, that savory quality that is recognized as a 5th taste category alongside sweet,sour, bitter and salty. Fino sherry may remind you of a high quality Sake because of that umami character which by the way
flatters a meal of sushi.

Jerez’s future may lie in some of it’s traditions, like the local speciality of manzanilla, the lightest, freshest, briskest and briniest expression of Fino sherry from the town of San Lucar. These and other particular bottlings represent a few drops in the ocean of Sherry but those drops in the ocean make ripples. At the cellars of Rey Fernando de Castilla, north of Jerez’s main square, director Jan Petterson thinks small. Petterson,built a career working for Sherry houses like Osborne, took over the small Castilla firm in 1999 and grew its business twelvefold, though still tiny compared to the big boys.

The philosophy at Fernando de Castilla is to produce Sherries with extended aging in the solera bottled at lower alcohol levels with no fining or filtering to preserve flavor.

“We’re probably going back to how things were one or two generations ago, when people enjoyed fino with more color and flavor,” Petterson says. One generation ago in the 1970’s Sherry got dumbed down and mass produced. This may have boosted production and sales initially but the beauty of Sherry was hidden and interest died away. Exceptional wines like Jan’s remind you what Sherry is all about.

These are in short supply at retail, but most can be ordered online.
Rey Fernando de Castilla Manzanilla Classic 375ml/$12 Buy Now (Importer: David Bowler Wines)

Emilio Lustau Solera Reserve Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Sherry 750ml/$17 Buy Now (Importer:Michael Skurnik Wines)

Valdespino Palo Cortado Viejo Calle Ponce (750ml/$45) Buy Now (Importer: Polaner Selections) 100% Palomino, sourced from Macharnudo Alto vineyards, 25+ year old vines only, selected from the Inocente and Tio Diego soleras aged total of 25 years minimum in 3 soleras and 4 criaderas.

Valdespino Oloros VOS Solera 1842 (375ml/$26) Buy Now
(Importer: Polaner Selections) VOS (“Very Old Selection”) is sourced from old stores of Valdespino Oloroso with a touch of PX added, oxidatively aged for 20 years minimum in solera established 1842. Deep mahogany color and unctuously rich

Valdespino Oloroso Isabela Cream (750ml/$20)  Buy Now (Importer: Polaner Selections)  Old Oloroso from Valdespino blended with PX from the El Candado solera (75% Palomino Fino, 25% PX). It is blended and aged together with 15 years of oxidative aging.

Saturday Tasting Archive: July 20, 2013 Argentina, California, France, Germany, South Africa

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings No Comments

Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices Saturday at 3pm.
Dr. Loosen Riesling Dr. L 2011 Buy Now Dr. Loosen Riesling Dr. L 2011  save 15% through July 25
“The Dr. L Riesling evokes a walk through an orchard in the late summer: luscious pear, peach and apple aromas retain the crisp sweet tart quality of ripening fruit just before harvest. On the palate, the medium-bodied wine is refreshing and juicy, with zippy acidity balancing bright flavors of pear, apricot, mango and lime. The lush attack is followed by a long finish that is simultaneously sweet and tart, dry and mouth-watering.” -The Winery

90 Points – International Wine Cellar, May/June 2013
“Pale, green-tinged yellow. Complex, bracing aromas of gooseberry, lemon peel, ginger, white flowers and crushed stone. Round and juicy, showing moderate flesh but excellent dusty palate presence to the flavors of citrus fruits, red grapefruit, minerals, fresh herbs and spices. Finishes tactile and brisk, with pungently aromatic, slightly tart hints of green tropical fruits and lime. A real wake-up call to the palate.” -Stephen Tanzer

Patz & Hall Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley 2011 Buy Now Patz & Hall Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley 2011 save 20% through July 25

91(+?) Points – International Wine Cellar, May/June 2013
“(35% new oak): Straw-yellow. Understated but pure aromas of pineapple, lemon, marzipan and nutmeg oil. At once glyceral and brisk, with a rich, supple texture nicely cut by harmonious citrussy acidity. A piquant note of pineapple and firm finishing minerality leaves a fairly dry impression on the aftertaste.” -Stephen Tanzer 

89 Points – Wine Spectator, June 2013
“A nicely done, medium-weight style, offering light creamy oak, cedar, pear and baked apple scents, with a persistent finish. Drink now through 2018. 5,019 cases made.” -James Laube

M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2011 Buy Now M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2011 save 15% through July 25

90 Points – Wine Advocate, December 2012
“Rated, but no tasting note given. Although these wines are normally reviewed by my colleagues David Schildknect in his Languedoc-Roussillon and Alsace reports and Lisa Perrotti-Brown in her reviews of Australian wines, I tasted them during my visit with Chapoutier, so I will include them in this report as they are of high quality and merit attention. I will just list the wines, my score, and the region from which they emerge.” -Robert Parker 

88 Points – Wine Spectator, June 2013
“Firm and moderately ripe, featuring muscular flavors of dark plum, kirsch and graphite, accented by mocha and slate notes. Offers a dense and mineral-infused finish redolent of dark chocolate. Drink now through 2017. 40,000 cases made.” -Kim Marcus

Angulo Innocenti Malbec La Consulta 2010 Buy Now Angulo Innocenti Malbec La Consulta 2010 save 15% through July 25

90 Points – Wine Spectator, June 2012
“This dark, sappy red delivers rich, yet racy, flavors of blackberry coulis, plum skin and kirsch. Compact, with layered notes of cocoa nib, licorice and tar slowly unraveling in the long finish. Drink now through 2014. 1,300 cases imported.” -Nathan Wesley 

90 Points – Wine Advocate, June 2011
“The two wines from Angulo Innocenti are outstanding values. The 2010 Malbec is a glass-coating opaque purple color with an enticing bouquet of spice box, lavender, cherry cola, and assorted black fruits. Savory, ripe, and succulent on the palate, this full-bodied effort has enough depth and concentration to drink well through 2018+.” -Jay Miller

Turnbull Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Buy Now Turnbull Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 save 20% through July 25

91 Points – Wine Enthusiast, March 2012
“Softly delicious, this Cabernet is perfect for drinking now. Its blackberry, currant and cocoa flavors are housed in wonderfully ripe, accessible tannins. Shows the elegance of a superior Napa Cab.” -Steve Heimoff

Mora’s Monthly Midweek Spirit Tasting: Wednesday July 17th, 4-7pm: Revolutionary American Whiskey Tasting with Paul from Opici!-at the shop

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings Comments Off on Mora’s Monthly Midweek Spirit Tasting: Wednesday July 17th, 4-7pm: Revolutionary American Whiskey Tasting with Paul from Opici!-at the shop


Join us for the monthly “Wednesday Night Flights” We conduct a free, fun and educational guided tastings of a wide variety of fine artisanal spirits. These are excellent products that represent excellent value. click here and read more about the line up and I hope to see you all on Wednesday night.

James E. Pepper 1776 15 Year Old Straight Bourbon See details  James E. Pepper 1776 15 Year Old Straight Bourbon 

“A super rare, fine old Bourbon. Over 38% Rye in the Mash Bill and bottled at 92 Proof and not chill-filtered. Rich and full Bodied, a classic old bourbon; honey, chocolate & toasted oak.” -The Distillery 

“(A) Amazing what 15 years in barrel has done to this whiskey. Gorgeous chocolate, lightly burnt caramel, and toasty oak notes — both on the nose and on the body. That dark chocolate character is impossible to get away from, it’s just omnipresent and really quite beautiful. The wood is also well integrated into the spirit, and although I would like a touch more sweetness on the back end, this is a unique and exciting Bourbon, highly worth seeking out. 92 proof.” -Christopher Null,

Koval Single Barrel Bourbon Chicago See details  Koval Single Barrel Bourbon Chicago 

“Koval Bourbon, our newest release, is aged in heavily charred new oak barrels from Minnesota. Its mash bill includes ancient grains, and it is bottled at 94 proof. Grains are sourced from a local organic farmer collective in the Midwest. Made using only the ‘heart cut’ of the distillate, no ‘heads’ or ‘tails.’ Single Barrel. 

“Established in 2008, Koval is the first craft distillery within Chicago’s city limits since Prohibition. We source all of our grains, fruits, herbs, and flowers from the surrounding Midwest region, and we make all of our spirits in house, entirely from scratch – from mashing to distilling, bottling to boxing. Our founders, Robert and Sonat Birnecker, gave up academic careers to bring the distilling traditions of Robert’s Austrian grandfather to America. They vowed to create a sustainable family business with high quality and organic products. Koval features small batch spirits distilled from 100% organic grain, avoiding the common industry practice of purchasing pre-made neutral grain spirit. Everything we make is certified organic and kosher, and we are darn proud of it.” -The Distillery

Rebellion Bourbon See details  Rebellion Bourbon 

“Rebellion Bourbon a 6 year old, 94 proof Bourbon distilled in a copper still and aged in oak from a mash bill of 70% corn and 30% small grains, such as rye and barley. Sweet notes of honey are followed by smokey, oaky nuances making this a smooth, easy-drinking Bourbon. A small batch production consisting of 5640 bottles, every one of which is hand numbered. The first seven batches commemorate significant years in the history of Opici.” -Opici Wines 

James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey See details  James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey 

“James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Rye is a vibrant and full bodied whiskey created from a mashbill containing over 90% rye. Bottled at 100 Proof and not chill-filtered the 1776 Straight Rye offers notes of spice, chocolate, cloves and honey. A great sipper neat or on the rocks, and also makes a mean Manhattan.” -The Distillery

Georgetown Trading Company Pow-Wow Botanical Rye See details  Georgetown Trading Company Pow-Wow Botanical Rye 

“Inspired by an old Pow-wow recipe for infusing Rye whiskey with herbs & spices, we have taken a fine Rye whiskey matured in new, charred oak barrels, and carefully infused it in tiny batches, over an extended period of time, with Saffron (also grown by early settlers), Orange Peel, and other whole botanicals. No extracts or artificial colors are added. Pow-wow is slowly handcrafted with the finest ingredients to create unique, botanical layers of complexity not found in any other whiskey. Pow-wow Botanical Rye can be enjoyed like any fine whiskey: neat, on the rocks or in a variety of cocktails.” -The Distillery

Valentine Distilling Company Liberator Gin See details Valentine Distilling Company Liberator Gin
Liberator Gin was recently awarded the “Best of Class” title at the American Distilling Institute 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits! 

90 Points – Beverage Testing Institute, March 2013
“Clear. Attractive aromas of peppery cinnamon, honey cardamom pastry, dried citrus, and candied juniper with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a zesty melange of citrus, herbal roots, anise, pink peppercorn, cinnamon bark, and chalk notes on the long finish. A well balanced and spice forward gin for all applications.”

Screaming Eagle News:Screaming Eagle’s Winemaker Departs reports James Laube of The Winespectator

Wine & Spirit Events Comments Off on Screaming Eagle News:Screaming Eagle’s Winemaker Departs reports James Laube of The Winespectator


Please note: 1999, 2001 & 2002 Screaming Eagle for sale at Mora’s Fine Wines-see below

Andy Erickson is leaving Napa Valley’s Screaming Eagle winery after five vintages as winemaker for the celebrated Cabernet Sauvignon producer.

Erickson is departing to focus on his own label, Favia, his clients, Dalla Valle, Dancing Hares, Ovid and Arietta, and to reconnect with Charles Banks, one of the principals who bought Screaming Eagle in 2006.

Erickson says the timing is right, since the new Screaming Eagle winery on the property in Oakville has been completed, the vineyard replanted and its owner, Stanley Kroenke, can put his own winemaking staff in place. Erickson is the winemaking link between Screaming Eagle founder Jean Phillips who hired Erickson and then sold the winery in 2006 to Banks and Kroenke. Phillips founded Screaming Eagle in 1992 and it quickly became one of Napa’s elite “cult” Cabernets.

Kroenke is a wealthy real-estate developer and the owner of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, the Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Colorado Avalanche hockey franchise, along with Jonata, a winery in Santa Barbara he founded with Banks. Kroenke’s friends call him “silent Stan” because he is very private. His wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, is one of the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune.  Banks, who heads Terroir Capital, said he’s also interested in returning to Napa and acquiring a vineyard there, a natural fit for him and Erickson. – James Laube Winespectator Jan 11, 2011

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1999Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1999 $2,500.00 buy now

Only 1 bottle in stock, original wood case available
97 Points – Wine Advocate, August 2002
“The bottled 1999 (a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) is as profound as I predicted a year and a half ago. It boasts an opaque purple color along with a gorgeously pure nose of creme de cassis, charcoal, and floral characteristics. The wine is opulent, dense, and rich, with exceptional purity, a viscous texture, and impressive underlying tannin that frames its large but elegant personality. Not surprisingly, this is a candidate for the wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020.” -Robert Parker

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1999Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2001 $2,500.00 buy now
1- 3 bottle case available in original wood case
99 Points – Wine Advocate, June 2011
“The last time I had this wine, it seemed much more developed, youthful and approachable. This particular bottle, which was pulled from my cellar, was super-powerful, dense and concentrated, as well as structured and backward. Aeration helped somewhat, but this looks like a very long-lived wine, and my initial suggestion of an anticipated maturity date (2010-2025) should be changed to 2015-2035. Only 450 cases were made of this blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc from former proprietor Jean Phillips’ vineyards just south of the Oakville crossroads. The spectacular dense blue/purple color remains opaque. The wine displays the hallmark creme de cassis, floral and licorice notes that are so pure, vivid and intense, and which have always been part of this vineyard’s classic trademark. With great purity, a full-bodied mouthfeel and even more thickness, power and density than I remember, this wine has put on weight, developed more structure, and looks like a candidate for 30 more years of aging potential. This is a brilliant wine, much in keeping with the legendary status of this producer.” -Robert Parker

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1999Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2002 $2,750.00 buy now
1- 3 bottle case available in original wood case
97+ Points – Wine Advocate, Robert Parker
“Beautiful floral notes intermixed with creme de cassis, licorice and charcoal jump from the glass of this dense purple-colored 2002. Opulent, broad, full-bodied and more mature than I expected given how this wine showed in its youth, this deep, rich Cabernet Sauvignon is exceptional. However, in this vintage it has to take a back seat to a number of other cuvees. The final blend was 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc.” -Robert Parker

Australian Wine Pioneer Peter Lehmann Dies at 82 from Winespectator magazine July 3, 2013

Wine & Spirit Events Comments Off on Australian Wine Pioneer Peter Lehmann Dies at 82 from Winespectator magazine July 3, 2013
The “Baron of Barossa” was a key figure in the wine region’s renaissance by Harvey Steiman

Peter Lehmann died in Adelaide, Australia, on June 28 after kidney surgery. He was 82. Known as “The Baron of Barossa,” Lehmann made wine there for 66 years and was a key figure in the region’s rebound from financial hardship in the 1970s to renewal in the 1980s.

In the early ’70s, the oversupply of grapes in Barossa was so bad that the government instituted what was called a “vine-pull scheme.” Many growers actually did pull out mature vines, but most simply accepted subsidies to not produce grapes for several years. Those who could ride it out took the government’s money, let their vineyards go wild, then started retraining the vines after the hiatus.

But they needed a place for their grapes, and Lehmann is remembered for providing it. He started his own winery in 1979, while still chief winemaker at Saltram Wines, to give Barossa growers a place to sell their grapes as the region struggled to recover. “I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do something,” Lehmann recalled in a 2010 interview with Wine Spectator. Originally known as Masterson Barossa Vineyards, it became Peter Lehmann wines in 1982.

Born in Angaston, in 1930, in the heart of the wine region, he got his first job at the age of 17 in the cellars of Yalumba Winery. In 1960 he moved to Saltram to be chief winemaker when it was still an independent Barossa Valley winery. He left after a series of ownership changes and devoted himself full time to his own business.

Lehmann maintained a winemaking style that emphasized the character of the vineyards over winemaking elaborations. For grapes such as Shiraz and Riesling he preferred to rely on pure varietal character, even in such single-vineyard bottlings as Stonewell and old-vine selections such as 8 Songs. His high-end blends, such as Mentor (Cabernet, Malbec and Shiraz), also have achieved high ratings over the years. Peter Lehmann wines have earned more than 50 scores of 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator‘s 100-point scale.

He had a dry sense of humor. Discussing one of his first wines, a 1959 bottling simply called Claret, he said, “In those days we labeled the reds Burgundy if you could stand a spoon up in them, Claret if you tilted the glass and the spoon tipped along with it.”

He retired in 2002 as head of the winery, but continued to live on the property, surrounded by vines, with his wife, Margaret. The winery was sold to The Hess Group, based in Switzerland and known for its Hess Collection California wines, in 2003. But even as his health was failing, Lehmann continued to be the label’s figurehead, often presiding at lavish dinners prepared by the winery’s in-house chefs. Lehmann is survived by his wife, Margaret, his sons Doug, David, and Philip and daughter Libby.

Available at Mora’s

Peter Lehmann Layers Red 2010 $15.99 buy now

Peter Lehmann Layers Red 2010

90 Points – Wine Spectator, July 2012
“Supple, velvety and generous with its red berry, cherry and cream flavors, mingling on the long and easygoing finish. Shiraz, Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Counoise. Drink now through 2016. 9,000 cases imported.” -Harvey Steiman

Jolie-Pitt’s New Wine Is Scarce, (one of) Twelve Best Rosé’s To Try Instead-excerpt from Forbes magazine May 2013

Wine & Spirit Events Comments Off on Jolie-Pitt’s New Wine Is Scarce, (one of) Twelve Best Rosé’s To Try Instead-excerpt from Forbes magazine May 2013

La Chapelle Gordonne Rose Cotes de Provence 2012

Exceptional Rosés to Try Now:

2012 Chateau La Gordonne, FR: From the producers of Pommery Champagne, this is an elegant expression of violets, fresh strawberries and rose petals. Round and ripe with a pleasing crushed gravel minerality; try it with buttered lobster. Grenache and Syrah. $22

Mora’s price $17.99 save 18% Buy now

Once tragically uncool, rosé wine is now officially hip, even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are in on the action with their recent purchase of a rosé producing vineyard in France. Indeed, rosé is finally emerging from its unwitting exile as an accomplice to the notorious and obnoxiously sweet White Zinfandel. Brad and Angie might have created a Hollywood-inspired run on rosé, (the first 6,000 bottles of their Miraval, made by winemaker Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel, sold out within six hours), but the wine style itself gets credit for all the return business.

Peter Eastlake, wine director for Vintage Berkeley and Food & Wine Magazine’s Sommelier of the Year 2013, makes no bones about it: “The assumption of pink wine as a sweet and cheap option is antiquated thought. White Zinfandel saved Zinfandel, but it meant a career full of saying, ‘It’s not sweet’ (about all the other rosés) for wine merchants and sommeliers. The bad memories are beginning to fade and people are willing to venture out.” Paul Chevalier, national fine wine director for Shaw-Ross International Importers notes, “I think rosé consumption is going to continue to grow into something quite big in the U.S. In France rosé consumption has now surpassed white wine as a whole for the country; this would be the first time ever for such a thing, certainly since we have been producing wine, which goes back to the Roman days.”

You won’t be disappointed if you gamble on a bottle. Most run about $12 to $20 dollars and they have impressive versatility when it comes to food pairings. Often associated with warmer months, these wines are really year-round options when it comes to cuisine. Make a mental note here to buy some for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Everyone, everywhere is making a rosé it seems, but Provence is the standard bearer for quality as winemakers in this region of southern France focus exclusively on making rosé. There are a few different ways to produce a rosé: some winemakers let the grapes crush themselves under their own weight (no press is used) and the skin contact (which might only last 4 to 5 hours) provides a faint pink hue. Other winemakers use the saignée – or bleeding method. Red grapes are crushed and the first run of pink juice is taken and fermented separately. There are other less common methods, but we can save that information for the Master Sommelier exam.Word has it that more of Brad and Angie’s Miraval is headed to the U.S. soon, but why wait?  The wines below are equally delightful, and just as cool.

Save the Date, Wednesday August 28, 2013, Mora’s Fine Wine Italian Wine Seminar at C’est Cheese

Wine & Spirit Events No Comments

We are putting together a fantastic Wednesday evening of Italian wines with our favorite importer, dedicated to Italian wines – Donato Dieseo of Vias Imports

The details are coming soon and the seating is limited to 17 tasters so look for a posting and email soon.