Posted on 29 May 2013.
If there is one thing that wine trips have taught me over the years, it is not to judge a book by its cover. Wine is an ongoing personal voyage and no matter how much you think you know, every venture will pleasantly surprise you with new grapes, styles, producers and regions. After three days in Melbourne, I head to Adelaide with a new perspective on Australian wines. My perception completely changed largely due to finding restraint and beauty in Australia’s wines and Adelaide will prove to be another interesting journey. Continue Reading
Posted in Commentary
Posted on 22 April 2013.
We all know Australia produces ripe, rich wines like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. But what if I told you Australia produces cool-climate style wines as well? Would you believe me? On a recent trip, I participated on an international panel of wine writers to uncover the true character of Australian wine. What I found was restraint and beauty. I spent about two weeks touring, traveling and tasting roughly 100 Australian wines and found many examples of elegant Chardonnay, restrained Pinot noir and some great examples of Nebbiolo, Montepulciano and Mourvèdre. Continue Reading
Posted in Wine Reviews
Posted on 15 March 2013.
Marc and I are here in Australia and tired as hell from the dreaded 17-hour flight. After a nap, we’ll begin our exploration by hitting as many wineries, wine bars and restaurants in Victoria and South Australia, journo’n as much as we can with the available wifi. What makes this trip so special is meeting so many producers for which we have had the privilege of drinking for decades. Grab a bottle of Australian juice and join us for an adventure! And if you have any recommendations on what not to miss, let us know…our command stations are Adelaide and Melbourne.
Hooroo for now!
Posted in Travel
Posted on 05 February 2013.
Château Haut-Bailly’s 74-acre vineyard is at the heart of the Graves region on the left bank of the Garonne River. Weather brought ideal conditions. Moderate heat through the season turned to hot dry weather through September, enabling full ripeness and abundant vine productivity.
This red blend is a masculine style that sits on a frame of black currant, cherry and blackberry with ribbons of silky tannins running through it. Nicely balanced; finishes long with a nice crescendo of cedar and licorice. Drink now or cellar for another 10 years.
Rating: Excellent (92) | $93 | 13.5% ABV
Posted in Wine Reviews
Posted on 29 January 2013.
While Champagne precedes its reputation for quality, the much-admired bubbly often carries extravagant pricing, making sparklers from other grape growing regions more appealing for value-conscious consumers. In Penedès, quality is king and many of the bodegas prove they have the goods to deliver delectable sparklers at a fraction of the cost of good Champagne—and they do it with passion, love, and dedication.
One such producer is Segura Viudas. Rich in history, the bodega began its journey as a Catalan masía (country house) built by the Bishop of Sant Cugat del Vallès in the 11th century. The armed forces converted it to an outpost but its masía roots regained footing after the tower lost its military importance in the 13th century. Six centuries later, the winemaking property took root in 1959, branding the Segura Viudas name with solidifying marketing efforts emerging a decade later. In the early 80’s, the Ferrer family of Barcelona, the world’s largest producer of sparkling wine, purchased Segura Viudas. Since then, the estate retains its competitive edge, producing quality sparklers at reasonable prices….
Continue reading Winery Spotlight: Heredad Segura Viudas, Torrelavit, Spain, which includes a list of Cava recommendations on SommelierJournal.com. You may also download a copy in .pdf format.
And if you are looking for additional Cava recommendations, try these: NV Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad, Penedes, Spain, NV Gran Pasión Cava Brut Reserva Spain, or the NV Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, Penedes, Spain
This is a winery spotlight column at Sommelier Journal, an essential guide dedicated to wine professionals. To subscribe, click here for print and online options and prices.
Posted in Interviews
Posted on 10 January 2013.
This story begins in the mid 16thcentury at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia in Penedès, Spain. The year is 1551 and the Codorníu family, the world’s largest producer of bottle-fermented sparkling wine begins making Cava. Fast-forward a hundred years, and Anna de Codorníu inherits the family winery and changes its name by marrying Miguel Raventós. The name change lasts for over two centuries.
In 1991, Codorníu Napa opens a méthode champenoise facility in the Carneros region of the Napa Valley. Six years later, they begin a $10 million conversion to support still wines. In ’99, the Artesa label is born. Mark Beringer, a fifth generation winemaker from Napa Valley and great grandson of Beringer Winery co-founder, Jacob Beringer, joins the reigns as Winemaker and VP of Production with Rich Richardson at the helm as General Manager in 2009.
As for the 2009 vintage, the dry spring lead to a cool and moderates summer slowing down vine maturity, which lead to outstanding fruit flavors and acidity. The core produces harmonic notes of cassis and blackberry with a triad of mid-palette velvety textures leading to a lingering raspberry, cream and mocha finish. Beef cheek bourguignon (especially the entrée served at Le Pigeon in Portland, OR) would make a perfect pairing.
Rating: Excellent (92) | $46 | 14.5% ABV
Posted in Wine Reviews