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Date: Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 06:49

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Rising Light
Sunrise approaches over California wine country.

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Author: "--" Tags: "Vinography Images"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 06:28

scratch_sniff_cover.jpgReview By Stella Fong

The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert will, at first, appeal to the reader's inner child. With thick cardboard pages, great illustrations, and scratch and sniff scent disks, the book offers elementary tools that provide good introductory wine information sans the verbiage that fill other basic compendiums. The author, Richard Betts gets right to the point, confessing to hating wine speak. Even as one of the fewer than 200 Master Sommeliers worldwide he sheds all wine snobbery, stating what he finds obvious, "Wine is a grocery, not a luxury."

With humor and a direct approach, the author presents three easy steps to wine understanding. He immediately narrows the world of smelling and tasting wine to the main groups of fruit, wood, earth and other. Red wines present red or black fruit, white wines possess some element of lemon and lime, and other whites present orange and tangerine essences. With drawings that jump right to the point, Betts then delves into the world of wood and earth. In the latter arena, he clarifies terroir and funk as well as quickly delineating old versus new world. Finally when he touches on the "other" category, he playfully talks about notes of meatiness in red wines, butter and cat pee in whites, and explains how floral descriptors appear in both.

A separate one page chart, The "Map to Your Desires", inserted in the back of the book can be easily carried to a wine store or restaurant, providing insight to varietal characteristics. The information, presented in a pie chart format, visually breaks up the world of wine by grape, organized into slices by their earth, wood, and fruit characteristics. Here, Betts cleverly conveys traditional wine speak in a fun manner. For example, under Chardonnay, he suggests "Think Chablis and all of Burgundy" with earth notes such as "Rich" and "Awe, Yeah," wood descriptors like "Let's Get It On," and fruit characteristics beginning with "Subtle" and ending with final notes of "Citrus."

The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert makes a great gift for any person who has an interest in wine, as there is not another book on the current market like it. The book supplies more than enough information for the beginner while providing a great refresher and outlook on wine basics for the wine aficionado.

buy-from-tan.gif Richard Betts The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That, Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2013, $13.14 (Hardcover).

Stella Fong chaired the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards for two years and currently is a reader for the High Plains Book Awards. She writes and teaches about wine and food in Billings, Montana and has instructed at Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma and Macy's Cellars. For the past 5 years she has taught the Wine Studies courses for the Montana State University Wine and Food Festival. Fong's articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Fine Cooking, Big Sky Journal, Western Art and Architecture and Blue Water Sailing. She received her Certified Wine Professional certification from the Culinary Institute of America in 2008.



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Author: "--" Tags: "Book Reviews"
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 07:01

paulee_grand_tasting_2014.jpg

I don't drink nearly enough Burgundy. But that's not saying much. Most wine lovers without trust funds or best-friend-sommeliers might complain of the same thing. The region's really amazing wines are just too expensive for mere mortals to buy with any regularity. All of which is why I usually jump at the chance to attend the La Paulee de San Francisco event whenever it comes to San Francisco every couple of years.

The La Paulee Grand Tasting provides an opportunity to taste a large amount of incredibly high quality Burgundy in an afternoon's walk around the Fairmont ballroom, with brief stops for a bite or two from some pretty amazing restaurants and chefs. But it remains hard to focus on the food when so much great wine is on offer.

The event tries to highlight an individual vintage, and this year's focus was 2011. I've only tasted a handful of 2011 Burgundies besides those I sampled at this year's tasting, but on the basis of my experience so far, it seems that many producers were able to make excellent wines despite the chaos of the year (hail, highly fluctuating temperatures, late summer rains, etc). I'm an acid lover, and 2011 seems to generally deliver bright, zingy acidity in both reds and whites from up and down the Cote d'Or. Tannins seem relatively smooth and even restrained, and the fruit quality seems very high given the year's overall reputation as challenging.

Here are my notes and scores from the best wines I tasted at this year's tasting.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5

2011 François Carillon Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes $105
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of crushed nuts and lemon curd. In the mouth, tangy and piney flavors of lemon curd have a silky texture, and nutty flavors turn floral in the long finish. Beautifully textured and balanced with searing (great!) acidity, this wine is vibrant and delicious. click to buy.

2011 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Batard-Montrachet $400
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of piney/sappy wet stones and lemon zest. In the mouth, tangy lemon zest, pomelo and pink grapefruit pop and zing with fantastic, crystalline acidity. The citrus crescendo rolls for a long time through the finish. Outstanding and utterly gulpable. click to buy.

2011 Joseph Drouhin Corton-Charlemagne $195
Pale gold in color, this wine smells of piney and tangy lemon curd and grapefruit. In the mouth the wine presents as deeply mineral despite a richly sensual, satin texture. Lemon curd and mixed citrus juice rides bright and juicy on the palate with fantastic acidity and balance. Rich but not heavy. Electrifying.click to buy.

2011 Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre $145
Palest gold in color, this wine smells of tangy lemon zest. In the mouth, incredibly juicy flavors of bright mixed citrus seem steeped in crystalline mountain spring water. Outstanding acidity and length. Gorgeous. click to buy.

2011 Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Vergers $90
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of Wintersweet blossoms, fragrant and faintly sweet. In the mouth the wine is tangy and juicy, with lemon and grapefruit and white flowers dancing dynamically through the mouth for a long time. Quite compelling. click to buy.

2011 Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Grandes Ruchottes $130
Pale gold in the glass, this wine has a distinctly floral aroma mixed with grapefruit. In the mouth tangy, even sour, lemon and floral flavors are shot through with a crystalline minerality that lingers in a long, airy finish. Remarkably pure and bright. click to buy.

2011 Domaine William Fevre Grand Cru Bougros Côte Bouguerots $83
Near colorless in the glass this wine smells of smoky wet stones. In the mouth the first thing you notice is just how silky and almost viscous it is on the palate, and then the waterfall of liquefied stone and lemon and lime oil cascade across your palate with electric, crackling acidity. Hints of white flowers emerge on the long finish. Outstanding. click to buy.


WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9 AND 9.5

2011 Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet $49
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemon zest and wet stones. In the mouth bright flavors of lemon oil and lemon pith mix with a deep mineral undertone that is quite compelling. Fantastic acidity and length. click to buy.

2011 Comtes Lafon Meursault Charmes
2011 Domaine Chanson Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches
2011 François Carillon Puligny-Montrachet
2011 François Carillon Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières
2011 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Meursault-Genevrieres 1er Cru
2011 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Marquis de Laguiche
2011 Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachert 1er Cru La Maltroie
2011 Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos
2011 Hospices de Beaune Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru Cuvée Philippe Le Bon
2011 Domaine Vincent Latour Meursault "Les Grands Charrons"
2011 Domaine William Fevre Grand Cru Les Clos
2011 Maison Louis Jadot Savigny-lès-Beaune "Clos des Guettes" Blanc
2011 Maison Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru


WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2011 Domaine Chanson Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes
2011 François Carillon Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs Gains
2011 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Baudines
2012 Comtes Lafon Viré-Clessé
2011 Christian Moreau Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon
2011 Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur
2011 Domaine William Fevre Grand Cru Vaudésir


WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
2011 Alain Gras Saint Romain Blanc
2011 Christian Moreau Chablis
2011 Hospices de Beaune Pouilly-Fuissé Cuvée Françoise Poisard
2011 Domaine William Fevre 1er Cru Vaulorent


WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2012 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint Aubin 1er Cru en Remilly

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 10

2011 Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin $1499
Light garnet in the glass, this wine has an incredible perfumed nose of forest floor and crushed berries, wafting out of the glass with such strength that you hardly need to get your nose close to it to be carried away. In the mouth... well you can just kill me now. Phenomenally silky flavors of raspberries, exotic flowers, wet earth and wet stones resonate like a massive gong struck once and left to shimmer with sensation for minutes. Simultaneously deep and electrically juicy, with a kiss of oak present (but I don't care) this is a wine that merits expletives of the finest fucking kind. click to buy.


RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9.5 AND 10

2011 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques $379
Light garnet in the glass, this is one of the most floral Burgundies I can remember smelling. Forest floor and redcurrant seem carried on a perfumed breeze of exotic flowers. In the mouth flavors of dried flowers and forest floor are borne on a shimmering satin stream of texture across the palate. Velvety tannins cushion the spiky, boisterous fruit flavors, and temper the razor sharp minerality and acidity. An incredibly sexy wine that I wish to hell I could afford. click to buy.

2011 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Combe aux Moines $200
Pale garnet in color, this wine smells of floral overtones, wet stones, and forest floor. In the mouth, smooth, athletic tannins wrap around an incredibly juicy core of floral, raspberry, and mineral flavors that have been steeped in a tea of dark forest loam. Incredible balance and depth, with fantastic acidity. Phenomenal. click to buy.

2011 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Cherbaudes $149
Pale garnet in the glass, this wine smells of dried flowers, forest floor and raspberries. In the mouth the wine is incredibly silky, with flavors of raspberry and redcurrant that all but burst on the palate thanks to outstanding acidity. Fine grained, barely perceptible tannins hang in the background. Stunning and pure. click to buy.


RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5

2011 Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Taillepieds $150
Light garnet in color, this wine has a wonderfully smoky, mineral aroma filtered through the earthy depths of a forest floor. In the mouth the wine is much the same, with deep forest floor qualities that provide a plush bedding for incredibly bright forest berries that are juicy thanks to excellent acidity. Great balance and length. click to buy.

2011 David Duband Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Pruliers $80
Light garnet in the glass, this wine smells of forest floor, mushrooms, and smoked meats. In the mouth juicy redcurrant and meaty umami flavors take on a spiciness and an incense smokiness. Gorgeous acidity and fantastic gauzy tannins round out the unique and compelling wine. A stunner. click to buy.

2011 Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot $170
Light garnet in color, this wine has a wonderfully perfumed nose of forest berries and deep earthy forest floor. In the mouth astonishingly bright crushed raspberry and redcurrant flavors take on a bright citrusy edge through a fantastically long finish. Faint, almost imperceptible tannins add depth and texture along with deeper mineral and earth undertones. Stunning. click to buy.

2011 Hudelot-Noellat Romanée Saint Vivant $499
Light ruby in color, this wine smells of wet stones, exotic flowers, and juicy berries. In the mouth tart, sour cherry flavors are dusted with fine grained tannins. The sour cherry flavors turn raspberry and then citrus peel as they linger through the very long finish. Outstanding acidity and fantastic juicy deliciousness. Yowza. click to buy.

2011 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche $350
Light garnet in the glass, this wine smells of an old pine forest after a rain, deep and spongy, but with aromatic flowers growing up out of the darkness in small beams of sunlight. In the mouth, deeply earthy and mushroomy flavors dance with citrus and redcurrant, bright and juicy on the palate. Faint tannins hang in the background and let the fruit and forest play. Deep and remarkable. click to buy.

2011 Maison Louis Jadot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru $125
Light garnet in the glass, this wine smells of forest floor and bright crushed berries. In the mouth tight tannins wrap around a gorgeous, juicy redcurrant core that mellows into raspberry and other forest berries mixed with pine duff. Beautifully textured and long. Quite delicious, and ready to age for the long term. click to buy.


RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9 AND 9.5

2011 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin $??
Pale garnet in color, this wine smells of mushrooms, dried flowers and juicy redcurrant. In the mouth redcurrant, raspberry and citrus flavors are wrapped in sandpapery tannins and suffused with a deep earthiness that is quite compelling. The fruit juicily bounces on top of the bass notes, and lingers for a long time in the finish.

2011 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux Saint Jacques $349
Light garnet in the glass, this wine smells of exotic flowers and forest floor. In the mouth the wine is quite tight, like a coiled spring of wet stone, raspberries and violets. The tannins are hard and stony, but not to the point of impenetrability. click to buy.

2011 Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Ducs Monopole $200
Tight and cedary. click to buy.

2011 Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Fremiet $100
Smoky and bright. click to buy.

2011 Maison Louis Jadot Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers $80 click to buy.
2011 Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay 1er Cru Champans $110 click to buy.
2010 David Duband Charmes-Chambertin $160 click to buy.
2011 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin $80 click to buy.
2011 Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots $125 click to buy.
2011 Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots du Milieu $150 click to buy.


RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9

2011 Hospices de Beaune Clos de la Roche Cuvée Georges Kritter
Medium garnet in color this wine smells of forest floor and fresh raspberry fruit. In the mouth, juicy raspberry, truffle, and wet dirt flavors mix with some oak. Fine grained tannins and long finish. Excellent acidity.

2011 Domaine Chanson Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Fèves Monopole
2011 Domaine Chanson Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru les Vergelesses
2011 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Rouge
2011 Joseph Drouhin Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Procès
2011 David Duband Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru Clos Sorbè
2011 Alain Gras Saint Romain Rouge
2011 Alain Gras Auxey-Duresses Rouge
2011 Hospices de Beaune Pommard-Epenots 1er Cru Cuvée Dom Goblet


RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
2011 David Duband Gevrey-Chambertin



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Author: "--" Tags: "Perfect 10s, Wine Reviews"
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Date: Monday, 14 Apr 2014 07:02

seven_percent.jpgThere comes a point in every intrepid wine lover's life when the well-traveled road must be left behind. One can only drink so much Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. But finding one's way out of the multitudes of these bottles to something more exotic and interesting takes some effort.

Which is where the folks behind the Seven Percent Solution come in. These wine producers have organized themselves behind the fact that 93% of Northern California's vineyard acreage is planted to eight major grape varieties, leaving a mere seven percent for all the others.

Of course, since we're talking about statistics, only about twenty percent of wine lovers probably ever stray away from those eight dominant grape varieties anyhow, which is why California's acreage stands where it does.

But you, dear reader, are certainly among that twenty percent. You are a fearless wine consumer, ready to drink Tinta Cao, Trousseau Gris, Ribolla Gialla, or Colombard at a moment's notice, right?

If so, then you need to mark your calendar for May 8th, 2014 for the second annual version of what could be dubbed California's Most Interesting Wine Tasting.

The participating vintners are: Arnot Roberts, Bedrock Wine Co., Broc Cellars, Dirty and Rowdy, Donkey and Goat, Edmunds Saint John, Forlorn Hope, Idlewild Wines, Jolie-Laide, Leo Steen, Matthiasson, RPM, Ryme Cellars, Sandlands, Stark Wine, The Scholium Project, Two Shepherds, Unti Vineyards, Wind Gap, and Nico Wines.

For those less familiar with the names on this list, it's a veritable Who's Who for many of the hottest small wineries in California. And by hottest, I mean those who are known and loved by wine geeks for pushing the boundaries of California wine.

These wineries and their beloved obscure grapes will be descending on the Folsom Street Foundry in San Francisco for a public tasting. Thankfully, the venue seems to be a bit larger, and may be less of a squeeze than the first version of this tasting was purported to be.

Go forth and electrify your palate!

The Seven Percent Solution Tasting 2014
Thursday, May 8th, 2014
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Folsom Street Foundry
1425 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Tickets are $68.27 and well worth it, in my opinion. Buy yours in advance online, as this event will probably sell out.

For those up in Wine Country, the event will be repeated on May 10th at Bergamot Alley, the site of last year's inaugural tasting. Make sure you're selecting the correct venue when you purchase your tickets.



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Author: "--" Tags: "Wine Activities"
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Date: Saturday, 12 Apr 2014 08:41

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Autumn Cellar
Vines of ivy turn ruby red in the autumn on the outside of a wine cave.

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ABOUT VINOGRAPHY IMAGES:
Vinography regularly features images by photographer Andy Katz for readers' personal use as desktop backgrounds or screen savers. We hope you enjoy them. Please respect the copyright on these images. These images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer.



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Author: "--" Tags: "Vinography Images"
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Date: Saturday, 05 Apr 2014 05:42

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Vines and Sky
Rows of sprawling vines find an echo in the puffy clouds above the Russian River Valley, in Sonoma County, Californa.

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To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these.

PRINTS:
If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition print of this image please contact photographer Andy Katz through his web site.

ABOUT VINOGRAPHY IMAGES:
Vinography regularly features images by photographer Andy Katz for readers' personal use as desktop backgrounds or screen savers. We hope you enjoy them. Please respect the copyright on these images. These images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer.



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Author: "--" Tags: "Vinography Images"
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Date: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 18:49

Forget red states and blue states. Let's talk about wine states. They come in shades of pink and purple, according to a new map published by Business Insider based on a recent study by the Beverage Information Group.

wine_consumption_map.png

Serious props go to the folks in New Hampshire and Washington, DC for topping the charts at 25.7 liters and 19.6 liters per capita in 2013, respectively.

Of course, that pales in comparison to the reigning champs at the Vatican, who consume a whopping 66.67 liters per capita each year, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Wine consumption in the U.S. has been gaining steadily since 2000. In the last 14 years we have increased our domestic consumption by around 20% according to figures from The Wine Institute.

So, what color is your liver? Pink, red or purple? Or are you one of the truly red-livered among us?

Read the full story.

Hat tip to Mark DeVere, MW, for pointing me to this story.



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Author: "--" Tags: "Ramblings and Rants, Wine News"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 05:59

Given the similarities between the climates in Northern California and some parts of Spain and Portugal, one has to wonder why there aren't more Spanish and Portuguese grape varieties planted in California. The same might be said about Italian grape varieties, but they dwarf the plantings of Spanish grapes in California. There are almost three times as many acres of Sangiovese planted in California than there are Tempranillo. And let's not even talk about Pinot Grigio, shall we?

Instead I'd rather talk about Touriga Nacional or Mencia or Graciano or Verdelho. Despite minuscule plantings throughout the state, these grape varieties have great potential and great advocates. A dedicated group of wineries throughout many of California tapas_logo.jpgwine regions remain focused on exploring the potential of these and many more grape varieties within the state. Together, these little wineries unite under the banner of TAPAS: Tempranillo Advocates and Producers Society.

The average wine consumer has probably heard the name of only a handful of Iberian grape varieties, if at all. Yet they make some incredibly interesting wines, whose obscurity ensures that while sometimes difficult to find, they are often excellent values.

So if you are the kind of curious wine lover that is always interested in broadening your horizons and educating your palate (hint: you SHOULD be) then I highly suggest that you purchase a ticket to the TAPAS tasting that will be held in a few weeks in San Francisco's presidio.

The grand tasting provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore and learn about these grapes without the scary commitment of buying a bottle off the shelf just because it offers a taste of an unknown grape. 35 wineries from all over the state will be pouring their wines for the tasting.

For anyone with a serious mind to educating yourself on the grapes and what they're all about, the event also kicks off with a seminar focused on the ageworthiness of Tempranillo.

No matter how you choose to participate, it's likely to be a great time. There will be some small nibbles on hand as well.

2014 TAPAS Tasting
Sunday, April 27th
Grand Tasting: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
The Golden Gate Club at the Presidio
135 Fisher Loop
San Francisco, CA 94129 (map)

Tickets are $35 for the grand tasting, or $60 for the seminar and early admission to the grand tasting. They should be purchased online, and will probably sell out.

My usual tips for such public tastings apply: go with a full stomach and having gotten a good night's sleep; wear dark colors to avoid the occasional accident; drink lots of water; and spit if you want to learn anything!



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Author: "--" Tags: "Wine Activities"
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Date: Sunday, 30 Mar 2014 07:12

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I'm up here in (yes, rainy) Seattle for Taste Washington, the annual festival and celebration of Washington State wine. It's been five years since I attended this event, and that's about four years too long.

I came up here to lead a seminar for the event, which we carried off without a hitch this morning to a packed room of enthusiastic tasters. The seminar carried the title, The Allure of the Exotic, and featured off-the-beaten-path grape varieties from a selection of vintners from the tiny White Heron Cellars to the well known likes of Woodward Canyon and Leonetti.

I chose the seminar topic about 60 days before Robert Parker posted his polemic online about obscure grape varieties, and provided the perfect introduction to the conversation and tasting. Sadly, the programs were already being printed before I could change the title of this morning's session to "Deranged Neo-intellectual Extreme Cyber-group Goose-stepping in Washington State."

taste_wa_2014.jpg

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Here's the list of wines we tasted this morning:

2012 San Juan Vineyards Madeline Angevine, San Juan Island ( buy)
2012 White Heron Cellars "Mariposa Vineyard" Arvine, Ancient Lakes of the Columbia Valley ( buy)
2012 Two Vintners Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc, Yakima Valley ( buy)
2012 Waitsburg Cellars "Chevray" Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley ( buy)
2011 Leonetti Cellars Sangiovese, Walla Walla Valley ( buy)
2012 Syncline Cellars "Mckinley Springs" Cunoise, Horse Heaven Hills ( buy)
2012 Woodward Canyon "Estate" Dolcetto, Walla Walla Valley ( buy)
2011 Dusted Valley "Stone Tree Vineyard" Petite Sirah, Wahluke Slope ( buy)

My panelists were:

Paul Gregutt, wine writer and Wine Director of Waitsburg Cellars
Chris Figgins, proprietor of Leonetti Cellars
Morgan Lee, owner and winemaker at Two Vintners
Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste
Cameron Fries, owner and winemaker at White Heron Cellars

We had a great discussion about the value of exploring new and unknown grape varieties, and everyone had a lot of fun tasting the wines. I think the session was videotaped, so if I can get a video to post online I will.

Following the session everyone went downstairs to dive into what the organizers describe as the world's largest single region wine tasting event.

Taste Washington remains a truly extraordinary wine tasting event, for several reasons, the first of which is a basically unlimited supply of oysters on the half shell.

taste_wa_2014-3.jpg

A dozen or so freshly shucked Northwest oysters are my favorite way to start lunch.

The food remains one of this tasting event's greatest strengths. Scores of Seattle's top restaurants turn out to offer tasty mouthfuls, interspersed with hundreds of wineries pouring close to 1000 wines in total.

Like many such massive tastings, I use the opportunity to visit and check in on the current releases from favorite producers, but also to discover brand new wineries.

Today I was thrilled to be introduced to the wines of COR winery, Pomum Cellars, Bartholemew Cellars, CAVU cellars, Avennia, and Balboa winery, all of whom are making really excellent wines.

I'll provide a complete rundown of the wines I'm tasting in the near future, but to get started, here are a few tasting notes from some of these newer producers.

2011 Avennia "Arnaut" Syrah, Yakima Valley
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of rich cassis and blackberry fruit. In the mouth the wine offers wonderfully lean and stony blackberry and cassis flavors with a deep mineral undercurrent and nicely floral overtones that linger through a long finish. Fantastic acidity and faint tannins. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $48. click to buy.


2010 Bartholemew Winery "Reciprocity" Red Blend, Columbia Valley
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere is a medium to dark garnet in the glass and smells of cherry, earth, and green bell pepper. In the mouth gorgeously herbal flavors of cherry and wet earth have a lean, stony quality to them. Taut tannins are stretched tightly around the wine, and have a smooth sheen to them. Great acidity and balance. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $28. click to buy.


2011 CAVU Cellars "Alder Ridge Vineyard" Barbera, Horse Heaven Hills
Medium purple in the glass, this wine has a juicy and grapey nose of cassis and blackberry fruit. In the mouth juicy, even tangy blackberry fruit flavors takes on this grape's characteristic orange peel citrus zip, along with fantastically bright acidity. Smooth, with the faintest of tannins, this is a very easy wine to gulp. Score: around 9. Cost: $30. click to buy.


2011 Pomum Cellars Graciano, Snipes Mountain
Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of spicy cedar and dried herbs mixed with red fruit. In the mouth, cherry, blackberry and wonderfully aromatic dried herbs turn decidedly spicy towards the finish. Super juicy acidity makes the mouth water, and faint tannins add structure and density to the wine. Lovely length. One of the best domestic renditions of this grape I've ever had. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost $30.


That's all for now, more to come!



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Author: "--" Tags: "Wine Activities, Wine Reviews"
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Date: Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 02:31

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Trailing Vine
A vine trails between rows of a vineyard wet from an Autumn rain in Sonoma County.

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Author: "--" Tags: "Vinography Images"
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Date: Friday, 28 Mar 2014 05:53

Once upon a time, among the many criticisms leveled at California wine, there existed the notion that California wines did not age as well as their European counterparts. While such notions are less common these days, I still frequently run across the assumptions that most California wine needs to be consumed within 10 years.

"Is this stuff going to be any good?" someone will ask me, brandishing a 2001 wine they found in a corner of their wine rack.

Despite ranking in the top tier of world-class wines that California produces, Pinot Noir in particular falls prey to doubts about its age-worthiness. Even many serious wine lovers I know seem to drink their California Pinots within a five to eight year window. That timeframe definitely suits your average $15 bottle of wine, but for serious, well-made Pinot Noirs by excellent producers, that remains woefully young.

Thanks to my own delightful experiences drinking California Pinot Noir between 15 and 30 years of age, whenever given the opportunity, I attempt to evangelize the charms of particularly well-aged California Pinot Noir. Nonetheless many people still think I'm a little nuts.

Not everyone, however. After a (quite genial, I should note) disagreement about this very subject with one of my readers on Facebook, a winemaker friend of mine suggested we pop a few corks to reassure ourselves of the opinion that he and I so strongly shared.

And of course, that's the only excuse anyone might really need to open up a few older wines, right?

We decided to have a little get together recently, the entrance ticket to which was simply a California Pinot Noir from 2002 or earlier. We gathered at a neighborhood restaurant owned by a former sommelier (after warning him of our nefarious plans), and settled down for a highly-unscientific exploration of our premise.

While I may undermine the strength of my supposition by admitting it, it must be said that the most spectacular wine of the evening was probably the treasured bottle of 1995 Chardonnay that was so generously offered by one of my dining companions as an aperitif.

Nonetheless, our Pinot exploration sufficiently supported our point of view. Many of the wines we tasted were still quite youthful, and clearly would last, and in many cases improve, with another 5 or 10 years of age. I longed to taste many of them with 20 years of age.

Here are my thoughts on the wines we enjoyed that evening.

older_ca_pinot-8.jpg1995 Littorai "Mays Canyon" Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma
Light yellow-gold in color, this wine smells of honey, acacia flowers, and pineapple curd, if there ever could be such a thing. In the mouth silky textured flavors of lemon curd, baked apple, acacia honey, and toasted nuts swirl in a deeply mineral and savory concoction that seems to shimmer with flavor. Gorgeous filigreed acidity and great length. A stunning wine.13.7% alcohol. Score: between 9.5 and 10.

older_ca_pinot-12.jpg1999 Arcadian "Pisoni Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey
A medium cloudy ruby in the glass, this wine smells of cedar and forest floor with notes of red fruit creeping around the mossy edges. In the mouth red apple skin and tangy berries have a narrow profile at first, but with some air and time, they broaden and mellow into a nice juicy base of red berry flavor and excellent acidity. Deeper forest notes rumble in the bass line of the wine. 13.6% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9.

older_ca_pinot-7.jpg1996 Chalone Pinot Noir, The Pinnacles, Monterey
Light to medium ruby in color, this wine smells of mushrooms, red apple skin and red fruit. In the mouth tangy raspberry, forest floor, and sour cherry flavors are dusted lightly with tannins that turn to redwood bark flavors in the finish. Fantastic acidity and a charming complexion at this age. Gorgeous. 13% alcohol. Score: around 9.5

older_ca_pinot-6.jpg2002 August West "Rosella's Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey
Medium ruby in the glass, with the haze of fine sediment, this wine smells beautifully of cedar and cherry. In the mouth, brilliant sour cherry fruit and darker forest floor flavors are nestled into a velvety plush skein of tannins that just want to be stroked, even as the wine just wants to be swallowed. Wonderfully balanced and delicious. Excellent acidity. 14.2% alcohol. Score: around 9.5

older_ca_pinot-9.jpg2002 Harrington "Hirsch Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Light ruby in color, this wine smells of sweet cherry fruit. In the mouth beautiful cherry and raspberry fruit is quite juicy thanks to excellent acidity. The aromatics of the wine have a floral sweetness that is quite compelling, and overall the wine seems much younger than it is. Balanced, long, and poised, this is a stunner of a wine.14.5% alcohol. Score: around 9.5

older_ca_pinot-11.jpg2002 Harrington Iund Vineyard Pinot Noir, Carneros, Sonoma
Light ruby in the glass, this wine smells of cedar and sweet cherry fruit. In the mouth, cedar flavors mix with sour cherry and a hint of peppery spice as velvety, fine grained tannins gently caress the palate. Juicy with acidity and quite mouthwatering, not to mention youthful in its comportment. Delicious. 14.4% alcohol.Score: around 9.5

older_ca_pinot-3.jpg2002 Rivers-Marie "Summa Vineyard Old Vines" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Light ruby in the glass, this wine begins the evening quite closed and narrow, and its aromas never quite fully unlock, carrying a slightly funky quality and a whiff of volatile acidity for several hours. At first the wine in the mouth is also quite narrow and closed, with tart sour cherry and raspberry flavors that seem squeezed into a corner of the palate. With several hours the wine blossoms a bit and broadens to be more floral and with more generous fruit, but this particular bottle seems like it has not lived up to its potential. 14.1% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9.

older_ca_pinot.jpg1999 Testarossa "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara
Light ruby in the glass, this wine smells of dried mushrooms and raspberries. In the mouth, raspberry fruit takes on a juicy, mineral-driven quality, mixed with cedar bark. Taut tannins muscle their way around the mouth playing a nice counterpart to the highlights of fruit. Excellent acidity and balance. Score: between 9 and 9.5

older_ca_pinot-10.jpg2000 Grapeleaf Cellars "Nicholson Ranch" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Valley
Medium ruby in color this wine smells of candied cherries and raisins. In the mouth the fruit is fairly dried out, with dried cherry flavors mixing with some brighter sour cherry notes. Faint tannins. Not holding together as a wine. 14.2% alcohol. Score: between 8 and 8.5.

older_ca_pinot-4.jpg2001 Patz & Hall "Alder Springs Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Mendocino
Medium ruby in color, this wine smells of sweet cherry fruit and forest floor. In the mouth the wine is quite ripe, to the point of being noticeably sweet on the palate, too much for my taste. Thicker tannins and deeper earthy notes accompany the sweet cherry fruit, but the wine doesn't escape being confected. 14.2% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9.

older_ca_pinot-2.jpg2001 Williams Selyem "Hirsch Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Light to medium ruby in color, this wine smells of sweet forest berries, cedar, and, somewhat surprisingly a lot of new oak. In the mouth sweeter raspberry fruit mixes with slightly overbearing oak flavors and notes of melted brown sugar. While this producer does use a decent amount of new oak, the verdict on this wine was that this bottle was slightly faulty. It did not resemble other similar bottles I have owned and consumed. As they say at this age, no good wines, only good bottles. 14.2% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9.

older_ca_pinot-5.jpg1999 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir, Mendocino
Light ruby in color, this wine smells of cedar and a touch of farmyard layered over bright berry fruit. In the mouth, flavors of cherry and cedar are bright and juicy thanks to fantastic acidity, and notes of dusty forest floor add complexity underneath the bright fruit. Boisterous and quite zingy, this wine was a wonderful surprise in the glass for being a simple regional bottling. 13.5% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5



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Author: "--" Tags: "Older Vintages, Red Wine, Wine Reviews"
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Date: Sunday, 23 Mar 2014 07:12

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Some wineries are famous. Some are infamous. And some are legendary. Château Rayas sits comfortably between the latter two: equally enigmatic and revered.

People don't speak of visiting the place as much as making a pilgrimage, and the stories of such visits often take on an air of the fantastic as well as the absurd. The reclusive and eccentric owner from 1978 to 1997, Jacques Reynaud, on various occasions would hide from visitors, or simply walk them around for a while and bid them adieu without offering them a drop of wine to taste.

When Reynaud left the estate in 1997, he had no heirs, and its control passed to his nephew Emmanuel Reynaud, who has run the property since then, with few changes to anything. While Emmanuel Reynaud bears little of the misanthropic streak that made his uncle notorious, eccentricity does seem to run in the Reynaud blood, and appointments at Rayas remain quite hard to come by.

As I drove down the pot-holed dirt track that led to the estate, my companion, a representative from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Federation all but warned me that this visit might not go as planned. But as the estate hove into view, the sun broke through the rain clouds, and Mont Ventoux emerged from a fog dusted in snow, a pair of sights portentous enough to read as a good omen to even the most skeptical observer.

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Mr. Emmanuel Reynaud, my companion remarked in amazement a few minutes later, turned out to be in an exceptionally good mood.

The history of Château Rayas goes back four generations to Albert Reynaud who, upon going deaf in 1880 at the young age of 45, decided to purchase some land and make his living growing grapes, a pursuit for which he felt some affinity and seemed to require little in the way of hearing. Reynaud's son Louis took over the estate in 1920, having completed an Agriculture degree, and began bottling wine with the estate's name on it, Rayas being the name of the forest occupying their parcel of the northeastern Châteauneuf-du-Pape plateau known as Pignan.

Louis Reynaud purchased two additional properties at some remove from the Rayas estate, Domaine des Tours in nearby Sarrian, and Château de Fonsalette in Lagarde-Paréol, about 20 miles to the north. Reynaud made the wines that launched the estate's legendary status, and by the time of his death in 1978, Château Rayas had undeniably achieved the status of "Grand Cru" a self-declared label that many saw at first as hubris.

Reynaud left Rayas and Fonsalette to his younger son Jacques, and left Domain des Tours to his older son Bertrand, only to have the three properties united again under the same roof when Betrand's son Emmanuel Reynaud took over in 1997. Between 1978 and 1997, Jacques continued to make extraordinary wines, that, thanks to his aversion to the public, only grew in mystique and rarity.

Having worked with his uncle for years, Emmanuel Reynaud changed little when he arrived, with one exception. Where his uncle had been content to ferment grapes from the estate's different parcels together, Reynaud immediately began harvesting, fermenting, and aging the estate's different vineyards separately.

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"Rayas is a mystery," says Emmanuel Reynaud earnestly, gesturing to his forest-rimmed vineyards as we walk away from the gravel parking lot in front of the nondescript winery, "it is a world apart."

Reynaud is a compact, animated man, with a charming smile, a purposeful stride, and a glimmer in his eye. Emphatic, even forceful in his opinions at times, he seems quite at home in his own skin, and in the time I spent with him, seemed to offer no hint of reticence. On the contrary, he seemed quite delighted to spend the morning tromping around his property with a random American who spoke particularly lousy French.

Covering just shy of 30 acres, Rayas does indeed sit apart from much of Châteauneuf-du-Pape thanks to several unique aspects, the first of which are nearly 100 acres of woods that surround and separate the vineyard plots. Combined with the estate's almost exclusively north-facing aspect, the forest's shade and natural breezeways help ensure much lower temperatures in almost all the vineyards, invariably resulting in Rayas being the last estate to harvest in the appellation, but often at lower levels of potential alcohol than elsewhere.

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"If it is too cold in August," says Reynaud, "we have a hard time getting the fruit ripe."

The estate's vineyards are also distinguished by their soils, which are almost exclusively the velvety, airy sand known locally as sable. Quite remarkable in its softness, this soil possesses an airy lack of density that makes it feel quite spongy underfoot and quite velvety in the hand. This sand varies in depth between three and twelve feet and sits directly on top of what locals call safre, a fossil-ridden sandy limestone.

Because of the lack of any subsoil, not to mention much organic matter, these soils cannot support a high degree of vine density. The gnarled old head-trained Grenache vines that elsewhere in Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be planted as closely as one meter apart here must be placed in a two meter by two meter grid.

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Winemakers widely acknowledge that these sands somehow don't support the kind of longevity in vines that some of the other soils of the region do. When I ask Reynaud about this, he shrugs, and says, "We replace the dead vines every five years. A mix of ages gives complexity to the wine. It's like a family. The important thing is to replace gradually."

Replanting at the estate is done through a strict selection massale (mix of cuttings) from the best vineyard parcels, utilizing plant material that can be traced back to the first plantings on the estate.

"My uncle bought Grenache vines from a nursery once, but that was a mistake," admits Reynaud.

A combination of dry-farming, vine age, the infertility of the estate's soils, and a wanton disinterest in anything but the finest fruit results in yields that are all but microscopic: an average of 200 grams of fruit per vine, compared to a fairly standard kilogram for many other producers in the area.

These sandy soils yield wines of remarkable finesse and aromatics. Only a few producers in the region have the majority of their plantings on sand, but those wines tend to be much more floral and herbal than wines made from the more famous stony soils of the area.

The sun continued to shine as we wandered through the vineyards following the rain, mist rising magically from some shady corners as they were struck by the storm light.

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Our walk through the woods and vineyards concluded, we returned to the cellars to taste. When one tastes at Rayas, one tastes only barrel samples. During my visit, the only bottles visible anywhere were a set of old soldiers absentmindedly decorating a dusty shelf in the primitive offices that front the even more primitive cellar.

Château Rayas produces three wines under its estate label, a reserve red (100% Grenache) and white (Grenache Blanc and Clairette) Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and a less expensive Châteauneuf-du-Pape named Pignan, which is also 100% Grenache. Reynaud also produces two reds and a white Côtes du Rhône under the Château de Fonsalette label which are made at Rayas.

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The cellars at Rayas, perhaps not surprisingly, resemble many of the most exceptional wine cellars in which I have had the pleasure of tasting. Which is to say that they would give most hygiene-focused, technically trained winemakers nightmares. While Rayas may have been the first estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to use a pneumatic press for its grapes, its reputation for innovation stopped with that singular achievement. Since then, very little has changed in the cellar. Barrels average 70 years of age, but might as well be 200, so well do they blend into the mold-encrusted walls. The dim light available from the few overhead bulbs adds to an air of decrepitude.

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Reynaud prefers to use primarily demi-muid barrels, which, at 600 liters of capacity, are more than twice as big as the more common barriques that Bordeaux made popular. Once in a great while, when he is in the market for another barrel, Reynaud tries to buy demi-muids that are at least 10 years old, and then uses them at his Château des Tours property for another 7 to 10 years before bringing them to Rayas, where they can begin to acquire the patina that pervades the cellar.

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But from under this ancient blanket of detritus, what astonishment emerges.

Winemaking at Rayas remains disarmingly simple. The grapes are harvested by hand, carefully destemmed, and ferment in steel tanks with ambient yeasts. The wine gets transferred to barrels, where it undergoes its secondary malolactic fermentation, and then sits for a while before being racked once, and then bottled.

Our barrel tasting focused almost entirely on the 2012 vintage, which as I have already related, rates as nothing short of phenomenal in my book. None of the red wines we tasted were final blends, only components of blends, while the whites were in their final form save some additional aging in the barrel and bottle.

Here are my thoughts on these unformed creatures, a future taste of which I pray for daily.

2013 Château Rayas "Château Fonsalette - Barrel Sample" Côtes du Rhône Blanc Reserve, France
Light gold in the glass, this barrel sample smells of pears, apples, and wet stones. In the mouth bright apple and pear flavors are shot through with lemon and chamomile and dance juicily over a bed of wet stone minerality. Great acidity, nice finish. A blend of 2% Clairette, 2% Roussanne, 91% Grenache Blanc, and 5% Marsanne. The 2013 vintage yields were terrible, resulting in only 2 barrels of this wine being produced. Score: between 9 and 9.5.

2013 Château Rayas Blanc Barrel Sample, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Light blonde in color, this barrel sample smells of wet stones, lemon pith, and white flowers. In the mouth a floral tea quality mixes with chamomile, lemon zest, bee pollen and flowers over a bed of deep, alpine-river-water minerality. The pithy, chalky quality lingers in the finish beautifully, along with mouthwatering acidity. A blend of 50% Grenache Blanc and 50% Clairette. Fermented for 10 months before finishing. Only two barrels produced. Score: around 9.5.

2012 Château Rayas "Château Fonsalette - Barrel Sample" Côtes du Rhône Blanc Reserve, France
Light blonde in color, this barrel sample smells of poached pears, cold cream, and ranier cherries. In the mouth the wine has quite a beautiful texture, silk and satin delivering flavors of pears, wet stones, and exotic citrus flavors through an exceptionally long finish. Outstanding acid balance. 8% Clairette, 5% Marsanne, and 87% Grenache Blanc. Score: around 9.5.

2012 Château Rayas "Château Fonsalette - Barrel Sample" Cinsault, Côtes du Rhône, France
Light garnet in the glass, this barrel sample smells beautifully of garrigue mixed with bright forest berries and wet stones. In the mouth, stunningly lean and stony flavors of raspberry, strawberry, and exotic flowers mix with a deep mineral undertone. Floral notes linger in the finish. Very faint tannins and bright, juicy acidity.. This will comprise 35% of the final blend this year. Score: around 9.5.

2012 Château Rayas "Château Fonsalette - Barrel Sample 1" Grenache, Côtes du Rhône, France
Light garnet in the glass, this wine smells of exotic fresh herbs, flowers, and a sappy gorgeous mash of freshly plucked forest berries. In the mouth bright strawberry and raspberry fruit flavors are tinged with fresh green herbs, floral perfume, and wonderfully deep stony minerality. The wine possesses incredible depth and length, with faint tannins. The finish is exquisite, and the acidity phenomenal. This particular barrel sample is made from a set of younger vines grafted onto American rootstock. Score: between 9.5 and 10.

2012 Château Rayas "Château Fonsalette - Barrel Sample 2" Grenache, Côtes du Rhône, France
Light garnet in the glass, this barrel sample has an unbelievably floral nose, with exotic perfumes wafting in the glass along with sweet forest berries and fresh herbs. In the mouth the wine, which is made from a selection massale of old vines, has a deeper minerality than its younger sibling and much finer grained tannins. Phenomenally textured and gorgeously balanced between juicy bright strawberry and raspberry fruit and the deep mineral and forest floor notes that give the wine depth and poise. A knockout. Score: around 10.

2012 Château Rayas "Pignan - Barrel Sample" Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Pale garnet in color, this barrel sample smells of cedar and exotic fresh herbs, strawberry and spice. In the mouth spicy strawberry fruit bursts with fresh acidity and a deep stony minerality. Tangy and juicy, the wine kicks taste buds and saliva glands into overdrive, as cedar and the faintest of tannins linger in the finish. Outstanding. Made from the sandy vineyard at the heart of the Pignan lieu-dit that sits at the top of the hill and faces north towards the Ventoux. Score: around 9.5.

2012 Château Rayas "Le Coeur - Barrel Sample" Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Light garnet in color, this barrel sample has a tangy nose of brightly spiced strawberry fruit and an ethereal perfume of flowers wafting in the forest breeze. in the mouth the wine is nothing short of sensational, with a pitch perfect crystalline minerality that offers a magnifying lens to gorgeous strawberry, raspberry, and mulberry fruit that possesses an incredible aromatic sweetness on the palate and a remarkable juiciness thanks to outstanding acidity. Phenomenally supple, fine grained tannins add complexity and structure to what is undoubtedly the single best mouthful of Grenache I have ever had in my life. Kill me now. Made from the vineyard that sits at the center of the estate, just behind the winery. Score: around 10.

2012 Château Rayas "Sunset - Barrel Sample" Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Pale garnet in the glass, this barrel sample smells of wet tree bark, wet stones and lean bright forest berry fruit. In the mouth the wine has a remarkable transparency, as if its lean fruit flavors with a hint of spice are being viewed through a crystalline pane. Notes of strawberry and cedar mix with herbal and mineral undertones as they linger through a stunning finish. Remarkable. Made from the vineyard that Reynaud calls his "sunset" vineyard, the most western oriented vineyard that receives the last light of the day. Score: around 9.5.

2012 Château Rayas "Levain - Barrel Sample" Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Light garnet in color, this barrel sample has a slightly animal aspect to it, with floral notes of forest berries and wet stones sweeping in over the hint of funk. In the mouth gorgeous minerality surrounds pure strawberry fruit that is dusted with sandpapery tannins. Nice finish. This barrel has not yet been racked. Score: between 9 and 9.5.

2012 Château Rayas "Château Fonsalette - Barrel Sample" Syrah, Côtes du Rhône, France
Medium garnet in color, this barrel sample smells of spicy, peppery cassis. In the mouth beautiful blackberry and spicy, peppery flavors mix with deeper blueberry and wet dirt flavors. Powdery tannins dust the mouth as the lean fruit takes on a mineral note in the finish. This will comprise 15% of the final blend. Score: between 9 and 9.5.

And just like that, we emerged from the cellar, back into the daylight. It felt like waking from a dream. A dream I hope to revisit again at some point in my life.

Those interested in purchasing the wines of Chateau Rayas can find them online, in small quantities, for rather exorbitant prices. In my somewhat limited experience, they are worth every penny, provided they have been stored well.

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Author: "--" Tags: "Wine Reviews"
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Date: Saturday, 22 Mar 2014 05:15

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Tuscan Garden
The sun falls on an exquisitely manicured, Tuscan-style garden at Newton Vineyard in Napa, California.

INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops.

To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these.

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If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition print of this image please contact photographer Andy Katz through his web site.

ABOUT VINOGRAPHY IMAGES:
Vinography regularly features images by photographer Andy Katz for readers' personal use as desktop backgrounds or screen savers. We hope you enjoy them. Please respect the copyright on these images. These images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer.



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Date: Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 04:09

ipob_logo.jpgIt began on a whim and has become a focal point for the conversation about where California wine is going. The tasting known as In Pursuit of Balance, held last week at Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco (see below), and six weeks ago in New York, has now become the most talked-about wine event among the cognoscenti on either coast.

The event began four years ago as friends Jasmine Hirsch, daughter of famed Sonoma Coast pioneer David Hirsch, and sommelier Rajat Parr of the Michael Mina group fantasised about getting a group of their favourite California Pinot Noir producers together for a tasting. 'We kind of just put this together on the back of a napkin', recalled Parr as he kicked off this year's tasting in San Francisco.

At the time, the two friends had a desire to celebrate and draw attention to a group of winemakers whose approach to California Pinot Noir steered closer to the lower-alcohol, higher-acid model of Burgundy. 'When Jasmine and I spoke about having this tasting, it was just about what we were doing within this group of like-minded friends', said Parr. 'It was never about being better or worse, or what a lot of people have written about.'

Read the rest of the story on JancisRobinson.Com.

This article is my monthly column at JancisRobinson.Com, Alder on America, and is available only to subscribers of her web site. If you're not familiar with the site, I urge you to give it a try. It's only £6.99 a month or £69 per year ($11/mo or $109 a year for you Americans) and well worth the cost, especially considering you basically get free, searchable access to the Oxford Companion to Wine ($65) and the World Atlas of Wine ($50) as part of the subscription costs. Click here to sign up.



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Author: "--" Tags: "Ramblings and Rants"
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Date: Saturday, 15 Mar 2014 19:18

Vielles Vignes. Alte Reben. Viñas Viejas. Vinhas Velhas. These terms appear, if not frequently, then with some regularity on wine labels throughout the world. Here in California we're treated to "old vines," "ancient vines," and sometimes even "century vines," thanks to some particularly well-preserved specimens throughout the state.

Winegrowers sometimes make a big deal out of old vines, particularly when they are in possession of them.

But do they really matter? And if so, how?

These were two of many questions that I set out to answer with a panel of winemakers and their wines last week at the In Pursuit of Balance tasting here in San Francisco. The seminar was streamed live, and has now been archived, so I thought I'd share it with you. The conversation was excellent and the wines outstanding.

From left to right in the video, my panelists were: Steve Matthiasson Winemaker, Matthiasson; Michael McNeill, winemaker at Hanzell; Adam Tolmach, winemaker at Ojai Cellars; and Pax Mahle, winemaker at Wind Gap.

The wines we tasted, in order were:

2012 Wind Gap "Woodruff Vineyard" Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains (old vines)
2012 Wind Gap "James Berry Vineyard" Chardonnay, Paso Robles (old vines)
2011 Matthiasson "Michael Mara" Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast (old vines)
2011 Matthiasson "Linda Vista" Chardonnay, Napa Valley (young vines)
2012 Ojai "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley (planted 2002)
2012 Ojai "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley (planted 1973)
2012 Hanzell "de Brye Vineyard, East Slope - barrel sample" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Valley (1999 planting)
2012 Hanzell "de Brye Vineyard - barrel sample" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Valley (1976 planting)
2012 Hanzell "Ambassador's 1953 Vineyard - barrel sample" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Valley (1953 planting - oldest Pinot Noir vineyard in America)

Unfortunately, because I was busy running the seminar, I didn't get a chance to make notes on these wines to share with you.

Enjoy the conversation.

PART 1



Video streaming by Ustream

PART 2



Video streaming by Ustream

So, what do you think. What are your experiences with old vines. How would you answer the question as to whether, all other things being equal, do older vines make better wines than young vines?



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Author: "--" Tags: "Ramblings and Rants, Wine Activities"
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Date: Friday, 03 Jan 2014 06:40

Every wine region has its picturesque charms, and a few of the world's wine landscapes rise to the level of grandeur. A special few combine stunning topography and an incredible history of human toil in a way that almost defies belief.

Such is the feeling one gets staring down the steeply sloped vineyards of Germany's Mosel River Valley. The amount of effort (and more than a little bit of insanity) required to have planted vineyards on slopes approaching thirty degrees pitch seems mind-boggling. That's even before acknowledging the fact that many of these slopes consist of nothing more than a solid mass of fractured slate.

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Once they're planted, of course, they need to be farmed, which brings with it a whole new set of challenges. How do you farm a vineyard planted up the side of a ski run that would be rated somewhere between a black diamond and double black diamond at most ski resorts in the world?

The answer is: very carefully, slowly, and painfully. So much so that these steep slopes in the Mosel are becoming endangered species. Not unlike some of the other treacherously steep wine regions of the world such as the Douro and the Wachau, the Mosel river holds little attraction to younger generations of farmers. Not only are many of the children who might inherit such vineyards as part of their family legacy uninterested in the back-breaking work, they also see just how difficult it may be to come by a decent living even when farming these slopes successfully.

Consequently, steep vineyards throughout the Mosel are increasingly going up for sale, and occasionally falling into disrepair and neglect, as fewer people want to invest the effort into farming them. An effort which can literally mean ten times the number of hours per hectare farmed.

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But now, there's at least one potential ray of hope, in the form of a robot named Geisi.

Named after Geisenheim University, where it is being developed by researchers, Geisi might most easily be understood as the love-child between the Mars rover and a farm tractor.

Geisenheim-Roboter1.jpg

Designed to crawl up the slippery slopes of Mosel's steepest vineyards guided by GPS, this robot may be able to help with some of the most labor intensive aspects of farming these unique sites, including spraying and pruning.

What's more, farmers may be able to defray the cost of using the device thanks to EU subsidies focused on eco-friendly farming investments.

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As we say in the technology world, this Geisi is clearly not out of beta, but as ideas go, it's hardly more crazy than the folks who decided to hang these vineyards on the hills in the first place.

Read more about Geisi.

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Author: "--" Tags: "Wine News"
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Date: Sunday, 29 Dec 2013 05:36

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Stormy Skies
Stormy skies seen over a vineyard in Pope Valley. Most California vintners are wishing for such skies and the chance for the kind of green carpet we would normally have this time of year in the vineyards, as we continue through one of the driest winters in memory.

INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops.

To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these.

PRINTS:
If you are interested in owning an archive quality, limited edition print of this image please contact photographer Andy Katz through his web site.

ABOUT VINOGRAPHY IMAGES:
Vinography regularly features images by photographer Andy Katz for readers' personal use as desktop backgrounds or screen savers. We hope you enjoy them. Please respect the copyright on these images. These images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer.



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Author: "--" Tags: "Vinography Images"
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Date: Sunday, 29 Dec 2013 05:30

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Please join me in welcoming back photographer Andy Katz, whose work will again be featured weekly in the Vinography Images series starting this week.

Whenever I think of Andy Katz, I will always remember a particular moment from my trip to South Africa in the fall of 2008. He and I, along with four other journalists were riding in a van towards the Franschhoek Valley amidst intermittent rain showers and bursts of sunlight. We rounded a bend in the road and Andy started literally jumping up and down in his seat as he pleaded with the driver to stop the van. Out he leapt, before the vehicle had even come to a complete stop and rushed up a small embankment where he stood for the next 10 minutes as sunlight washed across a field of yellow canola beneath one of the most beautiful rainbows I've ever seen.

After recovering from our mix of shock and delight, the rest of us barreled out to join him in taking pictures or to simply gape at the beauty of the moment. And that wasn't the last time on that drive we had the same experience.

Andy's photographic journeys have taken him around the globe. From the Old Country in Eastern Europe to the bustling streets of India, to the California wine country, his subjects are as diverse as his travels and adventures.

Andy has published a dozen books of his work, including A Portrait of Napa and Sonoma; Concannon: The First One Hundred and Twenty-Five Years; New Zealand: Sea, Earth, Sky; Private Reserve; Robert Mondavi Winery; The Heart of Burgundy; Tuscany and Its Wines; and Vineyard. His prints are featured in museums and galleries worldwide including his own in Healdsburg, California.

Andy discovered his love for photography at a slightly younger age than he discovered his love of wine. These two passions have fueled his travels and his work for decades, and continue to do so.

You can see more of his work, as well as make inquiries about limited edition prints at his web site: andykatzphotography.com.

His work will be featured here weekly for at least the next year.



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Author: "--" Tags: "Vinography Images"
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Date: Wednesday, 25 Dec 2013 06:46

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Champagne cap collection in Reims France © 2013 George Rose.

When I look back on my days as a beginning wine drinker, I find many reasons to chuckle, and more than a few at which to shake my head. As we begin our journeys to becoming wine lovers there are so many things we do not know. Our limited experiences tell us something about the world of wine, but only much later do we realize how little.

For many years after I started drinking wine, I didn't like Champagne. I found it bitter and parching, an angular sort of drink that needed to be sipped politely when occasions called for it, but surreptitiously traded for a glass of white or red whenever the opportunity arose.

Only after several years of enjoying wine seriously did I realize that my experience with Champagne was like trying to see an entire landscape through a tiny peephole. It turns out that I simply just hadn't ever had any really good Champagne. In part, that is because neither I, nor the people whose parties I attended, bothered to pay enough to get the really good stuff.

For you see, the moment I learned the difference between really great Champagne and poor Champagne, I also learned just how much the good stuff costs. Are there a few great values under $40? Sure. But all the best Champagnes will cost you $60 or more.

It just took me many years to realize that they really are worth it.

Great Champagne is one of the world's most phenomenal wines. The best of them are both incredible versatile food wines, as well as utterly quaffable soloists.

At its best, Champagne offers the perfect blend between savory qualities -- saline notes, roasted nuts, or buttery brioche -- and the more typical floral and mineral elements we expect to find in white wine. The best Champagnes seem like meals in themselves, but without significant mass -- as if you could simply go on drinking glass after glass after glass.

I don't drink nearly enough Champagne, and chances are, neither do you.

And if you've never had the opportunity to sample well-aged Champagne, you're missing out on one of life's greatest pleasures.

My cellar is modest, and my pocketbook not so deep, so my chance to sample many of the world's top Champagne bottlings comes once a year when the Institute for the Masters of Wine comes to town and puts on their annual tasting. While it doesn't pretend to offer comprehensive coverage of the top Champagnes of the world, it does a fair job of bringing a number of the best small growers and large houses together for an evening of tasting.

Here are my favorites from this year's tasting.

ROSE CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9 AND 9.5

ruinart_rose.jpgNV Ruinart Brut Rosé $70
Pale baby pink in the glass with medium fine bubbles, this wine smells of sappy rosehips and apples. In the mouth, beautiful notes of rosehip, hibiscus, and red apple skin morph to pink grapefruit as the wine finishes beautifully. Juicy and delicious. click to buy.

2008 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé $65
Palest baby pink in the glass with medium-fine bubbles, this wine has a very stony aroma, with only the barest whiff of flowers and fruit. In the mouth, very juicy sour cherry and saline flavors leave the mouth puckering and wishing for more for a very long time. Delicious. click to buy.

2004 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque $260
Pale peach in color with medium-fine bubbles, this wine smells of citrus peel and hibiscus. In the mouth citrus and hibiscus notes merge with a deep stony quality that lingers for a long time through the finish. Quite pretty and bright, with lovely balance. click to buy.

2004 Pol Roger Brut $100
Light salmon in color with fine bubbles, this wine smells of citrus peel and rosehips. In the mouth, the mousse proves quite velvety, and carries delicate lemon and grapefruit flavors through a very long finish. Delicious. click to buy.

NV Camille Saves Brut Rosé Grand Cru $60 click to buy.
NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Rosé $65click to buy.
NV Henriot Brut Rosé $53 click to buy.
NV Lallier Brut Rosé Premier Cru $55 click to buy.

ROSE CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9

2004 Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé $75
Light baby pink in the glass with a hint of salmon, and medium-fine bubbles, this wine smells of toasted wood and berries. In the mouth yeasty flavors of oak, forest berries, and saltines are delivered on a velvety mousse. Ultimately a bit too much wood for my taste, but undeniably tasty. click to buy.

NV Pehu-Simonet Brut Rosé $70 click to buy.
NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut Rosé Sauvage $45 click to buy.
NV Taittinger Brut Prestige $60 click to buy.


ROSE CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
NV Champagne Bollinger Brut Rosé
NV Jacques Chaput Brut Rosé
NV La Caravelle Brut Rosé
NV Henri Billiot Brut Rosé

ROSE CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
NV Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Rosé

CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9.5 AND 10

2002 Piper-Heidsieck Brut Rare $150 brut_Rare.jpg
Pale gold in the glass with very fine bubbles, this wine smells beautifully of hazelnuts and sea air. In the mouth the wine has a wonderful toasted brioche quality that sings with bright lemon curd and lemon zest flavors over a bed of deep, resonant minerality. Beautifully soft mousse. Utterly mouthwatering and gulpable. Fantastic balance and acidity. click to buy.

2000 Pol Roger Brut Sir Winston Churchill Cuvee Prestige $200
Light gold in the glass with extra-fine bubbles, this wine smells of yeasty, toasted levain with a whiff of wet stones and dried flowers. In the mouth a velvety mousse delivers flavors of tangy green apple, fuji apple, and the salty buttery note of saltine, all on a lovely wet stone underbelly. Yum! click to buy.

1990 Veuve Clicquot Cave Priveé $215
Light greenish gold in the glass with extra-fine bubbles, this wine smells of very toasty, buttered sourdough. In the mouth the wine has a fantastic salinity to it, with more than a modicum of toasted oak, but the wood is forgivable amidst such a compelling melange of spices, buttered biscuit, and juicy citrus notes. Delicious. click to buy.

NV Krug Brut Grande Cuvée $135
Pale gold in the glass with extra-fine bubbles, this wine smells of toasted nuts and cream brioche bread pudding. In the mouth a gorgeously soft mousse delivers lemony, resiny toasted brioche flavors along with notes of creme brulee touched with sea salt. Perfectly balanced and just. So. Damn. Good. click to buy.

1995 Charles Heidsieck Brut Blanc des Millénaires Blanc de Blancs $190
Pale greenish gold in the glass with extra-fine bubbles, this wine smells of sappy lemon oil and toasted brioche. In the mouth the mousse is quite velvety with strong lemon oil and toasted brioche flavors and a pure crystalline minerality that is stunning. Gorgeous, with a long finish. click to buy.

2004 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs $125
Pale gold with a hint of greenness to it and extra fine bubbles in the glass, this wine has a wonderful lemony saline aroma. In the mouth, it is regal, with a laser-straight backbone of lemon zest and seawater that push the salivary glands to overdrive. Savory and delicious in a way that makes you want a gulp, and then another. Filigreed, with fantastic acidity and balance. click to buy.


CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5

2004 Moet & Chandon Dom Pérignon Brut $150
Pale greenish gold in the glass with fine bubbles, this wine smells of toasty biscuits, and a sappy citrus aroma that is quite arresting. In the mouth saline notes of green apple have that same resinous quality of the nose, and a hint of toastiness as the wine heads to a very long finish in which the mineral quality of the wine emerges. Fantastic. click to buy.

2000 Gosset Brut Grande Millesime $90
Light gold in the glass with extra-fine bubbles, this wine smells of baked apples and toasty buttery biscuits. In the mouth the wine is mouthwateringly saline, with a mix of toasty biscuits, hazelnuts, and a kelpy note that is quite delicious. Perfectly balanced, and quite delicate. Yum! click to buy.

1998 Henriot Brut Cuvée des Enchanteleurs $165
Pale gold in the glass with very fine bubbles, this wine smells of green apples with a hint of yeasty biscuits. In the mouth, a velvety mousse delivers flavors of green apple and wonderfully saline butter biscuits. A stunning mineral undertone crackles through the wine electrically. Remarkable. click to buy.

2003 Philipponnat Brut Millésime Cuvée 1522 $80
Light gold in the glass with very fine bubbles, this wine smells of lemony asian pear. In the mouth gorgeous asian pear and lemon juice flavors float on an ethereal foamy cloud that perfectly balances the floral and mineral components of the wine. Quite refined and utterly delicious. Wow. click to buy.

2005 Pierre Gimmonet & Fils Brut Cuvée Special Club Millésime $80
Light blond in the glass with fine bubbles, this wine smells of resinous apple and a hint of toasted sourdough. In the mouth, the mousse is quite soft and sensuous as it flashes notes of green apple, wet stones, and a trace of butter biscuits. Juicy and delicious, and utterly compelling. click to buy.

2002 Pol Roger Brut $85
Pale gold in the glass with very fine bubbles, this wine smells of bright apples and pears dusted with saltine crumbs. In the mouth the wine has an effortless quality to it, sliding easily down the throat without a second's thought. Deceptively light on its feet, this wine is a stunning feat of balance between mineral, floral, and citrus touched by a faint saline toastiness. click to buy.


CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9 AND 9.5

2005 Gaston-Chiquet Brut Cuvée Special Club Millésimé $80
Light gold in the glass with fine bubbles, this wine has a wonderfully mineral and saline aroma. In the mouth, the wine is quite stony, with deep mineral tones that lend the overall package a sense of glassiness. The mousse is ethereal and delicate. Focused and linear, with an edge that seems like it might cut you if you weren't careful. click to buy.

2005 Henriot Brut Millésimé $60
Pale greenish gold in color with fine bubbles this wine has a stony nose of green apple tartness. In the mouth a velvety mousse delivers flavors that all seem saturated with greenness -- green apple, cucumber, and a kelpy sea air quality that is quite attractive. Delicious and nicely balanced. click to buy.

2006 Louis Roederer Brut Vintage $65
Light gold in the glass with a greenish tinge and fine bubbles, this wine smells of bright lemon and apple aromas. In the mouth it has a piney aspect, with sappy lemon, apple, and unripe pear flavors that merge with a stonier quality. Notes of mineral, grapefruit, and fleur de sel linger in the finish. click to buy.

2006 Piper-Heidsieck Brut $70
Light gold in the glass with fine bubbles, this wine smells of unripe pear and apples. A moderately fine mousse delivers a cloud of apple, pear, and crushed stone flavors to the palate. Bright and juicy and delicious. click to buy.

2004 Veuve Clicquot Brut La Grande Dame $125
Light greenish gold in the glass with very fine bubbles, this wine smells of ripe apples and oak. In the mouth, a nice balance of bready, yeastiness and crisper apple flavors have a nice saline kick, but the finish doesn't measure up to the juicy flavors. Tasty, nonetheless. click to buy.

vilmart_Cellier.jpgNV Vilmart & Cie Brut Cuvée Grand Cellier $60
Palest gold in the glass with fine bubbles, this wine smells of cold cream and white flowers. In the mouth the wine is exceedingly floral, with gorgeous mineral tones and flavors of cold cream and vanilla, but little trace of oak. Crisp and bright and quite distinctive. click to buy.

2005 Ayala Brut Blanc de Blancs $80
Light gold in the glass with medium-fine bubbles, this wine smells of apples, wet stones, and pear skin. In the mouth, a crisp package of stony green apple and mountain spring water leaves a beautifully clean, long finish in its wake. Lean and delicious. click to buy.

2002 Pol Roger Brut Blanc de Blancs $90
Light gold in the glass with fine bubbles, this wine smells of toasty bread, apples, and asian pears. In the mouth a velvety mousse delivers wonderfully long and saline flavors of toasted oak, apples, and asian pears. Juicy and bright. click to buy.

NV Ruinart Brut Blanc de Blancs $63 click to buy.
NV Henriot Brut Souverain $35 click to buy.
NV Philipponnat Brut Royale Réserve $44 click to buy.


CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9

2004 Bollinger Brut La Grande Année $110
Light gold in the glass with medium-fine bubbles, this wine has a bright saline and yeasty aroma. In the mouth a soft mousse offers bright yeasty and lemony flavors with a nice tang to them. click to buy.

2004 Perrier-Jouet Brut Belle Epoque $125
Light greenish gold with medium-fine bubbles, this wine has a coarse mousse which reveals flavors of apple, pear, and a hint of biscuit. Mineral notes emerge on the finish. click to buy.

2004 Veuve Clicquot Brut $85
Palest gold in the glass with very fine bubbles, this wine smells of apple and sappy lemon aromas. In the mouth stony flavors of lemon, grapefruit, and pomelo zest have a tart and tasty quality. click to buy.

2006 Demiere-Ansiot Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru $70
Pale greenish gold in the glass with medium-fine bubbles, this wine smells of crushed cashews and sour citrus. In the mouth, flavors of lemon and pink grapefruit are juicy and bright and crisp. Tasty. click to buy.

2002 Pascal Doquet Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs $90
Light blonde in the glass with medium-fine bubbles, this wine smells of old parchment and asian pear. In the mouth, saline flavors of apple skin and a hint of biscuit stay juicy and bright through a crisp and lengthy finish. click to buy.

NV Bollinger Brut Special Cuvée $50 click to buy.
NV Gosset Brut Grande Reserve $58click to buy.
NV Perrier-Jouet Brut Grande Brut $35click to buy.
NV Varnier-Fanniere Brut Grande Cru $48click to buy.
NV Henriot Brut Blanc de Blancs $40click to buy.
NV Pascal Doquet Le Mesnil sur Oger Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs $80click to buy.
2006 Louis Roederer Brut Blanc de Blancs $80click to buy.


CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
NV Ayala Brut Majeur
NV Camille Saves Brut Carte Blanche Premier Cru
NV Charles Heidsieck Brut
NV Charles Ellner Brut Cuvée de Réserve
NV La Caravelle Brut Cuvée Niña
NV Lamiable Brut Grande Cru
NV Louis Roederer Brut Brut Premier
NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut
NV Pol Roger Brut Réserve White Foil
NV Roederer Estate Brut
NV Taittinger Brut La Française
NV Pol Roger Rich Extra Cuvee de Reserve Dosé
NV De Souza a Avize Brut Réserve Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
NV La Caravelle Brut Blanc de Blancs
Nv Demiere-Ansiot Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru

CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2007 Lamiable Cuvée Les Meslaines Blanc de Noir
NV Devaux Brut Cuvée D
NV Eric Rodez Brut Cuvée des Crayeres Grand Cru
NV Gaston-Chiquet Brut Tradition
NV Michel Loriot Brut Cuvée Réserve
NV Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Réserve
NV Pol Roger Non-Dosé Pure Extra Cuvee de Reserve
NV Gosset Brut Grand Blanc de Blancs

CHAMPAGNES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8 AND 8.5
NV G.H. Mumm Brut Cordon Rouge
2004 Pierre Moncuit Brut Grand Cru Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs



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Author: "--" Tags: "Sparkling Wine, Wine Reviews"
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Date: Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 05:42

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For the past few months I've been publishing a Flipboard Magazine version of Vinography. You can view it on the web, but it is really designed to be consumed on the iPad using the Flipboard app. I've not only been posting Vinography content to this magazine, but also lot of other articles, photographs, and other news from around the wine world.

I was told yesterday that the Vinography Flipboard Magazine was chosen as one of 74 Favorite magazines for 2013 by the employees of Flipboard. One of 74 doesn't sound so hot, until you hear that over 5 million Flipboard magazines have been created since the functionality was made available to the public.

You can see all 74 of the #magswelove choices from the Flipboard staff here (best viewed using the Flipboard app, of course).

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Author: "--" Tags: "Ramblings and Rants"
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