Valpolicella, Valpolicella…Sorry I just love saying that. Valpolicella is a viticultural zone outside of Verona Italy. Three grapes are usually used to make the red wine known as Valpolicella…there I said it again…Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinera.
The Allegrini family has been making wine since the 16th century. All of that knowledge and history are all wrapped up in this bottle. The bouquet overflows with cherry, pepper and violet. The senses are immediately intrigued by the complexity. Once the juice hits your taste buds…..well let’s just say, “All Hell Breaks Loose.” Your mind is racing trying to determine all of the flavors, your mouth is watering and your body is begging for more. Shaking like an addict in withdrawal you raise the glass and give in to the hedonistic pleasures that await. The full bodied, rich and velvet texture coats and soothes the tongue. Savoring the liquid you become aware of the fresh fruit with slight herbal notes. The slight tannins give you that little pucker and of course that need for more, I am hooked.
Enjoy this delicious wine with light red meats and traditional Italian.
I don’t know if I had ever heard of Gamza, also known as Kadarka, before- doubtful. It is not a commonly known grape and definitely not one that roles of your tongue when discussing favorite varieties. Gamza is a very dark skinned grape that is common in Eastern Europe, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. Probably why it is not a well known variety. The fruit of the vine of Eastern Europe is just now starting to gain an audience here. And, after trying this one, it should play to major crowds.
Dark like a raven wing, with those purple tinges that keep your eyes busy trying to see everything going on. The red will come to play again. Think of bing cherries, raspberries. The explosion of flavor once it hits your tongue is not mono. A symphony of flavor rolls down your throat. A roll of the eyes in ecstasy. Soft tannins that just that bit more nuance. And the finish…not too long but very enjoyable and just enough for you to notice the bits of spice that come through.
This little trip through Bulgaria will set you back a whopping 12$ or under. IK say book your travel plans now.
I will note that this wine is difficult to find, and for 12$ you should pick it up if you ever do.
Pierre Amadieu has a long family history in fact the whole family, uncles cousins are involved in the wine industry. The Rhone is their home and they have become the “artists in residence” of the family. Rhone wines are predominantly grenache and syrah, with tidbits of others thrown in for balance. The Vinsobres is a vineyard in Southern Rhone.
This wine is Grenache and Syrah, medium bodied but still lush. Perfectly balanced with aromas of violets and lavender, a typical grenache. But then the juice hits the palate. Oh man what a sensation. The cherry and currant surprisingly work together, mouth watering in excess. Plum comes along at the end. Very very light tannins that just add that extra bit to the enjoyment. A magnificent, delicious wine. This is a wine meant to have with food. Roast, venison, rabbit. I enjoyed with a pan seared chicken. Another memorable evening.
Every now and then you come across something that really blow your mind. The wines of the Barton family are such. Leoville- Barton a second-growth and it’s sister, Langoa-Barton a third growth are just supreme wines. The Barton family has owned the vineyards since the mid 19th century.
Tonight I offer the 2006 Langoa-Barton, Wine Spectator gave it at 91. A score like that and it is considered a third growth (not if I were alive in 1855). The beautiful dark raven color shines in the glass. Like rubies sparkling in the light. The nose erupts from the uncorked bottle. Violets, roses, fresh very ripe fruit. A plentiful basket beckoning.
Loosening the liquid into the mouth your body immediately knows it is being allowed to sample something special. The full rich fruit coats your mouth and tongue. Cherry, blackberry, plum and currant. Soft, elegant tannins linger in the finish. Balanced, structured, complex….you come up with your own adjectives. Get this while you can not many are left.
Well I did it. Last night I asked HR to go pick out a bottle for me. There it is, the girl brings up a 2009 Baldacci Stag’s Leap, Black Label. Forget it….the earth shook and the heavens opened up. What a spectacular wine. The small winery has put forth some exciting and spectacular wines. The winery is nestled into the stag’s leap district, a few acres snuggled in with a cave. A must see for anyone heading out to Napa.
The winemaker for Baldacci is Rolando Herrera. He is a story unto himself. But, undoubtedly one of the best winemakers of the past 50 years. One day I would really like to just tell his story. But tonight is all about the wine.
This is probably the softest, silkiest wine you will every have..and full bodied to boot. The nose is pure red fruit. Cherry jumps at you then plum, raspberry followed by a little smokiness.
But oh the taste. The full richness envelopes you as you pour the juice into your mouth. The depth reeks havoc on your senses. Your body quivers as tears slowly role down your cheeks. Simple perfection. The tannis are so silky just leaving that velvet glove touch in your mouth. I cannot put into words the beautiful pleasure. You must try, and you know my motto. “Everyday is a special day.”
Truth be told I am a huge fan of the Boisset family wines. I have never had one that was anything less than exhilarating , I have had the pleasure of visiting their wineries in California and Burgundy. The Christophe series is from vineyards in Oakville.
The nose is full of currant, plum and cassis. The juice is concentrated, full bodied, well balanced and rich. What can I say. It has a slight earthy note on the tongue. Featuring notes of vanilla, and cocoa. Long finish with very bold tannins. It requires protein to build on. A great dinner wine. Make it a great meal.
I have to say Spanish wines are becoming my favorites. In a short period of time they have progressed so far. While other wine regions are stagnant or progressing slowly, Spain is moving forward rapidly.
Speaking of progress and change, the Montsant region is one. A recently established DO, 2001, with only about 57 wineries. And my I add producing some robust wines.
Tonight I am talking about Can Blau. Oh damn so good. The nose is very floral, lavendar, violet all of those dark floral notes.
The juice is luscious. A complex blend of Mazuelo, Syrah and Garnacha. WOW, what an effect. A beautifully gorgeous full bodied wine. Notes of dark berries, black pepper and spices. This is a spectacular example of Spain. Robust, full bodied and rich. I am not sure if Penelope Cruz is from Spain, but oh my God this would be her wine.
When most think of cabernet, California comes to mind automatically, mainly Napa but sometimes Sonoma. What about Washington state, or Idaho? Idaho are you kidding me? No, pinot maybe,-noir or gris- but cab?
What if I were to tell you about a little winery in Columbia Valley that makes a phenomenal cab. The winery is owned by Kimber Gates. It is uniquely located in Coeur D Alene, Idaho, with vineyards in Washington state, mainly Columbia Valley.
The wines are SPECIAL!!!!! Very small production with a total commitment to quality.
I had the extra special pleasure of the 2010 Cabernet. Pedigreed with cabernet grapes from the Bacchus vineyards, and cab franc from McKinley Springs Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills. Can you imagine this lineage.
The wine is so deep and rich. Cherry and mocha notes right off the bat. Wow, the wine is so supple and full. Full bodied with long muscled tannins. SUPREME! Chocolate and cherry, who can resist. Plain out damn good…
Chateau Ferran is located in the Pessac Leognan., Graves. This region is known for both red and white wines unlike most Bordeaux areas. Most famous for being the home of Chateau Haut-Brion. Being on the left bank, the predominant grape is Cabernet.
Chateau Ferran was a gift to me to sample. I was not disappointed and will accept gifts as these any time. Thank You. The nose emitted an air of old world mustiness. Not in an off putting way though. A typical aroma of wild ripe fruit that grows in the woods, berries of sorts, combined with an earthy truffle mushroom note. Yea, I know most of you are thinking WHAT? who would drink that, but believe me you will not be disappointed if you did.
The flavom hits you full force. Front and center comes that earthiness immediately on its heels, the berries. Rich and fruity. Black berry, currant, cherry, a bit of coffee and chocolate are noted too, are all combined to make this an overwhelming mind blowing experience. Slight hinders of cedar and smooth tannins with a long, long, long finish. Very well structured with all the planes of flavor evenly spread. A big dinner wine.
Happy New Year to everyone, hope you all had as nice a holiday season as me. I pretty much took the period from Thanksgiving to New Years as a little holiday from blogging too. Too much goin on ya know.
In keeping with my resolution to enjoy every day and not wait for that special occasion to enjoy that special wine I now share with you Pina Cabernet D’Adamo. My personal favorite cab., and my thoughts as to what the others strive to be.
Pina winery sits on the Silverado trail just out of Rutherford, who could ask for a better pedigree. The winery is owned and operated by four brothers. The family history in Napa goes back generations. A leading and very well respected family in many different aspects of wine making and vineyard management.
Anna Monticelli is the wine maker. And what a pedigree she carries. Degrees in viticulture and enology, honing her craft in Bordeaux and studying under some of the best known names in wine. She is also married to Mario, the winemaker at Trinchero. Oh to be a fly on the wall when they are enjoying a glass.
Now to the wine. The nose exudes fresh ripe fruit; cherry, strawberry, a touch of leather and earthiness. Just to give it that added something. The wine fills the glass with a color reminiscent of ravens wings flapping in the night.
And oh the joy that permeates my body as I partake of this treasure. My mouth wants to explode, so many flavors going on- how can I define them, will have to take another sip. That rich dark fruit, abundant in this wine. Cherry, currant, hints of ripe blueberry. The flavors erupt in my mouth and send shivers through my body. A hint of oak adds more depth and structure and more flavor. The soft, silky, velvet tannins linger in the mouth just long enough, I absently take another sip. The satisfaction of enjoying perfection. Such depth, such structure, such…perfection. Baccus never had it so good. Thank You Pina.