Apparently it's some kinda Champagne Day. If so, this post is a tribute to the rise of the grower-producers, like Bérêche et Fils. Barely existing 30 years ago because they just sold their fruit to major champagne houses, these artisanal wineries have dramatically changed the landscape of Champagne - much to the benefit of consumers. This Brut Réserve beautifully presents laser-focused fruit, acidity and terroir. Delicious. But seriously, every day should be Bubbly Day, right? 🍾😉
Castellare di Castellina "I Sodi di San Niccollò" Toscana is 85% Sangioveto (Sangiovese) and 15% Malvasia Nera. Tasted from three different glasses (#Zalto ; #Riedel ; and #LehmannGlass ), the generosity of the black fruit shone in the latter two glasses; whereas the Zalto accentuated the cedar and "dirt" in this wonderful blend. The winner? Clearly, I was. 😋🍷😉
Such a pleasure when a wine tastes as good as its label - André Clouet Grande Réserve Brut is certainly one of them. 100% Pinot Noir from Grand Cru vineyards in Bouzy. Absolutely delicious with its apple pear flavors and delicate mousse. And paired with the best #lobstaroll I have ever had - 😋 beyond words. @fish.wives
@podereleripi is a 133 acre estate perched on a beautiful hilltop in Montalcino. Only used by a shepherd and his sheep until 1998, the biodynamic vineyard marvelously expresses its terroir. To borrow a favorite word from Galloni, this '12 Lupi e Sirene Brunello "bursts" from the glass with balsamic, red fruit and wild Mediterranean herb aromas and flavors. Part of the portfolio of @selecttasting - Bravo!
#LakeCountyStrong - Another wine region deeply affected by the devastating fires, north of Napa Valley. Winemaker Jed Steele put this region on the fine wine map, imho, despite its long history since mid-1800's. From vines planted at 2,200 ft, and by Andy Beckstoffer, this '12 single vineyard from Lake & Vine impresses with oodles of black fruit and mountain grown structure. A world class Cabernet Sauvignon. @steelewines - Bravo! Been drinking your fabulous Pinots for decades.
One of the most exciting newer wineries from Napa Valley is @matthiasson_wine. This '16 Chardonnay is from a cool climate single vineyard in West Oak Knoll (Linda Vista), and the grapes were harvested three separate times for acidity, fruit and complexity. With only 12.8% ABV, this tangy minerally white paired deliciously with #makiroll .
Sonoma County was the first wine country I really embraced, with its vast bucolic beautiful scenery. And knowing people like @cushdonelan and the folks @donelanwine also makes the devastating fires so much more heartbreaking and poignant. But they will prevail. The passion and dedication of our brothers and sisters there are second to none. #SonomaStrong 🙏🏼🙏🏼
No tasting notes for this wine from OVID, graciously shared by @harmacist. The devastation from one of the worst fires in California history is so saddening, and has deeply affect so many people and the state's wine industry. Visited OVID earlier this year on top of Pritchard Hill, overlooking the entire majestic Napa Valley. Cannot imagine the scenery right now from that vista. #napastrong #sonomastrong 🙏🏼🙏🏼
The history of Domaine Chavy-Chouet reads like a classic novel, and was told by the incomparable @wine.with.alexx, based upon her recent visit. Here's the short story: It was once owned by the widow Chouet. Chavy worked the vineyard for almost nothing to help the widow, as well as his passion for viticulture. When she passed, the widow bequeath the entire estate to a shocked Chavy. Fast forward to the 21st century. One of the Chavy descendants, by sheer coincidence, marries a woman with a maiden name of Chouet. Destiny! @chavychouet - I hope my recitation is accurate and look forward to trying your Meursault soon! BTW, these oysters, clams, mussels, lobster, Peruvian scallops didn't stand a chance against my big appetite. So delish!
@fish.wives is one of the best new restaurants in town. Impeccably fresh seafood, deftly prepared by owner/chef who worked at some of best seafood places in LA. Grilled Spanish octopus with squid ink vinaigrette and Maryland blue crab cake were so delish. Paired well with a '14 Soter Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton, Willamette Valley. Tony Soter, after obtaining rockstar status as consultant winemaker for esteemed wineries in Napa Valley, such as Spottswoode, Shafer, Araujo, Dalla Valle, etc., and opening his own winery (Etude), moved to Oregon and is now making delicious soulful Pinots. What a meal!
100 point alert! Actually, this '03 Schrader T6 (Clone 6 Cabernet) Beckstoffer To-Kalon got a RP99, but confess I couldn't discern the difference between a 99 v. 100 point wine. Either score, this was insanely delicious with NY strip steak. Schrader only produces 2.5k to 4k cases a year, and has no vineyards - all purchased fruit. It was sold recently. So, what's the value of a name? A lot -- about US$60million worth. @tdengen128 - Thanks for sharing! 🍷🙏🏼
Does stemware affect the taste of wines? Absolutely! Left: #Zalto Universal; Right: #Riedel Vinum Series Burgundy. With Zalto, this '15 Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay smelled and tasted crisp and angular - more Burgundian. With Riedel, the California sunshine shone much more bright with richer tropical fruit flavors dominating the sensory experience. Such different wines. @brewerclifton - Bravo for making a delicious multi-faceted wine!
Oysters and Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie -- a classic pairing, and with good reason. And one of my favorite producers is Domaine de la Pépière. This '15 "La Pépie" is one of the world's best wine values. Refreshing, complex, and compelling. Impossible to stop at one glass; instead, a second bottle is much more likely!
Whenever I travel, I try to drink local wines. It is my way of showing respect to the people and places, and part of the joys of travel. Bernardus is an iconic winery in the Monterey Peninsula. This Chardonnay grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands has a delicious combination of lush fruit flavors with a refreshing maritime influence. Also, drinking wine with this view does not hurt a bit!
While many NapaCabs are now showing similar ripe dense flavor profiles, Dominus is decidedly different. This '12 has plenty of black fruit and concentration, but elegance and structure from judicious early grape picking, rather than extended hang-time for maximal ripeness. A 30-year wine that met an early sacrifice, but got one more bottle to try in a decade or so (if I can keep my hands off it for that long).