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Rising To The Top

Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2008 Winery Blogs

I've been meaning to comment about this article for awhile now, and some of you might have already read it, but I want to share it with the rest of our friends out there. There are always going to be the Frank Sinatra's of the wine world, the ones that never go out of style. Your Robert Mondavi's, your Joe Heitzs', your Louis Martini's...I think you get the picture. These men will always be known for the wonderful things they have done/will do for the world of wine. However, I also think it is important to look out for and know the up and coming winemakers. Parents and politicians are always saying "Children are the future." Well, the same holds true for these new "cult" wines. This article from the San Francisco Chronicle identifies 10 wineries to watch out for in the upcoming year, as well as a list of wineries that will most likely be on this list next year. I encourage you to go read it, and then go out and try some of the wines on the list. Some of them are kind of pricey, I know. However, many of them are not. And if you do go out and splurge on the pricier ones you will not be disappointed.

I really want to know what you guys think about the list. Are there any wineries you think should be on here? Any you are surprised that made it? Tell me!! Tell me!!
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Joining Technorati

Date: Thu, Jun 5, 2008 Winery Blogs

I joined Technorati today to get more readers for the blog!
So I thought I would write about it so you guys would know about it, plus I have to do a post on here with a special link to confirm that this is my blog.
So if you are on technorati add my blog to your favorties.

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By Land or By Sea?

Date: Thu, Jun 5, 2008 Winery Blogs

I’ve never really been into science. It never really “clicked” for me in school and I hated studying for it. It was just so tedious and the one thing that I really had to work at in school. However, I can’t deny the fact that wine making is a science, a rather fascinating one at that. And as much I hate having to learn about science, I love hearing about what other people discover in the scientific world, especially when it benefits me. So when I came across this article I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Lois Roederer has decided to place several dozen wine bottles 15 meters under water to see if the wine will taste better after discovering that the water in the bay is the ideal temperature, 10 degrees Celsius, for ageing wine. The wine will be left underwater for 12 months, and then Roederer will hold a tasting to see if the wine aged the normal way or aged underwater has a more satisfactory taste. I am looking forward to the results of the test and will keep you updated! I hope you guys are excited as I am.

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There's Something in the Water...or the Wine

Date: Wed, Jun 4, 2008 Winery Blogs

Well at least the French aren’t making the headlines this time. Travel a little Southwest and you will find the next scandal brewing! Brunello di Montalcino, one of the top Italian Brunello wine producers, has gotten themselves into quite the scandal. Brunello wine, by law, is supposed to be made only with Sangiovese grapes, and, well Brunello di Montalcino is being accused of using other non-permitted grape varieties. As much as I love to give people the benefit of the doubt, I just don’t know if I can on this one. By adding the other grapes, the company was trying to make their wine slightly sweeter to appeal to the North American palette. However, I feel that a truly good wine is like that adorable old couple you see once in a blue moon. If what you got is good, why change it?

As for now, the sale of 2003 vintage Brunello has been halted and some 600,000 bottles of wine have been impounded while the investigation continues.

Reputations are at stake here for sure. What are your thoughts on the investigation?

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What's the Real Deal?

Date: Tue, Jun 3, 2008 Winery Blogs

Well, in case you haven’t already heard after the busy weekend, France has outlawed all Internet advertising and promotion of wine. ANPAA, France’s National Association for Prevention of Alcohol and Addiction, really pressed the issue in court. For the sake of comparison, the ANPAA is like MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving), and when heard by the right people, can have quite an influence in the courts and amongst the authorities.

My thoughts on this decision: ABSURD! France is, as most of us know, a global wine competitor. So why would a country that is so in love with wine and that cherishes it so much not want their companies to be able to get the word out about their products? Especially through mediums that most people use on a daily basis? And let’s all ask ourselves one question…when they banned cigarette advertisements did it really make everyone stop smoking? So do the French think that taking away the advertisements is going to help their country’s alcohol problems? Perhaps the problem lies somewhere else, eh?

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Not the rose of your misspent youth!

Date: Tue, Jun 3, 2008 Winery Blogs

Chef Scotty came over on Sunday, and he recounted a banquet he threw for a bunch of good ol' boys, in the awl bidness. He had paired the wines with the courses, and he greeted the execs at the door with a glass of chilled rosé.

Eyebrows were raised. Looks were askance. "Gotta beer?" was a typical response. He held firm. But Texas boys of a certain age are just going to have that reaction to rosé. In our misspent youth, we guzzled saccharine sweet rosé like it was kool-ade. What was it called, Mateus? Boone's Farm? I think it came in a cute bottle, always a prerequisite for wine selection.

Even until recently, I have personally been biased against rosés. When Gladys and I visited Napa in January, we went o the Sattui winery, and the tour host offered a glass of this rosato, the 2006 North Coast rosato. Gladys and I both had to be talked in to trying it.

Really spectacular! Chef Scotty's story reminded me we had this in our "cellar" (no one really has cellars in Houston, we have wine rooms). I am going to chill it and savor it. I remember that it was crisp, dry, just a hint of sweetness, and a delicious slightly acrid flavor like the dusty residue of crushed grape pips. I notice that the winery took the precaution of putting the word "dry" on the label.

Chef Scotty says the awlmen loved the rosé. He said the topper though was when he told them that all the wines he served were CostCo's proprietary line of meritage wines, Cameron Hughes, which are all priced around $10 or so. Even in these flush times, awlmen love a bargain.Even in these flush times, awlmen love a bargain. - Posted by Enrico Hale

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Charles de Fère Blanc de Blanc

Date: Fri, May 30, 2008 Winery Blogs

It’s Friday so I thought I would write about something that will kick start all of our weekends…a “value-priced” bottle of Chardonnay. Less than $10 that is. On top of that, it tastes rather fantastic. You might be thinking to yourself, well what is the name of it…the suspense is killing me! Well wait no longer my friend, it is Charles de Fère Blanc de Blanc. This sparkling Chardonnay has profound, rich flavors of apple, spice, and butter, with a smooth texture and intricate finish. I love to start out my night with this or drink it with my appetizers. So go ahead and get your weekend started with a refreshing glass of wine without worrying about breaking the bank! Cheers!

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2004 Fife Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Date: Thu, May 29, 2008 Winery Blogs

In the blind tasting we had at our office the other day I had the opportunity to try a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon. I sampled the 2004 Fife Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. 420 cases is definitely not enough for this wine, as it impressed all the staff here at Personal Wine. Much of the credit should be given to the fantastic climate that the Fife Vineyard is located in. The Cabernet grapes grow in well-drained soil with good sun exposure, in a moderately warm climate. This means excellent Cabernet Sauvignon! The wine has a long abundant finish, with aromas of dark chocolate and dark berries. An excellent wine with steaks or just by itself.

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2006 Truchard Chardonnay

Date: Wed, May 28, 2008 Winery Blogs

Yesterday I gave you a little lesson on Chardonnay. Today, I am going to review one particular California Chardonnay to show you how to use some of the skills that I taught you yesterday and apply them. The wine I will be looking at today is Truchard’s 2006 Chardonnay. Many California Chardonnays are either crisp and refreshing, or filling and satisfying, depending on the climate where the grapes are grown. You might have figured out that crisp Chardonnays grow in cooler climates and filling grow in warmer climates. What is unique about Truchard’s Chardonnay is it is a unique blend of satisfying and refreshing because of the Carneros region where its grapes are grown is cool for much of the morning and rather warm throughout the day. It has a consistent and harmonious flavor that is pleasing to many palettes. I would recommend this wine with seafood dishes or poultry because of the ripe fruit flavors that are mellowed out by the vanilla and spice. Cheers!

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Chardonnay 101

Date: Tue, May 27, 2008 Winery Blogs

Even for the somewhat knowledgeable, Chardonnay’s can be a difficult wine to decipher. Chardonnay comes in many variations, depending on what region it comes from, and has the ability to blend smoothly with a variety of other grapes. Chardonnay can be a component of French Chablis, Champagne, and more commonly Burgundy. Because Chardonnay is used in so many other wines it is often difficult for wine drinkers to recognize its flavor. When drinking Chardonnay it is important to note how to recognize the quality of your wine. High quality Chardonnay has the ability to be served at just below room temperature and remain tasty. An average Chardonnay needs to be chilled quite a bit more, and so on and so forth. Chablis goes well with seafood, particularly delicate fish, because it is the driest. California and Australian Chardonnays are much fruitier, so I wouldn’t try them with seafood unless you are cooking it with a lot of flavors. I think that California Chardonnays are even great with some meats on the grill. Just give it a go! Cheers!

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Morgan Double L Vineyard Chardonnay - Dynamite!

Date: Sat, May 24, 2008 Winery Blogs

Yesterday I held a blind tasting with three chardonnays that I consistenly can attest to being outstanding year after year. I sampled Bernardus, Truchard and Morgan's 2006 Double L Vineyard Chardonnay. The Morgan took the vote with their select grapes from their organically grown Double L Vineyard, their choice lots. The Chardonnay is a knock out, exhibiting minerals, hints of apple, pear with a hint butter making the finish crisp and rich texture. Although I recommend all three highly, I say the Morgan is an absolute dynamite chardonnay. - Alex Andrawes, Wine Blog Board Member

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2000 St. Mary's Cabernet Sauvignon

Date: Thu, May 22, 2008 Winery Blogs

A case of 2000 St. Mary's Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia mysteriously ended up on my lap yesterday. The perfect excuse for an afternoon blind tasting at the office for the folks at Personal Wine. The reviews of this wine don't do it justice. Perhaps 8 years has provided ample time to turn this wine into the shining star it is today. It opens up with a well-balanced fruit bouquet. It has hints of vanilla, pepper, and wild berries. Its not too dry, which shouldn't be surprising since the tannins have had plenty of time to break down and dissipate. All in all during the blind tasting this afternoon, this wine won. I quickly made a phone call to my supplier and bought the last 14 cases in the state!

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Tom Wark's Daily Wine Blog

Date: Thu, May 22, 2008 Winery Blogs

I love when I meet someone or see somewhere that someone is as passionate about wine as I am. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I was browsing the net, doing some internet research, when I came across Tom Wark's wine blog. It drew me in because of his choice of offbeat topics, yet he still knew when he needed to just stick with the basics. I mean anyone can just go and write a blog on how they think wine tastes and other nonsense, you just have to do a little internet research. However, Tom really puts his heart into it, and I love that. I urge you to go check out his blog and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Toast to Robert Mondavi

Date: Mon, May 19, 2008 Winery Blogs

As most of you know by now, Robert Mondavi, Napa and America's Ambassador for Wine, recently passed away at the age of 94. Mondavi changed the course of the U.S. wine industry which, in 1966 (when he started Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville) was made up primarily of generic jug wines.

In 1968, Mondavi introduced Fume Blanc (1966 vintage) as a varietal. It (Sauvignon Blanc) is the grape of Pouilly-Fume and Sancerre in the Loire Valley, France, but Mondavi's rendition revealed a unique, gorgeous ripe fruit quality that was exciting to experience, and which was the forerunner of the great Sauvignon Blanc wines now coming out of California and other parts of the new world.

His reserve Pinots and Cabernets rivaled the greatest early Napa wines such as Heitz Martha's Vineyard and B.V. Private Reserve. He was an indefatigable visionary and marketing genius. I remember numerous occasions in the late '70s and throughout the'80s when he or his son Michael would open one of these great reds alongside a Grand Cru Burgundy or a First Growth Bordeaux, not to obtain flattering remarks, but to see what I thought about how they were doing by comparison. Proof of their success came when we entertained Isabel and Michael Mondavi in our home in the '90s, and among other wines served Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve 1985, Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1985 and Chateau Margaux 1985. Although very different wines, all agreed there was no perceptible difference in quality!

The next time you have a glass of wine with a friend, please raise a glass to toast Robert Mondavi. There may never be another one like him!

Written by Denman Moody, President of CorporateEventWines.com

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