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2009 Valdivieso Leyda Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Date: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 Wine Tasting

I first tried this single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from Chile's Ledya Valley in an amazing "blogger tasting" conducted by several amazing vintners from Chile. It was a tasting focused on Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and the many different soils and climates it is made in there. Check out the tasting notes here.

Anyways, this bottle during the tasting seemed a bit off for everyone in the group, so they graciously decided to send out another bottle for everyone to re-taste. (Pretty cool if you ask me!)

The really unique thing about this particular wine is that it's partially aged in oak and is wild fermented. They used 500-liter French oak barrels for a total of 6 months, didn't add any yeasts, nor did it undergo malolactic fermentation.

On the nose I get a quite distinct tone of grapefruit, that combines with a pronounced grassiness and minerality.

On the palate the wine is slightly viscous in texture but maintains it's high acidity, which is of course quite typical of the varietal and the cooler climate SB's in general. The mineral characteristics translate onto the palate where the wine displays flavors of citrus, kiwi, and a touch of toast. The finish is quite long and powerful and perhaps flaunts a touch of it's 14% by volume!

I really enjoy this wine and how they've taken a different approach to winemaking and crafting a unique wine. What's great is that although the wine is fermented in oak, they didn't overdue it or over-spice it. It's pretty well balanced and has nice complexity. 88 points

Click here to find out more about this wine

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Chablis Wine Tour - Burgundy Wine Board

Date: Mon, Jun 7, 2010 Wine Tasting

I wanted to pass along an invite I received to a fantastic series of events that is taking place this month in five US cities.

The Burgundy Wine Board has put together an amazing tasting event in New York that will feature the Chablis winegrowers, wine merchants, and the Chablis cooperative. This tasting which is to take place on June 14th will offer a unique opportunity to meet and exchange with the Chablisiens.

Anyone that works in the wine trade and lives in Washington, Chicago, Boston or Miami will also be able to attend, upon reserving your spot, a training seminar on the fundamentals of Chablis Wines.

New York, Monday 14thJune 2010
Training seminar: 10.30 am to 12 pm Grand tasting: 12 pm to 5 pm
Tribeca Rooftop
2 Desbrosses Street, New York, NY 10013
(between Hudson & Greenwich Street)
Subway station: Canal St. (1 train)

Washington DC, Tuesday 15thJune 2010
1stsession: 1.30pm to 3.00pm or 2ndsession: 4.00pm to 5.30pm
Marriott Renaissance Hotel
999 Ninth Street NW Washington, DC 20001

Chicago, Wednesday 16thJune 2010
1stsession: 10.30am to 12.00pm or 2ndsession: 2.00pm to 3.30pm
Marriott Downtown
540 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611

Boston, Thursday 17thJune 2010
1stsession: 10.30am to 12.00pm or 2ndsession: 2.00pm to 3.30pm
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street Boston, MA 02116

Miami, Friday 18th June 2010
1st session: 1.30pm to 3.00pm or 2nd session: 4.00pm to 5.30pm
J W Marriott Miami
1109 Brickell Avenue Miami, FL 33131

Please confirm your participation before Sunday 13th June
Invitation for trade professionals and media only
Please contact Jonathan Beresford (Fleishman-Hillard) By email: Jonathan.Beresford@fleishmaneurope.com By phone: +33 1 47 42 48 08 To learn more about Chablis wines www.chablis.fr To learn more about Burgundy wines www.vins-bourgogne.fr

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Blood Into Wine - Arizona Wine with Maynard Keenan & Eric Glomski

Date: Sat, May 29, 2010 Wine Tasting

I'm dying to see this new documentary about Maynard Keenan and Erik Glomski and their wine growing adventure in Arizona. The trailers look really fun and as soon as my copy shows up I'll write a nice little review of the movie. For now check it out below and if you want to grab a copy buy it from Amazon on the link below!

Trailer #1

Trailer #2

Grab a copy here on Amazon if you're like me and can't wait to see this one!

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2007 Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Syrah

Date: Wed, May 19, 2010 Wine Tasting

This single vineyard Syrah from Chile's Cachapoal Valley is prime example of the stunning quality available from the prime vineyard sites in this country. Casa Lapostolle has been making exceptional wines for the last decade or so and continue to impress with their Cuvée Alexandre wines.

The Las Kuras Vineyard is located only 5 kilometers from the base of the Andes Mountain, on an old river bed. The soils are made up of alluvial terraces which are areas of shallow soils, with an abundance of round river rocks and gravel, similar to the Graves of Bordeaux. The high percentage of pebbles provides excellent drainage, great aeration and low fertility. Also, the stones trap the heat during the day to deliver it by night, creating a unique microclimate.

This wine is made from 100% Syrah and was aged in French oak barrels (65% new oak, 16% second fill oak and 19% third fill) for 21 months.

The color of this wine is a deep purple that carries an opaque core and only slightly gets reddish towards the edges of the glass.

On the nose I get loads of black fruits such as currant and sour black cherry. There are also seductive aromas of cedar, spice, coco powder, tobacco, and black tea.

On the palate the huge black fruits continue to dominate with black currant, black cherry, toasted oak, semi-sweet chocolate, and subtle hints of tobacco that make up this complex flavor profile. This wine is rich and textured, finishing with notes of graphite or pencil lead and a nice dose of dry tannins.

This wine is drinking quite brilliantly right now and I anticipate that it will continue to improve over the next decade in the cellar. It possesses the richness of a California Syrah and the refinement and balance of France's Rhone.92 points

Click here to find out more about this wine

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2008 Quintay Q Pinot Noir - Casablanca Valley Chile

Date: Tue, May 18, 2010 Wine Tasting

My recent exploration into the world of Chilean wines is frankly a demonstration of the increased quality and overall availability of these fine wines. As Chile continues to discover their potential for making world class wines, it's imperative to dive into the diverse selection of varietals and wine regions in order to find the hidden gems, and keep them for our own before they are unearthed world wide. For more information on this wine and other amazing Chilean wines please visit Wines of Chile.

Viña Quintay is situated in the valleys of Casablanca and Leyda, which are regarded as Chile’s quintessential cool climate regions for wines of elegance, and testament to its obvious winemaking potential. The vineyards of Quintay are significantly influenced by the cold Humbolt current, which runs down the length of Chile, where cool air is pulled in by the warmer central valley, thus providing a natural coolness throughout the growing season.

The 2008 Quintay Pinot Noir was made from grapes sourced from the central sector of the valley of Casablanca. The grapes were hand harvested and the fermentation and aging was done in both stainless steel and french oak barrels.

On the nose the wine reminds me of a cool climate Sonoma Pinot noir and shows brilliant aromas of wild raspberry, black cherry, rhubarb, and slight hints of crushed rock and soil. The bouquet perfectly exemplifies the varietal. As the wine opens up in the glass distinct soil/terroir characters start to unfold and meld together with the classic fruity notes.

On the palate I get beautiful tart and fresh fruit flavors of black cherry, red raspberry, and cranberry. This is definitely a cool climate wine, that has a touch of rusticity and subtle hints of herb and mineral. I enjoy the elegance and purity of the wine and the fact that the vintner let the grapes do the talking. That is to say that they didn't impose any obvious winery techniques or suck the life out of the wine with too much time in new wood.

Overall I have to admit I'm really impressed with this wine. I have tasted dozens of thirty to forty dollar Pinot noir from California that probably doesn't taste quite as good as this. 90+ points

Click here to find out more about this wine

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Wines of Chile - 2009 Sauvignon Blanc - TASTING

Date: Wed, May 12, 2010 Wine Tasting

What a fabulous opportunity I had today to participate in a virtual wine tasting via the Internet. This was no ordinary tasting event. It was conducted by Master Sommelier and Wines of Chile (Vinos de Chile) Educator, Fred Dexheimer. Fred was also accompanied (via the web) by eight wonderful vintners, live from Chile.

As noted in the title of this post, the blogger tasting theme was 2009 Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. The provider of the wines was a great organization called Wines of Chile or in Espanol - Vinos de Chile!

Wines of Chile is an organization committed to promoting the quality and image of Chilean wine throughout the world. It has offices in Santiago, London, and New York, as well as representatives in Canada, Ireland, and Denmark, and also works closely with ProChile to develop and offer promotional and educational programs in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Wines of Chile’s 76 member wineries belong to Vinos de Chile and represent 85% of Chile’s bottled wine exports.

These are the eight different 2009 Chilean Sauvignon Blanc's that we tasted in order from left to right. During the tasting I tried to pay close attention to the vintners and enjoy the wines as much as possible without taking copious notes. However, a few hours later once my nose and palate were ready for action again, I tasted the wines once more and took notes on what I really thought of each individual wine.

Below are my tasting notes and scores for each wine. Soon I will provide links below each tasting note for a more comprehensive look at each wine and my complete run down of the more geeky-tech stuff!

2009 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva - Casablanca Valley
Nose: Citrus, lime peel, kiwi, mineral, lemon-lime, tart pear, wet pavement, and hints of salty sea water
Flavors: Citrus, lemon-lime, kiwi, flower, mineral.
Notes: Crisp Acidity, clean, fresh, savory, simple
Score: 86 Points

2009 Ventisquero Queulat Sauvignon Blanc - Casablanca Valley
Nose: Green bean, chalk, green-grapefruit, lime peel, mineral, stones
Flavors: Mineral, tart honeydew rind, hint of green-veg on the finish
Notes: Nose is very terroir (soil) driven, very tart-high acidity, would be brilliant with shellfish and also may appeal to old world S.B. lovers because of it's mineral-driven style.
Score: 85+ Points

2009 Undurraga T.H. Sauvignon Blanc - Leyda Valley
Nose: Mandarin orange, orange blossom, hints of papaya, lees or yeast, citrus zest, mineral, grapefruit, lime peel
Flavors: key lime pie, lemon curd, mineral, slight touch of smoke or flint, gooseberry, grapefruit
Notes: Creamy texture on mid-palate, very crisp acidity, well balanced
Score: 88+ Points

2009 Valdivieso Leyda Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc - Leyda Valley
Nose: Sherry, apple skin, Oxidized
Flavors: Sherry, nuts
Notes: This wine was sadly but quite obviously oxidized (The whole tasting group agreed) Bad Case?
Score: None

2009 Santa Rita Medalla Real Sauvignon Blanc - Leyda Valley
Nose: Very herbaceous, heavy gooseberry, yellow grapefruit, mineral, spice
Flavors: Tart lemon-lime, gooooooooseberry, grapefruit, mineral, wet stone
Notes: Wine of the night! Bombastic! Piercing acidity, powerful, intense, wild, exotic, spicy, complex, provocative, a straight palate buster! May not be for everyone, but watch out New Zealand fans!
Score: 91 points

2009 Cono Sur Organic Sauvignon Blanc - San Antonio Valley
Nose: Tropical fruits, ripe pineapple, lees or yeast character, cream sickle, honeysuckle
Flavors: Orange cream sickle, honey suckle, stone fruits, touch of residual sugar or sweetness
Notes: Tasting group loved this wine, round and somewhat viscous texture, mouth coating, perhaps a bit of sugar which makes it a definite crowd pleaser, appealing and uncomplicated, balanced.
Score: 89+ Points

2009 Haras de Pirque Estate Sauvignon Blanc - Maipo Valley
Nose: Tropical fruits, hints of guava, meyer lemon, mineral, kiwi, white blossom, light citrus
Flavors: Melon rind, lemon-lime, tart kiwi, asian pear, crab apple
Notes: Slightly subdued nose, but one of the more expressive and mouth watering on the palate, great balance, ripe fruit.
Score: 87 Points

2009 Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc Paredones Estate - Colchagua Valley
Nose: Musky, floral, blossoms, citrus peel, slight grassiness, wet stone
Flavors: lime soda, mineral, marmelade, sweet Mexican key limes
Notes: Aromatically very different from the group, well made, perplexing, tart acid, but lush on finish. May need the perfect dish to really bring about it's greatness.
Score: 88 points

What I found to be amazing about these wines was the dramatic differences expressed within the same varietal category. I believe firmly this is a stunning example of the theory of terroir, and the distinct expressions of soil, climate, clonal selection, and winemaking techniques. - Perhaps in that order of importance and impact too.

Within this tasting there were five Chilean D.O.'s (appellations) represented and everyone of them had distinct characteristics that uniquely defined them. The wines from Leyda (with exception of the faulty bottle) were mind-blowers!

I'd like to give a special thanks toFred Dexheimer and his distinguished panel of vineyard representatives, Wines of Chile, and Morgan Perry and the folks over at the thomas collective.

Stay tuned for in-depth reviews of each of these wines and a continued focus on the quality wines of Chile.

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Lesley Stowe raincoast crisps are amazing!

Date: Wed, May 5, 2010 Wine Tasting

These fruit and nut crisps called "raincoast crisps" from Lesley Stowe are absolutely amazing with cheese and wine. They have a crisp texture and when combined with a creamy cheese they're hard to beat! This is really not a shameless plug......Search for em' at Whole Foods. You won't be disappointed!

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The Traveling Vineyard going out of business

Date: Sun, May 2, 2010 Wine Tasting

Have you ever heard of the Traveling Vineyard? Hopefully none of you got duped into their in-home tasting business. The concept in my opinion was always going to be doomed because who really wants to mix the "Amway Approach" with wine? The reason we drink wine with friends is so we can enjoy eachother and have a great time.....Not so we can get our friends to buy the wine we're tasting.

Anyways, it was reported in the Boston Heraldthat the Traveling vineyard is filing chapter 7 bankruptcy.

"Just a year after selling off an online wine retailer for $2.5 million, Braintree-based Vinification Ventures Inc. has filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition for its in-home wine tasting company.

Vinification Ventures listed debt of at least $6 million for Traveling Vineyard in court documents filed on Wednesday. Traveling Vineyard is seeking to liquidate after eight years in business."

Looks like the in-home wine tasting thing just couldn't make during these difficult economic times. I'm sure people would much rather buy overpriced make-up and health products from their friends!

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Do wine bloggers have an impact on consumer purchasing?

Date: Sun, May 2, 2010 Wine Tasting

With the mind-boggling influx of self-published wine journals and weblogs, many wineries, wine marketing firms, and mainstream wine media folks may be contemplating this question quite seriously.

How many blogs out there are like this one? (having posted more than 500 wine reviews)

Last year my little "hobby blog" called The Blog Wine Cellar received more than 60,000 unique visitors. Now whether or not these web surfers give a damn about what is said here on this space is inconsequential,it's still a staggering amount of eyeballs.....

Now, take my blog and multiply it by at least a thousand and you all of a sudden have 60,000,000 eyeballs. Yes that's right.....Sixty million people visiting wine blogs.

Still wondering if we make a difference?

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Great place to find office furniture

Date: Sat, May 1, 2010 Wine Tasting

If your thinking about doing a bit office shopping for your new office, then BT office furnitureis the place you should definitely check out. They have an amazing variety of items and everything you'd need to furnish your home or business office.

The BT Office Furniture Group supplies one of the largest selections of office furniture available online, featuring a range of styles, colours and materials to suit homes and businesses of all sizes. Whether you're looking for an individual desk or a complete office re-fit, our office furniture has been chosen for its outstanding quality, stylish design and clever functionality. Their products range from economy, for those on a tight budget, to beautifully crafted designer executive desks for the style conscious.

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List of things needed for an amazing wine party

Date: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 Wine Tasting

I've been to countless wine parties in the last five or so years and have come up with a list of musts for a great party! It's important to remember that the people attending are really the most important element, but there are a few things that can add to the experience. Here you go:

1: Good Music - Usually bluesy-style jazz works! Rap, hard rock, religious....not so much :)

2: Good Eats - A big meal isn't always needed, however something to cleans the palate and pair with the wine is essential. Cheese and cracker is the no brainer, but what about Spanish tapas or perhaps a fig cake of sorts?? The more exotic the selection the more memorable. Just make sure it's not too offensive!

3: Bottled Water - This is essential for those guests who love to swallow every pour. You're not going to want to use any extra dishes or create much more of a mess. Bottled water is cheap and very convenient for you and your guests. Plus no one wants to get sick or dehydrated.

4: Stimulating Conversation - Have a laptop close by in the case you want to talk about wine press! Keep the convo away from controversy and try to get the guests focused on the beauty and intricacy of the wine. Keep the music low enough.....perhaps some wine trivia? Ask people around the table specifically of their thoughts on a particular wine.

5: Proper Stemware - Having enough wine stems for your guests is the number one priority, but if you can make sure that most of the stemware is similar in style it's a huge plus. Tough to have one guest sipping his Cabernet out of a Riedel Somm series while another drinks from a souvenir art gallery glass!

6: Extra wine Gadgets - Decanters, filters, Ah-So wine opener, wine charms, pens and paper (for note takers), and everything else that may enhance the wine experience and make life easier for the ceremony of special wine openings and the needed nostalgia.

7: Clean facilities - Don't forget that people will be using your restroom at an abnormal rate of frequency. Having things clean and stocked leaves everyone in a positive frame of mind.

8: Elimination of fragrances - If you're used to having a potpourri filled house loaded with floral, vanilla, or bacon try to air things out a bit before you serve the good stuff. Nothing worse then smelling cinnamon stick in every wine!

9: Baby Sitters - We all know how cute you think your kids are, but please..... get them a sitter for the evening!

10: Designated Drivers or Limo service - It seems like a broken record, but there's really nothing that can ruin the memory of a great wine night then a crash or doooiy (DUI). Water is good for hydration but it doesn't sober people up quick enough in order to drive. Post signs up at the front door or take people keys if you have to.

All these things can aid in the effort to host the perfect wine party. Of course there are things that I left out or forgot, but please leave your suggestions in the comments! Cheers~

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Kermit Lynch makes a cameo on Wine Library Tv

Date: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 Wine Tasting

Gary Vaynerchuk recently took his show to the next level by having a great interview with the legendary Kermit Lynch. It was great to find out more about Kermit and how he got his start in the wine business. I can honestly say that all of the his wines I've ever experienced were of substantial quality. Among them are some of the true gems and values in the wine world. Check it out!

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2004 Domaine Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes

Date: Tue, Apr 6, 2010 Wine Tasting

Yes, that's quite a long name for a wine! I really love to taste the whites of Burgundy, especially the really good ones like this. We tasted this wine next to the Kistler Durell Vineyard Chardonnay that I reviewed a couple wines back. It was really quite a stark contrast of style, weight, and ideology to be fair. While the Kistler was massively structured with a heavy and viscous texture, this wine held every bit as much presence and actually showed far more complexity and purity of fruit.

On the nose I got aromas of mineral, golden apple, custard, lemon curd, ribbon candy, and a slight toastiness.

On the palate this wine displays intense acidity and shows flavors of toasted oak, apple pie, baked apple, and lemon curd. There is a distinct mineral complexity but very pure apple and citrus fruit flavors. The wine is stunningly complex and mouthwatering on the finish.

Where this wine stands out an truly makes it's impression is the perfect balance and razor sharp acid. It is a focused wine and one that drinks well on it's own but almost screams out for the right foods to be paired with. We indulged in crab cakes and to be honest it was an immaculate conception of a wine pairing! 94 points

Click here to find out more about this wine

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