4/24/2012

Quick Sip: Domaine François Villard 2008 Condrieu


Hello Friends,

When you look at the number of wine regions and states within the US that produce Viognier, it’s hard to believe that by the mid 1980’s there were less than 100 acres of the exquisite northern Rhone variety planted in the world (all mostly in Condrieu). Today, Viognier is fairly popular all over the wine world, though not a major player in terms of broad-scale consumer recognition like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir. The small appellation of Condrieu, located in the northern Rhone just south of Côte Rôtie, makes white wine exclusively from the Viognier grape variety. Condrieu is the homeland of Viognier and is considered the benchmark for fine examples of Viognier throughout the wine world. Condrieu is hard to find and fetches a pretty penny; with price points starting at $50 a bottle and going up.

Domaine François Villard 2008 Condrieu


Lighter-bodied, fruit-driven and floral-laced examples of Viognier can usually be found for under $20 from a number of wine regions and several states within the US. In my Viognier / Condrieu tasting experiences, I guess the thing that makes Condrieu stand out is it’s often imitated but never duplicated. With that being said, for the price Condrieu fetches, it can, in my humble opinion, be hit or miss in the quality-to-price-ratio category. However, when it’s a hit, Condrieu delivers a rich, round texture with layers of complexities (fruit, well integrated barrel character, earthiness, minerality, etc.) that non Condrieu (or Condrieu-style) Viognier wines do not deliver (granted wines made in the style of Condrieu can be quite delicious and usually less expensive). Today’s ‘Quick Sip,’ the Domaine François Villard 2008 Condrieu Le Grand Vallon, is aromatically complex with white pitted fruit, melon, white flowers, hay, and orange blossom scents with light buttery nuances and a sprinkling of baking spice. The palate is rich, yet well balanced with a slightly oily texture that carries through to the mid-palate with a pleasant mélange of flavors and a nice lingering finish. When it comes to getting familiar with Condrieu, get a small tasting group together to offset the price. Besides, you’ll likely have a better time tasting in a group setting where you can discuss the wine and region with others. The Domaine François Villard 2008 Condrieu retails for $75 and is one of the nicer Condrieu wines I’ve tasted recently. If you like Viognier, don’t let price keep you away from Condrieu – find a few good tasters! Cheers!

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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4/16/2012

Quick Sip: Anemoi 2009 Boreas (Colorado)


Hello Friends,

Today's 'Quick Sip' is a tasty red blend from Colorado. Like Virginia, Texas, Arizona , etc. -- Colorado is an up-and-coming wine region that falls under the radar of a large percentage of US wine drinkers, wine critics, and popular wine publications. For a number of these lesser-known and small-production US wine regions, it's not a matter of whether or not they can make good wine, but the fact that many of them just don't make enough of it. Almost 100% of these wines are consumed by that region's locapour population and tourists, so the wines tend to be a well-kept secret. I had an opportunity to visit Colorado last fall and left pleasantly surprised and fairly impressed with the overall quality of the wines being produced there. The blend I have today -- a well-kept Colorado secret -- is from Canyon Wind Cellars, a small family-owned and operated farm winery founded in 1996 that's producing 100% estate wines.

Anemoi 2009 Boreas


Anemoi, Canyon Wind Cellars second label, specializes in expressive, modern style blends, while the original label, (Canyon Wind Cellars), focuses on more classic / traditional wines. The 2009 Boreas was the first wine crafted under the new label and is a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Petit Verdot. The fruit for Boreas comes from Canyon Wind Cellars' Riverside Vineyard, which is one of two vineyards planted on the familiy’s 50 acre property (35 acres under vine) in the Grand Valley AVA. In the glass, the Boreas displays a deep, inky purple color with inviting ripe plum, boysenberry and blackberry scents balanced by vanilla spice and anise on a sweet toasty oak frame. The aromas follow through to the palate with good extraction and nice depth of flavor and a cashmere texture with velvety tannins and a medium-long pleasing finish. This wine retails for $38 and only 168 cases were produced. For further information on Canyon Wind Cellars and to see if they can ship to your state, visit the producer's link below. This pleasing blend is hopefully a sign of tasty things to come at this month’s DrinkLocalWine.com conference in Denver, Colorado . Look for the #colwine tweets to be pouring -- no pun intended, April 27th thru 29th! Cheers!

Click here to visit the Canyon Wind Cellars website.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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4/10/2012

Quick Sip: Martin & Weyrich 2010 Moscato Allegro


Hello Friends,

First it was sweet red wine, then chocolate wine (go figure), and now, Moscato seems to be one of the new hot topics in wine today. Moscato’s rise in popularity is largely fueled by hip-hop culture and millennials. Also known as Gen-Y; millennials, a late teen to early 30’s demographic, are the fastest-growing segment of wine drinkers and generally prefer recommendations via social networks (e.g. wine blogs, Facebook, Twitter), pop culture, and word-of- mouth from friends over wine scores and printed publications to drive their wine purchase decisions. I had an opportunity to witness this first-hand last year at Wine Riot DC; a millennial-geared wine tasting event that’s put on by Second Glass. This event featured a smartphone application specific to the DC event for rating and recommending all the wines that were available for tasting. Event goers were later able to check the Second Glass website to see which wines rated best, their price points, recommend those wines to friends, and what nearby stores carried them. Recent reports suggest that the union of [rap] music and millineals is responsible for Muscat surpassing Sauvignon Blanc to become the third top selling white wine nationally (Chardonnay and Pinot Gris occupy the first two spots).

Martin and Weyrich 2010 Moscato Allegro


Today’s ‘Quick Sip,” the Moscato Allegro, is a California Muscat Canelli (white grape variety in the large Muscat family) semi-sweet wine made in a style similar to Northern Italy’s Muscat. In the glass, it displays a medium straw color with notes of sweet apricot, white peach, light tangerine zest, and honeysuckle touches. The palate is flavorful and slightly sweet with soft acidity and a medium length, lip-smacking finish. At 7.5% ABV, it’s fairly low in alcohol and one of those fragrant, easy-drinking, slightly sweet bottles of wine that you can finish before you get started – if you know what I mean. Priced at a pocket-friendly $12, it’s a wine that won’t break the bank and is a good aperitif or an ideal accompaniment to picnic fare or spicy ethnic cuisine. Serve chilled, unscrew, pour, and enjoy! Cheers!

Click here to visit the Moscato Allegro website.

This wine was provided as a sample from my friends over at Balzac Communications and Marketing. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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4/09/2012

Quick Sip: Joseph Jewell 2009 Floodgate Pinot Noir


Hello Friends,

I recently had an opportunity to taste the Joseph Jewell 2009 Floodgate Vineyard [ Russian River Valley ] Pinot Noir during another fun and informative Cellars of Sonoma TV Tuesday Live streaming broadcast. Joseph Jewell, started by two friends, Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker, is one of those feel-good stories where passion, perseverance, and motivation trump all other [limiting] factors. Micah and Adrian’s story began inside a garage in 2006 with an investment in two French oak barrels, a small basket press, and an exceptional vintage, which resulted in very good ( Russian River Valley ) Pinot Noir fruit. The duo bottled 50 cases that were well-received and soon after launched the Joseph Jewell label (a play on their middle names). Today, they work with select growers in Sonoma and specialize in small-lot production of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel.

Joseph Jewell 2009 Floodgate Pinot Noir


The 2009 Floodgate Vineyard [ Russian River Valley ] Pinot Noir is translucent ruby in color with inviting black cherry, cranberry and Asian spice core aromas with a hint of sweet toast and shy earthy undertones. The palate is smooth and balanced with nicely focused fruit, tangy acidity, and a pleasing medium-long finish. I enjoyed this Pinot Noir with apple stuffed pork chops and seasoned potatoes and enjoyed it equally as well when I sipped it on its own. This wine retails for $42 and can be found at both the Joseph Jewell and Cellars of Sonoma websites. Kudos to my pal Scot Jordan at Cellars of Sonoma in Santa Rosa, California for highlighting small-lot quality wine producers from his corner of the world on his weekly broadcast. Cheers!

To view the winemaker interview on Ustream click here. Cheers!

Click here to visit the Joseph Jewell website.

Click here to visit the Cellars of Sonoma website.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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4/02/2012

April 4th #winechat: Calling All Locapours!


Hello Friends,

This Wednesday, April 4th, at 9PM EST, Todd Godbout of WineCompass wine blog, Eileen Gross of WineEveryday wine blog, and I are hosting a Twitter discussion about #localwine / #drinklocal on Marie Payton’s (writer for The Life of Vines wine blog) weekly Twitter wine conversation called #winechat. I encourage you to grab a bottle of local wine (or as local as you can get) and join the discussion. In Virginia, where I’m located, it’s easy for me to find a solid, Virginia grown wine at a nearby wine shop or the producer’s tasting-room. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Depending on where you reside, availability, low QPR, perception, and authenticity are some of the issues I have repeatedly heard (namely via social media) from wine consumers about the local juice produced in their respective states. Industries facing some or all of these issues tend to be lesser known wine producing regions. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Whether any of this describes your local wine industry or not, we would very much like to get your take on what’s fermenting in your backyard.

For me, #DrinkLocal = Virginia Wine!


We will also chat with Jeff Siegel (nationally known wine writer based in Texas) and Dave McIntyre (wine columnist for The Washington Post), founders of DrinkLocalWine.com. Their mission is to highlight, support, and promote lesser known wine regions in the US. Though all 50 US states make wine, most people can count on one hand the number of wines they’ve tasted from different states. DrinkLocalWine.com has already held successful conferences in Texas, Virginia, and Missouri and will hold its fourth annual conference April 27-29th, 2012 in Denver, Colorado (#colwine on Twitter). Michelle Cleveland, winemaker at Creekside Cellars in Evergreen, Colorado (charming little mountain town), will also join the Twitter conversation and tell us a little about the Colorado wine industry. See you Wednesday at 9PM EST for another fast, furious, fun, and informative Twitter #winechat session, friends. Think global, drink global, and support local! Cheers!

Join us in Denver for the 4th annual DLW Conference!


Click here to visit the DrinkLocalWine website.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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Quick Sip: Gann Family Cellars 2006 Petite Sirah


Hello Friends,

Petite Sirah is often times deeply colored, spicy, peppery, and assertive. Yet, most of the time it’s a grape variety that’s underappreciated. Petite Sirah is also the source of confusion for some. First off, the name can be misleading because Petite Sirah usually produces wines that are anything but petite. And while it sounds similar to its distant cousin Syrah, they are two different grape varieties that are well worth getting to know. Petite Sirah is mainly grown in California and generally produces fairly big, bold, and full-bodied wines. For last week’s Cellars of Sonoma TV Tuesday Live, host Scott Jordan welcomed Michael Gann, proprietor of Gann Family Cellars. During the live broadcast (every Tuesday at 9PM EST), I had an opportunity to taste the Gann Family Cellars 2006 Alexander Valley Petite Sirah with wine blogging buddies @DanGod1 (aka Miles), @awanderingwino, and @tampawinewoman.

Gann Family Cellars 2006 Alexander Valley Petite Sirah


In the glass, the Gann Family Cellars 2006 Alexander Valley Petite Sirah displays a deep, inky purple color with expressive scents of dark stone fruit, black cherry, currant, cocoa powder, and muted minty nuances. The palate is rich and textured with black fruits and spice [a nice depth of flavor], good acid-tannin balance, and a spicy lingering finish. This wine retails for $42 ($33 if you’re a Cellars of Sonoma wine club member) and would pair well with a well-marbled rib-eye or beef short ribs. Gann Family Cellars made less than 80 cases of this award winning Petite Sirah which won double gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. What started as a dream in the mid 80’s and came to fruition in 2001, is delivering in the glass today. Nice job, Gann Family! Cheers!

To view the winemaker interview with Michael on Ustream click here. Cheers!

Click here to visit the Gann Family Cellars' website.

Click here to visit the Cellars of Sonoma website.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

My Vine Spot

  • Please Click Here to vote Dezel's My Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day!
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Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !

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