6/24/2013

Ribera Del Duero Event w/ Snooth, Montecastrillo, Ferratus, Malleolus, and Matarromera


Hello Friends,

I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Having a Splash of Rosado


Below are a few wines I had a chance to review for a recent Snooth and Drink Ribera wine event accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. These wines are from the Ribera del Duero wine region, hence the name Drink Ribera, which is located in northern Spain. This region has a long winemaking tradition dating back to the Roman period and specializes almost exclusively in red wine produced from Tinto Fino/Tinta del País -- known to most of us as Tempranillo. If you’re seeking out full-bodied, robust red wines that offer good quality-to-price ratios, then I suggest giving this region a look the next time you visit your local wine shop. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life; so, keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well my friends!

Montecastrillo 2012 Rosado


1) Finca Torremilanos Montecastrillo 2012 Rosado (SRP $14): Produced from a 100% Tempranillo, this refreshing and jazzy selection exhibits a vibrant red fruit core with underlying citrus tones and a touch of fresh herb that is nicely balanced by fresh acidity. The wine does have some meat on its bones, but it is light on its feet and is a nice bottle to greet the arrival of summer. This wine is dry and versatile and is an ideal aperitif or a nice wine to pair with light summer fare. During the event, some tasters suggested pairing a bottle with grilled fish tacos -- a match I totally agree with and will more than likely try. Click here to find this wine.

Ferratus A0 2011


2) Bodegas Cuevas Jiménez, S.L. Ferratus A0 2011 (SRP $19): This is a 100% Tempranillo that has been aged for 5 months in French oak barrels. In the glass, it displays a deep ruby color with inviting spiced berry fruit and ripe plum next to hints of cured meat, violets, and vanilla roasted almonds. It is medium-to-full in body with a rounded mouth-feel that’s balanced by slightly chalky tannins and enough food-friendly acidity to make it enjoyable. Overall, this is a Ribera Del Duero wine made in a more modern style that all of my guests found pleasant and moderately complex. This is good juice for the money that’s drinking nicely now that also has the potential to develop further with short-term cellaring. Click here to find this wine.

2009 Malleolus Reserva


3) Bodegas Emilio Moro, S.L., 2009 Malleolus Reserva (SRP $49): This deeply colored wine is 100% Tempranillo that’s aged for 18 months in 100% French oak barrels. It sports a ripe and voluptuous profile with expressive aromas of blackberry preserve, red currants, and mixed berry cobbler with subtle cedar, brown spice, and toasted vanilla notes. The wine is velvety in texture with a round mouth-feel and rich mid-palate with a slight tannic grip in the medium length finish. Overall, this is a well-structured and nicely balanced wine that would complement flavorful grilled meats (hint-hint …summertime cookouts). Click here to find this wine.

2008 Matarromera Crianza


4) Bodegas Matarromera, S.L., 2008 Matarromera Crianza ($30): This wine displays an intense dark ruby color with inviting  ripe blackberry, baked plum, dried fig, and toasty oak alongside anise, eucalyptus, sweet tobacco and new leather. The aromas echo on the palate with a round texture, medium-firm tannins and soft acidity with a dollop of vanilla in the lasting finish. Overall, this is a dense and solid wine that’s drinking nicely now and asking to be shared with grilled red meats. Click here to find this wine.

Try These Reds w/ Grilled Meats



Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for an event. Thoughts are my own.

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

My Vine Spot

6/17/2013

06.17.2013 Wine Reviews: Fox Run Vineyards, Wagner Vineyards, and Heron Hill Winery


Hello Friends,

I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Getting Started!


Below are a few of my recent sips accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. I had a chance to taste these selections during a recent virtual event put on by the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance (who are doing a very good job at getting the word out about the region's wines). This tasting focused on red wines (including Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Lemberger) and red vinifera blends. While the Finger Lakes appellation is best known for bright and refreshing wines made from the Riesling grape variety, the region's red wines tend to have an agreeable built-in brightness that is largely influenced by the area's cooler-climate. With good natural acidity and soft-to-medium fruit flavors, these red wines are natural partners to a wide variety of foods. Much of what comes out of the Finger Lakes are small-production wines that are only available at the producer's tasting room or website (provided they can ship to you). So visit the link at the end of the tasting note if the wine sounds good to you. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!

Fox Run Vineyards 2010 Lemberger


1) Fox Run Vineyards 2010 Lemberger (SRP $20): I enjoyed a glass of this wine with several people for a recent Finger Lakes red wine tasting event. This grape variety, which is also known as Blaufränkisch, was new territory for a few people but they thoroughly enjoyed it. In the glass, it is ruby in color with pleasant black cherry and soft plum aromas alongside hints of fresh cracked pepper, ground spice, and earthy tones over a sleek and supple frame. Overall, this is a light, bright, and easy-drinking red wine that’s both interesting and food-friendly. One person – thinking ahead -- mentioned that they were going to get a few bottles of this wine for their Thanksgiving Day table. Approximately 895 cases of this wine were produced. Click here to find this wine.

Wagner Vineyards Reserve 2010 Pinot Noir


2) Wagner Vineyards Reserve 2010 Pinot Noir (SRP $27.99): The producer calls the 2010 vintage, which was largely warm-to-hot and fairly dry, “One of the longest, most optimal growing seasons in the history of the Finger Lakes.” In the glass, the wine displays a medium ruby color with aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry, and delicate floral perfume notes overlaying hints of cinnamon, clove, and cedar over a supple and lean frame with a medium length finish. Overall, this is a pleasant and harmonious Pinot Noir that can be easily enjoyed on its own or with a wide variety of foods. Click here to find this wine.

Heron Hill Winery Ingle Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir


3) Heron Hill Winery Ingle Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir (SRP $20): This is a light-to-medium bodied, easy-to-drink wine with pleasant fruit  notes of dark cherry and dried cranberry interwoven with cedar shavings, cocoa dust, and a dash of sweet brown spice and a pinch of white pepper (particularly on the back-end). Balanced (not bright) acidity and silky tannins give way to a satisfying, medium length finish. I enjoyed a glass of this wine with grilled salmon and on its own. (Other info: ABV 12.5%, Aged 24 months in 1 year old and older European oak barrels). Click here to find this wine.

Backyard Feathered Friends: #FeedMe


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for an event. Thoughts are my own.

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My Vine Spot

6/10/2013

Austrian Wine Biodynamic #Grüner Tasting

Hello Friends,

I recently had an opportunity to join the good folks at @AustrianWineUSA and several of my wine blogging buddies for a virtual tasting that included several tasty Demeter-certified biodynamic Austrian Grüner Veltliner wines. Interestingly enough, an Austrian philosopher named Rudolf Steiner, who was not a farmer himself, laid down the founding principles of biodynamic farming with a series of lectures in the 1920’s. In a nutshell, biodynamic farming (as it relates to the vineyard) is a natural and holistic approach to agriculture that strives for the vineyard to be a well-balanced, self-healing, and self-sustained ecosystem (with no chemical inputs and a laser-like focus on the health of the soil). Biodynamic farming takes organic to the next level and also adopts a spiritual/astronomical dimension (unlike organic farming) to wine-growing. Some of the preparations may seem unusual and elicit puzzled looks and questions, like burying cow manure in a cow’s horn during the cooler months. But some top producers subscribe to this method of farming and have been very successful at growing high-quality wines reflective of their origins.

Austrian #Biodynamic #Grüner Wine Tasting


When the grower, who is at the center of this farming process, gets things correct and the vineyard is self-sustaining and producing healthy, high quality fruit, it is believed that these wines have the greatest potential (so long as the fruit is not overly compromised in the cellar) to express terroir – the place from which the fruit is grown. And for wine enthusiasts, who seek out and appreciate distinctive wines that reflect a sense of place, biodynamic agriculture makes a fairly convincing case.

In closing, this tasting was a great opportunity to learn more about biodynamic farming and taste through different styles of Austrian Grüner Veltliner. Below you will find a picture of each wine tasted accompanied by brief notes. Grüner Veltliner is Austria's flagship (indigenous) white grape variety and the nation's most widely planted wine grape (red or white). With summer on the horizon, it’s also a delightfully bright, acid-driven, and food-friendly wine to have around the house (hint-hint). Grab several bottles and enjoy, my friends. Cheers!

Meinklang 2012 Burgenland White


1) Meinklang 2012 Burgenland White (SRP $15): This wine is a crisp and refreshing blend of 50% Grüner Veltliner, 40% Welschriesling, and 10% Muskat that boasts bright citrus fruit and green apple aromas and flavors with a delicate sea-salt minerality component and clean finish. It paired nicely with my moderately spicy shrimp-and-pineapple fried rice dish and was also quite enjoyable on its own. Click here to find this wine.

Nikolaihof Wachau 2011 Grüner Veltliner


2) Nikolaihof Wachau 2011 Grüner Veltliner (SRP $28): This is a bio-dynamically farmed wine from the Wachau region in lower Austria. It offers aromas and flavors of pear, lemon zest, hay, white spring flowers, and a nice mineral character (that sort of frames the aforementioned flavors). On the palate, it has some richness in the texture with refreshing and focused acidity and a medium-length mineral driven finish. During the tasting, the producer stated that their wines are histamine-free (chemicals that cause hangovers). I guess this is a green light for enjoying a few extra glasses. Click here to find this wine.

Sepp Moser Schnabel 2011 Grüner Veltliner


3) Sepp Moser Schnabel 2011 Grüner Veltliner (SRP $27): This is a fresh, mineral-driven example with (medium) tree fruit aromas and flavors alongside citrus peel, hay, (delicate) almond notes, and spicy components that careen nicely over a pleasant acid frame with a tangy, clean finish. Overall, a harmonious wine that starts off a little shy at first; but after several swirls starts to show its vibrant, rock-laced personality. Click here to find this wine.

Wimmer-Czerny 2011 Fumberg


4) Wimmer-Czerny 2011 Fumberg Grüner Veltliner (SRP $20.99, 375ml): This is a likeable and pretty interesting bio-dynamically grown Grüner Veltliner with a restrained tree fruit character accompanied by flint, smoke, and notes of earth and exotic spice. It’s medium-bodied with fresh acidity and paired nicely with a simple white sauce pasta dish. Click here to find this wine.

My Food Pairing: Shrimp-and-Pineapple Fried Rice


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided by Charles Communications for an event. Thoughts are my own.

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

My Vine Spot

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