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Decanter experts give their verdict, tasting notes and drinking windows on Pinot Noir wines from Oregon.
Oregon’s winemaking industry turned 50 last year, and its wines are coming of age too, writes Stephen Brook, who has …Continue reading
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Saint Estephe second growth Chateau Montrose has hosted the traditional Fete de la Fleur gala dinner to close Vinexpo 2015, with nearly 1,700 guests attending. Read Jane Anson's report of the evening here.
Hosted by owners Martin and Melissa Bouygues, 1,680 guests attended the evening after the final day of Vinexpo 2015. Once …Continue reading
The post Vinexpo 2015: Chateau Montrose hosts Fête de la Fleur for 200th anniversary appeared first on Decanter.
Argentine sparkling wines are gaining ground in the world. Read about what’s caused this rise and what you need to know about them.
Argentine sparkling wines are gaining ground in the world. Read about what’s caused this rise and what you need to know about them.
The post Argentine Bubbles: Key to understanding a growing consumer phenomenon appeared first on Decanter.
French wine producers will have lived with the 1991 Loi Evin (a law framed for 'the struggle against tobacco addiction and alcoholism') for a quarter of a century next January, but it remains a source of contention. It’s been back in the headlines recently. Why?
The French government, having floundered for several years following François Hollande’s election in May 2012, has found something resembling a …Continue reading
The post Jefford on Monday: The President and the Montravel Bomb appeared first on Decanter.
One soul’s radical search for the ideal on an imbalanced planet
|Bucita, Calabria ~ 1977|
Do you have a lifelong quest? What about life in this world lights up your spirit? Is there some thing, whether it be objective or subjective, that keeps your heart pumping blood through your veins? I hope so, for your sake. We’ve seen too much in this world, lately, of souls who have no greater purpose. And when those dark things happen, our world stumbles.
The world I inhabit mourns with the rest of the souls sensitive enough to know that dark path is the wrong path. When the unspeakable happens, it seems at first, all we can do is stare into the abyss and ask, why? It’s a fool’s errand, for the actions that we grieve over didn’t spring from the well of reason. For my European friends who look at America as a magical place, this kind of tragedy mystifies them even more than those of us in America. I just spent a week in Italy with friends, old and new, and we talked about things like this over the table. President Obama clearly elucidated how many of us on both sides of the ocean feel in the remarks he gave this week:
“But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”
Yes we all are going to have to dig deeper and come to grips with racism, in American and in Italy. While in Bari for a week, I saw a region embracing a wider cultural mix. In the little square where we had dinner in Putignano, Italian children played with African children. Clearly, Italy, from the south up, is doing the work of dealing with souls, not skins. I thought about the existential crisis in the north, with the refugees camped at the Italian-French border. I know that racism exists – I have been treated like a black man at times. Not to take away from the black man’s plight, who is treated like a black man all the time. Just to say, I have had a window into that world, and I cannot imagine how one can live life being treated like that 24/7.
I made friends in the 1970’s with a Hopi elder, from one of the old villages, Oraibi. We corresponded for a time. It was a brief interaction, but one that gave me insight into one of the great indigenous peoples on this world. The people of Hopituskwa see themselves as caretakers of the earth. That lesson has stayed with me all this time.
While in Italy, as a guest of Radici del Sud, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dig even deeper into my southern Italian roots was bestowed upon me and all who traveled there for the event. A week-long event, for which I took time off to go to. Why, do you ask, would one take vacation time to do what one does in the working time? I’m not sure I can answer adequately, but for me it was more like a retreat into my roots, with wine.
We immersed ourselves in Apulia, Campania, Basilicata and Calabria and their indigenous grapes. In reality it wasn’t emotionally much different from the times I’d go to Hopituskwa and crawl among the villages of Sipaulovi, Shungopavi, Oraibi, Hotevilla and Lower Moenkopi. That same sense of sacred permeates the southern Italian land.
In Basilicata, where the Catholic religion has integrated earlier spiritual traditions, it was most interesting. The Goddess energy is so strong. In Campania, as well, along with a strong dose of temporality, assisted by Vesuvio. Apulia, the long flat tongue of a place, with such amazing fecundity. And Calabria, one of the last wild places left in Italy, which the people and the peppers emote with rebellious fervor. I find these things inspiring, for my path is to find a deeper trail into the heart and soul of Italy, not a 5 star resort.
Most of all, the people. I cannot even begin to talk about the wonderful humans I met. From Italy, north and south, from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Germany, Holland, Japan, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, Sweden and on. People for whom Italy and Italian wine is their path. My global tribe. So wonderful to be with them, visiting wine regions, tasting wine, eating, swimming, laughing, falling asleep, and being with each other.
Back home, in my little greenhouse world of Italian wine, there aren’t a lot from my tribe here. There are some, but the deeper discussion, the exploration, the collaborative, those are endangered. Oh yes, if you want to post a picture of the five greatest Barolos on your Instagram page, I reckon that is a kind of 21st century communication. But it does nothing for me and it moves not this soul. It’s just another selfie. “Look how big mine is.” Yes, yours is bigger than mine. We’re talking about egos, yes?
Carlo Bevilacqua photographs solitary ones around the world. I’ve written about him in the past. Like the old vines and the livestock that inhabits the lands of Southern Italy, so too, there are humans who represent the ancient ‘radici’ that makes this place so profuse.
I might romanticize Italy much as the Italians romanticize the American West. I’ve seen the unromantic side of the American West, having lived in it most of my life. Nonetheless, we all have a need to make our little dreams ones that we don’t want to tear ourselves away from, in a sweat, with a start. We all want our sweet dreams. For me, Southern Italy is a window into such a dream. And for the wine lover, this is a profoundly rich immersion, if only for a few days. But I will be back with my trowel and my camera and my unquenchable thirst for my roots.
A huge thank you to Nicola Campanile, Maurizio Gily and Ole Udsen for spearheading the conspiracy and opening doors to finally get me to Radici del Sud. There are many others as well, and further posts will follow in acknowledgement. This is truly a wonderful regional event, and one I hope I can return to again some day.
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Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I’m pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently.
This week’s tasting included a couple of tasty ross made from Pinot Noir, one from the Sonoma Coast, the other from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Both are worth seeking out.
There’s also a Chardonnay from a very cute little outfit in Oregon called Big Table Farm, who have been making individualistic, small production wines with minimalist techniques for a few years.
Finally, I’d like to draw your attention to the 2012 edition of Truchard’s Cabernet which always feels like it is from a cooler site (it is) but especially so in a year like 2012, where so many wines are thick and flabby. This wine has a wonderful lean muscular quality that is very compelling.
All this and more below. Enjoy!
2014 Stoller Family Estate Chardonnay, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of Asian pears and cold cream and apples. In the mouth, green apple and a hint of lemony citrus mix with a nice crisp juiciness thanks to excellent acidity. A hint of bread yeast lingers in the finish along with a nice lemon peel brightness. 13.3% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $20. click to buy.
2013 Big Table Farm Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Pale greenish gold in color, this wine smells of wet chalkboard and citrus pith. In the mouth, wonderfully rich flavors of lemon curd and a hint of tropical fruit are wedded to a deeper mineral backbone. Silky in texture, the wine is slightly softer in acidity than I might like, but the flavor profile is very pretty. Moderate finish. 12.5% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $44. click to buy.
2013 Baker Lane Vineyards Ros of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California
Palest baby pink in the glass, this wine smells of wet stone and watermelon rind. In the mouth, it is quite silky, with flavors of rosehip, watermelon rind, and wet stone slick with rainwater. A very mineral wine with a faint salinity in the finish. Quite savory and delicious. 12% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $18. click to buy.
2013 Stoller Family Estate Ros of Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Light, bright pink in the glass, this wine smells of hibiscus, pink bubblegum, and berries. In the mouth, a combination of unripe strawberry and watermelon rind flavors have a nice crisp snap to them and a surprisingly silky texture. The finish turns more bitter than I’d like.12.5% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $20. click to buy.
2014 Stoller Family Estate Ros of Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Light baby pink in color, this wine smells of watermelon and watermelon rind with a hint of tomato leaf. In the mouth, bright flavors of watermelon and strawberry have a nice silky aspect to them, and a brisk snap thanks to excellent acidity. Juicy and bright. There’s a hint of bitterness in the finish. 12.9% alcohol.Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $20. click to buy.
2013 En Route “Les Pommiers” Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
Light to medium garnet in color, this wine smells of black raspberries and cherries. In the mouth, sweet flavors of raspberry jam and cherry mix with a hint of forest floor and the vanilla of oak. Decent acidity keeps this wine from being too jammy, but the sweet fruit definitely dominates the palate. Likely a crowd pleaser of a wine, but not enough nuance and verve to really light my fire. 14.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $55. click to buy.
2010 Cornerstone Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa, California
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of bright cherry, tobacco, and green herbs. In the mouth, beautifully bright flavors of cherry, tobacco, mocha, and a hint of minty green herbs have a wonderfully juicy complexion thanks to excellent acidity. The mint note lingers in the finish with a hint of cracked pepper. 14.7% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $70. click to buy.
2007 Groth Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa, California
Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of cherry, cedar, and oak. In the mouth, the wine has beautifully bright acidity that makes cherry and cedar flavors quite juicy, even as they remain enclosed in a fleecy blanket of tannins. Juicy and long. Earthy finish.14.9% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $100 click to buy.
2012 Truchard Cabernet Sauvignon, Carneros, Napa, California
Dark garnet in color, this wine smells of crushed mint, tobacco, and dark cherry fruit. In the mouth, cherry and tobacco flavors have a hint of greenness to them — touches of both mint and green bell pepper — and a dusting of faint tannins. A juicy core of fruit makes sure this wine remains pleasing through the finish, with hints of green herbs. 14.2% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $38. click to buy.
Wine Country Lounge
NAPA VALLEY, CA: A row of plastic lawn chairs are lined up overlooking a Carneros vineyard irrigation pond near Napa, California. The annual grape harvest has become a favorite time of the year for visitors to Wine Country, boosting global sales of more than $12 billion.
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Decanter experts give their tasting notes and drinking windows on Beaujolais wines.
Forget ‘Nouveau’ – real Beaujolais, especially the reds, are serious wines, and the past three excellent vintages show just why. …Continue reading
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Decanter experts give their verdict, tasting notes and drinking windows on Pomerol wines from the Barolo 2008 vintage.
Difficult weather led to variable quality, but the one common thread is firm tannins. While in the best examples this …Continue reading