Posts tagged Grenache
Clarifiying Cariñena's Contradictions

Northeastern Spain's Cariñena region takes its name from a black grape variety supposedly "born" - or at least originally discovered - there, even if a different black grape variety, Garnacha, is the dominant grape in the region today. While it follows easily enough that a region known for its red wine production may also make rosado, or rosé, it might be surprising that there's white wine crafted there, too. In the end, this all seems very natural. After all, wine - from anywhere - is full of contradictions!

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A Dual Continent Winemaking Project: Casadei and Cline

Seven years ago Stefano Casadei and Fred Cline met over dinner for the first time. Now they are making a wine named Casadei, a total heart-throb red, together. That's not all. The Cline family is importing Stefano's Castello del Trebbio wines, too. Saluti!

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Easy-Going Reds for a Sanssouci Summer

It's easy for reds to feel ponderously heavy in the summer, especially when they are concentrated, elevated in alcohol and lavished with new oak. But, we all still want to drink red wines from time to time during warm weather. Leave it to the out-of-the-box renegade - and seriously good palate and globe-trotting winemaker - Ernst Loosen to find not only a solution but also a very gently priced one. Moreover,  the wines come from France's Languedoc, a region formerly strapped with the reputation of producing clumsy, jammy wines. 

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Chef Joachim Splichal: Part II

I met Joachim Splichal when I was the National Wine Director for Smith & Wollensky Restaurant group. Smith & Wollensky was publicly traded and a hostile take-over was underway. His Patina Restaurant Group purchased the Smith & Wollensky restaurants outside of New York City, and I figured I'd never again cross paths with him.

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Beckmen Vineyards New Releases

Beckmen Vineyards 2017 Cuvée Le Bec Santa Ynez Valley: I am delighted to be head over heels for this wine’s 2017 incarnation. It's got a soft and juicy texture with a sleek, supporting tannin structure and pithy acidity. It's spicy. It's bramly. It's chock full of blackberries and rimmed with black plum skin.

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A Surprising Rosé Duo from the Pays d’Oc

These two rosés surprised me.  

I expected the Arrogant Frog to be the less expensive and less complex wine. This was without knowing that the Côté Mas wine is to be marketing in 1 liter bottles – my sample arrived in a 750 ml. Yes, I succumbed to label bias. Happily, it was only briefly. 

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Troon Vineyard 2016 Releases

G*S*M 2015 Rogue Valley: This wine is noted to be an astonishingly precise 39.66% Syrah, 31.61% Mourvèdre, 16.06% Grenache and 12.67% Sangiovese! It is a pale-colored and youthful blend bursting with rose petals and spice box aromatics that eagerly show off its Grenache and Sangiovese portions.

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A Tour of Bulgaria in a Glass

Having visited Bulgaria twice for the Balkans International Wine Competition and having visited several wineries, I was thrilled when I was contacted to taste through a large number of Bulgarian wines coming into the US market.

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Garnacha from Historic Cariñena

Garnacha in Cariñena? Yes, confusingly Cariñena is now more about Grenache than Carignan. But such changes could be expected in a region that – literally – drips with history. In 1415, King Ferdinand I of Aragon declared his love for wines from Cariñena, saying he preferred them “above all others”. (Presumably he was talking about wines made from Cariñena.) In 1773, Voltaire wrote in acknowledgment of a gift of wines from Cariñena, "If this wine is yours, it must be acknowledged that the Promised Land is near."

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Israeli Mountain Wines

Galil Mountain Winery 2016 Rosé Upper Galilee Galil Mountain: This is an utterly quixotic blend of varieties in the best way. It is delicious and made in a very giving style. It is a crazy combination of 77% Sangiovese, 12% Pinot Noir, 6% Barbera and 5% Grenache.

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Hit & Miss: Domaine de la Meynarde 2011 Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu with Extra Mature Cheddar & Seared Lamb Chops

This blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan offers a rich and welcoming nose of briar patch fruits entirely absent of oak influence. The tannins caress softly and the acidity lurks subtly. The voluptous and youthful loveliness of the very pure fruit make for easy sipping.

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