Tuesday, April 5, 2016

St. Donat Estates Marga Furmint 2013, Hungary

As promised, here is another pretty Furmint. This one, from Csopak above Lake Balaton where light reflecting off the lake provides plenty of sunshine, the marly soil encourages growth. Aged in steel tanks and used oak barrels for 6 months. Clear pale husk colors the glass and subtle and warm aromas of bread and toast, hints of smoke, green apple and pear and a pleasant minerality. Flavors are creamy and rich, the palate is smartly sharp with a snappy floral ring along with a citrus edge. Long glowing finish. SRP $25 per bottle.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ventisquero Grey Carmenere 2013, Single block, Maipo Valley, Chile

From Ventisquero's Trinidad Vineyard this Carmenere is aged 18 months in French oak barrels.

Dark ruby paints the glass, medium weight but opaque, aromas of verdant black fruits, anise and cassis and fresh cherry pie. Beautiful silky tannins leaning against an even brighter acidity testify to a smooth, clean and smoky palate of blackberry, barnyard and finishes with green pepper.

The flavors settle nicely, yielding to quite an earthy and lengthy finish. This. Is. Wonderful!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Barta Winery Old King Vineyard Furmint 2012

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of getting schooled on a grape I know nothing about, Furmint! The place was the Hungarian Embassy here in NYC which was the perfect setting for my introduction to some of the wines of Hungary.

Furmint, a superior white grape variety indigenous to the Tokaj region, is the undisputed king of Hungarian grapes and being one that ripens late, shows a smooth acidity and some unique minerality. I immediately noticed a similarity to Riesling, especially on the aromatics, but there are also hints of Chardonnay's texture. Here is the first in a series of several I had tasted.


Barta Winery Old King Vineyard Furmint 2012
From Old King Vineyard in Mád, this Furmint is aged in used oak barrels for 7 months. Straw colored and clean in the glass with sharp, nutty aromas piercing a bubble of summer fruit. On the palate are muted flavors of citrus playfully complementing an ethereal minerality and mild acidity.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Auction to Benefit Lake County Wildfire Releif

Please help to rebuild the community devastated by wildfires last fall in Lake County, California.

An auction, LakeCountyRising organized by Congessman Mike Thompson, Grape grower Andy Beckstoffer and Auctioneer Fritz Hatton will take place on Sunday March 20, 2016 in St. Helena at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone to support the long-term rebuilding efforts after the devastating Valley Fire in southern Lake County.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Cantina Zaccagnini Tralcetto Montepulciano 2013 DOC

Zaccagnini produces this beautiful Riserva (grapes grown, vinified and bottled on Estate) made from 100% Montepulciano grapes fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak for 6 months before bottle aging for 3 months.

A steal at $15 a bottle, this red has a lot going for it. Fruit forward but with an Old World attitude. Ruby colors the glass showing medium body, floral notes of violet and lavender, swimming with spices and tea leaves. The palate has a vibrant intensity displaying ripe plum, cherry and black olives. Bright acidity and smooth tannins, complex and concentrated finish. Try it you'll like it!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Antico Fuoco Rosso

Still doing research on this one as far as whether it's from Puglia or Verona, but... wherever its from it's a good one! As far as I can tell it's made up of 60% Corvina with 40% Merlot grapes and aged in neutral barrels for 6 months. The wine menu indicated some Negroamaro in the blend but I couldn't confirm that fact.

The color is a deep purple and weighing in fairly hefty with consistency of light syrup. Aromas of summer fruits ripened on the vine, black currants and black cherry. The palate goes to marzipan and stewed fruits with a slightly bitter citrus edge, nicely balancing the dry acidity with mild tannins, reminding me of a Ripasso or Amarone because of its concentration of flavors. Chewy with lots of texture.

If you have more details about this one please comment below.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tenuta Terraviva Lui Montepulciano D'Abruzzo

This Montepulciano D'Abruzzo is a biodynamic red wine macerated in stainless steel then fermented in old French barriques for 12 months before bottle aging for 6 months before release. Ruby colors the glass while aromatics showing black cherry, forest floor and musk. Fruit dominates the palate via soft tannins and mild acidity. Good everyday wine to have with a meal.