$20 and Under From All Over

 

Domaine Bousquet Sauvignon Blanc Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc from estate vineyards in Tupungato, Alto Gualtallary, by the foothills of the Andes at 4,000 feet in Argentina. The soil is gravel and sand. Manual harvest takes place the first and second week of February. Cold maceration is at 8C for 24 hours to extract aromas and flavors. Fermentation is with selected yeasts at a maximum temperature of 15C for 15 days. This is a crisp white wine with hints of lime and apple with a touch of herbs and nice acidity. $12 

Pinot Grigio 2018 Alto Adige DOC Peter Zimmer. Italy.  Made from a selection of grapes from the best vineyards of the valley floor and the steep slopes nearby. The soil here is stony, sandy and extremely chalky. The low yields per hectare and this particular terroir combines for a very particular Pinot Grigio.  The grapes are gently pressed, then clarified through the natural settling of sediment. Alcoholic fermentation is carried out with pure strains of yeast in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation does not occur. The wine remains on the lees for several months before it is bottled. It has more depth than most Pinot Grigio, with ripe fresh fruit, a touch of pear, and a hint of spice, good mineral character and fresh acidity. $18

Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris 2017  Made from 100% Pinot Gris hand harvested from select hillside vineyards in the northern Willamette Valley in Oregon. The age of the vines is 4 to 32 years. Harvest was from mid-September to mid-October. Harvest sugars were 22.5 brix. They whole cluster press the grapes then the juice is fermented at a very cold temperature in small stainless steel tanks. The wine was bottled in Feb. 2018. This is a light to medium bodied wine with hints of pears, peaches, and apricots with refreshing acidity.  $18

Esporäo Private Selection Branco 2017 made from 95% Semillon and 5% field blend. Portugal.  The wine was created in 2001 to challenge the classic profile of the Alentejo wines.  The first planting was in 1993-1994. The soil is predominantly clay and the age of the vines is 22-26 years. The wine sees some time in oak. This wine qualifies as a garrafeira but is not bottled as one as  this variety is not recognized for garrafeira (wine that has been aged for at least 2 years in wood and another year in bottle). The wine has hints of citrus fruit with notes of white flowers and a touch of spice. $19

Nik Weis St. Urb-Hof Estate Dry Riesling 2018 QbA The production zone is the Mosel Valley, in Germany. The vines are 30 to 70 years old and organically farmed. After pressing the juice is left to clarify naturally for a day before transfer to stainless steel tanks for an ambient fermentation. 100% stainless steel for fermentation and aging. The wine is racked immediately after fermentation and stays on the lees for two to three month before it is bottled. This is a wine with hints green apple and flint with a nice minerality from the slate bedrock balanced by good acidity ($18)

11 Minutes- Rosé Trevenezie IGT Pasqua. Italy. Made mostly from Corvina with Trebbiano Lugana, Syrah and Camenere. The wine is in contact with the skin for 11 minutes which gives the wine its name. Once the must is obtained, it is cooled and transferred to a steel tank where it remains for about 11 hours, the necessary time for the more solid parts to decant. The must is inculcated with select yeasts. During fermentation there is daily monitoring of the wine. Then the wine remains in contact with the lees for about 3 or 4 months. The wine is filtered and bottled in January. The wine has hints of raspberry and strawberry, with floral notes and a touch of spice. $16

Domaine de Bila-Haut ”Les Vignes” Pays d”Oc Rose 2018 made from 55% Grenach and 35% Syrah. Michel Chapoutier. Located in Cõtes du Roussillon, Languedoc. France.  In the hills of the Agly Valley the 40-year-old vines are carefully attended. The juice is fermented and aged in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. After a short maceration on the skins, a delicate pink hue is attained and the wine is racked and vinified. The wine is then carefully blended for bottling. The wine has hints of citrus and a touch of raspberry. $15

Château La Tour de l’Evêque Rosé 20014 Cuvée Pétale de Rose AOC Côtes de Provence.  France.  Made from 42% Cinsault, 38% Grenache, 9% Syrah, 4% Ugni-blanc 3% Mourvèdre, 2% Sèmillon, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Rolle. The hand harvest took place between August 16 and September 16. This is a wine with red berry aromas and flavors that is very easy to drink with a nice finish and aftertaste. $18

Renzo Masi Chianti 2018 made from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino primary from the Rufina area of Tuscany.The producer is Fattoria di Basciano. Italy.  Classic red wine vinification takes place with alcohol fermentation at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. It has aromas and flavors of red berries with a touch of violets and good acidity. It is a wine to be drunk young but could age for a few years.  $12

Rosso di Toscano Renzo Masi Etra e China made from 50% Sangiovese and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. Tuscany, Italy.  The two grape varieties are fermented separately and malolactic fermentation is completed in stainless steel tanks. The juice is blended and transferred into barriques previously used to produce the “crus “ of Fattoria di Basciano. This is a full-bodied wine with hints of currants, cherry and a touch of vanilla. $16

Domaine Bousquet Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 made from 100% Cabernet Sauvigmon from vineyards in Tupugato, Alto Gualtallary, at the foot of the Andes at 4,000 ft. Argentina. The soil is gravel and sand. Harvest takes place between the last week of March and the first week of April. Fermentation is with selected yeasts for 15 days. This is a medium bodied wine with red berry aromas and flavors. $14

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Norma: Sicilian Food at its Best

Norma Gastronomia Siciliana in Manhattan is a restaurant that I frequent because of the great food and warm atmosphere.

I have probably tried everything on the menu and friends often ask me to recommend my favorite dishes.  These are some, though not all, of the foods that I often enjoy.

Caponata con crostini e mandorle–Eggplant, celery, green olives, onions, tomato, sweet and savory seasoning, toasted almonds served with crostini.

I like to have the Caponata with the focaccia, hot from the pizza oven.

Panelle– Fried chickpea fritters with garlic and parsley aglio olio sauce.Arancini al Ragu –Saffron rice ball stuffed with Bolognese meat sauce, green peas and served over tomato sauce.

Rianata pizza — Sicilian style with garlic, tomatoes, herbs and anchovies.

Cabucci Porchetta — hot flatbread sandwich with roasted porchetta, arugula, provolone cheese, and herbs.

Timballo di melanzane alla parmigiana- Eggplant parmigiana timbale with mozzarella & parmigiana cheese, basil and tomato sauce.

Pasta Alla Norma — Imported durum paccheri from Gragnano, large tubular pasta with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, eggplant, basil and ricotta salata cheese.

Anelletti Alla Palermitana in Casseruola – Tiny ring shaped baked pasta baked in a casserole with beef & pork ragu, green peas, Italian ham, eggplant, primo sale and ricotta salata cheeses, and basil

 

Cannoli – House made cannoli filled with sheep milk ricotta and pistachios.

Almond Semifreddo with Chocolate  Sauce

Cassata — Sicilian cheesecake

The Wine

Champagne Egly Ouriet   1990 made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay from 100% Grand Cru Ambonnay from 50 plus year old vines. Vinification in barrels 25% new. Aged for 8 years on the lees.

Champagne Henriot “Millésime 1988 made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 6 Grand Crus: Maily Champagne, Verzy, Verzenay on Montagne de Reims, Mesnil-su-Oger, Avize, Chouilly on Côte des Blancs. The wine has hints of raspberries and strawberries with a touch of hazelnuts and brioche and a long finish.

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2003 DOC made from 100% Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo Edoardo Valentini  very complex and full with a mineral character, hints of citrus fruit and apple, melon, good acidity, great finish and aftertaste with that extra something that is difficult to describe. The wine was not showing any sings of age.

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2014 DOC made from 100% Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo Edoardo Valentini aged in large botti of Slavonia oak for 12 months. With very nice fruit aromas and flavors, a note of strawberry and for a rose’, a great finish and aftertaste. There was some wine left in the bottle and I had it 3 days later.  The wine was still in perfect condition.

Prephylloxera Etna Rosso 2006 DOC Township of Randazzo from the Don Peppino Vineyard. Made from Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. Right in front and to the right of the cellar in the Calderara Sottana vineyard are two parcels in the midst of the larger vineyards that have survived phylloxera. They are over 130 years old and stand on their own rootstock. Exposure is northern and the soil is black volcanic pumice with some ash. There is spontaneous malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barriques and tonneaux for 18 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Memoriam: Lucio Caputo by Tom Maresca

In Memoriam: Lucio Caputo

Earlier this month, Lucio Caputo died at the age of 84. His passing didn’t attract a lot of attention outside the wine world, but within that micro-universe it reverberated enormously.

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From 1974 to 1982, Caputo was the Italian Trade Commissioner in New York, at that time a position of incredible importance for Italian products in the United States, and most especially for Italian wine. He left the Italian civil service in 1983 (declining a fat government pension) to stay on in New York to found the Italian Wine and Food Institute, an agency he successfully headed for the next 30 years. The IWFI did a tremendous job over that period of promoting the best of Italian wines and food products. Its annual tastings and awards dinners were always highlights of the season for wine professionals.

But for those of us who remember what the situation of Italian wine was in this country before Lucio Caputo, his greatest accomplishments came in his years as Italian Trade Commissioner.  Before then, Italian wine in America was largely “Soavebolla” – the popular portmanteau term for what was often pale, watery, nearly flavorless, overcropped, and overproduced plonk. After Caputo’s stint as trade commissioner, Italian wine in America had become a broad spectrum of many kinds of wine from many sorts of grapes from all over Italy. Caputo didn’t simply promote Italian wine – though he did, actively and passionately: But in terms of the American market, he could be said to have invented it.

Big claim, eh? But here are the stats: Before his campaign, Italy was exporting 362,000 hectoliters of wine a year to the United States. In 1983, the annual export reached 2,400,000 hectoliters, an almost sextupling in volume. Initially, as I recall, the big increase was in inexpensive wines, but as the ‘70s gave way to the ‘80s, higher-quality wines increasingly made their mark.

By the end of Caputo’s term as trade commissioner,  Italian wine imports to the US had surpassed French wines – the market leader for decades before – first in quantity and then in value.  These were the years when many now-famous Italian wines, then small-market cult wines even in Italy, began appearing on shelves in New York, Boston, and Washington; then in Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. The great wines you now can get easily and regularly first showed up then.

This all came about because of Caputo’s tireless efforts. Wine journalist old-timers will remember as fondly as I do the regular tastings at Italian Trade Commission headquarters on Park Avenue. This was a spacious, stylish venue, sporting an extensive wine library and a museum-quality Di Chirico oil painting.
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The tastings, which occurred every week (and sometimes twice a week), were every bit as stylish and extensive. They were also thorough, informative, and often quite intensive. You could always sit and taste comfortably, often at your own pace, and you had ample space to take notes – luxuries not always available today to the assiduous taster.

The Trade Commission tastings might be of a wine type, or a region, or a grape variety. Whichever they were, you were sure to taste and learn about some grape varieties and wines that were new to the American market or still hoping to get there, because not just journalists attended these tastings: retailers, sommeliers, restaurateurs, distributors, and importers also came. Those sessions opened the door to this country for many of the wines we can now take for granted, and they were Lucio Caputo’s finest achievement.

In the past few years, we have lost a lot of the pioneers and masters of Italian wine. Lucio Caputo was not a great winemaker like Bruno Giacosa or Beppe Colla or Antonio Mastroberardino, but his contributions to Italian wine stand in the same range of importance. One more giant is no longer with us.

The article is from “Tom’s Wine Line”   www.ubriaco.wordpress.com

Lucio Caputo and Augusto Marchini the former Assistant Trade Commissioner

I  saw Lucio Caputo at the last IWFI event at Gattopardo Restaurant in NYC in March of 2019.

In fact I first met Tom Maresca at an Italian Trade Commission tasting where we had a long conversation about grappa.

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A Summer Dinner with Tom and Diane

It is always a pleasure to be invited to the home of Tom Maresca and Diane Darrow for dinner. They are wine and food writers and both have excellent blogs: “Tom’s Wine Line” at ubriaco.wordpress.com and “Another Year in Recipes” at dianescookbooks.wordpress.com

For wine as always we started with Champagne. This time it was Pierre Gimonnet & Fils, Cuis Premier Cru, Brut NV 100% Chardonnay from vintages 2010 to 2015 and it was disgorged March 16, 2019. The dosage is 6g/l.

With it we nibbled at an assortment of appetizers which included nuts, olives and a delicious bean and tuna spread made with canned ventresca, the choicest part of the tuna, on dark bread.

At the table, Diane brought out perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes from the Union Square Greenmarket with mozzarella di bufala and

Zucchini a scapece (marinted and fried zucchini)

and olive oil from Bucci, one of my favorite producers of Verdicchio.

With this we had the Greco di Tufo 2016 “Vigna Cicogno” from Benito Ferrara made from 100% Greco di Tufo from a 1.5 hectare vineyard. The vines are between 15 and 60 years old and the soil is calcareous clay with outcroppings of yellow sulfur. There is a soft pressing of the grapes followed by fermentation and maturation in stainless steel. The wine spends 7 months on the lees and 2 months in the bottle before release. This is a very impressive wine with a great depth of aromas and flavors, hints of citrus fruit, a touch of lemon and a scent of bitter almond.

Next was the pasta, a recipe I had never eaten before, from one of Diane and Tom’s cookbooks, The Seasons of the Italian Table (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994). It was called Abruzzi-Style Fettuccine and the homemade pasta was dressed with sautéed onion, pancetta, basil, parsley and grated pecorino romano cheese. The simple, rustic sauce was very appealing.

This was paired with the 2011 Ghemme DOCG “Pellizzane” from Monsecco made from 90% Nebbiolo, 5%Vespolina and 5% Bonarda from the Novara Hills. The vines are an average of 30 years old. Harvest is in the second half of October and there is a carefully hand selection of the grapes. The wine macerates for 12 days before fermentation in stainless steel. Then it goes into a combination of old Slovenian botte (large oak barrels) and then in second year used French barriques for an additional 3 years and a year in bottle before release. This is a wine with hints of red and bark fruit with a touch of blueberries and notes of tobacco and spice. The wine was drinking very well.

A lamb stew with peppers and tomatoes followed.

With it we drank Taurasi 2007 Primum Riserva DOCG from Gustaferro made from 100% Aglianico from very old vines. The vineyards are at 300 meters and on south facing slopes. The training system is pergola. The wine is aged in botti for two years. This is a wine that can age. It has hints of black cherry, red currants, spice and a touch of raspberry.

With a selection of cheese we had the

Barolo 1999 “Colonnello” DOCG from Poderi Aldo Conterno made from 100% Nebbiolo (Michet and Lampia) varieties from the Colonnello vineyard (40 to 45 years old) in Bussia (Monforte d’Alba). There is a manual harvest in mid-October with grape selection in the vineyard. Vinification with skin contact inside stainless steel vats for 30 days. The wine is decanted several times before transfer to oak casks where it is aged and refined.

Our dessert was a light one of homemade lemon granita accompanied by some plain cookies, and as always we finished with grappa.

Tom has a wonderful collection and the Grappa Di Venegazzu “Della Casa” from Loredan Gasparini was my choice. It is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

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Wonderful Afternoon Eating and Drinking at Keste Wall St.

Once a month more or less, our wine and pizza group meets to have pizza, Champagne and Italian wine. Recently we have been going to Keste Wall Street. We like to go there because Roberto Caporuscio, the pizzaiolo/owner, always has something new for us to try, a new appetizer, new pizza toppings, or a new twist on a pizza we had before.

This time, Roberto said he had a new appetizer he wanted us to try the rotolo fritto with ricotta and pancetta (cicolo). WOW!  is  all I can say!

Then the foccacia alla formaggio Recco style.  Recco is a town in Liguria famed for this type of pie.

Then the margherita – a classic

Pizza with blue cheese made from sheep’s milk called basajo,  aged with passito di Pantelleria, and raisins  topped with speck.

Pizza with mozzarella, pistachio nuts and sausage.

Pizza with ricotta mixed with onions marinated with mixed berries, and  topped with caciocavallo podolico

 

The next pizza was topped with culatello, a type of prosciutto made from the choicest part of the pig known for its tenderness and flavor.

 

Here are the wines we drank:

Charles & Alphrede Prieu Champagne Grand Reserve Brut NV made from 45% Chardonnay, 30% Pint noir and 25% Pinot Meunier including 30% reserve wine. It is aged at least 3 years before disgorgement and at least for 3 more months before release. It has hints of apple, lemon and pear with nice minerality.

Ruinart Brut Rosé NV  made from 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards. About 18% of the Pinot Noir added is still wine. It had red fruit aromas and flavors with hints of raspberries and strawberries.

Champagne Vilmart & Co Coeur De Cuvée 2007 made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir from vines over 50 years old. The wine is aged in wood containers. It has hints of hazelnuts and brioche with a hint of lemon. I drank this a few years ago  for my birthday at a friends house in Sag Harbor, it was as good then as it is was now.

Champagne William Deutz 2007 Brut Made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay from grapes of Grand Cru vineyards. This was drinking very nicely as it was when I had it a few weeks ago.

Herniot Champagne Brut 1979 The current vintage is made Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 6 Grand Crus: Maily Champagne, Verzy, Verzenay on Montagne de Reims, Mesnil-su-Oger, Avize, Chouilly on Côte des Blancs. This was the Champagne of the afternoon.

Cerasuolo 2007 Azienda Valentini made from 100% Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo. The wine is aged in large botti of Slavonian oak for 24 months. This is a very complex full wine with a mineral character, hints of citrus fruit and apple, good acidity, great finish and aftertaste with that extra something that is difficult to describe.

Barolo 1996 Bergogno made from 100% Nebbiolo. Classic Barolo with hints of faded roses, tar, licorice and a note of cherry.

Another delicious afternoon of food and wine at Keste!

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Pecorino, Cerasuolo & Montepulciano at Tenuta I Fauri

On our recent press trip to the Abruzzo Region of Italy, we visited a number of wineries that produced excellent wines.

At Tenuta I Fauri, we were greeted by Valentina Di Camillo, a member of the family that owns the winery, and the Managing Director.

Valentina at the Grand Tasting Dei Vini D’Abruzzo

The winery is located in the small town of Ari in the center of the province of Chieri, among the hills that drop down from the Maiella Mountains to the Adriatic Sea.

The vineyards are at 250 meters and the vine training system  is tendone

Valentina said she and her brother Luigi, the winemaker, inherited their passion for making wine from their father Domenico. Tenuta I Fauri is not just a brand name but represents a family dedicated to wine production for many years.

Valentina said the cellar in not very photogenic because of the old cement tanks, used by her grandfather Luigi, which have been carefully restored and preserved so they can be used once again.  There are also new stainless steel fermenters and a few wooden barrels.

Valentina had prepared a selection of foods to taste with the wine,

among them fresh fruits and vegetables.

Abruzzo Pecorino DOC 2017 made from 100% Pecorino. The soil is clay calcareous and the training and pruning methods are tendone, single curtain/rows (spur training). There are 1,600/3,000 vines per hectare. Static decanting of the must takes place, followed by a soft pressing. Fermentation is in stainless steel at a controlled temperature and the wine is aged in stainless steel. The wine is bottled at the end of February. The wine has hints of apple and honey and a touch of mint.

Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC “Baldovino (Rosato) 2018 made from 100% Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo. The soil is clay calcareous and the training system is tendone, single curtain. There are 1,600 vines per hectare. Maceration takes place inside the press and static decanting of the must and a soft pressing. Fermentation at a controlled temperature is in stainless steel vats. The wine is bottled at the end of February. This is a fruity wine with hints of cherries, strawberries and a touch of almonds in the aftertaste.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Ottobre Rosso” 2017 DOC. The training system is single curtain tendone and there are 3,000 vines per hectare. Fermentation and maceration is in concrete vats for 10/12 days followed by 9 months aging in concrete vats. The wine is bottled in June. This is a red wine with intense red fruit aromas and flavors with hints of wild cherry and a touch of raspberry.

Spumante Brut NV made from Chardonnay and Pecorino. The soil is sandy and the training system is tendone, single curtain. There are 1,600 plants per hectare. Static decanting of the must followed by a soft pressing and fermentation at a controlled temperature. There is a second fermentation in an autoclave for 3 months and it is bottled in January. The wine has hints of peach and apricot with a touch of pineapple.

Both Michele and I were very impressed by the wines. We tasted the wines again at the Grand Tasting at the end of the trip and I enjoyed them again at an event in NYC.

 

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The Wines of Marques de Murrieta at Bouley Test Kitchen, NYC

In 1992 I was able to purchase 6 bottles the 1942 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Riserva. I served it at very special event and everyone agreed  it was a great wine. I should have purchased more of it.

Recently I was invited to a lunch at Bouley at Home in NYC with the wines of Marques de Murrieta.  It was a combination I could not pass up.

aka Vincent D.

The speaker was the charming and informative V.Dalmau Cebráin-Sagarrigaa Presidente of Marques de Murrieta Winery and Count of Creixewll.

Marques de Murrieta goes back to 1854 when Luciano Murrieta produced the first Rioja wine and was granted the title of Marquis by King Amando of Savoy for his work in Rioja. Luciano established the concept of “cheateau” in the Ygay Estate where he built the Ygay Castle.

In 1983 Vincent Cebrián, tenth Count of Creixewll, took over the winery. After his death his eldest son Vincent D. Cebrián, current Count of Creixell, with his sister took over the management of the winery. There are 300 hectares of vineyards on the property.

Vincent D explained that they also own the Pazo de Barrantes winery, a property which his been in the family since 1511. Today the winery is designed specially for growing the Albarino grape on a 12 hectare plot. The winery is in the heart of the Saines valley in the province of Galicia.

As we entered the restaurant, we were served the La Comtesse 2015 Pazo Barrantes Rias Baixas D.O. Galicia 100% Albariño from the Cacheiro single vineyard, within the 12 hectare estate 0f Pazo de Barrantes. The old vine grapes grapes are destemmed and gently pressed. Temperature controlled fermentation takes place in a 3,000 liter French Allier oak vat for 60 days. The wine is left on the lees for 6 months. The wine remains in the same wooden vats for 12 more months and then in concrete tanks for another 8 months. Vincent D. said this is a contemporary white wine that shows the versatility of the Albariño grape to reach new heights of freshness, complexity and aromatic richness when treated with the careful use of oak barrels.

Pazo Barrantes Rias Baixas, 2017 D. O. Galicia made from 100% Albarino grapes grown on the Pazo de Barrantes Estate surrounding the winery in the Salnes Valley. The grapes are hand harvested on September 7th to 19th 2017. The bunches are destemmed and gently pressed using a pneumatic press. Juice settling occurs before alcoholic fermentation. The juice is fermented at 10C for 30 days in stainless steel tanks without the grape skins. The wine is then left in contact with the lees for two months. The wine was bottled in March of 218. The wine has an aromatic complexity with intense floral, fruity and balsamic aromas.  I was very impressed with this wine.

Green Apple Cloud, Golden Osetra Caviar

Vincent D. said he ages the wines in concrete vats part of the time because it adds elegance and rounds out the tannins.

Capellania Reserva 2014 made from 100% Viura from a single vineyard planted in 1945 at 485 meters, the highest point on the Ygar Estate on their 300 hectare estate in Rioja Alta. Manual harvest takes place from September 30th to October 2nd. The grapes are crushed and after a short skin contact they are gently pressed in a vertical press. Vincent D said this is a slow and gentle process that favors the extraction of all the aromatic potential from our low-yielding Viula grapes. The juice is then settled and fermented in a temperature controlled stainless steel tank for 24 hours. The wine spends 15 months in French barriques for 15 months and one year in concrete tanks. It spends one year in bottle before release in June 2018. This is a well structured and complex wine with hints of white stone fruit and vanilla.  This is a white wine that can age. It was even better with  the food.

Wellfleet Sea Scallops wit Ocean Herbal Broth

Marqués de Murrieta Riserva 2015 made from 80% Tempranillo, 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo and 2% Garnache. Grapes come from the Ygay Estate which is 300 hectares of vineyards surrounding the winery in the south most point of Rioja Alta between 320 and 485 meters. Harvest by hand between September 14 and October 16 2015. Grapes are destemmed and then fermented in stainless steel tanks for 8 days at a controlled temperature with skin contact. Pumping over and punching down takes place. Then the solid parts of the grapes were pressed in vertical presses with double screws.

Aged for two years in new and partly 3 to 5 year old American oak barriques and 7 months in concrete and 6 months in bottle before release. This is a well structured and concentrated wine with hints of blackberry, licorice, and vanilla.

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Japanese Rice.

Castillio Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2009 made from 81% Tempranillo and 19% Mazuelo. The Tempranillo was harvested on the 30th of September and the Mazuelo on October 7th. The grapes come from La Plana single vineyard planted in 1950 and located on a plateau at 485 meters the highest point of the Finca Ygay. The bunches are destemmed and gently crushed before being racked into stainless steel vats. Fermentation is for about 11 days and pumping over and punching down takes place. The wine is aged for 26 months in French and American barrels, and for one year in concrete tanks. It remains in the bottle for 3 years before release. This is a concentrated wine with hints of blackberries, blueberries and spice with vanilla notes. It is a wine that will age for a long time.

Prime Filet Mignon Glazed Shallots and Organic Spinach

Dalmau Reserva 2014 made from 75% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Graciano. This wine is a selection of the best grapes available from an old single vineyard called Canajas at 465 meters. The soil is mainly clay chalky with a stony topsoil. Production is limited to 1 kilogram per vine. Manually selected grapes that reach the winery as soon as possible. The Tempranillo was handpicked on October 8th and the Cabernet Sauvignon on October 14. The grapes are destemmed and each variety ferments separately for 11 days. The Tempranillo ferments in stainless steel and the Cabernet Sauvignon in small oak vats. Pumping over and delestage are carried out on a daily basis. The wine in aged for 21 months in French Allier barriques, and for one year in concrete. Vincent said “this is a limited production wine from an old single vineyard where there are very low yields. It reflects the most modern side of our winery.” I agree with him. This is a concentrated wine with hints of dark fruit, dark chocolate, vanilla and mineral notes. Vincent  D said  it  is  against  the  law  to  use  Cabernet  Sauvignon  in  the  wine  of the  region  but  they  make an  exception for  him with this  wine.

Selection of Mature Artisanal French Cheese.

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