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Showing posts from September, 2014

Millbrook Winery - A Special Hudson Valley, New York Wine Tasting @millbrookwinery

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Wrapping up our month long focus on the Hudson Valley wine region of New York, we enjoyed tasting two wines from Millbrook Winery, a Tocai Friulano and a Cabernet Franc.

Millbrook Winery is located in the Hudson River Valley just 1.5 hours from both New York City and Albany, New York. They have been called "the Hudson Valley's flagship winery" by The New York Times and "a great place to visit" by The Wall Street Journal. Visit any time of year for a tour and for wine tasting.

Millbrook Winery has cultivated thirty vineyard acres. Current varietals include Chardonnay (13 acres) Pinot Noir (5 acres), Cabernet Franc (7 acres), Tocai Friulano (5 acres) and Riesling (5 acres). Winemaker John Graziano has been crafting wines for Millbrook since 1984. He studied plant pathology and entomology at Cornell University. Currently, John is producing approximately 10,000 – 14,000 cases of  wine annually from estate fruit, as well as fruit from across New York and their Cali…

Lucille by Stottle Winery 2012 Late Harvest Viognier @StottleWinery

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A Season for Sweet Lucille. 

This time of year the sun sets earlier and earlier. Temperatures are gradually dropping and that bit of early fall is slowly shifting my mindset to thoughts of comfort foods and beverages. Enter Lucille by Stottle Winery. Lucille is a late harvest Viognier.

A well crafted dessert wine, Lucille is sweet but balanced with appropriate acidity, so the sweetness does not dominate this wine. If you are already thinking of holiday plans and meals, Lucille would be wonderful served after dinner and by the fireplace or fire pit. It was a delight enjoying this wine at sunset after home cooked meals. Thank you Amy and Josh.

Tasting notes:

Color: Pale silver-gold.
Nose: Honey, stone fruit, fresh minerality.
Palate: Medium-sweet, resin, honey, apricot, nectarine, fluid mid-palate, gentle tart. Palate cleansing.

Thoughts: Not heavy, refreshing. Balanced sugar and acidity. As it warmed it seemed sweeter with fig. I think it would be a good palate cleanser for a multi-course d…

Wine of the Week: Valdo Rose' Brut Vino Spumante Marca Oro - Italy @pasternakwine

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The Delight of Valdo Time!

Who doesn't like bubbles in their wine? There are many styles of sparkling wine made around the world. Myself, I like them all, but there are wines with bubbles which deliver more than casual amusement and refreshment. This pretty Rose' from Valdo surprised me with its depth of character and delivered satisfaction. It is deserving of a Wine of the Week.

Prosecco is an Italian sparkling dry wine made primarily from Glera grapes. Principally grown in the Prosecco region of Italy, which includes Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, north of Venice in the Vento region. Under European law, only sparkling wines made with grapes grown in this region can have the name Prosecco.

This bottle is labeled "Vino Spumante."Spumante is typically a sweet bubbly wine, this is not that wine.

The Scuola Spumanti Valdo (Valdo School of Sparkling Wines) is a result of Valdo’s knowledge of the territory and ongoing oenological and technological research. In this case, …

Podcast: WineMuse an Evening of Chardonnay Artistry and Genius

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Regular readers and listeners, know that Linda Reznicek and I host a monthly wine podcast we call "WineMuse World Tour." This year we have been tasting and reviewing wine from different regions around the world. After recording one of our shows, Linda and I began casually discussing the topic of Chardonnay. She asked me, "Why did Chardonnay go out of favor, or did it? What makes a GREAT Chardonnay?" I agreed it was a good topic and one worth pursuing.

Linda arranged interviews with two famous California Chardonnay producers, and procured samples, she also scheduled interviews with two Washington winemakers I recommended.

We have posted our featured #WineMuse podcast show where we explore the up and down trajectory of the world's favorite varietal, Chardonnay, through the words of great Chardonnay winemakers in Napa Valley and Washington state. This was a fun and inspirational show featuring the expertise of truly talented winemakers. I invite you to listen to …

Brotherhood Winery NV Brut Sparkling Chardonnay, Hudson Valley @brotherhoodwine

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A kissing wine from Americas oldest winery!

How long has wine been made at Brotherhood Winery? Martin Van Buren, a Hudson Valley resident, was president when Brotherhood made their first vintage.

Established in 1839, Brotherhood winery has been in continuous operation for 175 years. Brotherhood winery has changed hands several times, languished, suffered from fire, went through a period of recovery and is once again producing premium wine in the Hudson Valley.

History of the Winery

In 1810, *French Huguenot emigre Jean Jaques purchased land in New York’s agrarian Hudson Valley and began planting grapes. By 1837, Mr. Jaques needed more land, so he purchased a plot in the quiet village of Washingtonville, NY, and planted another vineyard. By 1839, his first underground cellars were dug and Mr. Jaques fermented his first vintage. Those cellars, the oldest and largest in America, are still in use today at Brotherhood Winery.

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* 9/12/14Note Regarding Jean Jaques: It was brought to my att…

Wine of the Week: Gordon Estate 2010 Merlot - ColumbiaValley @GordonEstate

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Can you fall in love with a wine?
A wine worth pondering.

Gordon Estate is located in the heart of the Columbia Valley in Washington State. They are the oldest estate winery in Washington State and use only estate-grown grapes in making their hand-crafted Washington wines.

In 1980, Jeff Gordon, along with his wife, Vicki and brother Bill decided to plant wine grapes on a sagebrush-covered slope overlooking the Snake River in southeastern Washington’s Columbia Valley. In 1985, he released his first small lot of Chardonnay wine produced from their estate vines.

Gordon Estate, previously known as "Gordon Brothers," has been served at my table for over 25 years. I encourage you to discover the wines of Gordon Estate. A true Washington original.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Dark garnet to plum.
Nose: Spicy with cumin, black currant, licorice, gingerbread, cherry cordial, complex with a lot going on, background with hints of savory vegetal and dark chocolate. Layered.
Palate: Creamy, silky m…

Reviewed: Bouchaine Chardonnay Napa Valley - Carneros @BouchaineWines

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A showcase of elegant Napa Valley Chardonnay. 


"The uncertainty of life is there in front of you in the glass."  - Michael Richmond, winemaker Bouchaine Vineyards
On a featured #WineMuse podcast show Linda Reznicek and yours truly, have explored the up and down trajectory of the world's favorite varietal, Chardonnay, through the words of great Chardonnay winemakers in Napa Valley and Washington state.

A highlight of our focus on Chardonnay was an interview with winemaker Michael Richmond and a special tasting of three memorable bottles of Bouchaine Vineyards Chardonnay. I invite you to listen to our podcast as we share an evening of Chardonnay and Chardonnay artistry and genius.

Bouchaine Vineyards is a 40 year pioneer in the California wine industry, Michael Richmond founded Acacia Wines in the Carneros district of Napa Valley and now makes wine for Bouchaine. He brings the history and his love of wine education, experience, and adventure.

Tasting notes follow: 



Bouchaine 2…

Wine Review: Chateau Montelena 2012 Chardonnay, California

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Napa Chardonnay from a famous California winery.

This is the first Napa Chardonnay I have reviewed. California Chardonnay is for ABC drinkers too.

"The light danced as I sipped..."
I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Winemaker Matthew Crafton of Chateau Montelena. We put together a #winemuse podcast show focusing on Chardonnay. Matthew was kind enough to take time to speak with us about Chardonnay and his winemaking philosophy. Here's a link to the full podcast show as we explore the trajectory of Chardonnay.

What is wine? I've addressed that question briefly on my Profile Page. When you have an opportunity to speak with talented winemakers, that question or at least that answer, inevitably comes up. Wine can be a simple, every day type of beverage if you don't dig a little deeper. Wine can also be a significant aspect of a culture, a culture which values the benefits and pleasures of wine.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Straw.
Nose: Delicate, toast, river rock, pine…