Villa Maria: From Humble Beginnings To Superior Wines

June 4, 2012

Villa Maria Pinot Noir

A review of the recently released Villa Maria Estate Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

In 1961, George Fistonich planted grapes on 2 acres he leased from his father’s farm located in the upper region of New Zealand’s North Island. He released his first wines in 1962 and now is celebrating his 50th vintage as founder and CEO of Villa Maria Estate. Known as New Zealand’s most honored winery, Villa Maria won its first awards in 1963 when two of its red wines were prizewinners at a prestigious New Zealand event. Over subsequent decades, Villa Maria has continued to garner numerous local and international accolades for its consistently superior wines.

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Smokey, Peaty Whisky Fans – We Feel Your Pain

May 31, 2012

carmelshiraz3

A review of the Carmel Kayoumi Vineyard Shiraz 2007 and 2008 along with a review of the Kilchoman 2006 Single Malt Whisky.

Baron Edmond James de Rothschild is credited with establishing the modern Israeli winemaking industry in the late 19th century. As an ardent Zionist and owner of France’s Chateau Lafite, Rothschild readily offered his assistance to the new immigrants of the First Aliyah who wanted to cultivate vines and set up a winery. He began by planting grapes outside of Jaffa and soon after at another site in Zichron Yaakov, south of Haifa. In 1882, Baron Edmond founded the Carmel Mizrachi Winery (now just “Carmel Winery”) which has grown to become Israel’s biggest wine-making company with nearly 3,500 acres of vines and an annual production of over 15 million bottles.

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Sticking To Scotland – For A Change

May 24, 2012

Balblair

A review of the Lan Zur Sauvignon Blanc 2010 and Balblair Vintage Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

The history of Chilean sauvignon blanc begins in the 16th century when Spanish explorers established colonies along the southwestern edge of the continent. Up until the mid-20th century the predominant varietals were those more associated with France rather than Spain including merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, sauvignon blanc and semillon. However the quality of the wines lagged behind other countries until the mid 1980s when favorable political and economic conditions lead to a revitalization of the region’s wine industry. Chilean wines are now considered among the world’s best values for both price and quality. Chile is currently the fourth leading exporter of wines to the U.S.

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Back To Single Malt Scotch

May 17, 2012

Glengoyne

A review of Tishbi Gewurztraminer 2010 and several Glengoyne Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Gewurztraminer is a difficult grape. It is an early budding varietal that ripens irregularly with low yields. Often victimized by frost, it also requires a long growing season and it is very particular about where it grows. Gewurztraminer is susceptible to plant diseases and has a tendency in hot climates to become unbalanced without sufficient acidity to offset its natural sweetness.

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Summer Indulgences

May 10, 2012

Makers Mark Bourbon

A review of the Domaine du Castel Rosé 2011 and a look at the Mint Julep.

There are few better summer indulgences than a glass of chilled rosé. Not the horrific, semi-sweet “white” blush wines from California that remains surprisingly popular. The rosés worth drinking are “dry,” without significant residual sugar, and display bright fruit flavors balanced with crisp acidity. They are usually created by either allowing the pressed juice to have only minimal contact with the skins or by a method known as “saignee” (bleeding), which removes lightly colored juice from vats to concentrate the remaining future wine. Nearly every red grape has been made into a rosé. Regardless of the methodology, the goal is to create a wine that maintains elements of the varietal’s character in a lighter more refreshing fashion.

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Dietary Laws Of Separation No Barrier To Blending Wine

May 2, 2012

Grand Old Parr

A review of the Gvaot Gofna Chardonnay-Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Grand Old Parr 12 year old De Luxe Scotch Whisky.

Integral to Jewish belief and religious practice is the concept of separation. Many objects, certain behaviors and even time itself are differentiated as either holy or secular and mundane. The dietary laws exclude certain foods, while demanding that some foods first be elevated from mundane to holy before they may be consumed.

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Science, Inspiration Play Roles In Winemaking

April 25, 2012

Old Grand Dad Bourbon

Review of Bravdo Karmei Yosef Shiraz 2009 and a look at 2 Bourbon’s without an age statement, Basel Hayden and Old Grand Dad.

Making wine is a marriage of nature and technology. The interaction of yeast and grapes has been investigated for centuries with the results implemented in the vineyards and wineries. But winemaking is not an exact science, and great wines are not a result of formulas or recipes. Inspiration also has its role, especially when based upon a sound scientific foundation.

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Spring Brings Outdoor Recreation, Rosé Wine Season



montes cherub rose

Wine recommendations for picnics and outdoor concerts.


Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is a true national treasure. The almost 5 acres of available picnic space, an extensive and wide-ranging performance schedule and a liberal alcohol policy allowing patrons to bring their own wine and beer assures a wonderful experience without the over-charging for beverages found at other concert locations. It is the ideal venue to enjoy wines suited to picnicking in the warmer weather.

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Tasting Some Incredible Scotch

April 19, 2012

Tun 1401

Review of the Galil Mountain Viognier 2009 and several Balvinie Single Malt Scotches.

The arrival of spring means it is time to kick back on the deck with a chilled glass of white wine. For many, chardonnay is their white wine of choice. But there are many other wine options for warm weather enjoyment. One of our favorites is viognier, a very aromatic varietal with prominent fruit flavors and floral aromas.

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