Four rosés from Spain & Chile

Torres Natureo Rosé 2016, Spain (£5.99 Waitrose, Ocado, Amazon, Bacchus Wines, Taylor’s Fine Wine) A fair attempt at making an alcohol-free wine, I’d probably finish a glass of this fresh, easy-going strawberry laden concoction, but I’d much rather have a decent cordial or a glass of citrus-infused water (the white version is better). 0+ Jean […]

Wine Sample: Abadia Retuarda Seleccion Especial Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León

The Abadía Retuerta winery launched in 1996 during Spain's Ribera del Duero explosion onto the world market. Although relatively young, the winery inherits a long tradition of winemaking as the winery and vineyards are located on the former site of the 12th century Santa Marie de Retuerta Monastery in Sardón de Duero. Along the banks of the Duero River, "the monks of the order of Saint Norbert were given terras et vineas (land and vines) in Duero Valley and the second abbot brought the first French grape varieties from Burgundy that were planted in this famous Spain wine region. Since then, the land of our estate has been dedicated to the vine, to silence and to devotion."

Abadia Retuerta farms these same vineyard sites which today is located within the heart of the "Golden Mile", a "privileged strip of land it shares with some of the Ribera del Duero's ...

Chilean Wine from Ventisquero & Valdivieso

I recently received review samples of four entry level Chilean wines, two each from Valdivieso and Ventisquero. Valdivieso became Chile and South America's first sparkling wine producer when in 1887, founder Don Alberto Valdivieso, released Champagne Valdivieso. Close to a century later the winery added still wines to their portfolio and today work with close to a dozen grape varieties. The current winemaker is New Zealand native Brett Jackson who has quite the resume working in New Zealand; Napa Valley; Stellenbosch, South Africa; and Narbonne, France before joining Valdivieso in 1999.
  • Valdivieso Valley Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($15) The 100% Sauvignon Blanc is from the Leyda Valley. The cooler valley provides slower and gentler ripening allowing the grapes to retain acidity.  This is an excellent wine, tropical aroma, weighty lemons, and abundant acids.
  • Valdivieso Brut Rose NV ($13) Comprised of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay all sourced from ...

Three wines from Your Sommelier’s Bordeaux selection

These three are part of Your Sommelier‘s subscription service which costs £36 per month – so the average price is £12 per bottle Château Dubois Gramont Bordeaux Blanc 2015, France Rich but tangy style, with notes of ginger and honey alongside the herby greengage, plum and lemon curd. Nicely balanced, quite weighty but always fresh. […]

A Cabernet Sauvignon from Staglin Family Vineyard

Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

We have traveled to Napa Valley several times but unfortunately never had the opportunity to visit Staglin Family Vineyard. After enjoying a 2009 Staglin Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and finding it definitely a delightful wine, I visited the winery’s website and discovered some intriguing info. Staglin Family Vineyard is a true family winery and vineyard with parents and adult children, Shannon and Brandon, very involved. Garen and Shari Staglin purchased the vineyard estate in 1985. Today the vineyard estate has 51 acres of grapevines. The estate vineyard is certified organic. The property has habitats for bees, insects and birds of prey. Wildlife on the estate includes: dragonflies, ladybugs, jackrabbits, fiches and red-tailed hawks. Solar power provides the winery with all of its energy needs. Most interesting for me is the philanthropy that is a major commitment by the Staglins. While they support numerous charities, their main ...

Cabernet Sauvignon, Not Napa Valley: Alexander Valley, Chile and Other Places, Mostly 2012 & ’13

I launched the “Whither Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon” series in October 2014 as a way of focusing on cabernet-based wines from one the the world’s best places for the grape’s production into fine wine. Or not so fine, depending on one’s point of view about over-strict oak regimen, super-ripe, jammy fruit and alcohol levels that soar to 15 percent and beyond, characteristics that occur too often. But cabernet-based wines are made not only in other regions of California but all around the world. We look today at a baker’s dozen — the superstitious way of saying “13” — of non-Napa Valley examples, mainly from Alexander Valley in Sonoma County and from various spots in Chile. Some of these wines stuck me as being classic in proportion and balance, while a few leaned toward exaggeration; none, however, seemed beyond the pale, and most of the ratings are Excellent. With one exception, ...
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