Review of Matanzas Journey Red Blend & Chardonnay


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Matanzas Creek Experience

Matanzas Creek Experience

Today I received three fabulous examples of red wine (as well as the expected Chardonnay, since the AVA is Sonoma) coming from Matanzas Creek Winery the Bennett Valley area in the Sonoma AVA.

This is one of the most picturesque wineries in Sonoma.

You will find beautiful gardens and great views.

Since its launch in 1977, the winery has built its reputation on Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot grape varieties.

These two varieties that thrive in Sonoma’s temperate climate.

Today the winery is owned by Jackson Family Wines.

The winemaker is Marcia Torres Forno.

All of the winery’s fruit comes from sustainable – farmed, estate vineyards scattered throughout the mild interior and cool coastal AVAs of the county.

Let’s start with the Chardonnay first,

2016 Matanzas Winery Journey Chardonnay

Marcia Torres Forno has been at the helm at the Matanzas winery since 2010.

More than 25 years ago, …

rock shrimp from Matanzas

3 Top Wineries For Pinot Noir in Oregon


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Winemakers from Elk Grove, Ponzi Vineyards and Sokol Blosser

Winemakers from Elk Grove, Ponzi Vineyards and Sokol Blosser

3 Top Wineries for Pinot Noir in Oregon

As a wine lover, you already know that Oregon Pinot Noir is some of the best in the world.

Many feel it ranks equal to top quality Pinot Noir from Burgundy.

In fact, many wine experts sometimes find it difficult to tell the difference between Oregon Pinot Noir and Burgundian Pinot Noir.

The 1970s: Oregon’s Golden Era

Many agree that Oregon Pinot Noir burst into the international scene in the 1970s, when David Lett’s Eyrie Vineyards’ 1975 Pinot Noir

South Block Reserve Pinot Noir was ranked 10th in its category in the WIne Olympics held in Paris in 1979.

Then it won another competition in Burgundy.

At that time, the Oregon winemakers of that era were young and raising families.

They were excited about the prospects of showcasing Pinot Noir grown from their …

Glasses of Oregon Pinot Noir

3 Secrets of Gamble Family Vineyards


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards

3 Secrets of Gamble Family Vineyards

Gamble Family Vineyards is exceptional.

You will find many excellent wineries in the Napa Valley.

Almost every winery today offers fabulous tours and tastings.

And almost every winery features excellent wine.

Yet when you visit a winery, you are not really in the position to understand the “secrets” behind the glitzy label and the showy winery facade.

Lunch with Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards

So during my lunch with Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards, I was able to understand the three secrets  that really made Gamble Family winery stand out.

First though, you should know that one of my favorite things about writing about wine is the opportunity to hear storytelling from passionate winemakers.

Tom Gamble is one of the best and most passionate storytellers in the wine world.

As Gamble Family Vineyards is such a …

Spring cuisine of Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Jean Georges dessert with Gable Family Vineyards wine
Tom Gamble and Marisa D'Vari

Delicious Pinot Noir Rose from Jackson Family


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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 Delicious Pinot Noir Rose From Jackson Family  

3 Jackson Family Rose wines

3 Jackson family rose wines

April is a lovely month to taste exciting new wines.

I love red wine, yet spring is the time to really get into the spirit of the season and try new styles of rose colored wine.

Of course, you can find rosé wine made from red grapes all over the world.

Often, it’s difficult to “blind taste” a wine and decide which grape variety it comes from.

So what is the characteristic of a rosé wine made from Pinot Noir?

As a general rule, a rosé wine made from Pinot Noir is often very aromatic, with notes of red flowers as well as small red berries.

The shade – or hue – of the wine depends on the techniques at the disposal of the winemaker. It is often dictated by fashion and the marketing department.

Jackson Family Wines

 2018 Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Gran Moraine Rose of Pinot Noir

Shopping in Hamburg


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Shopping in Hamburg

Shopping in Hamburg

Shopping in Hamburg

In the major cities of the world, the shopping in Hamburg Germany is among the best.

The reason is because you will find all your favorite high end luxury brands (Zegna, Chanel) in newly built outdoor retail areas, picturesquely framed by charming canals.

And while you venture from one shopping center to another, you will find yourself crossing beautiful neighborhoods.

You will also find numerous restaurants and cafes to refresh yourself during your Hamburg shopping activities.

And you might even be able to fit in a museum or two!

Weekend in Hamburg

Shopping in Hamburg is NOT just about the shopping experience.

Yes, shopping is what holds the “theme” together.

You will experience many types of shopping in Hamburg.

Restaurants are part of the shopping experience too – all that shopping can work up an appetite!

And then, after the shopping and the lunches …

What Dessert Goes with Champagne?


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Picture of Macarons

Curious about what dessert goes with Champagne, Sparkling Wine, or Bubbly?

I love Champagne.

And as much as I love Champagne, I love dessert even more!

Though I am using the word “Champagne” here, you can apply the same dessert pairing concepts with Sparkling Wine or bubbly from many regions.

This is as long as the signature “Champagne grapes” Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are included.

The Differences Between Champagne and Sparkling Wine Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the “Traditional Method”

There are many differences between sparkling wine made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from regions outside Champagne, and within Champagne.

In some cases the differences are very subtle, others more dramatic.

You may be surprised that some sparkling wine from England, Australia, New Zealand, and California may be several times the price of the most popular branded Champagne houses.

For the most part, the differences are subtle, …

Champagne and dessert pairing
Ayaya Champagne with macaron desert
Champagne bubbly pairing with desert
Panel of Champagne representatives tasting bubbly with macarons
Explaining Champagne bubbly with dessert

Israeli Wine Golan Heights Yarden


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Israeli Wine Golan Heights – Yarden

Do you love Israeli Wine From Golan Heights ?

Of course I do! Israeli wine from the Golan heights has the absolute best of all words.

First, you have the Mediterranean climate that gives warm summers and cool (not freezing) winters and springs.

Then you have what the French call “know-how” – this is the “Bible Belt” of the Wine Industry.

This means wine has been made in this era for well over 2000 years.

Yarden Winery Lunch

Yarden Winery Lunch

Kosher Wine From the Golan Heights

Israeli wine is typically Kosher wine.

The combination of wine from Israel, and the fact most of it is Kosher, renders Israeli wine an excellent choice to buy as a gift if you are a guest to party celebrating Purim, Hanukah, or another holiday.

Excellent Quality for the Price

I remember when Israeli wines first came to New York as part …

 Pouring wine from Golan Heights Yarden Winery
 Golan Heights Icon of Yarden Winery

Learn Wine At Somm Summit 2019


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Somm Summit at CIA Copia

Somm Summit at CIA Copia

Learn Wine at Somm Summit 2019 – A Review

The CIA summit is a best way to learn wine.

This is especially true if you want to learn wine for the Court of Master Sommeliers or Masters of Wine.

If you are a sommelier, wine director, or in the trade you might find it interesting to check out the Sommelier Summit offered from the CIA at the Copia Center.

I first heard about this wine course via Sommelier Journal.

It is held in the Napa Valley, California – the best place to learn wine.

CIA SOMM SUMMIT – BEST WAY TO LEARN WINE

You will meet some of the most  influential and popular wine icons of the world.

For example, Kevin Zraly, a key presenter, is a wine legend.

He taught the famous wine classes at Windows at the World.

Andrea Robinson MS, moderator …

Dinner at Greystone
CIA Copia Main Session

Alicante Bouschet: The Red-Fleshed Grape


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Alicante Bouschet: The Red-Fleshed Grape of Portugal

Discovering Alicante Bouschet: The Red-Fleshed Grape

I vividly remember the first time I had a white wine made from the black Pinot Noir grape. A white wine from a red grape? How could that be?

It’s natural to assume that a red wine gets its color from its flesh.

In actuality the color of MOST red wines is from its skin. The flesh itself is white.

Now that said, there is a fairly famous grape that actually has a red-fleshed color and thick skin.

This is the Alicante Bouschet grape, now grown in the Alentejo region.

A grape with a red colored flesh are known as teinturier.

What is Alicante Bouschet?

Alicante Bouschet grows near Alentejo Roman Temple

Alicante Bouschet grows near Alentejo Roman Temple

This grape is a 1886-dated  French cross of Petit Bouschet and Grenache. It is noted for its massive structure and firm tannins yet also has …

Bottle of Sao Miguel Alicante Bouschet wine
Bottle of Rocim Alicante Bouschet wine

Wine and Food Holidays in Basque Country Spain


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Basque Country Wine and Food experiences

Basque Country Wine and Food experiences

Wine and Food Holidays in Basque Country Spain

How to Plan a Great Wine and Food Holiday in Basque Country Spain

When I was 14 years old, I remember the first day of my Spanish class in Junior High.

I walked into the classroom.

When I caught my first glimpse of my professor, my heart began to race!

His name was Mr. Leon.

While not exactly tall, he was extremely dark and handsome.

He was from the Basque region of Spain.

And from that moment, I could not wait to learn the language and visit the Basque Country of Spain.

My Taste of Basque Country Cuisine

Ten years later, a family friend invited me to taste the cuisine of Martin Berasategui.

It was then that I had my first taste of octopus prepared with its own black ink.

Though the dish sounds …

Basque country city of San Sebastian
Basque Country sunny beach_Gexto
Basque County San_juan_de_Gaztelugatxe
Basque Country sea and beach_playa_laga

What is Ribera del Duero Red Wine?


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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 Ribera del Duero Tinto Figuero Winery 12 Months in oak

Ribera del Duero Tinto Figuero Winery 12 Months in oak

What is Ribera del Duero Red Wine from Spain?

Ribera del Duero Red Wine is a Tempranillo based Wine from the Ribera del Duero region in Northern Spain.

It is a delicious red wine that is often compared and contrasted against the Tempranillo based wines of the more commonly known Rioja region.

I have been to both regions, and tasted both wines against one another many times.

Key Differences Between Ribera del Duero and Rioja Red Wine From Spain

There are key differences between the two Spanish wine regions.

The first key difference is that the climate is completely different in these regions, though both are considered “continental climates” (cold winters, mild summers).

The climate
has an enormous impact on the ripening of the grapes, as well as the acidity.

Another factor is altitude. Ribera del Duero is located …

Marisa D'Vari and Ribera del Duero Tinta Figuero winemaker Jean-Francois Hebrand
 Ribera del Duero Tinto Figuero winery
 Ribera del Duero Tinto Figuero Noble
 Ribera del Duero Tinto Figuero Milagros

“Persuasive…Well-Made Effort”- Burghound -Testut Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2017


This post is by Craig Gandolf from Cynthia Hurley Wines


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90 pts. – Burghound
“(from 70+ year old vines in Beugnons that yielded only 25 hl/ha in 2017) An overtly floral nose displays enough Chablis typicity to be persuasive on the pear, apple and soft citrus aromas. The round and supple medium-bodied flavors possess a caressing mouth feel, indeed the mid-palate is almost creamy, all wrapped in a markedly saline and dry finish that tightens up considerably. Even so this well-made effort should drink well early if desired. Drink 2022+.”- Allen Meadows, Burghound, Issue 72

The post “Persuasive…Well-Made Effort”- Burghound -Testut Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2017 appeared first on Cynthia Hurley Wines.

Best South African Wine Simonsig Estate?


This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story


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Simonsig Winery South Africa

Simonsig Winery South Africa

Is the best South African Wine Simonsig Estate?

 

Do you LOVE wine from South Africa?

I do!

Until recently, it was hard to find South African wine exportedin the USA.

Today, producers like Simonsig Winery Estates are VERY present in the USA market.

Where can you find South African Wine Simonsig Estate?

You can find South African wines in large boutique supermarkets like Whole Foods, to fine wine stores all over the country.

This evening I had the good fortune to meet Simonsig’s Marketing and Sales Manager Jacques Jordaan.

He led a tasting of several Stellenbosch wines from the Simonsig Estate.

History of the Malan Family

Jacques began the evening by explaining that Simonsig is family owned by the Malan family.

The family’s winemaking dates back to 1688 when the first Malan arrived in South Africa.

Skip to 1953, when descendent Frans Malan planted vineyards …

Jacques Jordann of Simonsig Winery South Africa
Delicious food pairing with Simonsig Estate wine
Simonsig Estate wine with shrimp
Spicy food with S. African Simonsig Estate

Kubler Riesling 2015 “The finish is long and slightly honeyed”- Vinous


This post is by Craig Gandolf from Cynthia Hurley Wines


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91 pts – Vinous
“Vivid straw-green. Hints of diesel fuel, dried figs, peach and green apple. Then floral and fruity; a strong dusting of minerals and fresh citrus fruits add freshness. The finish is long and slightly honeyed. Drink 2019-2022.”- Ian D’Agata, Vinous

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“Rock-solid and should age nicely. Grenache”- WS


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Domaine de Mourchon, CdRV-Seguret Family G 2015
95% Grenache, 5% Syrah
Wine Spectator Score: 92
“Delightfully ripe, with a big ball of cassis, plum sauce and steeped raspberry fruit melded together, inlaid with anise and graphite notes and driving through a rich yet detailed finish. Rock-solid and should age nicely. Grenache. Best from 2018 through 2022. 400 cases made.” –JM, Wine Spectator
Wine Advocate Score: 91
“Made from the estate’s oldest vines, the full-bodied 2015 Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret Family Reserve Grenache features super ripe black cherries that flood the palate with supple tannins and refreshing acidity. It might lack a little complexity at the moment, but you can enjoy it now for the bright fruit or give it a couple of years in bottle to allow for some development.”- Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate
2018 Decanter World Wine Award: Bronze
“Dark fruit and spice nose with very sleek …

2015 Pierre Gaillard St Joseph Blanc “Smooth and open-knit”- Vinous


This post is by Craig Gandolf from Cynthia Hurley Wines


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90 pts. – Vinous
“Brilliant yellow. Ripe orange, peach and pear nectar on the nose, backed by honey and fennel notes. Smooth and open-knit, showing real depth to the gently sweet orchard and pit fruit flavors. In a distinctly plush style for the vintage and reminiscent of a 2015 for its weight and rich fruit character. A subtle vanilla note appears on the chewy finish, which hangs on with good, sappy tenacity.”- Josh Reynolds, Vinous

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2010 Ch Branaire-Ducru “Wow”- Decanter


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Château Branaire-Ducru, St Julien 2010 – newly reviewed by Decanter
94 pts. – Decanter
“Wow, this is still knitted in, hunkered down, you feel the tannic frame, cradling the intense fruit that majors on spiced damsons and blackcurrants. What a vintage, and still really nowhere near being ready. I would suggest drinking the 2011 right now if you want a younger Branaire, this needs another five or six years. But there is liquorice, slate, cigar smoke, still pretty austere today, not generous, and yet full of life and edges. Drink 2021-2045.”- Jane Anson, Decanter 12/13/18
94 pts. – Wine Advocate
“This wine is more backward than I would have normally expected, but nevertheless, it is very impressive. The 2010 Branaire-Ducru displays an inky bluish purple color and loads of mulberry, raspberry, black currant, graphite and floral notes in its intense aromatics. Medium to full-bodied , with sensational ripeness, purity, texture …