WALLA WALLA’S NEWEST BUSINESSES SPOTLIGHT THE VALLEY’S BOUNTY
(WALLA WALLA, Wash.) – Walla Walla is so nice, they named it twice. Honored for the second consecutive year as America’s Best Wine Region, and boasting a flourishing farm-to-table culinary scene, this rural-chic town in central Washington has earned a reputation for continually building upon its successes as opposed to resting on its laurels. With its sweeping landscape of wheat fields, vineyards, and farmland, not to mention its health and safety-minded Peace of Mind Pledge, Walla Walla continues to delight and entice visitors with no fewer than 11 new businesses opening their doors in recent months.
Among the most notable, a new luxury winery resort, three new restaurants, three new tasting rooms, and four other businesses, including a curated grocery store, an elevated general store, an artisan showroom, and an educational hops tour.
“It gives me great joy to see these new businesses opening their doors,” Says Robert Hansen, Executive Director of Visit Walla Walla and Walla Walla Valley Wine. “The common theme running through these new businesses is a unified connection to place and community supporting the local landscape, artisans, and history that makes Walla Walla so genuinely unique.”
Following is a list of some of the notable businesses that have opened their doors in Walla Walla in recent months:
DINING & RESTAURANTS
The Kitchen at Abeja: Those with a taste for wine country living have yet another reason to visit Abeja, a 38-acre historic Walla Walla farmstead and home to the acclaimed Abeja winery and bucolic Inn at Abeja. The Kitchen at Abeja, which opened July 13, offers a fine dining experience showcasing innovative wine country cuisine and celebrating the Pacific Northwest’s seasonal bounty. Dinner guests choose from a five or seven-course prix fixe menu, as well as an optional wine pairing menu. Executive Chef Elodie Li, who returns to her home state after two years of cooking in Michelin two-star restaurants in Provence, France, collaborates with Abeja winemakers Dan Wampfler and Amy Alvarez-Wampfler on the menus, updated weekly. Surrounded by the winery’s vineyards and gardens, The Kitchen at Abeja is a rich, refined wine country experience.
The Kinglet at Whitehouse-Crawford (opening early 2022): Farther on the horizon is The Kinglet at Whitehouse-Crawford, a new bistro eatery in the historic Whitehouse-Crawford Planing Mill building, from acclaimed Seattle Chef Maximillian Petty. A multiple James Beard semifinalist, Petty’s menu will range from exuberantly curated items, which built his reputation at Eden Hill, to a bar and lounge area that will stay open later with a snack-heavy lineup, including a pizza oven and an extensive cocktail program.
Kinhaven Winery: This new family-owned small lot winery and vineyard is perched atop a picturesque knoll in the Southside winery district of Walla Walla. The property, with 8 acres of Merlot, Cabernet, Carmenere and Malbec, enjoys unobstructed views of the Blue Mountains and is the perfect setting for family and friends to connect while enjoying their thoughtfully crafted wines. Purchased in 2019 by Terry and Lisa Davenport, who also own the recently renovated Boyer House. From dining in the vines to weddings, the combination of Kinhaven Winery and Boyer House sets up for the perfect family and friend gathering.
5 Dollar Ranch Brewing: Self-proclaimed as “Walla Walla’s best new brewery in 2021,” this newcomer opened in June 2021. Located on the south side of town along the Oregon border on twelve acres of farm property, with sweeping views of the Blue Mountains. An evolving menu of hop offerings is fit to appease the novice to beer connoisseur. The location is both dog and kid-friendly. According to brewer and owner Josh Hulett, while he loves all of his beers, the Hazy’s are not to be missed.
Hoquetas Wine Company: Located at the Port of Walla Walla wine incubator facility in the Walla Walla Airport District, Hoquetas Wine Co. opened its doors in September of 2021. Started by musician turned winemaker Robert Gomez and his family, the winery focuses on producing wines that are both expressive and representative of the region’s terroir. Hoquetus, a musical method where vocal parts alternate to create a single melody, speaks to Gomez’s musical approach to winemaking, where the ingredients are carefully composed to create a melodious pour.
Runway Market: Located in the airport district of Walla Walla’s wine region, Runway Market is a sparkling wine bar serving up local bubbles. The Market serves an assortment of food options, including picnic boxes, paninis, flatbread pizza, and various other grab-and-go options. All tastings include complimentary gourmet popcorn. Cathy Bay and her husband opened Runway Market in 2021 with the hopes of being a stop for not only bubbles and food, but laughter and celebration.
SPECIALTY, ACTIVITIES & OTHER
Walla Walla General Store: A new home, kitchen & gift store founded by Jean Bender and Peggy Frasse. The store opened to locals & visitors alike on May 6, 2021. From small delights, such as penny cent candy to homewares from makers such as Simon Pierce, Walter G textiles, Riedel and Staub – there is something for everyone at the Walla Walla General Store. Much more than just a retail space, co-founders Jean & Peggy envision the store as a space for community. Following a successful summer Art Series, resident Allison Palmer will host a continuation of “Make for Joy” there this fall. Weekly Monday-Wednesday classes will begin in September, and continue through December.
Walla Walla Brews Cruise: Walla Walla is known for wine, but it’s also home to plentiful craft beer and cider. Alongside thousands of acres of vineyards are century-old wheat fields and orchards stretching across the valley. Generations of wheat farmers have made their home in Walla Walla and now support a growing community of brewers. Walla Walla Brews Cruise tours are knowledge-based tours where you will learn about the process of brewing beers and crafting cider, with a guided discussion of varying styles of alcohol.
Foodscape Walla Walla: Foodscape could technically be described as an online grocer, but it’s so much more. It’s a place to acquire food, talk about food, or gather meaning from food. It was started by Hannah MacDonald, a longtime chef, local, and significant influencer on the Walla Walla food scene over the past decade. Foodscape highlights the area’s bounty, from food to all the agriculture offerings: produce, meat, and seafood. They also directly import hundreds of spices from all over the world, as well as other specialty products like olive oil, seafood, and vinegar. Foodscapes give locals and visitors alike the tools that they need to cook any cuisine under the sun.
About Walla Walla:
CHICAGO (PRWEB) – – González Byass, a family-owned producer of fine wines, Sherries and premium spirits, has been named as one of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Wineries of 2021.
Every year, the editors at Wine & Spirits Magazine select a diverse collection of producers from around the globe, based on their wines’ performance in the magazine’s two-step blind-tasting process. The wineries are then invited to pour their award-winning wine at the18th Annual Top 100 Tasting, which will be held in San Francisco in October 2021 and in New York in January 2022.
Founded in 1835, González Byass is a family-owned, collection of wineries that spans across Spain’s most important wine producing regions. The González family has been dedicated to making fine Sherries and brandies in Jerez, Spain, creating such well-known brands as Tío Pepe Fino Sherry and Lepanto Brandy de Jerez. Today, the fifth generation of the González family continues to build the winery and brands, including: Bodegas Beronia (Rioja and Rueda), Dominio Fournier (Ribera del Duero), Cavas Vilarnau (Cava), Finca Constancia (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla), Finca Moncloa (Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz), Viñas del Vero (Somontano) and Pazos de Lusco (Rías Baixas). In each of these regions, González Byass seeks to make the highest quality wines respecting the local terroir and the environment.
“We are thrilled for this honor,” says Nicolás Bertino, CEO and Country Manager of González Byass USA. “After a turbulent year, González Byass never lost focus on making the best wine we could make, aiming for excellence. It is wonderful to be recognized for the hard work and dedication by one of the leading wine publications in the United States.”
González Byass and the other winners were announced on Wine & Spirits Magazine’s website on August 18, 2021. The González Byass Cuatro Palmas Amontillado 2020, which received 98 points from Wine & Spirits Magazine, will be poured at both of the Top 100 Tasting events.
About González Byass USA
González Byass USA is a Chicago based importer for a strategically selected portfolio of fine wine and spirit brands from around the world including Spain, Chile, Italy and Austria.
González Byass USA is the US subsidiary of González Byass headquartered in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. González Byass is a family-owned, collection of wineries founded in 1835 which spans across Spain’s most important wine producing regions.
Today the fifth generation of the family are the custodians of many exceptional brands having built the company into a family of wineries which produces wine in some of Spain’s most famous regions; Bodegas Beronia (Rioja and Rueda), Dominio Fournier (Ribera del Duero), Cavas Vilarnau (Cava), Finca Constancia (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla), Finca Moncloa (Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz), Viñas del Vero (Somontano) and Pazos de Lusco (Rías Baixas). In each of these regions the family strives to make the best possible quality wines respecting the local terroir and the environment. At the same time the company has also expanded its interests further in the premium spirits business and has created pioneering brands such as The London No.1 and Nomad Outland Whisky to complement the Spanish brandies in the portfolio Soberano and Lepanto. In recent years, the family have expanded outside of Spain purchasing the quality vineyards of Viñedos Veramonte in Chile. Organically farmed vineyards producing cool climate wines from Casablanca and complex reds from Apalta.
González Byass USA also represents a number of international wineries in the US market including from Austria Domäne Wachau, and from Italy Pranza, Caldora, Cantine Cellaro, Vesevo, Vigneti Del Salento and Tenute Rossetti. In addition, Harveys Bristol Cream and Fundador Brandy de Jerez and El Recuerdo and Señorio mezcals were recently added to the portfolio, as well as Mexican brandies from Pedro Domecq: Presidente and Don Pedro.
For further information, please visit: http://www.GonzalezByassUSA.com.
(WALLA WALLA, Wash.) — For the second consecutive year, the Walla Walla Valley has been named America’s Best Wine Region in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, following a month-long vote of the public. A finalist in the competition each of the last four years, and now a back-to-back winner in the category, the Walla Walla Valley prevailed over 19 other finalists chosen by a panel of experts from among 250 U.S. wine regions.
In addition to the Walla Walla Valley’s first place win in Best Wine Region category, Long Shadows Vintners took third place in the Best Wine Tasting Room category, a one spot jump from its fourth place ranking each of the last two years.
“I can think of no better way to honor wines from Washington state in general, and the Walla Walla Valley specifically, than being recognized by a vote of the public as America’s Best Wine Region for two years running,” said Robert Hansen, executive director of Visit Walla Walla and Walla Walla Valley Wine. “It’s a great way to celebrate Washington Wine Month, and is a testament to the outstanding terroir, meticulous craftsmanship, and the individuals who are committed to elevating the Walla Walla Valley from both a wine production and tourism perspective.”
Although wine is certainly a selling point for Walla Walla, the small town of Southeastern Washington is known for more than its world-class grapes and award-winning wineries. From its charming and historic downtown to its neighborly community, creative culinary scene, and abundance of arts, culture, and recreation, Walla Walla stands out as a must-visit destination in 2021.
About Walla Walla:
As the unofficial capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines daily non-stop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, visit www.wallawalla.org.
About Walla Walla Valley Wine:
Walla Walla Valley Wine is a nonprofit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is to build an internationally acclaimed Walla Walla Valley wine brand among consumers, media, and trade by providing marketing programs on behalf of member wineries, vineyards, and partners. Walla Walla Valley Wine functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media, and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry. For more information visit www.wallawallawine.com.
TUSCANY, ITALY (PRWEB) – Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of Marchesi Frescobaldi, and Gabriele Gorelli, Montalcino native and the first Italian Master of Wine, hosted this year’s newly appointed Masters of Wine, in a guided virtual tasting on the terroir and flavors of Tuscany’s most important denominations, across the 7 iconic estates of the historic Frescobaldi winery. The annual event is intended to support the Masters of Wine as they continue their careers as Italian ambassadors of wine and provide ongoing education, insights and dialogue.
The virtual tasting and tour explored the hills of Castello Pomino, the maritime climate of Tenuta Ammiraglia’s Maremma, the island of Gorgona, quintessential Chianti Classico in Tenuta Perano, the family’s history in Tenuta Castiglioni, the surprising international blend in the Chianti Rufina of Castello Nipozzano, and finally timeless elegance of Brunello di Montalcino from Tenuta CastelGiocondo.
“We like to think of Frescobaldi as an authentic agricultural reality that has allowed us to truly represent Tuscany through the different estates,” says Lamberto Frescobaldi, “This fortune has always reminded us of the importance of sharing our experience and the beauty of the land we have lived in and cultivated for generations. This is why we decided to organize this virtual trip dedicated to people that we consider as important ambassadors of wine culture in the world. A moment of togetherness and an encounter that has been more special thanks to the presence of Gabriele Gorelli, the first Italian Master of Wine, who shares our origins and love for Tuscany.”
“It was an honor and pleasure for me to be able to share the story of my native land through an ideal motorcycle trip across the Frescobaldi estates,” adds Gabriele Gorelli MW, “Most importantly, it was my great joy to have accompanied my fellow Masters of Wine who have travelled a tough and challenging road. It is surprising how great ideas can arise from an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. I wish that welcoming the new MW can become a new tradition for Frescobaldi.”
The event was well received by the attending Masters of Wine and is planned to take place annually for the new class of MWs to fully discover the richness of Tuscan territory and its wine production.
New York, NY — An interactive, wine-tasting platform and a sustainable, independent winery have partnered to produce two new co-labeled wine blends, handmade in New York’s Finger Lakes region.
Vin Social, a fast-growing virtual hospitality company, subscription wine club and E-commerce platform joins Red Tail Ridge Winery, a women-owned, LEED Gold Certified winery known for small batch vintages, to introduce their first collaboration of limited-edition wines available exclusively through Vin Social.
The two bottles — ‘Rebel with a Cause’ Red Blend and Cabernet Franc Estate Rosé — offer distinct flavors that capture the essence of the terroir, an exciting, up-and-coming domestic wine region that industry insiders are watching closely.
“We wanted to partner with a small, independent winery producing sustainable, interesting wines. ‘Rebel with a Cause’ is a love for the underdog, an ode to women-owned businesses that are purpose-driven with intent on breaking the mold. The ‘Cab Franc Estate Rosé’ is about celebrating summer and the casual, carefree Finger Lakes lifestyle,” says Sara Moll, Vin Social Founder and CEO.
As Vin Social’s very first wine partner, Red Tail Ridge and head winemaker Nancy Irelan helped establish the trajectory for Vin Social’s product partnerships, setting them on a path to working with accomplished female winemakers producing under-recognized, high quality wines.
“Nancy’s commitment to sustainability, her mission to raise the bar for the Finger Lakes region, and her dogmatic focus on her craft are just a few reasons why we wanted to partner with Red Tail Ridge. They really fit our criteria as a purpose and quality-driven brand making exciting wines that deserve significantly more market visibility,” says Sara.
As a virtual hospitality solution for businesses to “wine and dine” customers, Vin Social provides an interactive tasting experience of curated craft wine and spirits led by sommeliers and spirits experts. Shipping more than 7,000 bottles to event attendees nationwide throughout the last several months, Vin Social has provided access and awareness to brands like Red Tail Ridge, helping to grow their revenue and exposure.
“It’s really hard to have our voice heard when there’s so much noise from the big, corporate wineries. Vin Social has opened up a whole new avenue for E-commerce, giving us access to a new platform for our products as well as a team of wine educators that are really out there telling our story and growing our audience,” says Nancy Irelan.
To purchase the ‘Rebel with a Cause’ Red Blend [$35] or the Cabernet Franc Estate Rosé [$26] visit VinSocial.co.
About Red Tail Ridge Winery
Located in the Finger Lakes of New York, Red Tail Ridge Winery is the only LEED Gold Certified Winery in the state.
Founder Nancy Irelan has a PhD in Grape Genetics, decades of experience at the largest winery in the world, E&J Gallo, is a 2x James Beard Award Nominee.
About Vin Social
Vin Social is a premium virtual hospitality experience delivered as a service for businesses through a unique, online program and E-commerce platform. Clients host ‘Vin Socials’ to engage, retain, and convert their most valuable relationships.
Vin Social’s mission is to help small, sustainability-committed makers by serving as an alternate direct-to-consumer channel and to show reverence to these purpose-driven producers by telling their stories authentically.
Vin Social recently launched its first-ever equity crowdfunding campaign as it pioneers bridging E-commerce with wine and spirits tastings in the new, explosive category of virtual hospitality.
For more information, please visit www.vinsocial.co.
SANTA MARIA, Calif./PRNewswire/ — Miller Family Wine Company, a division of the industry-leading Thornhill Companies, is excited to announce the launch of optik, a new brand featuring a collection of vineyard designated wines from Bien Nacido Vineyard, crafted by acclaimed Santa Barbara winemaker Joey Tensley.
Bien Nacido Vineyard, planted in 1973 by brothers Bob and Steve Miller, is widely recognized as one of California’s most iconic vineyard sites, long revered for producing exceptional wines that epitomize the distinct characteristics of the Santa Maria Valley AVA. Looking to honor this heritage while revealing the vineyard’s special qualities through a new and unique lens, the Miller family teamed up with Tensley to create optik, a brand designed to showcase a fresh take on Bien Nacido Vineyard.
Throughout his career, esteemed winemaker Tensley has established a reputation for preserving the best characteristics of vineyards by minimizing winemaker manipulation and oak treatment – a signature style that has earned him over 200 90+ ratings from the wine industry’s most esteemed publications, including six wines on Wine Spectator‘s prestigious Top 100 lists. By intersecting Tensley’s masterful approach with the elegant strength of Bien Nacido fruit, optik aims to open eyes to the new possibilities of this long-established vineyard.
“For nearly 50 years, our family has continued Bien Nacido’s legacy as one of the most well-respected vineyards in California, and we are incredibly proud to be stewards of this land,” says Nicholas Miller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “That said, we are always looking for ways to showcase the diversity and complexity of Bien Nacido, and introduce it to new consumers in new ways. By collaborating with Joey – a talented winemaker whom we’ve always held in very high regard – we knew we could present a different slice of Bien Nacido in an unexpected way.”
“I’ve always felt the most important part of my role as the winemaker is to let the vineyard and the unique qualities of the fruit shine through in the wine,” says Tensley. “In order to emphasize the special characteristics of Bien Nacido, a special place that produces exceptional fruit, I make sure to use a gentler approach in the cellar, trying to let the terroir be the star. And working with individual blocks across the vineyard allows me to showcase diversity of site, which translates into wines with a true sense of identity.”
The optik portfolio includes vineyard designated wines sourced from single blocks on the estate, featuring six small-lot wines across three varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah – priced between $35 – $45. Representing the power of new perspectives, optik’s unique and contemporary packaging symbolizes the empowerment of the winemaker’s hand to convey what his eye sees. “Our label is designed to bring the optik concept to life, visually representing a new interpretation of Bien Nacido Vineyard through the lens of an incredibly accomplished outsider looking in,” says Tommy Gaeta, Director of Marketing. “It offers a deeper level of storytelling perhaps not expected of the wines typically produced from Bien Nacido, while the price points make these wines accessible to a broad audience of both aspiring and established wine enthusiasts.”
optik wines will be available at select fine wine retailers and restaurants in cities across the country and online at www.optikwines.com.
Miller Family Wine Company
Miller Family Wine Company is a division of the Thornhill Companies – the industry-leading umbrella brand of one of California’s premier winegrowing families, the Miller Family, who have been farming California’s Central Coast for five generations. The Thornhill Companies includes the prestigious Bien Nacido Estates and Miller Family Wine Company, which itself includes the management of acclaimed national branded wine labels, including Butternut, optik, J. Wilkes, Ballard Lane, Smashberry, Barrel Burner, and Volunteer wines, control label brands for prominent retailers across the U.S. and the French Camp vineyard in Paso Robles. For more information on Miller Family Wine Company, please visit www.millerfamilywinecompany.com.
(cultivated in Monferrato) When you present a wine, a vine or a grape, often we mention also the terroir.
We know very well that with this term, as you could easily understand, we are neither talking about territory or soil. By terroir is meant something that goes beyond the aspects, even wide and articulated, that are about the land on which the vineyard lies.
The term terroir denotes and includes the climatic conditions, specific to a certain region. Moreover, this word includes also the human factor, that implies the history, the culture and the tradition.
The traditional encyclopedia’s definition of terroir states: terroir can be described as a well delimitated area of the climatic, natural and physical conditions, the geographic zone and the weather, all these element allow the production of a specific wine, identifiable by the unique characteristics of its territoriality. The terroir connects the interaction of many factors as the soil, the position, the climate, the vines, the winegrowers, and the wine’s consumers. Then, the word terroir cannot be banally translated into territory, because the significance is much more complex.
Well, why this introduction to terroir?
Because the word terroir is the reading key to fully understand our Sauvignon in purity, vinified in the two ampelographic varieties Blanc e Gris, which, in Tenuta Montemagno is called Musae.
The vineyards of this international grape flank the road that leads to Tenuta.
The exposure is south/southwest and the vine positioning is guyot, French heritage. The rows follow neatly and precisely the inclination of the hill, offering to the clusters the better exposure and the lowest possible thermal shock, so the grapes are caressed by most gentle sunshine of the day.
The fantasy name describes the wine: Musae, the inspiring figures of poets and artists. The bouquet that opens its perfumes in the glass is exactly that: delicate and inebriant, that reveals itself step by step, offering intense fragrances, with delicate olfactive notes of white flowers, acacia, and hawthorn, tomato’s leave; of citrus fruit, pear, grapefruit and passion fruit. It is supple and deep on the palate thanks to the few months of refinement on yeasts. It is elegant, pleasantly fresh and stands out for the surprising gustatory persistence. Its color is pale straw yellow tending to greenish with golden shades.
Our Sauvignon is out of the pattern and organoleptic traits that characterize the New World’s Sauvignon. We are talking about a Sauvignon proudly cultivated in Monferrato. It si unique since the influence of the terroir is huge, makes the grape unique and enrich it with the traits proper of the soil, Astian Marls. Then, another peculiar factor is the microclimate that here, in Montemagno is definitely different: the rain is rarely abundant and the winds touch the grapes softly.
Musae is 100% Sauvignon, vinified in the two varieties of Blanc – which gives structure and Gris – which gives aromaticity. This is Tenuta Montemagno’s Sauvignon interpretation, produced under the appellation of Monferrato Bianco Doc, the only appellation to permit the blend of the international grape.
If according to the varieties classification, the Sauvignon is considered international, for our philosophy and standards’ production, this grape has a deep identity in Monferrato. The vineyards’ roots plunge in the Monferrato soil that millions of years ago was covered by the sea. Furthermore, Musae, the Sauvignon of Tenuta Montemagno tells our story and about the careful and precise job that is carried on the soil, on the vine and the grapes.
Musae is a fresh wine, ideal s aperitif or during the relax moments. It is extremely versatile with the food pairing. Besides to be the perfect combination with the vegetable starts or with fish dishes, it is great with risotto and white meat.
Musae, our Sauvignon of Monferrato is able to surprise with every sip.
Been a long time since I’ve had a Gamay wine from Beaujolais, France. Not to be confused with Nouveau Beaujolais, its younger sister that is presented every November fresh from bottling, this particular Gamay had some aging (see the tech notes below). I knew it would be red fruit on the nose and palate – reminding me a little of a Pinot Noir – and I was interested to see how this one, from Moulin a Vent, turned out.
From the website Beaujolais.com we learn, among other things, “A natural cross between pinot noir and gouais blanc, the gamay noir à jus blanc variety makes it possible to produce wines with multifaceted fruitiness: from ‘cheerful fruitiness’ for Festive Beaujolais wines – and hence ‘Beaujolais Nouveau’ – to “complex fruitiness” for the Exceptional Beaujolais, and including “racy fruitiness” for the Expressive Beaujolais…”
The color was like a bright ripe cherry, inviting. On the nose I got quite of bit of red fruit, mostly strawberry and raspberry. There is also some white pepper, smoke, golden raisins and incense. The taste brought all those ripe red berries right up front, some spiciness with a lively palate. This would be our first wine of the night, a refreshing starter, and one my Pinot loving friends would also appreciate.
From the Technical Sheets
General info: approximately 13% alcohol, 100% Gamay grapes, approximately 33,000 bottles, bottled 12/5/2019. On the vines we learn that “These terroirs less exposed to the winds, below the historical moulin-à-vent, on its east slope. The maturation is scarcely stopped and the fruit is much better preserved.” 40 year old vines. Harvested by hand, 3 weeks cold pre-fermentation. Aged at least 15 months in 100% stainless steel, no oak aging.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.
It’s one of those articles where the invite to a tasting is so delightful I just have to lead with it:
On behalf of Hervé Gouin (Château Mouton Rothschild), Christian & Cherise Moueix (Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix), Veronique Sanders (Château Haut-Bailly), Nicholas Glumineau (Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande), Cathleen Burke Visscher (Château Ducru-Beaucaillou), and Jean-Phillippe Lemoine (Château d’Yquem), we are delighted to invite you to join them at an extraordinary tasting of iconic current and museum Bordeaux wines from their estates…Hervé, Christian & Cherise, Veronique, Cathleen, and Jean-Phillippe look forward to hosting you in Los Angeles during their first ever visit together as a group.
Oh dear me. I really had to force myself (LOL) to drive to Christie’s Beverly Hills, mid day instead of rush hour, to spend two hours tasting from six amazing Bordeaux producers.
I was stoked for days before. I had some of these Bordeaux before, in fact I had recently reviewed a 2000 vintage of Ducru-Beaucaillou. But never had so much time devoted to a small party of six pouring stations. So let’s get on with it! (If you just want to see photos go here.)
Once I arrived at Christie’s I took a look around and made my way to the tables with the smallest group clamored around it. I knew I would hit them all and taste them all, but I also didn’t want to waste precious minutes standing behind groups of people that wanted to linger. I would take my sample, back up or go to the side to allow others in, then I would smell, swirl, smell again, taste, spit and pour out. (Two gentlemen thanked me for being so gracious.) Granted a tasting like this one makes it very hard to pour out! Here’s what I found remarkable in terroir (barnyard!), spice and/or fruit:
Château Mouton Rothschild, 2010 Chateau d’Armailhac and the Le Petit stood out for me among the many vintages shared.
Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix (Chateau Lafleur-Gazin table) I enjoyed a 2009 Chateau Pay Blanquet, 2006 Chateau Magdelaine, 2009 Chateau de Sales (another grand chateau we visited once), 2009 Chateau Bourgneuf and the 2009 and 2014 from Chateau Hosanna.
Every vintage – 2010, 2011 and 2015 – was outstanding from Château Haut-Bailly.
2011 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande was wonderful to taste having visited the Chateau a few years back. Also enjoyed a 2009 Chateau de Pez they poured as well.
1989 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou was a big hit for many at the event. One peer explained to me that in the 1980s the Chateau had an issue with cork taint and had to re-cork all bottles. He was curious as to how the wine had fared. Seemed to me that the re-corking had worked perfectly! Also enjoyed the 2015 and 2014 Chateau Lalande-Borie at the same table.
Château d’Yquem 2005 and 2016, especially nice to see the coloring darken on the 2005, and the opportunity to taste both of these classic Sauternes. Superb.
What a great finish…but oh wait…there was one Champagne, a 2009 Louis Roederer et Philippe Stark collaboration Brut Nature, that ended my day perfectly.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 15k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.
A great invitation came my way to meet the owner of an Italian winery and taste three of his wines with about 40 other professionals. This time it was:
“…Join us via Zoom as Count Francesco Marone Cinzano, owner of Col d’Orcia, shares a first taste of his new 2016 Brunello di Montalcino 5-star release, together with two other top wines from his organically farmed estate…Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2013 – another stellar, 5-star vintage – and Olmaia Sant’Antimo Cabernet DOC 2015 (great vintage as well!) All three wines are produced entirely with organically grown grapes farmed on the Col d’Orcia estate and bottled on location.”
Takeaways from Time with The Count
Let me start by saying that right off there was something Capra-esque and Cary Grant-ish about Count Francesco Marone Cinzano, as he warmly greeted our group from Col d’Orcia (pronounced Col-Door-Cha) with amazing photos of his property while wearing a vineyard colored green scarf and jacket that was in perfect “balance” for the scenery.
- Fifty percent of the land in Montalcino is natural woodland.
- They are located in a natural park, and a designated UNESCO territory.
- The Count feels “a duty” to “protect the environment” that he has inherited.
- There is an oak tree in the vineyard that is four and a half centuries old, and is a “symbol of care for nature.”
- They have invested a lot into Research and Development. Though going 100% organic wasn’t so difficult as “little had to be done to do so.”
- The Brunello is 100% Sangiovese grapes. The wine is made to be paired with food, which is the “concept of drinkability and food pairing.” The wine also has an “incredible intensity in aroma and taste.”
- The soil is a mix of clay, sand and a high level of limestone that gives “quality” to the “tannins.”
- Families, and their pets, have been on the estate for decades. As well as a bee population, grains to make pasta and other animals that live there include sheep, goats, poultry and pheasants.
- “A happy winemaker produces a good wine…(and they also have) “the fruit of a magic formula.”
- They grow Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and other wine grapes on the property.
As one of the original estates of Montalcino and now the largest certified organic estate in Tuscany, Col d’Orcia is a leader in Brunello di Montalcino, helping to define and promote one of Italy’s most prestigious wine regions. Tradition, integrity and sustainability are the pillars of the estate, whose classic style wines are celebrated all over the world. Proudly defined as an ‘organic island,’ Col d’Orcia is committed to maintaining the natural environment in which it operates and has, for many years, employed organic farming practices.
About the Family
Col d’Orcia has a rich winemaking history dating back to the 1700s. Today, the estate is owned and managed by Count Francesco Marone Cinzano. A world traveler with boundless energy, the Count is a tireless ambassador for his estate as well as the Montalcino region. Under his leadership, plantings have expanded exponentially at Col d’Orcia and the estate has been transformed into an organic farm.
My Notes on the Wines (in italics), following notes from the technical sheets
Brunello di Montalcino 2016
14.5% alcohol. On aging, “4 years, 3 of which in 25-50 and 75 hl oak casks from Slavonia and Allier followed by at least 12 months of refinement in the bottles placed in storage at controlled temperature.” $59.99
This wine is a blend from all of the vineyards in the estate. Lots of red berries on the nose, as well as earth, Italian plums, and spice all in a nice balance on the nose. The taste delivered those same fresh and fruity red berries, tannins and a crispness noted by the Count.
Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2013
15% alcohol, “The wine is aged a minimum of six years prior to release; four years in Slavonian and French oak casks followed by at least two years refinement in bottle.” $162.99
This Riserva is a limited release with less than 12 thousand bottles and could age for quite some time, according to the Count, 10 more years or so. The Count called it an “elegant” wine and none of us disagreed. The nose was huge with notes of red fruit again, but also whiffs from a well-tended vegetable garden, peppery and lots of minerals. Going in for a taste I found it both lively and spicy with medium tannins and acidity. I was craving the pasta I planned for dinner about now.
Olmaia Sant’Antimo Cabernet DOC 2015
14.5% alcohol. Aging notes include, “The wine is aged 18 months in new French oak barriques and a small portion in American barrels, followed by a further 8 months refinement in bottle.” $68.99
The name Olmaia means Elm Tree in Italian according to the Count. This Cabernet, of course, was nothing like the red fruit of a Sangiovese. It was all dark fruit, sweet tobacco, milk chocolate with a creamy balance between the fruit and spice on the nose; on the palate came the same notes, but also dark and dusty fruit, and what the count referred to as “herbs, spices and minerality.”
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits