Sunday, September 23, 2018

Wine Review: Proemio Icon Barrel Selection Red Blend 2011

September is Proemio Month on TheWineStalker.net!
Proemio Icon Barrel Selection Red Blend 2011

Proemio – "Prologue" in old Medieval Spanish, stands for kick-start or first page. In 2001, Marcelo Bocardo, third generation winemaker and the descendant of a traditional Italian immigrant family founded Proemio with the goal of producing high quality wines that truly represent his ancestors’ passion for viticulture and a legacy for the generations to come. Marcelo Bocardo could be described as a new wave winemaker of Argentinian wines, avoiding over extraction and heavy use of oak, focusing on expression of the terroir (i.e. Uco Valley, Pedriel-Luján de Cuyo and Maipú).

All of September is dedicated to Proemio! This is review #7 of 8, and you can read all of the reviews I've done so far by clicking here.

The 2011 Icon Barrel Selection is 55% Malbec, 35% Syrah, 10% Merlot from various vineyards: 10 year old vineyards in Russell – Maipú (at 2,624 ft asl), 30 year old vineyards in Paraje El Cepillo – Valle de Uco (at 4,265 feet asl) and 100 year old vineyards in Perdriel – Luján de Cuyo ( at 3608 ft asl). The ages of the vineyards vary anywhere between 10 to 100 years old. Manually harvested with cluster selection, fermented and macerated in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts, unfined and unfiltered, and aged in French oak for eighteen months. The ABV is 14.5% and it will cost you $30.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Wine Reviews: Best of Summer 2018!

Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn, so here's the best wines that I reviewed for this Summer season!

#5. Minkov Brothers Tradition Cuvee 2013

Minkov Brothers Tradition Cuvee 2013Region: Thracian Valley, Bulgaria
Review Release: August 26th, 2018


The wet end of the cork is pure black and the color of the wine is an inky, deep purplish red. Let this bad boy open up because, even though it's five years old, it's still young and holding on to everything tightly until it's given time to breathe. Peppermint candy comes alive on the nose once the wine has awoken, followed by aromas of jammy blackberries, toffee, leather, fine black table pepper, and ethanol fumes. On the palate it's rich and robust with bright acidity and finely grained tannin. There's flavors of blackberries, black cherries, mocha, and... almost like I just licked a freshly cut board of oak. I'm kinda afraid I'm going to get splinters. It finishes strong and tannic with flavors of blackberries, cola, and oak.

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $17
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended(what does that mean?)

#4. VINI Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

VINI Cabernet Sauvignon 2016Region: Thracian Valley, Bulgaria
Review Release: August 12th, 2018


It begins with a cloud of minerality above aromas of pencil shavings, cassis, and black cherries. Lingering in the background there's aromas of vanilla, black pepper, and mint. On the palate it's medium to full bodied with rich mouthfeel and finely grained, astringent tannin. There's flavors of cassis, blueberries, cocoa powder, and cedar. The tannin on the finish leaves your mouth completely dry and really delivers the words of BulgarianWine.com: A crisp, tasty, crunchy cabernet.

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $10
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

#3. Matsu el Viejo 2015

Region: Toro, Spain
Review Release: July 15th, 2018

The color of the wine is a dark inky purple that reminds me of my soul. Stewed plums and blackberry sauce lurch over the glass flexing their muscles. Break through the jammy guardians and you'll also find tarragon, salted almonds, and black pepper. It's medium bodied with a velvety yet rich mouthfeel, and a tart acidity that's kept in check by big grippy tannins. Blackberries and prunes combine to make a heavenly dark fruit profile, joined by vanilla and caramel. Then it finishes with a crazy long finish of black raspberries, black pepper, and caramel, with the tannin drying your mouth as the acidity wets it.

This wine is so dark and powerful and... gloomy. It's Batman. This wine is Batman. I can hear it demanding justice. It's just phenomenal, absolutely outstanding, and I can't recommend it enough. I love it when the best is saved for last. Bravo, Matsu!

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $47
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)


Region: Long Island, New York, USA
Review Release: June 24th, 2018


The color of the wine is garnet, leaning more towards purple than red. There was a lot of tobacco and sandalwood on the nose at first, but they take a step back behind the fruit once it opens up. Just like the 2014 vintage, it's all about the black. Black cherries, blackberries, and black olives. It's medium bodied with softer tannin and less acidity than the previous vintage. On the palate the black cherries are big and juicy, and raspberries brighten up the profile while dark chocolate darkens it. The finish of black cherries and black tea goes on fooooooreeeeeevvvvvveeeeeeerrrrr.

This is yet again a perfect example of Merlot that any fan of the varietal will fall in love with, and $20 is an insanely good deal for the quality you're getting. So I'm gonna give this ANOTHER PERFECT SCORE! Lieb knows how to knock it completely out of the park with my favorite varietal. Keep that Merlot coming, guys!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

#1. Proemio Reserve Winemaker's Selection 2013

http://www.thewinestalker.net/2018/09/wms.htmlRegion: Mendoza, Argentina
Review Release: September 20th, 2018 (Literally yesterday!)


Oh. Oh here we go. See, I don't even want to write a review of this. I'm wasting time here. Instead of sitting on the porch looking at the stars and drinking this wonderful wine I've got to spend the next hour analyzing it, writing about it, and then cutting a video. Goddamn it. Do you see the sacrifices I make for you people? Uuuuugh. Alright, let's get on with it then...

So yeah. The spoiler is out: This wine is PHENOMENAL. It's brick red in color with a slight hue in the purple direction. Black olive is the very first thing that pops up for me on the nose, then there's plums, blueberries, toasty oak, chocolate, mint, and saffron. It seriously the kind of nose that makes you just tilt your head away as soon as you take a whiff and say "Oh. Oh here we go."  On the palate it has a medium body, an acidity that is so perfectly balanced that you don't even know it's there (but it is because you'd notice a lack of acidity), and fine grained tannin that at this point is pretty chill. It finishes ultra long with plums, chocolate, and mint, and leaves a silky coating in your mouth literally forever.

Wine Spectator gave this 90 points. Really, Wine Spectator? Just 90 points? How dare you. This is a goddamn god among its $27 peers! I give it FIVE OUT OF FIVE in price vs quality for Highly Recommended. Spectate THAT! HA!

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $27
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Wine Review: Proemio Grand Reserve Winemaker's Selection 2013

September is Proemio Month on TheWineStalker.net!
Proemio Grand Reserve Winemaker's Selection 2013

Proemio – "Prologue" in old Medieval Spanish, stands for kick-start or first page. In 2001, Marcelo Bocardo, third generation winemaker and the descendant of a traditional Italian immigrant family founded Proemio with the goal of producing high quality wines that truly represent his ancestors’ passion for viticulture and a legacy for the generations to come. Marcelo Bocardo could be described as a new wave winemaker of Argentinian wines, avoiding over extraction and heavy use of oak, focusing on expression of the terroir (i.e. Uco Valley, Pedriel-Luján de Cuyo and Maipú).

All of September is dedicated to Proemio! This is review #6 of 8, and you can read all of the reviews I've done so far by clicking here.

The 2013 Grand Reserve Winemakers Selection is 50% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah, and 5% Grenache from various vineyards: 10 year old vineyards in Russell – Maipú (at 2,624 ft asl), 30 year old vineyards in Paraje El Cepillo – Valle de Uco (at 4,265 feet asl) and 80-100 year old vineyards in Perdriel – Luján de Cuyo (at 3608 ft asl). 80 years old is what's listed on the label as the vine's age. Sustainably grown, manually harvested with cluster selection, fermented and macerated in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts, unfined, and aged in French oak for eighteen months. The ABV is 14.5% and it will cost you $27.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Wine Quickie: Luna Vineyards Estate Pinot Grigio 2016


Luna was the first to plant Pinot Grigio in Napa Valley's Silverado Trail, and the 2016 vintage is 100% Pinot Grigio that saw fermentation in neutral barrels and lees aging for five months. It'll run you around $32 and, man, is it worth it. It's an orange and lemon bomb that has an alluring minerality and fresh herbs on the nose, and almonds and green peppers on the palate. And it's not a watery quaffer either. It's full bodied with a silky mouthfeel and a bright acidity that come together to make a stunningly beautiful finish. I am absolutely impressed by this wine, and that rarely happens for me with Pinot Grigio.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Wine Review: Proemio Reserve Malbec 2014

September is Proemio Month on TheWineStalker.net!
Proemio Reserve Malbec 2014

Proemio – "Prologue" in old Medieval Spanish, stands for kick-start or first page. In 2001, Marcelo Bocardo, third generation winemaker and the descendant of a traditional Italian immigrant family founded Proemio with the goal of producing high quality wines that truly represent his ancestors’ passion for viticulture and a legacy for the generations to come. Marcelo Bocardo could be described as a new wave winemaker of Argentinian wines, avoiding over extraction and heavy use of oak, focusing on expression of the terroir (i.e. Uco Valley, Pedriel-Luján de Cuyo and Maipú).

All of September is dedicated to Proemio! This is review #5 of 8, and you can read all of the reviews I've done so far by clicking here.

So their 2017 entry-level Malbec was my Wine Pick of the Month, and here we are with their 2014 Reserve Malbec. It's 100% Malbec from ten year old sustainable vineyards in Russel, Maipú (2,624 feet above sea level). Sustainably grown, manually harvested with cluster selection, fermented and macerated in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts, unfined, and aged twelve months in French oak barrels. It has an ABV of 13.7% and will cost you of $18.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wine Review: Proemio Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

September is Proemio Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Proemio Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Proemio – "Prologue" in old Medieval Spanish, stands for kick-start or first page. In 2001, Marcelo Bocardo, third generation winemaker and the descendant of a traditional Italian immigrant family founded Proemio with the goal of producing high quality wines that truly represent his ancestors’ passion for viticulture and a legacy for the generations to come. Marcelo Bocardo could be described as a new wave winemaker of Argentinian wines, avoiding over extraction and heavy use of oak, focusing on expression of the terroir (i.e. Uco Valley, Pedriel-Luján de Cuyo and Maipú).

All of September is dedicated to Proemio! This is review #4 of 8, and you can read all of the reviews I've done so far by clicking here.

I recently reviewed their 2016 entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon and this is their 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. It's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from ten year old vineyards in Russell, Maipú. Hand harvested with cluster selection, fermented and macerated in small concrete vats with indigenous yeasts, unfined and unfiltered, and aged for twelve months in French oak barrels. It has a 14% ABV and will cost you $18.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Wine Review: Proemio Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

September is Proemio Month on TheWineStalker.net!




Proemio – "Prologue" in old Medieval Spanish, stands for kick-start or first page. In 2001, Marcelo Bocardo, third generation winemaker and the descendant of a traditional Italian immigrant family founded Proemio with the goal of producing high quality wines that truly represent his ancestors’ passion for viticulture and a legacy for the generations to come. Marcelo Bocardo could be described as a new wave winemaker of Argentinian wines, avoiding over extraction and heavy use of oak, focusing on expression of the terroir (i.e. Uco Valley, Pedriel-Luján de Cuyo and Maipú).

All of September is dedicated to Proemio! This is review #3 of 8, and you can read all of the reviews I've done so far by clicking here.

This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from ten year old sustainable vineyards in Maipú (2,624 feet above sea level). Sustainably grown, manually harvested, fermented and macerated in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts, completely un-oaked and unfined. It has an ABV of 13.7% and will cost you all of $10.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Wine Review: Proemio Chardonnay 2017

September is Proemio Month on TheWineStalker.net!
Proemio Chardonnay 2017

Proemio – "Prologue" in old Medieval Spanish, stands for kick-start or first page. In 2001, Marcelo Bocardo, third generation winemaker and the descendant of a traditional Italian immigrant family founded Proemio with the goal of producing high quality wines that truly represent his ancestors’ passion for viticulture and a legacy for the generations to come. Marcelo Bocardo could be described as a new wave winemaker of Argentinian wines, avoiding over extraction and heavy use of oak, focusing on expression of the terroir (i.e. Uco Valley, Pedriel-Luján de Cuyo and Maipú).

All of September is dedicated to Proemio! This is review #2 of 8, and you can read all of the reviews I've done so far by clicking here.

This is 100% Chardonnay from 20 year old vineyards in Medrano (2,296 feet above sea level). It was manually harvested, fermented and macerated in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts, and 30% aged for six months in French oak barrels. It has a 12.7% ABV.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September Wine Pick: Proemio Malbec 2017

September is Proemio Month on TheWineStalker.net!



With my recent switch to a different place of employment, I was happy to be reconnected with a salesperson whom I hadn't seen in quite awhile at the old place. She represents different wines now, and I was very pleased with the Proemio part of her portfolio. I mean everything was pretty damn delicious. Obviously I wasn't able to bring everything in (I took their entry-level Malbec, Cabernet, and Red Blend, and looking to bring in more in the future) but their wines impressed me enough that I really wanted to dedicate an entire month to this winery. So I asked and she was more than happy to hook me up. Thanks, Wendy! I am so happy to be presenting these wines to my readers for all of September!

I'll get more into the actually winery in the upcoming reviews, but I'm making their entry-level Malbec my Wine Pick of the Month because 1) when the average consumer thinks of Argentinian wine they think of Malbec, 2) it's less expensive than those Alamos and Trapiche Malbecs you can find everywhere, 3) it's superior in quality to them as well and not even a contest, 4) because of all of those things it's a Malbec every wine shop should look into picking up.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Distill Wars Episode VII: Rakia Rumble


It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016)the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

The last Distill Wars was in November of 2017 so we're due for another one, and it just so happens that that I've got some of that rakia (Bulgarian brandy) from BulgarianWine.com to turn myself into an unstoppable and fearless warrior!

All three are produced by Burgas 63, come in 375ml bottles, have a 40% ABV, and will cost you $14. Unfortunately there's not a lot of information available on these three contestants, which I guess is normal for rakia. Why is Pearl called Pearl? I dunno, but I know it's made from Muscat Otonnel and Hamburg Misket and spent three years in barrels. It appears the Barrel Aged is just Pearl that spent five years in barrels instead of three. The Traminer is obviously made from Traminer. But that's all I really know! So ring the bell and let's get it on!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Wine Review: Minkov Brothers Tradition Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Syrah 2014, Cuvee 2013

Wine Review: Minkov Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Syrah 2014, Cuvee 2013

It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016)the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

After this I've got some rakia to review on Thursday, so this is the last of the wine reviews this month! Thank you, Vance, for another great Bulgarian wine month. It's always the highlight of my summer getting to dig in to a bunch of Bulgarian wine.

I've got three wines by Minkov Brothers, which was founded in 1875 by Ivan, Vasil and Nikifor Minkov. Soon after getting off the ground (or in it?) they started winning awards at wine fairs. In the mid-1890's alone they won Brussels Wine Fair, the London Wine Competition, and the Plovdiv International Fair. They're still raking in those medals today. The winery property itself also features two museums: one about the family history and their wine, and the other about the winemaking history of the Thracian Valley.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wine Review: Villa Yambol Mavrud 2016 & Domaine Boyar Royal Reserve Mavrud 2015

Villa Yambol Mavrud 2016 & Domaine Boyar Royal Reserve Mavrud 2015

It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016)the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

Mavrud is a native Bulgarian varietal named after a (probably mythological) drunk man who killed one of Krum the Fearsome's tigers when it got loose and started slaughtering peasants in town. During Mavrud's trial, his mother begged for her son's freedom/life by swearing that the illegal wine is what gave him the ability to kill a tiger. Not only did Mavrud's mother's claims set him free but it ended the prohibition. Krum liked his citizens as strong and as fearsome as himself. The Mavrud grape is small, low yielding and late ripening but it makes the #1 top selling local wine within the country of Bulgaria. It's inky in color, tannic, spicy and normally sees a lot of oak aging.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Wine Review: Domaine Boyar Selection Traminer 2016 & Domaine Boyar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015


It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016)the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

Today I've got the middle two of four wines by Domaine Boyar that I'm reviewing this month. Domaine Boyar was established in 1991 and was the first private winery in Bulgaria to be founded after communism. Although the winery is based out of Sofia, all of the wines I'll be reviewing from them are from Thracian Valley.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wine Review: VINI Rosé 2017 & Domaine Boyar Reserve Merlot 2015

VINI Rosé 2017 & Domaine Boyar Reserve Merlot 2015

It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016), the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

Today I've got the last of seven wines by VINI that I'm reviewing this month and the first of four wines by Domaine Boyar. VINI was created by Vance Petrunoff, president of Bulgarian Master Vintners, as an affordable introduction of Bulgarian wine to the American mainstream market. Domaine Boyar was established in 1991 and was the first private winery in Bulgaria to be founded after communism. Although the winery is based out of Sofia, all of the wines I'll be reviewing from them are from Thracian Valley.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Wine Review: VINI Chardonnay 2016 & VINI Cabernet Sauvignon 2016


It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016), the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

VINI was created by Vance Petrunoff, president of Bulgarian Master Vintners, as an affordable introduction of Bulgarian wine to the American mainstream market. Today I've got the 3rd installment out of 3½ for VINI and it's for their new vintages of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, both are out of Thracian Valley.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Wine Review: VINI Sauvignon Blanc 2016 & VINI Merlot 2016


It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016), the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

VINI was created by Vance Petrunoff, president of Bulgarian Master Vintners, as an affordable introduction of Bulgarian wine to the American mainstream market. Today I've got the 2nd installment out of 3½ for VINI and it's for their new vintages of Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, both are out of Thracian Valley.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Basics of Home Wine Storage

(Post sponsored by WineRacks.co.uk)

Anybody with even a basic knowledge of wine will know that the way in which we store our precious bottles can certainly affect aroma and taste, which is why understanding the correct way to do so is essential. I outline the key factors to consider when storing wine at home, including location, ideal conditions and the different wine racking options available.

ATMOSPHERE AND LOCATION

Where you choose to store your wine is an essential factor, particularly for those amongst us who have been building up a valuable collection over many years.

A lot of people just starting out make the easy slip-up of assuming the best location for their wine is in the kitchen, for easy access. However, the overwhelming majority of us will not have a temperature-controlled kitchen, which causes problems as the natural sunlight enters this room of the house, changing wine temperatures and spoiling it.

Instead, ideal wine storage conditions are lying horizontally, with cool, humidity-controlled, dimly- lit space that is not predisposed to to fluctuating temperatures or vibrations. The basement is the preferred choice, as it is below ground and, therefore, typically cooler than other parts of the house.

CELLAR COOLING UNITS

Fondis C25 Wine MasterIf you can afford to splash the cash, investing in a cellar cooling unit is well worth it. These are different to typical home air conditioners, as they are specifically designed with wine storage in mind, and work to cool the air more gradually, while maintaining the humidity in the room. Humidity means the corks on your beloved bottles will not dry out, oxidise and eventually spoil the wine.

Be sure to seek advice from fellow wine enthusiasts, who can steer you in the direction of a good quality cellar conditioner which will be worth the investment.

Experts generally advise against using wine fridges as they can produce heat and the constant opening and closing may cause bottle vibrations.

Ensuring the correct conditions are present is perhaps the single most significant aspect when it comes to wine storage – why build up an impressive collection only to cause taste and aroma spoilage?

WINE RACKS

Wine Bottle Storage CubesInvesting in high-quality wine racks or kitting out a whole wine cellar, is surely the dream of any serious wine collector. However, you must think carefully about this, as the wine racks you pick will surely depend upon the types of wine you prefer to keep in your collection.

Standard wine racks are customarily 3.5 inches wide, fitting in regular Bordeaux bottles (750ml), but if you are someone who has a lot of champagne bottles, magnums, half bottles and split bottles within your range, you might want to consider getting a tailor-made wine rack fitted instead. These can be built to include larger or smaller openings, which are able to comfortably fit your entire, collection.

When seeking out bespoke wine storage, always be sure to hire a specialist provider, as they are the most knowledgeable when it comes to bottle size specifications and are capable of creating storage solutions that can accommodate a diverse range of bottles in various shapes and sizes.

MATERIALS USED

Now that you have decided to invest in your wine racks, you need to decide which material to use, which depends on several factors, including the cost, durability, and whether it matches your interior style.

The most common material used for wine storage racks is wooden, particularly pine or oak. These are good because they can withhold their durability under humid conditions and do not crack or form mildew. However, wooden racks are only worthwhile when the material is thick enough to be able to handle the weight of a large number of bottles. Wooden racks loo fantastic in both contemporary and traditional interiors, however, they may not be practicable in particularly damp-prone spaces, which is where a metal wine rack would instead be beneficial.

Metal racks are great in modern homes and are simple to transport. However, it can sometimes be hard to get an exact fit when using metal, especially where the space you want to place the wine rack is strangely shaped.

Cheaper materials made from wood like cedar, poplar and fir are to be avoided because they are known to taint the wine’s aroma. Likewise, a finishing paint may make a wine rack look more attractive, but for similar reasons, need to be avoided. Instead, use a non-smelly Danish oil or coloured stain to achieve the look you are going for.

OTHER KEY FACTORS

Image result for broken wineThere are several other vital considerations to take into account when storing wine. The areas holding the bottle in place should be smooth, so as to not cause damage to labels when removing wines for inspection, since this can decrease a bottle’s value and will look shabby in front of guests. Always be sure to have your wine racks or cellars fitted by a professional, who will work with stability a the forefront of their mind and understands the dos-and-don’ts of wine storage.

It would be an absolute disaster if the racks were not sturdy enough to handle the weight of your collection and one or several of your expensive bottles smashed!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Wine Review: VINI Pinot Grigio 2016 & VINI Pinot Noir 2015

VINI Pinot Grigio 2016 & VINI Pinot Noir 2015

It's the Fourth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.com! You can read all of the reviews from the first year (2015)the second year (2016), and the third year (2017), and this year (2018) by following those links.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

VINI was created by Vance Petrunoff, president of Bulgarian Master Vintners, as an affordable introduction of Bulgarian wine to the American mainstream market. Today I've got the 1st installment out of 3½ for VINI, which I haven't been able to get around to in a few years due to always having so many Bulgarian wines to do in one month. But I've got the new vintages ready to go so let's get into them with their Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir, both out of Thracian Valley!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August Wine Pick: Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina 2017

Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina 2017

Founded in 1986, Feudi di San Gregorio is located in the tiny village of Sorbo Serpico near Mount Vesuvius in Campania, Italy. I'm reviewing two of their wines. The first was their 2015 Aglianico. The second, which your reading right now, is their 2017 Falanghina and it's my Wine Pick for the month of August!

This is 100% Falanghina from the Sannio Falaghina DOC of Campania. The grapes were hand harvested and delivered to the winery in refrigerated trucks, then hand selected and soft-pressed. The juice sees a cold settling for twenty-four to forty-eight hours at 58°F, cold-fermented in stainless steel vats between 61°F to 64°F, and is denied malolactic fermentation. Then it spends five months in stainless steel on the lees, and one month resting in the bottle.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Wine Review: Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato Aglianico 2015

Feudi di San Gregorio Aglianico 2015

Founded in 1986, Feudi di San Gregorio is located in the tiny village of Sorbo Serpico near Mount  Vesuvius in Campania, Italy. I'm going to be reviewing two of their wines. The first is their 2015 Aglianico, which you're reading right now, and the second is their 2017 Falanghina, which will come out on Wednesday.

Aglianico was brought over from Turkey to Campania 2,500 years ago, so it's one of the most ancient grape varieties that we know of. After its arrival it would be an important part of southern Italy's wine and culture. Pliny the Elder even mentions it in his writings. If you'd like to learn more about Aglianico, and I suggest that you should, then check it out in probably my most classic blog post ever: The Adventures of Aglianico - A Complete History of an Ancient Wine.

Well this 100% Aglianico is from the Arpinia Aglianico DOC and grown between 1,000 to 1,600 feet above see level in soil that was originally ash and fallen pumice (Aglianico loooooves volcanic soil). The grapes were hand harvested, macerated and fermented in stainless steel vats for ten days at 79°F, aged in stainless steel for eight months, and then six months in the bottle. The final ABV is 13.5%.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Wine Quickie: Nino Franco Summer Kir Recipe

Nino Franco Summer Kir

So check this out... take 5 ounces of Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco and half an ounce of ROOT 23 Cherry Almond Simple Syrup to make a Summer Kir! It's pretty friggin delicious! *glug glug*

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Wine Review: James Charles Cincinnatus 2017

James Charles Cincinnatus 2017

A wine by Virginia's Bogaty Family Wine Group is back on the blog! I've reviewed a bunch of wines by them and I like to think of them as good friends. Hey, Bogaty! Give Coy a raise! He's great!

James Charles Bogaty's parents came over to America from the Italian Alps, and his family in the old country still runs a small vineyard. So James thought he'd carry out his family tradition in Virginia. He bought his first vineyard in 1995, and in 2000 he and his wife Della founded Veramar Vineyards.  Their son Justin became the winemaker in 2001.

They've got three labels: Bogati Bodega, Veramar Vineyards, and James Charles. To read the other reviews I've written on all three of their labels, check out the Virginia label for the blog.

Now how about we sip some dessert wine from Virginia? This is a fortified dessert wine made from the hybrid Seyval Blanc. Unfortunately that's all I really know about it, because as of right now there's issues getting information from their labs. But hey, it really doesn't matter. The final result does!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Wine Review: Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2012

Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2012

This week I'm reviewing two wines from Montefalco, Italy. Today I'll be doing Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014 and on Sunday it'll be Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino 2012.

Montefalco is an ancient town and commune within the Colli Martana DOCG of Umbria and it's been one of those hot wine regions of late that everybody is talking about. Montefalco has three tiers to its wine categorization: Montefalco DO, Montefalco DOC (Montefalco Bianco, Monterfalco Rosso, Montefalco Rosso Riserva), and Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG. Forgive me if I've missed any.

Montefalco vineyard
MONTEFALCO
IMAGE CREDIT: stradadelsagrantino.it
Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino 2012 is 100% Sagrantino, as all wines of the Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG must be. This is also from Montefalco which you think would be a gimme, right? Buuuuuuut I guess all wines of the Montefalco Sagrantino DOGC don't have to be from Montefalco because the fellow Umbrian communes of Giano dell'Umbria, Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, and Castel Ritaldi also qualify to use the DOCG.

Gravity feed was used for vinification and it fermented with its skins for twenty-five to forty days at 77°-82°F. Apparently it also "clarified spontaneously with no need for filtration." Sooooo... magic? Wines of this DOCG must be aged for a minimum of thirty-six months but, as we saw with the Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014, that doesn't mean just oak aging and includes bottle aging. This one had six months in lightly toasted 500L barrels, eighteen months in 25hL oak barrels, twelves months in glass lined cement vats, and then twelve months in the bottle. Lemme do my math... *mouthing numbers* uuuuh, carry the four *confused look* I don't know how to math, but my calculator says that's forty-eight months. So four years, or eleven months longer than the DOCG minimum.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Wine Review: Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014

Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014

This week I'm reviewing two wines from Montefalco, Italy. Today I'll be doing Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014 and on Sunday it'll be Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino 2012.

Montefalco is an ancient town and commune within the Colli Martana DOCG of Umbria and it's been one of those hot wine regions of late that everybody is talking about. Montefalco has three tiers to its wine categorization: Montefalco DO, Montefalco DOC (Montefalco Bianco, Monterfalco Rosso, Montefalco Rosso Riserva), and Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG. Forgive me if I've missed any.

Montefalco vineyard
MONTEFALCO
IMAGE CREDIT: tenutastella.it
The Montefalco DOC, both for Bianco (white) and Rosso (red), was created in 1979. So I was a fetus when this DOC was born. Nice. The Rosso has to have a minimum from 60% to 70% Sangiovese, at least 10% to 15% Sagrantino, and pretty much whatever you want for the remaining 30% or less. It also needs to be aged for eighteen months. However, as you'll see, that doesn't appear to mean just oak aging but includes bottle aging.

Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014 is 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, and 15% Merlot. Fermentation was done using "traditional" temperature control (I'm not sure what "traditional" means, like if it's not in stainless steel or whatever) on its skin at 61°F for fifteen days, then it saw fourteen months in barriques (not the minimum for aging) and another four months of bottle aging (putting it right at the eighteen month minimum for aging).

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Wine Review: Matsu El Viejo 2015

Matsu El Viejo 2015

Out of the Toro region of Spain comes Matsu, which means wait in Japanese, paying homage to three generations of viticulturists and winemakers. And that shows on the unique labels, as different faces of each generation are shown by the age of the vineyards and the wine's oak aging, quality, and also personality.

El Pícaro 2016 (pícaro means rogue) represents youthEl Recio 2015 (recio means strong) represents  maturity, and El Viejo 2015 (viejo means old) represents wisdom. I'm reviewing all three, and this is the conclusion with El Viejo 2015.

This is 100% Tinta de Toro (AKA Tempranillo) manually harvested from vineyards more than one-hundred years old. Fermentation and maceration takes three weeks in small concrete deposits with natural yeast, and then softly pressed with a pnuematic press. It spends sixteen months in new French oak barrels before being bottled without filtration or use of any "aggressive" clarifier. The final ABV is 15%.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wine Quickie: The Drop Cans - Red, White & Rosé


The red is Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Syrah, and better than I thought it would be. Light bodied, bright and fruity, definitely meant to be chilled, and not sugary at all. Hey, it’s not fine wine but it’s better than a lot of mass produced brand names. I’d take it every day over Ravage or Apothic. The white is mostly Sauvignon Blanc. It’s crisp with aromas and flavors of stone fruit and petrol. Very simple and refreshing, and much more satisfying directly out of the can than in a glass. Being a New Englander and a Cape Codder, it’s only natural that I love the lobster on the rosé can. This is just a mouthful of Jolly Rancher watermelon candy and lime lollipop. You can chug a can of that in mere seconds. The rosé is clearly the crowd-pleaser of the bunch.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wine Review: Matsu El Recio 2015

Matsu El Recio 2015

Out of the Toro region of Spain comes Matsu, which means wait in Japanese, paying homage to three generations of viticulturists and winemakers. And that shows on the unique labels, as different faces of each generation are shown by the age of the vineyards and the wine's oak aging, quality, and also personality.

El Pícaro 2016 (pícaro means rogue) represents youthEl Recio 2015 (recio means strong) represents maturity, and El Viejo 2015 (viejo means old) represents wisdom. I'm reviewing all three, and this is the middle of the pack with El Recio 2015.

This is 100% Tinta de Toro (AKA Tempranillo) manually harvested from ninety to one-hundred year old vineyards using biodynamic techniques. It spends three weeks fermenting and macerating in small concrete deposits with natural yeasts and is softly pressed with a pnuematic press. Then it's aged in French oak for 14 months before being bottled without filtration or use of any "aggressive" clarifier. The final ABV is 14.5%.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Wine Review: Matsu El Pícaro 2016

Matsu El Pícaro 2016

Out of the Toro region of Spain comes Matsu, which means wait in Japanese, paying homage to three generations of viticulturists and winemakers. And that shows on the unique labels, as different faces of each generation are shown by the age of the vineyards and the wine's oak aging, quality, and also personality.

El Pícaro 2016 (pícaro means rogue) represents youth, El Recio 2015 (recio means strong) represents maturity, and El Viejo 2015 (viejo means old) represents wisdom. I'll be reviewing all three, starting right now with the El Picaro 2016.

This is 100% Tinta de Toro (AKA Tempranillo), as are all three of these wines, from fifty to seventy year old vineyards using biodynamic techniques. It's fermented and macerated in small concrete deposits with natural yeasts, softly pressed, bottled without filtration or use of any "aggressive" clarifier, and has a 14.5% ABV. And here's why this Rogue represents youth: It was not aged in oak but spent three months aging on its lees in concrete tanks. I'm expecting it to be fruit forward and less nuanced then the other two.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Wine Review: Hacienda López de Haro Rioja Reserva 2013

Hacienda López de Haro Rioja Reserva 2013

Has it really been half a year since I reviewed a Rioja? That's kinda crazy. Luckily that streak ends today! And with a hell of a lot of things going on in life, let's end the streak quickly. I really can't wait to go back to my old format of reviewing but it'll have to do just that: wait.

Bodega Classica's Hacienda Lopez de Haro Reserva 2013 is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano from old, low-yielding vineyards. The grapes were manually harvested in October, macerated for two weeks, fermented under the controlled temperature of 28°C, and then saw twenty months of oak aging in French and American barrels. The final ABV is 13.5%.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July Wine Pick: Domaine La Tour Boisee 2014 Plantation 1905


During the summer the sales for red wines go down as the sales for white wines go up. As things get hotter, people want something refreshing and understandably so. I have met many consumers that only drink white wine in the spring and summer, and then only drink red wine in the fall and winter. Of course, there are many that only ever drink red wine or white wine year round. Myself? I don’t see how somebody could give themselves limits. I’m all for a crisp Sauvignon Blanc during a snowstorm, or a big robust Syrah during an August heatwave.

But there are reds that work better with the hotter months than others. The performance of Beaujolais-Villages and Grenache/Garnacha is enhanced with a slight chill (I said SLIGHT!) and they make for perfect summer reds. Pinot Noir is a lighter varietal and also a good option for the summer. But this guy that I have here is really different, and it’s a go-to wine for me this time of the year.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wine Review: Lieb Cellars Estate Cabernet Franc 2016

June is Bridge Lane & Lieb Cellars Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Lieb Cellars Estate Cabernet Franc 2016

I've had a great relationship with Lieb Cellars for four years now and their wines have been on this blog many times. To learn more about both Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane, check out my article A Brief History of Lieb Cellars - On the North Fork of Long Island, New York from 2016. With everything you need to know about them there I'm gonna jump right into the reviews. Click here to see read all of the reviews from this month.

The 2016 Estate Cabernet Franc closes out  Bridge Lane & Lieb Cellars Month! I hate it when these themed months are over. If you'd like to see what I thought about the 2013 Reserve Cabernet Franc, check out my review from 2015.

This is 80% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, and 2% Merlot, from Lieb's estate grounds on the North Fork of Long Island. Open-top, punch down-fermentation was used with yeast strain BRL-97 for its fast start, moderate speed, and good malolactic fermentation. It macerated for twenty-two days (including three days of pre-ferment), saw 100% malolactic fermentation with Hansen Viniflora bacteria, and spent ten months in Hungarian oak. Harvest was in November 2016, bottling was in January 2018, and it has a final ABV of 12.8%.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Wine Review: Lieb Cellars Reserve Merlot 2015

June is Bridge Lane & Lieb Cellars Month on TheWineStalker.net!

Lieb Cellars Reserve Merlot 2015



I've had a great relationship with Lieb Cellars for four years now and their wines have been on this blog many times. To learn more about both Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane, check out my article A Brief History of Lieb Cellars - On the North Fork of Long Island, New York from 2016. With everything you need to know about them there I'm gonna jump right into the reviews. Click here to see all of the reviews done so far this month.

A few years ago I reviewed the 2014 vintage of this wine but today I've got the 2015 Reserve Merlot. It's 81% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec, and 2% Petit Verdot. Yeast strain T23 (from a Spanish Rioja fermentation) was used for open top, punch down fermentation. It macerated for twenty-two days, saw 100% malolactic fermentation with Hansen Viniflora bacteria, then spent ten months in Hungarian oak. Harvest was in October 2015, bottling was in January 2017, and it has a final ABV of 12.9%.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wine Reviews: Best of Spring 2018!

Today is the first day of Summer, so here's the best wines that I reviewed for this Spring season!

#5. Bogati Malbec 2016

Bogati Malbec 2016Region: Virginia, USA
Review Release: April 26th, 2018


The color of the wine is a deep, dark garnet. And holy moly the nose is gorgeous! There's a calming minerality that lurks above the bold aromas of cherries, prunes, and a bowlful of lollipops. I could smell this all night! It's medium bodied with a slick mouthfeel, bitter tannin, and a tart acidity. In fact, it all gets a bit tart and bitter. There's flavors of tart cherries, raspberries, plum skin, and orange mandarin tea. The finish seems to go on forever with tart cherries and bitter orange. This is just so very different and so very good.

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $28
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)


#4. Domaine de Magnaut l'Esprit Passion Tannat 2014

Region: Gascony, France
Review Release: May 25th, 2018


The color of the wine is a deep burgundy with a twist of purple. Licorice and pre-lit, but stomped out, tobacco are the first aromas to hit your nostrils. Then there's blackberries, black olives, and vanilla. On the palate it's full bodied with a high acidity that's balanced off with strong, fine-grained tannin. There's flavors of cherries, plums, black olives, and mocha. The finish of plums and mocha go on for awhile but it's that finely grained tannin that shines. It's there, and it wants your attention, but it doesn't suck the saliva right out of your mouth.

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO


QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $21
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)


#3. Morgan Monterey Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Region: Monterey, California, USA
Review Release: April 8th, 2018

The color of the wine is a very pale yellow. On the nose there's aromas of lemon, passion fruit, and a combination of buttery and floral aromas that brings images of buttercup flowers to my head. I mean, I think I remember as a kid knowing they were called buttercups because they were buttery. Right? Am I right or am I just an old fart making things up? I dunno. Anyways, I immediately thought of buttercups and then pieced together why afterwords. Fight me.

On the palate it's medium bodied with a slight creaminess in mouthfeel from the little time in oak that it saw. There's loud and jumpy flavors of lemons, limes, and yellow pears. A very simple but lively and absolutely delicious midpalate. Then it finishes with lemons, a blade of grass, tart acidity, and a slight dusting of fine minerality.

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $18
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)


#2. Domaine de Magnaut Equilibre de Manseng 2014

Region: Gascony, France
Review Release: May 13th, 2018


The color of the wine is a vibrant pale yellow with a slight hint of green. There's aromas of peaches, melon, and honey. It's full bodied with some sweetness and balanced acidity. There's flavors of apricots, peaches, pear, and honey. And it all continues on to an insanely long finish.

Holy shit this is amazing. I freakin' love it. It's so rounded in body and mouthfeel and succulent with its fruit. This is not a crisp quaffer, this is a sip-and-savor. It's recommended as an aperitif to be paired with fois gras, but I'd prefer it for dessert with whatever pie you've got available.

And it'll only cost you TWELVE DOLLARS! Crap, man. This is a steal. I have no choice but to give it a perfect score. Highly recommended!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $12
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)


#1. Godelia Godello-Doña Blanco Bierzo 2015

Region: Bierzo, Spain
Review Release: April 19th, 2018


On the palate... SUCCULENT LEMON! But I'm getting ahead of myself. It's medium bodied with what I think would be a creamy mouthfeel if it wasn't pushed aside by such an aggressively tart acidity. And... STRAIGHT-UP SUCCULENT LEMON! Goddamn, it's so good! Fun and juicy and alive! And DANGEROUS! I could probably down this whole bottle in five minutes. And here's the thing: it's not some low quality thirst quencher that you can down in five minutes. Those are awesome too. This is a damn good quality thirst quencher that you can down in five minutes.

I love this. I don't want it to end. I want a case of this stuff right now. I want to pour it in a bowl of Fruity Pebbles and eat it until I pass out. PERFECT SCORE! Mark it up!

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $17
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Labels

ABriefHistoryOf Aglianico Airen Albarino Aleatico Apothic Argentina Australia Austria Barbera beer Best Of biodynamic blend blog Bonarda book Bordeaux Brachetto brandy Bulgaria Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon California Campania Canada cans Cape Cod Carignan Carmenere Cava certification Chablis Champagne Chardonnay cheese Chenin Blanc Chianti Chile Cinsault cocktails Cognac Colombard Counoise CSW dessert wine Distill Wars Dona Blanco Falanghina Fiano formulas France Furmint Gamay Garganega Germany gin Godello Graciano Greece Grenache Grenache Blanc Gros Manseng Gruner Veltliner GSM guest blog Heroes history how to Hungary Israel Italy Kansas kosher Lambrusco Languedoc-Roussillon Loire love letter Madeira Malbec Marsanne Massachusetts Mavrud Mazuelo Mencia Meritage Merlot Mexico mixology Montepulciano Moscato Mourvédre Muscat mythology Nebbiolo New York New Zealand Norello Mascalese Oregon organic organicc original meme Palestine Pecorino Petit Verdot Petite Sirah Petite Verdot photo gallery phylloxera Picpoul Piedmont Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris/Grigio Pinot Meunier Pinot Noir Pinotage Port Portugal product Prosecco quickie quote recipe retail problems review Rhone Ribera del Duero Riesling Rioja rose Roussanne Rueda rum Sagrantino Sangiovese Sangria Sauvignon Blanc science Sekt Seyval Blanc Sherry South Africa Spain Sparkling spirits sponsored storage study sulfites sustainable SWE Syrah Tannat Tempranillo Tequila Texas Torrontes Traminer Turkey Tuscany Umbria USA Valpolicella Verdejo Verdicchio Vermentino Vernacca Vidal Blanc video Vinho Verde Viognier Virginia Viura vodka Washington State whiskey White zinfandel wine wine club Wine Pick Zinfandel Zweigelt

Trending Posts