Sunday, April 29, 2018

Wine Review: Bogati "Justin Bogaty Winemaker Series" Vidal Blanc 2017


I've been very lucky to have a great relationship with the Bogati Family Wine Group from Virginia for over two years now. They have three labels with Veramar Vineyard, James Charles Winery & Vineyard, and Bogati Bodega & Vineyard. I've reviewed a bunch of their wines and you can read them here by looking under my Virginia labels. Whelp, they're back for more with two more wines starting with their 2017 JB Vidal Blanc and then their 2016 Bogati Malbec. And from what I hear there will be a bunch more on the way soon! I'm really looking forward to it.

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 and this wine is from his small batch Justin Bogaty Winemaker Series, which is only available to wine club members.

Vidal Blanc is a hybrid grape made from the Vitis vinifera variety Ugni Blanc and another hybrid grape called Rayon d'Or. It was bred to withstand cold temperatures and still produce high sugar levels and acidity. The very first wine that I reviewed by Bogati was their 2014 Seyval Blanc and that is a hybrid as well, and if you want to learn more about hybrids then I suggest you head on over and read that review because it's a really good one!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wine Review: Bogati Malbec 2016

Bogati Malbec 2016

I've been very lucky to have a great relationship with the Bogati Family Wine Group from Virginia for over two years now. They have three labels with Veramar Vineyard, James Charles Winery & Vineyard, and Bogati Bodega & Vineyard. I've reviewed a bunch of their wines and you can read them here by looking under my Virginia labels. Whelp, they're back for more with two more wines starting with their 2017 JB Vidal Blanc and then their 2016 Bogati Malbec. And from what I hear there will be a bunch more on the way soon! I'm really looking forward to it.

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.

Well well well! A Malbec from Virginia! Look at you! As soon as I heard that Bogati was releasing this guy I just had to try it. So here it goes! No time to waste!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Wine Review: Godelia Mencia Bierzo 2012

Godelia Mencia 2012

In the southwestern portion of Spain, north of the Portuguese border, is the Spanish wine region of Bierzo. Outside the village of Cacebelos is Bodegas Godelia and their eighty-six acres of estate vineyard on decomposed quartzite and slate soil. They also have thirty-seven acres farmed under contract. I'm reviewing two of their wines this weeks: the 2015 Godello-Doña Blanco and the 2012 Mencia.

Godelia considers themselves an artisan winery. All of their grapes are harvested by hand and chilled for twenty-four to fourty-eight hours at 23°F. The white grapes are pressed while still semi-frozen, while the reds are cold-soaked and destemmed first.

First thing's first: I'm the realest. Second: Mencia is pronounced "Menthia". Third: it's red. Mencia is mostly found in Bierzo, but also Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras, and Liébana. And it's currently enjoying some good times in popularity over there in Spain, with more and more wineries producing it and more and more consumers enjoying it.

Godelia's 2012 Mencia is 100% Mencia, saw twelve months in oak, and has a 14.5% ABV. Now let's do some drinking! Don't fret, I promise not to make any more Clueless references in this review.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Wine Review: Godelia Godello-Doña Blanco Bierzo 2015

Godelia Godello-Doña Blanco Bierzo 2015

In the southwestern portion of Spain, north of the Portuguese border, is the Spanish wine region of Bierzo. Outside the village of Cacebelos is Bodegas Godelia and their eighty-six acres of estate vineyard on decomposed quartzite and slate soil. They also have thirty-seven acres farmed under contract. I'm reviewing two of their wines this weeks: the 2015 Godello-Doña Blanco and the 2012 Mencia.

Godelia considers themselves an artisan winery. All of their grapes are harvested by hand and chilled for twenty-four to fourty-eight hours at 23°F. The white grapes are pressed while still semi-frozen, while the reds are cold-soaked and destemmed first.

This white is a blend of 80% Godello from twenty to forty year old vines, and 20% Doña Blanco from seventy to ninety year old vines; both local white varietals. Godello was once almost gone forever a few decades ago (read "Revisiting Godello, a Grape That Spain Has Rescued") until a recent resurgence. Doña Blanco is also grown in Portugal as Dona Branca, and its thick skin makes these Maritime climates such a great match for it.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Wine Review: Morgan Monterey "Metallico" Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2015

Morgan Monterey "Metallico" Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2015

Dan and Donna Lee founded Morgan Winery in 1982 in Santa Lucia Highlands (before it was an AVA). They were named Winery of the Year in 1996, and in 2001 they became the first Certified Organic property in Santa Lucia Highlands. I'll be reviewing three wines by Morgan starting with their 2016 Monterey Sauvignon Blanc, then their 2015 Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah, and finishing with 2015 Metallico Un-Oaked Chardonnay.

The 2015 Metallico Un-Oaked Chardonnay is from the sandy and shaly loam soils of the Roger Rose, Leavens, Double L, and Kristy estate vineyards in Monterey; all chosen for their proximity to Monterey Bay for its cooling effect. Entire clusters were pressed as a whole, then fermented in cold tanks, and sees five months in stainless steel. It saw no oak aging and no malolactic fermentation. The final ABV is 13.5%.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Wine Review: Morgan Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah 2015

Morgan Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah 2015

Dan and Donna Lee founded Morgan Winery in 1982 in Santa Lucia Highlands (before it was an AVA). They were named Winery of the Year in 1996, and in 2001 they became the first Certified Organic property in Santa Lucia Highlands. I'll be reviewing three wines by Morgan starting with their 2017 Monterey Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah, and 2015 Metallico Un-Oaked Chardonnay.

The 2015 Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah is 87% Syrah, 9% Grenache, and 4% Tempranillo. It's from enough of Santa Lucia Highlands to be labeled as the AVA, but some is also from the fellow Monterey district and neighbor Arroyo Seco. After being fermented on open top tanks with manual punch-downs, it's transfered to French oak barrels (24% new) to see fifteen months of barrel aging. The final product has a 14.4% ABV.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Wine Review: Morgan Monterey Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Morgan Monterey Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Dan and Donna Lee founded Morgan Winery in 1982 in Santa Lucia Highlands (before it was an AVA). They were named Winery of the Year in 1996, and in 2001 they became the first Certified Organic property in Santa Lucia Highlands. I'll be reviewing three wines by Morgan starting with their 2016 Monterey Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah, and 2015 Metallico Un-Oaked Chardonnay.

The 2016 Monterey Sauvignon Blanc is made of 80% Sauvignon Blanc Musqué clone, 14% classic Savignon Blanc, and 6% Semillon. The fruit is drawn from vineyards in Arroyo Seco (mid-Monterey) for bright acidity, and the warmer San Lucas (southern Monterey) for lush fruit.  It was tank fermented and then, surprisingly, it saw five months of French oak barrel aging, 5% of it new. The final ABV is 13.5%.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Book Review: Adventures with Old Vines, A Beginner's Guide to Being a Wine Connoisseur by Richard L. Chilton Jr.

Adventures with Old Vines, A Beginner's Guide to Being a Wine Connoisseur
Richard L. Chilton Jr. is a co-owner of Hourglass Vineyard and he has a strong opinion on the definition of a connoisseurship. He says that it’s “the art of tasting wine: pulling the cork, savoring the delight, recording the experience, and comparing the differences between wines of different regions, varietals, and countries.” Maybe you love wine but you’re really more of a collector instead, where obtaining great wine is your main objective. Maybe you love wine but you’re the average consumer, buying what you already know you like the same day you’re going to drink it.

I guess I wouldn’t be considered a connoisseur because, yeah I love tasting and analyzing wine, but I’m driven by theory, history and being as knowledgeable as I can be for my clients. I’m not all that interested in being able to taste the differences between a 1993 Napa Cab and a 1994 Napa Cab.

With his definition in mind, Chilton began writing this book with the intention of both helping new connoisseurs find their way and helping old connoisseurs remember where they came from. What he ended up writing was 49 pages that every wine lover would truly enjoy reading, and another 219 pages that every wine lover should have on their bookshelf for when they need it.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April Wine Pick: 90+ Cellars Languedoc AOC Rosé 2017


I bet you thought that Languedoc-Roussillon Month was over! Well, APRIL FOOLS!!! It's been extended one more day for my April Wine Pick of the Month!

90+ Cellars (click here to learn more about them) has had a nice string of excellent Rosé’s the past several years and this follows right through with the pedigree. Their 2017 Lot 33 Languedoc Rosé is a blend of local favorites Syrah, Grenache, Mourvédre, and Cinsault; all from the foothills of the Cevennes mountain range where the breeze from the mountains cools the vineyards and keeps them dry.

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