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Event,Viticulture,Wine,Wine Business,Wine Writer,Winemaker,Winery

Charles Krug Winery ~ An American Dynasty of the Best Kind

When I first came to California, I had solid PR credentials. With 11 years in WBLM radio broadcasting as their publicist, I knew all about radio broadcasting and not only creating, but also keeping their public file.

What I didn’t have was the slightest knowledge about wine. Still, I was ready to take it on.

So, I applied to Charles Krug Winery’s position of PR director. They were so kind to me. We all got along immensely, and they knew I fit their culture… but – big BUT… I didn’t know one wine writer and knew virtually nothing about wine. I can’t blame them for turning me away; but, they did so in the kindest possible way, seriously. They told me to study up on wine, in my process, and perhaps another day they could entertain my credentials.

I began a tasting room job at Belvedere Winery in 1993, taking an associate degree, 60-unit program, at Santa Rosa Junior College; and within five years my business card read “Communications Director – District Manager.” (My states were Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Ohio, Minnesota, Idaho, and Puerto Rico.) I had competed my 60 units, and had come of age.

Then everything has fast forwarded to now. And, I’ve just returned to Charles Krug Winery; not as an employee, but one of their honored guests. This is just a small piece of their story.

[PHOTO: Property of the Charles Krug Winery’s Website.]

The Charles Krug Winery ~ Mondavi Family

Peter Mondavi Family Estate, established in 1861

It wasn’t that long ago; but still, some has passed and the savory memories still brightly linger. Swept up with summer, grandkids in the pool, another season of #NanaGrampCamp, and off to Europe… with CK Mondavi on my mind, I would have to revisit the visit. And, now’s the perfect time.

I attended their great party in Napa, in May, in the drizzle, who knew it would rain in May? No matter where I’ve gone and what I’ve done since, it’s been on my mind as that fabulous opportunity. So, today, this is my event sharing…

It was such an honor to be among so few people, hosted by such a historic Napa Valley, iconic family… A delicious time was had by all.

All guests had the opportunity to play bocce ball, to then enjoy their latest releases of wines, which were also paired by a delicious barbecue with hosts Janice, Marc, and Riana Mondavi, at their home.

When I arrived, I was greeted by a very familiar face… the artwork. When working with the Suisun Valley Vintners & Growers Association, I was introduced to sculptor Philip Glashoff’s work… And here was one of his pieces. I knew this was going to be a great day… People who love and support the arts are my kind of people. More on Philip Glashoff: https://www.facebook.com/glashoffgallery

So, this was going to be a bocci ball day… with developed credentials. I arrived few minutes late, due to the drizzle and slippery conditions. Who knew it would do this in May? I was greeted with a fun CK Mondavi and Family sangria, and appetizers from Pitmaster, Matt Horn.

11:15 a.m.: Bocce history and how to play the game from Greg Travers, Commissioner of the Martinez Bocce Federation

Class was in session and I decided to record it, because, I’ve got Bocce down; except, how hard I’d have to be throwing heavier balls to have any impact. Interesting note: Pétanque’s little ball is called a Cochonnet… Translated is little piglet. Target ball in Bocci is called a Pallina, and simply translates to “ball.”

Yup… puppy on the bocci court. Is anything going to be safe?

… and the gardens… I love gardens. I call one of mine “Provence,” because it holds all of my herbs. Never, in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be freshly back from Provence, too. But here I am, back in the Mondavis’ garden spaces. I found the Mondavi gardens just so refreshing in a beautiful, country setting.

Sculpture… and a BBQ with pork? Yeah, I could see their passion, and then tasted it, with wine and foods paired.

The straight on lineup of what we tasted… And I still find it remarkable that this wine is only $6.99 a bottle. Economy of scale allows for great pricing, which benefits consumers. I’d never think twice about picking up a bottle of CK Mondavi wines, based on what I got to experience.

Riana Mondavi told her family history. “CK Mondavi and Family wines are bottled in the Napa Valley by the iconic C. Mondavi & Family. For consumers desiring consistently delicious, everyday wines, CK Mondavi and Family wines over deliver for the price point. Based in the Napa Valley for almost seventy-five years, CK Mondavi and Family’s grapes are 100% sourced from California vineyards, utilizing sustainable farming techniques and winemaking practices that are more typical of expensive wines. Their relentless commitment to quality winemaking and hands-on small lot sourcing sets them apart from other value wines. A large portion of the grapes in CK Mondavi and Family wines are estate grown on the family’s 1,850 acres of vineyard property and the family is committed to working with American growers that they’ve had partnerships with for generations. CK Mondavi and Family are the first and only wines 100% “Made in USA Certified®” and the family produces wines that are consistent, vintage-to-vintage, providing consumers with a value and quality they can rely on. Today, CK Mondavi and Family remains one of the most successful wine brands in America because of its excellent quality and great value.

We had the Moscato and dessert with BACON! Sorry, excitedly, I got a little memory jolt. My friend Susanne Carlberg (Christopher Bridge Winery in Oregon City, Oregon) told me, “this totally works … at our house!” Yeah, now me, too.

That’s why I’m here enjoying this story to tell, I can honestly say. Fruit bombs they’re not. I have what’s called a “super palate.” (More taste buds than what’s considered “normal.” I don’t need a fruit bomb to hit my palate over the head, with a sledge hammer. Slow and easy does it… That’s what these wines are. Great for people just entering the wine world, set at the perfect price to make them affordable. I highly recommend any of these CK Wines, for easy enjoying pleasure.

Now, I’m going to share the bottle shots that I took. While they speak for themselves visually, pay attention to their back label’s statement, remembering that each bottle gives you a perfect snapshot… no hype, no hyperboles; just honest information to make your experience more enjoyable. This is a great writing success, in my opinion. Also, notice the low alcohol level of 13.6? Yeah, see it in the 13 percent range and you can bet it’s food friendly.

 

As I once heard my friend Emiliano Bernardi of Colonnara | Vini e Spumanti say, “Ciao, ciao, ciao!

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Beaujolais,Flavors from the World of Wine,Food & Wine,Food and Wine,France,Gamay,Wine,Wine Business,Wine Country,Wine Culture,Wine Ed,Wine Education,Wine Folly: Magnum Edition of the Master Guide,Wine Travel,Wine Writer,Wine-Blog,Winemaker,Winemaking,Winery,Wines

Beaujolais 101 ~ Your Primer Through the Lens of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf

PHOTO: Taken in the Beaujolais region of France, at the Georges Duboeuf’s Chateau, in Romaneche-Thorins, France. Georges Duboeuf is the highly regarded founder of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf.

These are all of my own images from my trip to Beaujolais, with the exception of Wine Folly’s map.

Beaujolais 101 ~ A TOP TEN Primer

  1. Pronounced: BOE-zjoh-lay, just south of Mâcon Burgundy, and is actually the southern part of Burgundy
  2. Red Beaujolais wines originate from the Gamay grape
  3. A whopping 98 percent of Beaujolais’s wine grapes are red
  4. Beaujolais grapes come from an area north of Lyon, beginning at a distance of 18 miles (30 kilometers)
  5. All wine grapes, in the Beaujolais region of France, must be picked by hand
  6. It’s a beautiful entry wine for anyone just starting out, and a favorite for other passionate, wine lovers
  7. Beaujolais wines make terrific Rosés
  8. Styles do vary greatly, which makes exploring them truly fascinating
  9. Bordered by
    • Burgundy to the north
      • Think Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
    • Saône River to the east
      • Leading to Côtes du Rhône
    • Lyon to the South
      • Considered the gastronomic capital of France
    • Monts de Beaujolais to the west
      • Hills of the Massif Central, part of the highland region in the middle of Southern France
  10. Classifications of Beaujolais ~ Crus of Beaujolais ~ listed from north to south – cross reference Wine Folly’s map below: Magnum Edition of the Master Guide, by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack. It so clearly defines how the appellations (French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlées (AOC) flow; not only southward, but also to outlying areas. Wine Folly’s site is highly recommended for more details, by Wine-blog.
    1. St-Amour
      • We visited Château de Saint-Amour (Saint-Amour) with owners and winemaker
    2. Juliénas
      • We visited Château des Capitans (Juliénas), with winemaker William Chevalier
    3. Chénas
      • One day in the future
    4. Moulin-à-Vent
      • We visited France’s famous windmill, know as Moulin-à-Vent
    5. Fleurie
      • La Madone Chapel in Fleurie, we met with vintner Patrick Darroze and his winemakers, sons of two growers that Patrick’s dad was very close to
    6. Chiroubles
      • One day in the future
    7. Morgon
      • Morgon Jean-Ernest Descombes, with owner Nicole Descombes
    8. Régnié
      • One day in the future
    9. Brouilly
      • Chateau de Nervers, Brouilly, with owners Jean-Benoit and Tiphaine de Chabannes in Odenas Brouilly
    10. Côte de Brouilly
      • One day in the future

Beaujolais 201 ~ Reflections

PHOTO: This is the actual Château de St. Amour, which also became a sketched image on their Georges Duboeuf bottle, of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf Chateau St. Amour’s wine.

In the real life picture, to the bottom left of the building, you can see our picnic gathering, for a tasting of their Gamay wine paired with Madame Sidauren’s homemade Gougères (French Cheese Puffs). It was a perfect morning in their beautiful gardens and at their intriguing and captivating chateau.

I’m sure you now know how this label came into existence, seeing both the chateau and the wine bottle’s label.

Each day of the eight days planned, we had so many chateaus to see, and we were also taken to the thrilling heights of the region, in a helicopter. This areal photo, taken in Beaujolais, was of the Golden Stone region. It was seriously fantastic. Our Pilot was Bruno Rivollet, of Helico Sun.

More Beaujolais

Just to see, read, or hear the word Beaujolais spoken is tres jolie! And really, so are the terroir, wines, culture, people, and foods, from this region of France.

For most of us, there’s no better way to learn about the magical Beaujolais region, than by being there. Not very practical for many of us, though, and with that in mind, we usually depend on the learnings and teachings of others; either from those who live in the area, or from journalists who have made a trip to Beaujolais, who interview experts for details. This latter example is today’s story.

We entered the winery on our first day to meet winemaker Denis Lapaler. Denis is one of two head winemakers on the Georges Duboeuf team; the other being Emeric Gaucher.

PHOTO: Winemaker Denis Lapaler taking wine from the tank, so we can taste a developing Beaujolais,. Denis’s job is overseeing all quality control, as well as making wine for Georges Duboeuf.

I was the guest of a 10-day, well organized, and intense educational journey into Beaujolais. It included visiting the parent company of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, as well as visiting other families growing wine grapes for the Georges Duboeuf family of wines.

The Georges Duboeuf family has it own estate wines, as well as being highly regarded, négociant merchants from Beaujolais. They’ve assembled the highest quality of committed, small family growers and winemakers, and have added them to their portfolio, each with specific designations. Their umbrella company includes Cru Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages, plus Beaujolais, and Beaujolais Nouveau (which Georges Duboeuf popularized the tradition in Beaujolais of making a very young wine, with which to celebrate the harvest.  As they call it — “the first wine of the harvest.”)

Some members on their team just grow grapes, while some grow and make the wine to be delivered, and still more have chateau designated wines. Every configuration has it’s own procedure with rules and regulations. And, a lot of really great wine is made, following their guidelines. For a consumer, this makes for some very tasty and consistently delightful and distinctive wines. Tasting their samples, and quoting what I heard a five year old say on the return flight, as we were leaving Paris)… Ooooo la la!

So yes, I’m happy to say that if any of the George Duboeuf bottles of wine were placed in front of me, I trust that they’re a delicious representation of the Beaujolais region, of France, based on the family’s longstanding history in Beaujolais, their quality control practices, and all else that I’ve tasted and learned.

PHOTO of Georges Duboeuf signing his autobiography for me: Left to right, sitting, Georges Duboeuf and me (star struck). Standing, Franck Duboeuf and his son Aurélien Duboeuf… Three generations met us… An important moment in history for the Duboeuf family.

These thousand or so words don’t even begin to express what I’ve just learned in Beaujolais, as a guest of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. There will be many more profiles of the brands, who are growing the wine grapes and are part of the Georges Duboeuf Family. Stay tuned for more Beaujolais profiles of the lovely French families, we met along the way… living and loving in the Beaujolais region of France… the wining, dining, and experiencing the good life in rural France.

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Bubbly,Bubbly Wine,Italy,Prosecco,Wine

Wine of the Week – Stella Prosecco for the Joy of It

PREFACE:

  1. THE HEART OF THE DEAL ~ THE WINERY: info is coming from the company’s own statements
    1. I can’t make up their history
    2. Nor am I to try
  2. THE SCIENCE OF THE DEAL ~ WINEMAKING
  3. THE SOUL OF THE DEAL ~ SAMPLE
    1. Imported by LLS (Leonardo LoCascio Selections), a member of The Winebow Group)
    2. Creative Palate

Stella Prosecco

THE HEART OF THE DEAL:

Following a recent makeover, and just in time for spring and summer, Leonardo LoCascio Selections (LLS) is pleased to introduce Stella Prosecco, a new addition to its Stella collection of Italian wines. Stella Wines offer an inviting taste of Italy, where Prosecco is affectionately known as “The Welcome Wine.” Italians love their bollicine (bubbles); a glass of lightly sparkling Prosecco is a favorite way to welcome visiting family and friends. Spring debuts on March 21 (the vernal equinox), transitioning to summer on June 21 (summer solstice). From Easter, to Mother’s Day, to the Memorial Day holiday weekend, bridal season and beyond, there’s no shortage of excuses to pop a cork and celebrate with a glass of Prosecco in the months to come! Stella Prosecco is a lightly sparkling wine, made in the Veneto region from 100 percent Glera grapes, Stella Prosecco is fresh, fun and easy to enjoy.

THE SCIENCE OF THE DEAL:

The Glera grapes are harvested in the Veneto region of Northeast Italy, surrounded by the Dolomites and the Adriatic Coast. Mountain and sea influences converge to produce a wine that is smooth and refined on the palate, with effervescent notes of green apple and pear. Stella Prosecco is made from fruit grown in a vineyard planted in 1986. No “Johnny-come-lately” here, but a vineyard with longer roots, managed by a vineyard team with the experience to produce the best results. At the winery, the team does not rush the process: the fruit remains on the lees a total of 30 days (10 days for the first fermentation, 20 days for the second) for enhanced flavor and body. The final sparkling wine comes in at a relatively moderate 11 percent alcohol – ideal for parties and summer entertaining.

THE SOUL OF THE DEAL:

Light, lively, and fun. Once you’re in any old town of Italy, be prepared to see one of these Vespa scooters, weaving in and out on the cobblestones, avoiding (sometimes, just nearly missing) pedestrians…  The soul of this wine is simply that, too. Light, lively, and fun, weaving flavors in and out as you’re enjoying the bubbles!

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Contest,Wine,Wine Blogger,Wine Writer,Wine-Blog

Why do I feel like I’m prostituting myself?

Once upon a time, I was an artist.  Making very intricate jewelry. When it came time to sell it, I fell short of being able to say, “Isn’t that just beautiful! It would look so GREAT on you.”

I just couldn’t do it. “Buy it or not, it’s your decision; it will find a home.”

That’s also when I realized I could easily cheerlead for others (PR is my calling), but not for any of my own work… How can one judge one’s own work and then really brag about it, unless there’s that bit of narcissism in one’s DNA? (Maybe I have a smidge?)

So, I think this is the fourth email I’ve received from Lisa, and just ignored them, until right now for the above reason ~ How would I do that?

It took a while to find some sense in it; and, then I found an easy way. Some people do like wine blogs and will vote for them. Readers might like to know about their friends on this very formidable list, each of the blogs are fascinating reading, after reviewing them. So more blog options for you, Dear Reader, related to wine).

THE INVITE PITCH

Hi,

We recently sent you an email detailing your nomination for Best Wine Blogs Award 2019.

We remain interested in having you as one of our nominees. As such, we would like to confirm if you are still interested in being a participant.

The prize pool worth €300 [$336.77 United States Dollars] will be given away to those who receive the highest amounts of votes on a percentage basis.

Every vote will be counted to ensure that the participants will receive the prize money that they have earned.

Deadline for voting is at 12:00 PM on 3rd of Oct. 2019.

Your participation simply involves you helping to spread awareness of the award by mentioning it in your blog in any way you see fit.

For your choice of banner, you can visit: https://tab.do/fr-ci/banners/banners-for-best-wine-blogs-award-2019

To confirm your participation, please respond via this email. In the event that you are unable to participate this time, we would like to extend you an invitation to join future awards.

Thank you for your time.

https://bondereduction.ci/

KIND WORDS ABOUT WINE-BLOG

Wine Blog

One of the best wine blogs out there, wine-blog.org is worth checking out thanks to the comprehensive and exceptional contents available in it. You’re going to benefit most from contents like “Are wines really seasonal or reasonable, while an equator separates all of it,” “Misleading Move to Monetize Historic Legacy in the Famed Napa Valley?,” “He Asked, What Do You Think… Will CBD Be cutting Into Wine Sales?,” and “Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Nouveau Label Design Now Goes Public.” You check the site out for more of such contents.

 

GLOBAL VOTING OPTIONS

This list of talented wine writers is seriously amazing, and you may want to become familiar with their work, too.

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Petite Sirah,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Business,Wine Culture,Wine Ed,Wine Education

When Dark & Delicious Returns as the Petite Masters at Copia

Who: PS I Love You

What: Masters of Petite: Petite Sirah Panel, Tasting, & Walk-Around Reception

When: Sunday, July 14, on Bastille Day, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Copia, Napa Valley

Why: Celebrating our French Love Child Petite Sirah’s Heritage

While the carefree days of Dark & Delicious are now but a drifting memory, there’s been a U-Turn, a reinvent, a realization… Petite Sirah is just a really great variety, loved by its own cult following. And we love to party, hear stories, and learn more about our adopted love child from Montpelier France.

This is July, a time of our own American birth, via Fourth of July Celebrations… And for some of us, Like Petite Sirah, we also enjoy any French grandparent DNA we might have.  On July 14, the French will be celebrating their National Day for the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille. On 14 July 1789, this was the turning point of the French Revolution. With Petite Sirah’s French lineage, it’s just a great way to celebrate, especially those with French grandparents and anyone else who might also love Petite Sirah, for its sumptuously beautiful flavors.

On July 14, While France celebrates Bastille Day, we’re so pleased to also celebrate in grand tradition, with our immigrant child… Petite Sirah.

PART I – Seminar & Select Tastings
We’re focused on Petite Sirah education. Attend the seminar, with other devoted Petite fans, to learn about and taste five distinct, Dark & Delicious styles. Each winery has its own story, and each Petite will reflect its own terroir.

  1. Winemaker Tres Goetting of Robert Biale Vineyards
  2. Winemaker Nicole Salengo of Berryessa Gap
  3. Winemaker Randle Johnson of The Hess Collection and Artezin Wines
  4. Owner/Winemaker Julie Johnson of Tres Sabores Winery
  5. Owner/Winemaker Miro Tcholakov of Miro Cellars

PART II – Walk Around Tastings

The walk around tasting has 20 vintners/winemaking stars. The wines will be paired with gourmet bites from CIA chefs.

Participating Wineries:

At PS I Love You, we’re all looking forward to continuing the wine education for this American Heritage variety. According to American’s venerable wine historian Charles Sullivan:

1880 – Dr. Francois Durif, a grape botanist and grape breeder at the University of Montpellier in Southern France, released a new variety that he named after himself. It grew from a seed he extracted from fruit of the old French variety Peloursin. Dr. Durif didn’t know the pollen source at the time, but we now know that it was Syrah. The combination of Peloursin and Syrah resulted in fruit with saturated color and very dense fruit clusters.

1884 – Durif was introduced into California by Charles McIver. He imported Petite Sirah for his Linda Vista Vineyard, at the Mission San Jose in Alameda County. Petite Sirah entered the US through the East Bay. Some growers called it Petite Sirah, which was a name commonly used for Durif in some parts of France.

 

 

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Argentina,Art in Wine,Sauvignon Blanc,Wine,Wine of the Week,Wine Samples,Wine tasting,Winemaking,Winery,Wines,Women in Wine

Finding “The House at Rueil” in Wine, can it be done?

Connecting Art to Wine, Before Even Tasting the Wine

 

I’ve wine samples to taste; a lot of samples to taste. Life just backs up the volume, as I work on balancing every to-do. At my present age, my grandmother… and then my mother… were taking long naps during the day. I’m not sure what’s happened in this day and age, but naps aren’t even a luxury. They don’t exist. So, I’m navigating new territory of how to live well, when my elders used to check out for a good part of the day, and didn’t even seem to check back in for the rest of it…

Seeing this house, while searching for something else… The House at Rueil, by Edouard Manet… made me want to go through the wine collection; and, not be thinking about what arrived first, so then (and only then) I will find the art to match it. I’m going to flip the switch. I’m going into new territory, so the joie de vivre takes on new meaning.

I’ve been blogging since 2002. I’ve written over 3,000 stories. By this time, I need new inspiration… I think I may have found a new trigger, at least for this moment.

First of All

Credit for this painting’s current whereabouts:

The color and warmth of this house is what first attracted me. I needed to find a sample that would be as evocative:

  • image ~ label design needs at least some of these colors
  • memory ~ my parents painting my grandmother’s Victorian a soft yellow, before they moved in (and then took naps)
  • feelings ~ enticingly light, breezy, and lovely

But, will a wine hold up to all of that as a first thought, rather than being the afterthought? Let’s see how this one evolved.

Off to Search Through the Wine Collection

IMAGE: Started with the cream color, so red and white both worked.

MEMORY: Next came the bit of Burgundy. Narrowing it even more.

FEELINGS: Sweating in the summer sun, while tasting lemonade, made by my grandmother…

When all was considered and the wines had been pulled for not having exactly the right “it,” I did succeed in finding a match. (I do know all of the wines I pulled have “it,” with another piece of art work, though, yet to be determined.)

Chosen strictly as a process of elimination in the realm of the wine label matching a painting, I’m very pleased with the final selection of a Domaine Bousquet. The culture of the painting and the winery of Domaine Bousquet both have a French lineage. My Bernier/Ouellette grandparents home had many French touches as well. I can connect so many dots. Perhaps my French DNA played a role?

So, where is The House at Rueil actually located?

From ArtsandCulture.google.com

Edouard Manet’s fascination with the effects of light and colour was constantly renewed as he took in the myriad impressions of the infinitely varied world around him. His portrayal of the house just outside Paris belonging to his host, the poet Eugène Labiche, was in no way intended as a faithful view. Instead he restricted himself to a section of the facade, like a detail, much in the style of Japanese woodcuts. It is not possible to take in the house as a whole, both because of the limited view and because of the tree trunk that calculatedly cuts through the aedicule and thus through the functional and aesthetic center of the house, heightening the viewer’s attention and fascination. While the facade is bathed in blazing sunlight, one can nevertheless sense the cooling shade cast by the crown of the tree up above the top edge of the picture. One also senses that there is a slight breeze causing the patches of light to gently shift their position. “A blithe spirit has created this picture with consummate skill” (Hugo von Tschudi) — skill that is evident in the finely balanced play of colours, the powerful contrasts of red and green, and the restrained resonance of tones of yellow and blue.

The blue of the house isn’t represented anywhere here, and just as an FYI – Blue is perhaps one of the few colors used on a label, so the violet takes care of having one of the final shades in the color spectrum, and what I finalized as the winner of this experiment. Still, I wanted to know… WHERE was this  house?

Finding this actual location was like looking for a needle in a haystack, but I persisted. While the house belonged to poet Eugène Labiche, it looks like Manet was there to recover from maladies, where he painted the gardens around the house.

From: La SOCIÉTÉ HISTORIQUE DE RUEIL-MALMAISON

Manet and his wife Suzanne, were spending a period in this small village, just west of Paris.

Unlike Giverny, where the garden was the artist’s creation, the Manets were renting… [Eugène Labiche‘s] house in the hope of improving Edouard Manet’s health.

It doesn’t seem to have been a particularly congenial location for Manet, although he produced a number of paintings of the house and garden and of his wife.

The village was small and quiet, consisting of a number of different squares. There was little company for the sociable Manet although his sojourn at 18, Rue de Chateau was meant to provide him with rest.

You wouldn’t sense from the painting, that Rue de Chateau was a narrow cobbled lane, with no chateau to be seen, and that the house had a small garden.

~ The Wine I Ultimately Found ~

2019 DOMAINE BOUSQUET SAUVIGNON BLANC

  • French family, French wine – check!
  • Variety from France’s Bordeaux – check!
  • The flavor as welcoming as what I wanted to replicate with this simply delicious view – check!

DOMAINE BOUSQUET is a favorite wine brand for me. I got to meet Anne Bousquet – Al Ameri, who’s a brilliant young woman, a second generation member of this hard working Bousquet family. When she came to California, we had a delicious lunch and time together at Barn Diva in Healdsburg. Her wines matched our menu selections perfectly. The quality of the wines are fabulous, the price is a true value… If the price were to rise, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash, and would happily pay the price, because it would STILL be a great bargain.

Domaine Bousquet

MY METHOD

  1. HEART ~ WINERY ~ From the winery

    • In the early 1990’s, Anne’s father Jean Bousquet visited Tupungato, Argentina. Four generations of winemaker history, Jean arrived from Carcassonne, located in southern France. He was searching for exceptional terroir, in order to start a new winery. By 1997, a parcel of land was purchased and the family relocated from France to the foothills of the Andes, when Jean had sold his southern France vineyard and winery property. The land he purchased in Tupungato, was completely developed, with no wineries anywhere to be seen. This is land in the Uco Valley. [For perspective, Tupungato is an hour south of Mendoza City.]
  2. SCIENCE ~ WINEMAKING ~ From the winery
    • Domaine Bousquet’s premium varietal series comprises a blend of estate and purchased fruit from the Uco Valley. The grapes benefit from major diurnal temperature swings, achieving exuberant ripeness while retaining the juiciness that invites a second glass. The wines are vinified with a French sensibility. The wines are un-oaked – an on-trend sensibility of little or no oak to let the fruit shine through and make the wines extremely food-friendly. This wine is100% Sauvignon Blanc, cold macerated to extract aromas and flavors, and is fermented in stainless steel tanks.
  3. SOUL ~ Jo’s notes
    • The pure pleasure of this 2019 Domaine Bousquet Sauvignon Blanc, from Mendoza Argentina, tasted on a 90 degree day just as summer arrived, was so refreshingly delightful. Not only did I satisfying my adventure of finding the right wine to match a piece of artwork (versus the other way around), but the Domaine Bousquet Sauvignon Blanc also quenched my thirst on a hot summer’s day. This Sauvignon Blanc is in perfect balance and harmony, as is this Edouard Manet painting, which delivered its statement of well-balanced, visual art.
    • Domaine Bousquet’s wines are liquid art, and so very easy to enjoy.

Trying any of the Domaine Bousquet wines is liquid art realized. This 2019 Domaine Bousquet Sauvignon Blanc over delivered, per usual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Argentina,Malbec,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Business,Wine Culture,Wine Ed,Wine Education,Wine of the Week,Wine Sales,Wine Samples

Are wines really seasonal or reasonable, while an equator separates all of it

We read titles like, “Spring into Summer with Great White Wines.” We do eat differently in differing seasons, but do our wine choices really vary, very much?

When it’s time to think about wine choices, I don’t know about you but I think “food,” and then I think “wine,” and vice versa – wine and food. I really don’t think, “We’re headed into summer, so here come all the whites for sipping and reds for barbecues that I need to load into the house.”

Really, if it’s in the dead of winter and I think, “I want a white wine,” I go for it. In the summer, if I think “Sangiovese,” I’m going for that, too.

Why newly released wines happen the way they do

In the spring months, a winery’s white wine is fully fermented, and so it’s being bottled. One reason this happens is to get access to that storage, be it stainless steel fermenting tanks or oak barrels. This gets the white wine moving along in its production cycle. Why? Because the season is about to deliver new white grapes, and they’ll need the units for fermentation and then storage. Once that cycle has been completed, red wines follow the same path.

While it makes sense to come up with “catchy names” to get some wine writer’s attention, the reality is that consumers think “wine and food” or “food and wine.” They never think, “The season is spring, so it must be time for a Sauvignon Blanc,” even though that’s a title’s message.

 

All wines have a reason, more than a season

To that end, we’re headed into summer, but I’m still going to share a consistent, simply delicious, and beautifully affordable red, versus the expected white or rose right now. Can you enjoy this with barbecued foods? Of course! But, so can you also enjoy it, regardless of mood you’re having… rain or shine, spring, summer, fall or winter. It’s simply enjoyable; that’s what you need to know, above all else. Grilled chicken and Malbec? Mais oui!

Seasonal twists; flipping the seasons via the equator

Whatever we’re doing in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere is six months ahead of us, seasonally speaking. For instance, our grapes are growing right now in June, north of the equator, and our winemakers are headed toward bottling 2018 white wines. South of the equator, it’s about to become their winter. Leaves have fallen from the vines, and the vineyards are going into dormancy. The wine cellars are finishing off their fermentations. When choosing wines and their vintage dates, wines from south of the equator have already been on the market for six months ahead of their northern hemisphere neighbors.

So, let’s cross the equator into South America, for a classic example of a red wine I’d enjoy regardless of the season; perhaps for the food or no apparent reason, this is an excellent example of a wine perfectly fitted and adapted to its terroir, to give us a classic example of a wine that proves itself worthy of your attention.

Let’s review Mendoza, Argentina, via, “The Terroir of Mendoza ~ High Altitude, High Desert and Watchful Vineyard Management,” by Pedro Marchevsky.

“Perhaps the single most important characteristic of the Mendoza terroir is its location in the high altitude Andean foothills. The premiere winegrowing areas average between 3,000 and 5,000 feet above sea level. As altitude increases, the average temperature decreases, in general 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Farenheit) for every 100 meter (328 feet) increase in elevation. Winegrowers can literally climb up and down the mountain side in order to find the ideal temperature and microclimate for each varietal. It is even possible to match desired wine styles of a single variety with different altitudes and their respective microclimates.

“As is typical with mountain climates, Mendoza enjoys a wide temperature difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows. This wide thermal amplitude between bright sunny days and cool crisp nights allows for gradual ripening of the fruit. This factor combines with the typically mild harvest season to allow for prolonged cluster hang-time. The resulting fruit is well balanced with fully ripe, soft and almost sweet tannins.”

Whatever our wine regions are experiencing north of the equator or south of the equator, in weather speak, south of the equator is now six months ahead of the northern hemisphere… (Plan vacations accordingly, too.)

[Purchased image of a Mendoza Argentina vineyard. Copyright: Alexandr Vlassyuk]

Wine-Blog’s Perfect Example Of Malbec ~ Trivento Reserve

PREFACE:

  1. HEART ~ THE WINERY: info is coming from the company’s own statements
    1. I can’t make up their history
    2. Nor am I to try
  2. SCIENCE ~ WINEMAKING
  3. SOUL ~ Juicy Tales’ Take

2017 Trivento Reserve Mendoza Argentina

Trivento ~ “three winds” | tri – three ~ vento – wind

 

Adding to the above mention of Mendoza’s Winegrape growing region: Terroir is a very complex subject, just as humanity has proven to be. To have three distinct winds affecting grapes in any given region, like they do in Trivento’s Mendoza vineyards, each wine with its distinct influence, makes Mendoza, Argentina’s terroir even more complex… definitely more complex than any average region’s climate. Just image having three partners that come at you, one after the other, each with its own job to do. One’s enough for most people, for good reason. Although, the winds of change these days may be turning what used to have some sense of normalcy, Argentina’s terroir still remains very unique.

HEART ~ Trivento Winery

“Malbec fell in love with the South” ~ Vineyards Mendoza, Argentina. The grapes are primarily sourced from the Luján de Cuyo and surrounding areas. Alluvial soil.

When in the mid-1990s Concha y Toro, Chile’s leading wine producer, announced its successful purchase a collection of vineyards (now accounting for 3,185 acres) in the Mendoza region of neighboring Argentina, there was little doubt on either side of the Andes that change was in the air. Wind is the agent of change, so it was only fitting that the new venture was named “Trivento” (Three Winds), a whimsical reference to three winds that sweep through Mendoza and are such a distinguishing feature of the region’s climate and environment.

WINEMAKING ~ Trivento Winery

The wine is harvested in April by hand, aged in French oak barriques for 6-months, and then aged for an additional 5-months in bottle prior to release. The blend is Malbec 70 percent, Bonarda 20 percent, Syrah 10 percent. BACK LABEL: In Argentina’s Andean foothills, Malbec danced upon a generous terroir where it could attain its tremendous potential. Adding Bonarda and Syrah, it also expresses a distinct character in these lands.

Trivento’s principal vineyards are located in the Uco Valley, Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, San Martin and Rivadavia districts of Mendoza – a wine region that exemplifies the advantages of high-altitude viticulture. Here, significant differences between day and night temperatures help minimize the risk of pests and disease. Vineyards that receive barely 8 inches of rainfall a year are irrigated with natural snow melt from the Andes. Not least, vineyards can count on the beneficial effects of the three seasonal winds for which the Trivento winery is named. The icy Polar wind in winter forces sap deep within the vines. It is succeeded by the Zonda, which races in from the Andes, its warmth rousing dormant sap to generate new spring growth. In the summer months a third wind, the Sudestada, provides a welcome respite from the searing sun and helps to temper ripening.

SOUL ~ Juicy Tales

When you taste this wine, keep their winds of change in mind… This is truly one of my favorite Malbecs, in all of the world. Trivento does a great job with it; each time I taste it, it’s with really fine pleasure, like a sunny day with nothing to do but relax and sip it all in… Maybe some of that grilled chicken to enjoy with it, too.

SAMPLE: Imported by Excelsior Wine

 

4

Law,Napa,Public Relations,Wine,Winery

Misleading Move to Monetize Historic Legacy in the Famed Napa Valley?

Perhaps a bit late to the party, but an issue that’s still near and dear to my heart, having worked and walked in Mondavi’s To-Kalon Vineyard. During that time, I was aware that we, at Robert Mondavi, were sharing that vineyard land with other wine companies, too, under contracts.

When I heard that Constellation brands (owner of Mondavi) launched To Kalon Vineyard Company, I thought, really? While working at Robert Mondavi Winery, now also owned by Constellation, three of our prized wines were their Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and the Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as having the vineyards for our exclusive source of our Fumé Blanc Reserve.

What was this Email I just got, stating: Misleading Move to Monetize Historic Legacy in the Famed Napa Valley?

It has to do with Constellation launching To Kalon Vineyard Company as its new wine company. But, it appears to not be having a seamless go of it.

I received this “other side” of the coin, from one of those contracting brands, with To Kalon on the label. It’s got more historical perspective for us all.

PRESS RELEASE from The Vineyard House

Misleading Move to Monetize Historic Legacy in the Famed Napa Valley

In a misleading and disingenuous move to monetize one of the most iconic and historic legacies in the famed Napa Valley, corporate giant Constellation brands recently announced the launch of To Kalon Vineyard Company. The true legacy of H.W. Crabb and the famed To-Kalon property that he planted over 150 years ago is not solely owned by beverage giant Constellation Brands – but is shared by many in Napa Valley.

“The legacy of H.W. Crabb and the iconic To-Kalon property represent a specific place within Napa Valley and a unique history that is well documented and not owned exclusively by Constellation Brands. It is a true misrepresentation of that famed legacy and that unique history for one corporation to use them as a marketing tool,” stated Jeremy Nickel, The Vineyard House.

H.W. Crabb’s To-Kalon property began with an initial purchase of 240 acres in 1868 and expanded with the acquisition of 119 acres in 1879 and 168 acres in 1889. At To-Kalon, Crabb helped establish Napa Valley as a premier wine region through his experimentation with varietals, production of high quality wine, and vine cutting sales. As a pioneering viticulturist and winemaker, he was respected for his technical expertise and shared his extensive knowledge through lectures and articles. At the time of Crabb’s death in 1899, the 527-acre To-Kalon property was regarded as one of the most significant vineyards in Napa Valley.

“Preserving and protecting the unique heritage and history that help to make Napa Valley such a special place has been a lifelong passion that was instilled in me by my father. He taught me the importance of place and history and the need to preserve that history for future generations so that they can better understand the pioneers like H.W. Crabb who helped to forge the early history of the Napa Valley that we all love so much,” stated Nickel.

For more information contact: The Vintage House: cory@publicpolicyinc.com

SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

First of all, the press release is intended to get our attention (according to the Public Policy site): “bring the full force of our considerable strategic communications experience and proven relationships with community opinion leaders, the media and multi-levels of government.” It did get my attention.

So, where does it go from here? Does it become political? Does the public own history, or does the owner of the property own the history?

Would it have to become a historical site, to settle the issue?

Yet, Constellation is Constellation and they have a new, high end brand. By creating it, Jeremy Nickel might not have to work as hard at marketing the name connecting his own brand’s access to rows of the famed To Kalon Vineyard. But, he does have to make some more noise, so he’s not lost in the shuffle?

Constellation had an epiphany: Create a new brands and call it the To Kalon Vineyard Company. If the name’s not already copy [stories that have been] written, what can anyone do, but (perhaps) try to fight it? Copy written text [stories written about a subject, not going through the process of establishing a copyright] might win over all else, if it’s not already on the record, though; especially since Constellation now owns the land.

[I have clarified in brackets above, since I didn’t clarify which process I was referencing.]

Public Policy did get my attention. Jeremy Nichols did gain my empathy.

Someone comes up with a new winery name, gets there first, and the rest is history.

Something to ponder: It may also be at the crux of Jeremy’s concern; what if Constellation grows so big with their wine that no company, beyond Constellation, will have renewed contracts for the extra fruit being grown in this vineyard?

  • If you have a contract, may you hold onto it and keep being so special, if Constellation lets you.
  • If you lose the contract, you may have to find another piece of history and attach your historical, lucky star to that.

The one constant in life is change, and so we mostly have to go with the flow. To-Kalon Vineyard’s history is still being written, even as I publish this, stating the obvious. We shall see if there’s any public outcry.

0

CBD,Wine,Wine Business

He Asked, What Do You Think… Will CBD Be cutting Into Wine Sales?

I had just received an Email from the CBD Awareness project, as they’re scouring for CBD advocates. I’ve had an earlier thought about this issue on my blog. I’m on record.

Then, I found myself in a discussion with a legendary winery owner, and decided to share what I think. This vintner was truly frightened, BTW, and I felt for him. Could his livelihood actually be at stake… I wasn’t concerned, and answered yes and no.

Here’s Why

The wine industry is now living in the land of Do We Have a New Competitor? Guys, there will always be new competitors. That’s called evolution. It’s like, Will there be weather today?

In my humble opinion, I think it’s a “yes” and a “no” answer. I come from the flower power generation. We experimented… And we not only enjoyed dropping out, but we also still had an appreciation for wine. We were stoned, resourceful people, who made candle holders out of the wine bottles, seashell mobiles, extravagant bead work, pottery, etc… We had to live underground with our behavior, while it taught us a lot about this herb.

NO SIDE

So, it’s a no side, when people are solely looking for CBD from hemp as a medicinal, there’s nothing for the wine industry to worry about. They’re not looking to get high; they’re looking to stabilize their health, with a natural plant that Mother Nature’s provided, since the beginning of time.

Another “no” side is this… If you have any malady at all, and are fed up with pharmaceutical greed,  you’re possibly considering CBD oil – from HEMP, with no THC involved. So, no; not a biggie, either, for the wine industry.

We also know that pharmaceuticals are now looking beyond their synthetics research. They’re the one concerned. They, too, can share the in the profits, but will their greed be too far gone? Yet to be decided.

YES SIDE

On the “yes” side, some might decide to just return to marijuana, and leave wine behind… I believe that number will still be so much fewer than what any of the wine companies are concerned about. Advice? Just readjust your quality, if you’re a commodity wine company. You’ve got the resources to do that. But, don’t push up the price; just be better and tell your shareholders, it’s the right thing to do. You’ve humanly got enough money for all.

QUESTION & EDUCATION

So, I was asked if I’d entertain a Brief Introduction to CBD Oil. I responded yes, since the wine industry is beside itself, whispering every which way, is the legalization of marijuana going to cut into our sales. As I just wrote, Yes and No. Perhaps a little competition might bring some wine back a bit to be more terroir driven, versus commodity manufacturing. Who knows?

Below is what was presented to me, and I found an independent link to verify each statement.

EMAIL:

I hope your week is going well! My name is Mary and I work with the CBD Awareness Project, a newly launched organization dedicated to bringing accurate information about hemp-derived products to the general public.

It Begins with an Information Problem

CBD oil is being touted as the next best thing in medicine, but there’s one big problem. There is a ton of information out there and not all of it useful or easy to understand. If you are interested in potentially trying CBD oil, here’s a primer on what it is, what it does, and how to use it safely.

What is in CBD Oil?
There are two cannabinoids that are common in CBD products – CBD and THC. Both cannabinoids have different effects and those effects can change when they interact with each other. They work with the endocannabinoid receptors in your body to help bring your body’s systems back to homeostasis.

What is CBD?
CBD is the common name for cannabidiol. It is usually derived from hemp, Marijuana’s less fun cousin. It usually works as a mild sedative, which helps it to relieve pain, symptoms of anxiety and lower blood pressure. It can also help to dull some of the psychoactive effects of THC.

What is THC?
THC is the common name for tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the cannabinoid that creates the psychotropic high that you expect to get from smoking weed. If you have enough of it, it can lead to increased appetite and red eyes like marijuana.

How can I take CBD Oil?
It can be taken in many different forms. You can ingest it through oils, drinks, vaping or foods. You can also use it as a massage oil for topical use. Each form has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll need to try different ones to figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Is CBD Oil Legal?
For the most part, CBD oil is legal. However, if the product you choose includes THC, you may run into some issues if you travel. To be sure that you and your CBD product are street legal wherever you travel, check to make sure that recreational marijuana is legal wherever you are going.

More to Think About

If you’re getting on an airplane, make sure your liquid oil stays under 3 ounces as well, to ensure you don’t run into any issues with the TSA.

What are Some Benefits of CBD?

CBD products can help to reduce anxiety, lower the amount of pain that you feel, lower your blood pressure and even help you sleep at night.

Everybody reacts differently to CBD like any other medication and needs different dosages.

You’ll need to start at a low dose, and work your way up to figure out how much you need over time.

What are Some Drawbacks of CBD?

There hasn’t been a lot of long term research on how CBD and THC will affect people who take them, so we don’t know a whole lot.

However, If your product has THC in it, taking large dosages for a long period of time can lead to neurological issues in the long term. It can also cause issues with your kidneys, because that is where your body metabolizes these cannabinoids.

Make sure to talk to your doctor before adding CBD products to your regimen to keep yourself safe while you take it.

0

Art in Wine,Beaujolais,Contest,France,Willamette Valley,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Business,Wine Importer

Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Nouveau Label Design Now Goes Public

This one reminds me of Willamette Valley’s Oak Knoll Winery. Being the exclusive partner of Portland’s popular Rose Parade, as regards wine, Oak Knoll Winery conducts an annual, label design contest. The inspiration, actualization, anticipation, and gratification for everyone in the process takes on a life of its own, until announced. It’s a lot simpler to just hire a few people in the design process. Any wine company, having the good business sense to engage its audience, like this, demonstrates great business acumen. The closer a company draws in its audience, the more ambassadors it’s created. It’s they, who ultimately, sell wine to their friends.

SO THE JUXTAPOSED ART

The picture I’ve taken [above] shows the “old” guard… The ties of the Duboeufs, with the emerging new connections… It feels like the left side of the picture tells the story of history and local culture… Then, in the center, there’s a split from the past, which segues into what’s new and even more exciting. Fresh, bright, and alluring, having a Georges de Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Nouveau is like having friends arrive for one day (the first few sips); and the excitement easily grows into a much longer finish than anticipated, with the great visit.

[FROM PRESS RELEASE]

HISTORY OF THE (GAMAY) WINE

The tradition of Nouveau began when the winemakers and growers of the Beaujolais region celebrated the end of harvest with a young wine that was initially only produced for local consumption. Georges Duboeuf was the first to bring that quaint local custom to wine-lovers outside of the region, creating a worldwide phenomenon. Bottled six-to-eight weeks after harvest, Beaujolais Nouveau is fresh, fruity and vibrant. It is often considered to be an indicator of the quality of the vintage and it is best served with a light chill. The wine’s annual release the week before Thanksgiving has made Beaujolais Nouveau a harbinger of the holiday season in the U.S. for more than 35 years.

HISTORY OF LES VINS GEORGES DuBOEUF

Georges Duboeuf is a premium producer of award-winning French wines from the Beaujolais and Mâconnais regions of Burgundy and the South of France. His legendary palate, his ability to spot great wine and his enthusiasm made him a celebrated figure in the wine industry. The company that he founded, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, brings to market wines renowned for their quality and value. They work closely with hundreds of small family wine growers to procure the highest quality fruit throughout the region, as well as export many small Chateau and Estate-produced wines that would otherwise not be able to brings their wines to the US. Georges’ son, CEO Franck Duboeuf, has taken on the tradition of leading the family winery and company, helping to navigate Les Vins Georges Duboeuf through the world’s wine markets as they continue to thrive in the 21st Century. Les Vins Georges Duboeuf is imported by Quintessential Wines, based in Napa, California.

Dallas Artist Laura Runge Wins 2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Artist Label Competition

THE ANNUAL COMPETITION AND ARTIST ~ LAURA RUNGE

Dallas Artist Laura Runge just won the 2019 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Artist Label Competition. The yearly competition to find the best original art for the U.S. label of Georges Duboeuf’s world-famous Beaujolais Nouveau has ended with the highest levels of social media engagement to date, and an impressive number of submissions by talented artists from around the country. Over 600 pieces were entered, with native Texan Laura Runge’s Joyous Crush taking the top prize. Included is a cash grant and the honor of having her work debut on the label of over one million bottles of Duboeuf’s 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé, when the wines are released on the third Thursday of November (November 21, 2019).

We have a sneak peak…