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Theresa has been in the wine industry since 1978 in sales, importing, distribution and retail. Food and wine magazine had an article on her and Horseneck Wines in 1999; Theresa was the cellarmaster for the Chene de Rotisseurs for a number of years in New York City and also blogs for Moffley Media; Off the vine

Saturday, May 14, 2011

T'is the Season for Rose Wines to be Enjoyed


As the flowers start to bloom and the sun starts to have a warmth shine we all get Spring fever and open up our patios, terraces, and pools. It is time to listen to the birds chirping in the morning and to discover not only the new tree buds but to also discover “What is new and refreshing to imbibe with”.

This is the time of year when all of the new Rose wines are being released from many different wine regions from around the world. We used to see a small smattering from the Cotes de Provence region in France. We now are seeing Rose wines from, just to name a few areas, Spain, Argentina, Greece, Bordeaux, California and we can’t leave out Long Island.

These wines are best being consumed as fresh as possible. That is one reason that if you have had the experience of buying a certain Rose and really enjoying it, you go back to your local store or restaurant and it is not available anymore. How come?? Since there are so many new categories out there the distributors and retailers are always still guessing as to how many cases will be sold in the new vintage that arrives on a particular wine. Since they have many choices they have to make sure that only so many cases of each item are delivered into their warehouse so when the fall comes and we turn more to the heftier reds they will have been able to sell through the current vintage and await their next vintage which will be released anywhere between April – June of the following year.

The process for producing the “Rose” color is by leaving the crushed black-skinned grapes to remain in contact with the juice for a short period of time as is explained below.

Rose wine is made in a range of colors, from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes, additives and wine making techniques.

The first is used when rosé wine is the primary product. Black-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically one to three days.[1] The must is then pressed, and the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The skins contain much of the astringent tannin and other compounds, thereby leaving the structure more similar to a white wine.[2] The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color of the final wine.

The Tuscany area of Italy produces a delicious Rose from a winery, Castello di Ama which is one of my favorite Italian Rosato’s. $20. Per bottle

Sangioves Grape Clusters

Some wine lovers might think it absurd to utilize the best sangiovese grapes to make a rosé of Castello di Ama. But that source has been, right from the beginning, the secret of the utter pleasure this wine brings. A crisp wine with rich nuances of tropical fruit, displaying the elegance that is born in superbly-exposed hillside vineyards, our Rosato conjures up the fragrances of a spring day in Ama.

Vineyard profile

The terroir that yields Castello di Ama’s Rosé is the same that yields its Chianti Classico. The wine, 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, gains its considerable body from bleeding-off (saignée) lots that will produce Chianti Classico; for this reason, the resulting wine is closer to a young red wine than to a white. Excellent structure and good holding potential over time are its principal qualities. But its fresh approachability, a hallmark of wines from fully ripe sangiovese, and the lushness of its fragrances combine to ensure that our rosato can be appreciated right from its first months in the bottle.

Another very well known Rose is the Bandol wine region with Provence.

The Bandol wine region, located near the coast east of Marseille and Cassis, is one of Provence’s most internationally recognized wine regions. Bandol’s vineyards are some of the oldest in France. The Romans planted the first vines some 2,500 years ago. Mourvèdre is the king of Bandol — actually Bandol is the only French wine region that is dominated by the Mourvèdre grape.

For both the red and rosé wines, Mourvèdre must account for at least 50% of the blend, though most producers will use more, with Grenache & Cinsaut usually filling out the rest of the wine’s composition. Syrah and Carignan are restricted in Bandol to composing no more than 15% of the blend or 10% individually. Nearly 70% of the region’s production is red wine with rosé wine being around 27% and a small amount of white production; however, Bandol is probably best known for their rosé

One of the more well known Bandol Rose’s is from the Domaine Tempier $40. Small production with fabulous quality.

Argentina makes a delicious Rose from their famous grape, Malbec. The Malbec Rose’s are extremely flavorfull and will go with a number of foods such as Deviled Eggs, Crab Cakes, Chorizo (the refreshing cold Rose cuts right through the spiciness of the food).

The Rose category from Spain has also become very popular. This particular wine is a blend of Garnacha, Viura and a small amount of the Tempranillo grape.

Pretty much always a 90 point wine, the 2010 Muga rose is sure to delight any rose lover! A blend of Garnacha, Viura and a little Tempranillo, the 2010 Muga offers up complex aromas of pink grapefruit, strawberries, rhubarb and a gentle floral note. In the mouth it's racy and brisk with plenty of red berry fruit edged with citrus zest, white pepper, and a nice mineral streak. A great buy at $12.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An evening with the famouse Etienne de Montille from Burgundy




Domaine de Montille

Located in Volnay, just south of Beaune, this winery boasts some of the most prized red wine producing vineyards of the Côte de Beaune. From their holdings in Volnay and Pommard, Hubert and Etienne de Montille (father & son) craft some of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of Burgundy. In fact, their wines can be found on the lists of virtually every three star restraurant in France. In 1993 they acquired a little more than a hectare of the prestigious Puligny-Montrachet Le Cailleret vineyard. This prized vineyard is located adjacent to the famed Montrachet. In just a few short years, this wine has become one of the most sought after whites from the region. In 2003 there were more additions to the Volnays and Pommards. They were able to purchase over two hectares in the prime Beaune Premier Cru vineyards. 2004 will see yet another addition. This will be the domaine’s first Grand Cru vineyards. One hectare located in the famed Corton-Charlemagne vineyard was added this year. It is planted half in red and half in white.

The vinification at this estate is traditional with a large emphasis placed on punching down the cap during the peak of the fermentation. The stems are left in in percentages of 0-25% depending on the vintage, and the maceration is quite long (12-16 days). The percentage of new oak used never excedes 25%.

Stylistically, their wines tend to be different than those of the other well-known names of Volnay and Pommard. The emphasis here is on concentration and purity of fruit, firm structure, and above all, the ability to improve and become more complex with aging. In addition, their philosophy is that chaptalization should never raise the potential alcohol level above 12%. This approach to vinification came about by accident during the 1959 vintage, when Hubert miscalculated the amount of sugar needed for his cuvée of Volnay "Taillepieds." The resulting alcohol level reached only 11.5%, and to his great surprise, the 1959 Taillepieds ended up being more complex and having a greater purity of fruit than his other cuvées from the same vintage. The tasting of this wine 25 years later, proved that its lack of alcohol had in no way impeded its ability to age with grace into a fine old bottle of burgundy. Consequently, one will never experience the alcohol "burn," ever-present in modern young red burgundies, from the nose of these wines. Because of their moderate alcohol levels, the wines tend to be shy during their first couple of years in the bottle. It is after this time, that they flesh out and provide an abundance of the fascinating aromas and flavors which we seek in great red burgundy.

Hubert de Montille is a larger than life wine-maker who manages year after year in any weather to produce enchanting bottles of wine that rank with the very best in the world. In Burgundy, among his peers, he is considered to be one of the greatest in the region because from his Premier Cru vineyards in the Côte de Beaune, he succeeds in producing wines that match or surpass those of his colleagues up north in the Grand Cru vineyards of the Côte de Nuits.

Etienne took over from his father in the late 1990’s, and is now considered among the elite of Burgundy’s growers. In addition to managing his family estate, in 2001, he was given control of the prestigious Château de Puligny-Montrachet with the goal of turning it around to focus on quality. In just a couple of short years, this winery has become one of the top estates in the Côte de Beaune



9 7 Maison Deux Montille Soeur et Frere Pouilly-Fuisse En Vergisson 2008 12 750 $ 369.00 More on order

16 0 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet 2008 12 750 $ 639.00 More on order

9 11 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots 2007 12 750 $ 659.00

14 6 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Pommard 2007 12 750 $ 469.00

13 9 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru Les Greves 2007 12 750 $ 659.00

8 11 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds 2008 12 750 $ 859.00 More on order

7 4 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds 2007 12 750 $ 929.00

3 2 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds 1997 12 750 $1400.00

The above were the wines that we showed for the event and I must say stylistically they were correct to the vintage. As the 2007 has the higher acidity levels which was constant in the 2007, especially the whites, the 2008 was bright, clean and certainly needs much more time to come around.

The 1997 Volnay Taillepieds stole the show and was everything you would ever want in a wine.

I served a beautiful Rack of Lamb and assorted Roasted Vegetables. A grilled salmon with a white wine and beurre blanc sauce for the whites

A little vegetable lasagna also worked well with the richness in the Volnay and Pommard.

The Mashed potatoes I finished in the oven mixed with delicious French cheeses to marry well with the whites and reds.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2006 Brunello di Montalcino

The Brunello di Montalcino 2006 vintage was a true star.  Every year in Verona, Italy during the first weekend of April is held the Vin Italy wine show at an exhibition center that at least 10 times the size of the Javitz center.  Each center houses  particular region for Italy and there are over 10,000 wine producers or growers.  The producers bring a sample bottle from their barrels of their current harvest  just to bring for the show.  Appointments are a must. 

I had the pleasure of tasting through the 2006 vintage throughout each region of Italy.  Tastings start at 9am and run through the whole day till 6pm.  On average I was tasting 300 wines per day.


Since 1888, Montalcino's finest Sangiovese grapes have been devoted to Brunello di Montalcino, one of the world's most renowned red wines. For its “Brunello” Argiano selects grapes from its noblest vineyard plots, and ages their wine in two types of wood: for the first year in French barriques (225-litres) to reinforce the wine's inherent structure, and then for at least another one and half year in larger Slovenian oak casks (botti) to ensure the wine's concentrated fruit flavours are beginning to soften just as the wine is bottled. Argiano's winemaker feels the combination of fermenting ripe, concentrated grapes at carefully controlled temperatures, coupled with careful ageing in a selection of different oaks, produces red wines that retain the incredible ageing potential for which Brunello di Montalcino is famed, while keeping the wine flavours as vivid, accessible and appetising as possible.

Tasting profile

Argiano’s Brunello di Montalcino has an intense ruby-red colour. A good concentration in the mid- palate and a persistent aftertaste, yet round and luscious in body, with silky and interesting tannins. It combines power and elegance and indicates a much promising future. Together with the captivating perfumes of red fruits and the clean freshness, the complexity of the wine proves an optimal balance. Decant the wine for at least 1 hour before drinking for an optimum enjoyment.

Camigliano is an estate on the meteoric rise. Inhabited since the Etruscan period, this estate was a lively center in the Middle Ages, and remains of the fired brick stones of that period can be found near the ancient walls of the castle, set on the top of a hill, surrounded by woodland and vineyards. The soil type is from the western flank of the zone known for hot rich wines. The Ghezzi family bought the property in 1957. The estate has 530 hectares, 90 of which are used for the vineyards. The winery of Camigliano is divided into two buildings. The older one is underneath time master house and at least part of it was built at the same time as the old boundary-walls, around 1250 and 1280. It was redeveloped around the year 600 and the year 700 and hasn’t been altered since. The cellar was built according to the local tradition. It faces the North and is vaulted stone ceiling ensures a constant cool temperature. This is where vintage wines are kept. During the eighties a new cellar, half-buried in the ground, was built beside the old one. It covers an area of 3,000 square meters and this is where most of the wine-making operations are done.

The new cellar is fully equipped with modern technology. Its exposure together with its ventilating system ensures an all-year-round cool amid humid temperature. Wine is kept in tubs with refrigerating bands. Their total capacity is of 4,000 hectoliters. There are also Slovenian oak barrels with a capacity varying between 25 and 150 hl and a total capacity of 4,500 hl and French oak barrels with a total capacity of 50 hectoliters that are used in the fining of the wine. Besides the typical wines of the area, Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino, the farm produces a Brunello selection called Gualto, that normally is released one year later than the normale, and a splendid Cabernet Sauvignon Sant’Antimo called Campo ai Mori.


The Capanna farm, owned by the Cencioni family since 1957, is located north of Montalcino in the area of Montosoli. The vineyards of Montosoli are considered some of the best crus of Brunello. Capanna is a micro-estate dedicated to farming and vinifying the classic Sangiovese Grosso grape variety in a modern style. Capanna sits above the slope on the north facing portion of the old volcano that is topped by the citadel of Montalcino. The north facing slope consists of complex volcanic soil and subsoil which provide less extreme heat and cooler soils that allow the grapes to slowly mature. The highly permeable volcanic soils yield juicier, thinner-skinned grapes. No chemical fertilizers or herbicides are used, and every effort is made to maintain natural biodiversity in the vineyard. Winemaking emphasizes seamless forward fruit, substantial depth of color, flavor, balance, and elegance. The winemaking at Capanna reinforces and elaborates the advantages of its vineyards to produce wines which are rich, complex, generous and smooth.

winemaker's notes:

The hand-picked grapes undergo a 36 to 48 hour cold soak to facilitate fruit and color extraction. A long, cool fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled horizontal stainless steel fermenters fitted with rotating paddles that mix the cap of skins with the fermenting juice. The resulting wines are deeper in color with rounder, richer fruit, and more velvety tannins than wines using traditional pump-over extraction. The wines are aged in large Slovenian oak uprights that allow a gentle maturation without the intrusion of wood flavors or tannins. Intense Ruby color. Velvety and mouth-filling with supple yet firm tannins.
critical acclaim:

"Wonderful aromas of chocolate, crushed berries and raspberries, with vanilla and toasted oak undertones. Full-bodied, with deliciously ripe fruit and loads of berries, chocolate and coffee bean character. Love the length and beauty here. Best after 2013."

95 Points
James Suckling


Paola Gloder has one of Montalcino's most elevated estates, with vineyards averaging 1476 feet above sea level, southwest of the famed medieval citadel. Both the unique location and altitude privilege the wines of Poggio Antico. The lower hillside terroir south of Montalcino is conducive to powerful and opulent Brunellos. This, combined with the estate's vineyard elevations -- which enjoy favorable overnight drops in temperature -- bring increased finesse and intense bouquet.

The young and tireless owner has been firmly at the helm of Poggio Antico almost since its inception, when her father purchased 50 clayey, calcareous acres of Brunello di Montalcino vineyards, in 1984. Paola's husband, Alberto Montefiori, joined her in this task in 1998. In their forceful hands, the estate has seen a phenomenal growth, going from 50 to the present 80 acres under vine, developing two parallel Brunello worlds – the more traditional, larger-barrel Brunello, aged longer in Slavonian oak and the modern, finesse-driven Altero, aged in tonneaux of French oak; securing a stellar position in the global market and extending and upgrading the facility to ultrahigh-tech standards
winemaker's notes:

Poggio Antico ages their "classic" Brunello for 3 years (a year beyond the minimum required), keeping it in the traditional large Slavonian oak barrels. They also give it at least 12 months of aging in bottle (three times the minimum required).

critical acclaim:

"Fascinating aromas of blackberries, flowers, dark chocolate and nuts follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a long, intense aftertaste. Bright acidity. This is structured and held back. Massive wine. Most structured ever from here. Give it four to five years of bottle age before opening. Impressive power."

95 Points
James Suckling


The Mocali estate, acquired by the Ciacci family (distant relations to Ciacci Piccolomini) in the 1950s, is a setting of natural Tuscan beauty where vineyards and olive groves alternate with oak and pine forests. This harmony of man and nature comes through in the delicious, ripe and balanced wines produced here, available at prices that are incredibly low when compared to those of the more established producers of Montalcino. The wines are particularly approachable when young, well-structured with ample body and an elegant, minerally character distinct to this growing area. The Rosso "I Piaggioni" is one of the best values on the market - simply delicious Sangiovese at an excellent price. Situated to the southwest of Montalcino at an altitude of 300-350 meters above sea-level on the slopes facing Castiglione del Bosco, the Mocali estate is comprised of 32 hectares, 6 of which are specialized vineyards (5 Hectares of Sangiovese grosso), and 4 dedicated to olive groves. As over half of the estate is covered by a vegetation characteristic to the hill on which Montalcino stands, the vineyards and olive groves alternate with a landscape of woodland of ilex, oak and arbutus. The soil is rendered highly mineral; salt owing to the presence of marl and limestone. Not being overly large, the Mocali estate lies under family management with the consultation of an expert oenologist.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ever think abour collecting or having a wine cellar in your home

Have you ever thought about starting a wine cellar in your home. 

As long as you have a cool area that is dark you can stack you bottles and enjoy a different wine each evening with your dinner instead of having to run out each day to the store to find that perfect wine with your food.
If you prefer to get a subzero that has two temperature settings (one for whites and champagnes - keep it set at 45%) and the other for reds.  The best setting for reds will be 56%.  Your wines will go back to sleep and drink beautifully when you decide to have that bottle.
A professional cellar that you may decide to build either in your basement or a lovely cellar that is in the dining room area of the house if you have an area where you can have the wines displayed behind a glass enclosed large door. These are getting more popular now.  It is very important to find an architect that truly knows how to design and build a cellar since there is more to a cellar then just walls and wood racking and a wine air conditioning unit.  I have had very good luck with Evan Goldenberg of Design Cellars.  Evan has all the credentials and basically will design a cellar for you anwhere in the world.  Evang@Evang.com is his email address for any assistence you may want.
.  Above is the new winery built by David DelDotto.  His wines are stellar.  His whole winery in Napa was built with materials imported from Italy
The grapes above are from the Levensohn property in Napa.  They have a winery called Leaf and Twig and whatever grapes don't go into the Leaf and Twig winery they happily sell to the famous Vineyard 29 winery.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

For the True Cabernet Lover

Rogers Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Dry Creek Valley, California
Rich Cabernet flavors of cassis and integrated oak, with a hint of chocolate and a long elegant finish.
Just one of the magnificant finds that we have produced for our clients. This Cabernet is a real winner and is perfect with steaks, chops, and all of your favorite meats on the grill.
Regular $30 - we can offer this for $25. for the case of 12.
It was years before I would consider putting my name on just any wine.
We finally tasted the perfect cuvee - so here it is.
Any questions you have on wines; please feel free to call us at 203-869-8944 and ask for Terry