The Marañones winery is in the D.O. Vinos de Madrid, in the sub-zone of San Martín de Valdeiglesias. Located 70 km to the west part of Madrid. Next to Toledo and Avila, in the confluence of Gredos and Guadarrama Mountains. Treintamil (30,000.00) is the price paid many years ago by Don Alvaro de Luna to the monastery of Santa Maria for the land on which this vineyard now sits. These rich soils are good for crops like olives, almonds, figs other horticultural products and, of course vines. The policy of polyculture is very important to the organic regime, where no one crops dominates. So carefully made that the Garnacha, although picked quite ripe, is not at all jammy. A spicy renache blend with a lingering blackcurrant finish. Its all held together by a wonderful acidity that keeps the mouthfeel fresh.
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Jerome Billard runs the family estate in Chinon and has an impressive CV which includes time working at Pétrus in Bordeaux, Dominus in California and Sacred Hill in New Zealand. He mixes this global expertise with traditional Loire viticulture dosed with a large portion of organic aspirations. With just under 25 hectares of vines at his disposal he makes a range of styles of Chinon of which his 'Temps des Cerises' is the most approachable with its bright cherry flavours and classic 'bite' on the finish.
We normally avoid buying 'brands' but when when the excellent Bordeaux negociant firm of Sichel offered us some magnums of their well made Sirius, which had been reserved for a customer in the far east who failed to take up his order, we leapt at it. Our enthusiasm came from the wine's maturity. This is a 2004 wine, 12-years old, and as our tasting at Sichel's cellars in Bordeaux confirmed, just about perfect for drinking now. Made from the three classic grapes of Bordeaux -Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc - this is a mellow red, full of autumnal flavours and edged with a light oaky finish.
In 1760 the Laporte family settled in the region of Montagne St Emilion and started to work a few hectares of vines. The family still own the business and today Bruno Laporte is the head with three Châteaux and an enviable collection of vintage cars. This wine is made in the traditional way with fermentation in large concrete vats and 25% of the wine matured in oak barrels for a year before the final blend is made.
Made from high altitude vines in the Calatayud denominación of northern Spain. 100%, 100 year old, Garnacha aged for ten months in French oak. Strong cherry red colour, with fruits of the forest and red fruit bouquets. Lots of aromatic intensity, with mineral and balsamic touches with hints of wood. Savoury in the mouth, with concentrated fruit and toasted tones adding good balance. Good attack, with toasted and fruit notes adding balance.
Stéphane Robert founded Domaine du Tunnel (an old steam-engine tunnel runs though the estate) when he was in his mid-twenties. Twenty years down the track, Stéphane has gone from a few rows of rented vines to 10 hectares across Cornas, St Joseph and St Peray. Careful viticulture allows Stéphane to pick late in the season, achieving optimum ripeness and none of the rusticity sometimes associated with Cornas. His wines show ripeness, depth of fruit character and a fine smooth texture. This is a blend of 15 parcels of Syrah, made from - on average - 50-year-old vines. No new oak is used. Impressive, rich, perfumed, supple ripe dark berry fruit. Swathes of ripe sweet tannins, complex notes of roasted meats and game. Powerful yet elegant.
The Château has been in the hands of the Couderc family for over one hundred years. Their thirty hectares of vineyards, though not situated on the prime slope below the town of St Emilion, avoid the sandy valley floor and lie on the other side of the valley facing the town. This Moulin de Mallet owes its quality to the painstaking work undertaken in the vineyard in recent years (short pruning, managed grass cover, restricted yields, green harvesting,integrated pest control), as well as the vinification techniques aimed at fostering extraction of the fruit and colour without too much tannin.
Brothers Eric Christopher and Ryan Michael Harms have long held the spark of entrepreneurial spirit, always scheming their next collaborative business idea. Fast forward more than three decades of brotherly brainstorming, and the pair has created a true family business. The wine business is a somewhat unlikely landing point for the Harms brothers, who were born and raised in the Midwest, where well drilling or dairy farming might have been more obvious family ventures. But, for reasons that can only be deemed fate, both brothers landed on the west coast in the wine business Ryan in Oregon and Eric in California. After more long-distance phone brainstorming sessions than either can remember, small inklings for how they might one day work together gave way to one big idea for what is now an expression of their collective experiences in one label Christopher Michael Wines.Made from 100% Pinot Noir sourced from the 75% Umpqua and 25% Willamette Valleys.
In 1990 Ron and his wife Jamie, bought their first vineyard and in 1995 McManis Family Vineyards was formed with the purpose-built winery arriving by the end of the Millennium. Now the McManis family own over 2,600 acres between the Ripon area and Lodi in Californias northern interior region.
The winegrowing district Carnuntum is a region located south of the Danube River in the state of Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), and extends eastward from near Vienna toward the Slovak border. Carnuntums vineyards are spread out over three undulating landscapes: the Leithagebirge (the Leitha Range), the Arbesthaler Hillsides, and the Hundsheimer Mountains. Stony limestone and loess soils work together with the Continental-Pannonian microclimate and the climatic influence of the Danube to generate the ideal conditions for wine production. Made from 100% Blaufrankish this has a bright and elegant nose with cherry and herbs. The palate displays real precision and very well managed tannins. Fresh and quite serious.
From the co-op of Serignan (a town famous as the home of entymologist Jean-Henri Fabre in whose memorial garden are preserved 500 different types of vegetables!) just to the east of Orange. This is the heart of the Rhône and the mix of Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan make for supple, heartwarming reds like this simple but characterful Côtes du Rhône.