Anton Bauer, is a highly successful Austrian family winery in Wagram. It is managed by 4th generation winemaker Anton Bauer who is a graduate of the School of Wine and Fruit Growing in Krems, Lower Austira, and has spent four years training in Burgundy. He took over the winery in 1982 from his parents. We review his wines from the 2015 and 2016 vintages below. Continue reading
We recently visited Edi Keber and his son Kristian at their winery and vineyard in the small village of Zegla, located just a stone’s throw away from the Slovenian border. Edi Keber has always been on the cutting edge of winemaking in the Collio area of Friuli, and Kristian now follows in his footsteps. Kristian showed us their Collio Bianco blend from three very different vintages. Continue reading
Sarah’s Vineyard was founded in 1978. It is tucked away in the southwestern part of the Santa Clara Valley where a coastal micro climate provides ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The vineyard is situated on a south-facing slope with different elevations and is planted with several clonal selections of Pinot Noir including a Proprietary clone. These selections are exemplary bottlings of Santa Clara Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Tim Slater, a successful Silicon Valley engineer, purchased Sarah’s Vineyard in 2001. He has a winemaker’s certificate from UC Davis, and serves as winemaker with a winemaking assistant. Continue reading
Gianfranco Gallo crafts some of Friuli’s most impressive white wines at his 53 hectare estate in the commune of Mariano del Friuli in the Isonzo Valley, just south of the Collio DOCG. His vineyards are located in the best part of the valley, in the northeast near Cormons. They have well-drained stony, calcium-rich clay soils created by glacial erosion and sit at about 31 meters above sea level. Continue reading
Aniello is a relatively new Argentine winery located on the north bank of the Rio Negro in the Mainqué district of Rio Negro. Established by winemaker Santiago Bernasconi and Italian investors in 2010 with the purchase of a vineyard originally planted in 1998, the winery has since purchased another 20 hectares of vines, including self-rooted Malbec dating back to 1927. While Aniello is not well known, some of its neighbors in Mainqué are world famous, including Bodega Chacra and Noemia, wineries and vineyards that we visited on our last trip to Patagonia. For more on this region and its wines, see our Report # 26 The Diverse Wines of Argentina.The wines, reviewed below, are well made and offer outstanding value. US Importer: Global Vineyards Continue reading
Beckham Estate Vineyard
Winemakers around the world are returning to tradition and experimenting with making wine the way the Greeks and Romans did, in large clay vessels. Oregon’s Andrew Beckham not only uses clay vessels for fermenting his naturally produced Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Grenache, but he is, also, gaining a national reputation for the amphora and tinaja clay pots he produces for fermenting and aging wine. We discuss the wines and tell his story here. [Photo courtesy of Oregon Wine Board.] Continue reading
These new releases from the Gary Farrell Winery are mainly from the 2015 vintage, which was another great year for the winery and Russian River Valley. While the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay crops were small to moderate in size, the quality was excellent. The Pinot Noir Rochioli Vineyards is one of the finest we’ve tasted. The Chardonnay fermented in concrete is also first-rate and beautifully balanced and Macon-like in character. The 2015 Zinfandel sourced from the 80+ year old Maffei Vineyard is nicely concentrated and elegant. It is among the better zins we tasted for a recent report. Included among the new releases is a 2016 Sauvignon Blanc hat is crisp and citrusy, not unlike some Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs and is a welcome style. Continue reading
We are pleased to have the opportunity to review Stinson Vineyards’ new releases. We have been tasting their wines over the past four years and have been increasingly impressed with the improvements in quality and their experimentation with new varieties. These new releases are no exception
Located in Albermarle County within the Monticello AVA, Stinson Vineyards is a small family winery nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The vineyard was established in 2010 by Scott Stinson and daughter Rachel who replanted the property and expanded it to 32 acres of which seven are in vines. Today Nathan Vrooman, Rachel’s husband, manages the vineyard, while Rachel makes the wines with the help of Matthieu Finot, winemaker at King Family Vineyards. Currently, most wines are made from purchased fruit, one exception being the 2014 Meritage which was sourced from the estate vineyard for the first time, and is first-rate.
Stinson Vineyards 2015 Wildkat Monticello ($28) 88 The 2015 Wildkat is 100% Rkatsiteli. It was sourced from Horton Vineyards which planted the variety in Virginia over 50 years ago. This ancient variety is not widely grown in Virginia but has shown some success cultivated in frost pockets. The Stinson Wildkat reveals a faint orange hue and is unusually ripe with hints of caramel. It displays restrained and steely tropical fruit flavors, a creamy texture and dry tannins on the finish.
Stinson Vineyards 2016 Rosé ($21) 89 The 2017 Rose is 100% Mourvedre sourced from a one acre parcel of Farmer’s Rest Vineyard in Henrico, VA. It offers lovely fresh red strawberry fruit flavors with medium acidity and good overall concentration. A highly successful Bandol-style rosé.
Stinson Vineyards 2014 Meritage Monticello ($32) 91 This is an elegant and refined estate-bottled Meritage consisting of 56% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 12% Petit Verdot, sourced from Stinson Vineyards grapes. It displays dark red fruit flavors with a silky attack and mouth feel. On the mid-palate it reveals good acidity with concentrated flavors, firm round tannins, and a persistent finish. Well done.
Smith-Madrone is a small winery located in the Spring Mountain District of Napa Valley. Founded in 1971 by Stuart Smith, managing partner and enologist, the winery’s vineyards, which are part of a 200-acre ranch sit at between 1,300 and 2,000 feet on steep slopes which range up to 34%. Its vineyards are dry-farmed and produce about 4000 cases of estate-bottled wine annually. Continue reading
Scientific research carried out over the past few years demonstrates that moderate consumption of wine can result in health benefits. This article, originally published in the Jen Reviews blog, lists 15 health benefits with links to the supporting evidence. Many of the benefits are associated with wine’s well-known anti-oxidant properties, especially the resveratrol in red wine. The most important benefits concern cardiovascular illnesses. In addition to the Jen Reviews blog, a recent New York Times article reviewing the scientific evidence concludes that moderate wine consumption is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and death.