It’s another beautiful day and I’m looking forward to a weekend filled with the World Series, scenic walks and wine tasting.
In some of my recent posts I talked about wines from Portugal. I’d like to mention another winery, Caves Campelo in Barcelos. It is located in the north of Portugal in the Vinho Verde wine region. Although it was established in 1951, there are records dating back to 1923. The company was acquired by José Carlos Lima & Sons in 2007.
Caves Campelo offers a wide range of wines such as Vinho Verde, Douro, Dão and Porto wines.
I met with Sophia Costa, their export manager who guided me through a tasting of a few of the Vinho Verde wines. We began with Miranda 2014, a ROSÉ wine that was soft pink. It had lovely aromas of fruit and flowers with fresh fruit on the palate. It had a nice mouth feel and was well balanced.
The Campelo Adamado 2014 was straw colored with green hues. It had citrus and apples on the nose, with lemon and pear on the palate. The finish was short.
The Tapada do Marques Arinto 2014 made with 100% Arinto grape, was “driven” on the nose, but subtle with citrus and floral undertones on the palate. It was quite refreshing.
Visit Caves Campelo website for an extensive list of all their wines. www.campelo.pt
Have a great start to the weekend!
The World Series Game One went 14 innings last night with KC finally ending it with a win. In between sipping wine and watching the game, it turned into a very late night!
My post about Château Haut-Brion yesterday had quite a few people guessing as to which vintage was opened. Some of you thought both years were opened, while others seemed to lean towards the 61’. As you can see, the 1994 Château Haut-Brion was the chosen vintage.
After decanting the wine, we took a quick taste before allowing it to open. The color was crimson with a powerful earthiness on the nose that gave way to subtler undertones of fruit and leather. It needed time to open up. After one hour, the bouquet was more floral, although a “musty” aroma and taste lingered. Dried herbs, spice and dark fruit began to emerge as the evening wore on. It didn’t have the depth of flavor that I hoped for, but it was smooth, subtle and enjoyable to the last drop!
It’s going to be a stormy day and a good time to attend to a few indoor projects.
When it comes to celebrations, such as a birthday, wedding announcement or a special achievement, we tend to reach for those tucked away bottles that only get opened and poured on such occasions.
I’m all for celebrating with rare champagne and vintage wines, but there is also something very special about opening an exceptional or rare bottle of wine with a friend or loved one “just because”. Sometimes sharing a vintage wine is celebration enough!
I had the opportunity recently to enjoy a vintage bottle of Château Haut-Brion, a Premier Cru Classé (First Growth). The occasion? Friendship! We only opened one of these bottles and I will let you know in my next post if it was the 61’ or 94’ vintage!
Château Haut-Brion is produced in Pessac located just outside the city of Bordeaux. Of the five first growths, it is the only wine with the Pessac-Léognan appellation. It also has one of the longest histories of any Bordeaux wine château and has been growing grapes to produce Bordeaux wine for almost 600 years! Haut-Brion is the earliest identified first growth that was included in the official 1855 Classification. The name is derived from the Celtic term “Briga”, meaning a rise or mount in the land.
When Jean de Pontac married Jeanne de Bellon in 1525, she brought the first portion of the Bordeaux wine property called Haut-Brion as a dowry. Pontac bought the title to the domain of Haut-Brion in 1553 and continued to expand and improve the property. Pontac died at the age of 101, having married twice more, siring 15 children and ensuring a legacy for generations to come. In 1801,Haut-Brion was sold to Talleyrand, Prince of Benevento making him the first “non-family” to own Château Haut-Brion. In 1935, Clarence Dillon, an American financier bought the Château. Today, Dillon’s granddaughter, Joan Dillon is head of the Château.
The first official review of Château Haut-Brion wine and any wine ever came from Samuel Pepys on April 10th, 1663. He wrote, “There I drank a sort of French wine called Ho-Bryan that hath a good and most particular taste I never met with.” An interesting wine review!
Château Haut-Brion was one of the first Bordeaux châteaux to begin using stainless steel vats for vinification in 1961. Double skinned, stainless steel vats were introduced at the Château in 1991. The wine is aged in up to 100% new French oak for about 24 months. The blending takes place just after fermentation is finished and prior to the aging process in the barrel has started.
The best vintages for the red wine of Château Haut-Brion are: 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1985, 1982, 1961, 1959, 1955, 1953, 1950, 1949, 1948, 1947, 1945, 1934, 1929, 1928, 1926 and 1921.
Tomorrow I will share my take with tasting Château Haut-Brion. And hopefully, it will be an interesting review! In the meantime, grab that bottle of wine you’ve been saving and share it with someone special…”just because”.
Waking to overcast skies on Sunday morning, the fall colors seemed less vibrant and a touch softer. Light classical music was turned on for easy listening pleasure. Eggs Benedict (sans the ham), dark roasted coffee made in a French press and the Sunday NY Times were all I needed to put a smile on my face. The only thing that was missing was a Bloody Mary or Mimosa. As I write this post, I’m thinking that this just might be a perfect day to continue my indulgence and stay snuggled in.
Last evening was another indulgence. Dining at a friend’s home, I sipped on Lanson Noble Cuvée Brut Rosé. I must admit that I had not heard of this particular champagne prior to my tasting it last evening. It was pale pink, with delightful bubbles dancing in the glass. Aromas of roses and berries were at the forefront and continued onto the palate with layers of cherry, citrus and dried fruit. The blend is 62% Chardonnay and 38% Pinot Noir. I will have to explore more of their champagnes! www.lanson.com
Have a happy and peaceful Sunday!
We went from several days of warm weather to waking up to cold temperatures this morning. Brrr…. The heat was turned back on and the windows were closed again.
To celebrate the “warmer” temperatures the other evening, a friend and I dined on mussels, pasta and swordfish. The balmy weather seemed to warrant a more “summery” type menu. Our choice of wine reflected that as well. We opened a 2011 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Mont Chenin Blanc to complement the meal. The wine is produced in the Vouvray district of the Loire valley. This was a lovely dry Chenin Blanc with a golden color. The aromas of honeysuckle, green tea and floral notes were present. The palate offered soft fruits, pear, lemon and medium acidity. The finish was long with hints of apple lingering.
I have a feeling that I will be drinking heartier wines this weekend!
Due to my busy schedule today, I’m squeezing in a quick post about Masi Agricola Spa in the Valpolicella Classico region (Veneto). I attended a wine tasting this past September where I sampled a few vintages of their Amarone. I think my post about it is worth sharing again.
“I made my way to Veneto, where Tony Apostolakos, the U.S. Director of Masi Agricola was waiting to guide me through a tasting of Amarone. It is interesting to note that Sandro Boscaini, the owner of Masi, is referred to as “ Mr. Amarone” due to the unique crafting of his wines. He uses the appassimento method to concentrate aromas and flavors in wine. The Appaxximento symbol can be found on his labels guaranteeing the authenticity and quality of Masi Wine. I’ll highlight a few of the wines I tasted. The 2011 Costasera Amarone was full-bodied with cherry, plum and spices. The 2008 Vaio Armaron Amarone, aged in cherry wood casks for four months, was amazing. The aroma and flavor of cherries, spices and fruit lingered on the palate. Before I departed I was treated to a taste of 1999 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. It had a beautiful bouquet of fruit and earth, with dark fruit and spice on the palate."
On Tuesday, at the Grandi Marchi Seminar, Sandro Boscaini’s son, Raffaele led us through a guided tasting of 2009 Riserva di Costasera. It is made with 70% Corvina, 15% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta and 5% Molinara grapes. Oak Maturation is 38-40 months with 6 months in the bottle. The color was deep ruby with aromas of cherry, plum and a touch of earth. The palate offered rich black cherry, spice and a hint of pepper. It was elegant and full-bodied with smooth tannins. Alcohol 15.5%.
I will definitely add this wine to my collection. http://www.masi.it
On Tuesday I attended The Grandi Marchi Experience in NYC, a guided tasting of Italy’s top terroirs. The event was held at Del Posto, another amazing creation of Mario Batali located in the now trendy meatpacking district.
Gloria Maoroti Frazee, the Director of Video & Education, Wine Spectator, moderated the event. Not only did we taste the wines, but also had the pleasure of hearing from the principles of each winery as we swirled and sipped. Each spokesperson had a wonderful story to tell. We heard about their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who’s input helped to make the wines what they are today.
The Institute of Fine Italian Wines-Premium brands is comprised of nineteen important Italian wineries with the objective to promote culture and commercialism of high end Italian wine to world markets. The wineries are defined by high standards of product and brand image at national and international levels.
Of the nineteen wineries that make up the institute, fifteen wineries were present yesterday. We tasted 15 wines from Lombardy, Tuscany, Marches, Piedmont, Sardinia, Sicily, Campania, Puglia, Umbria and Veneto. We started with a refreshing 2006 Cuvée Annamarie Clementi and ended with a 2008 Ben Ryé Passito di Pantelleria D.O.C Limited Edition dessert wine. In between we tasted two more whites and eleven reds from producers such as Gaja, Tenuta San Guido, Antinori, Masi, Rivera and Pio Cesare.
I will elaborate on some of the wines that I tasted in tomorrow’s post.
Have a great Wednesday!
I woke up Monday morning to see frost on my outdoor plants. And, it snowed for a few minutes on Sunday! I guess winter is just around the corner and perhaps it’s time to dust off the skis and snowshoes.
It’s also time to start thinking about bold wines to go with those hearty winter entrées. I have several reds that I’m looking forward to opening over the next few months. However, I’m still going to keep a few whites in my refrigerator because you just never know when the mood will strike!
My friend and I dined at a lovely French restaurant last evening. To celebrate the “cold” weather, we ordered a bottle of 2012 Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast. The color was crimson with red fruit and spice aromas. On the palate: dark fruits, plum, anise, spice and a hint of vanilla. It was medium bodied with a jammy finish and paired well with the wild mushroom ravioli entrée.
I’m off to a wine event.
The weekend was filled with fun activity. Between cooking, attending an October Festival and meeting up with old and dear friends, I’m ready for a quiet Sunday. However, that’s not going to happen. I’m off and running soon!
After a very long day, I was ready to curl up and watch the Mets vs. Cubs game last night. A phone call and a visitor changed all that. The game went on “mute” and the cognac came out. We had lots to chat about as we sipped on Camus VSOP. I have reviewed this cognac a few times. You can find the review in archives.
My wine commentary for the day will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m grabbing one of my artwear shawls and heading out into this brisk day.