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Welcome to Winephabet Street Season 1 Episode 24 X is for Xinomavro.

 

Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions on letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm and is free, but you must register to attend. Put it on your calendar, pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out with us.

 

We take you to Greece and discuss the Xinomavro grape and the wine it produces in this episode of Winephabet Street.

Xinomavro is the signature grape of the Macedonia region of Greece. It is grown predominantly in the Naoussa region. The name means acid black and is pronounced ksee-NOH-mah-vroh. For more on the pronunciation watch this video by Constantine Boutari. Otherwise, watch the webinar or listen to the podcast below as we talk Xinomavro.

 

Xinomavro is a wine that ages well. Can be drunk young or aged. As you will see in the webinar, I had a younger wine than Lori and there were some differences.

 

Alpha Estate 2016 Xinomavro Single Vineyard Hedgehog

Alpha Etate is located in the Amyndeon region of northern Greece. It was founded in 1997 by viticulturist Makis Mayridis and chemist-oenologist Angelos Latridis.

Hedgehog is a subregion of Amyndeon that has northern exposure and faces lake Petron and Mount Voras. The wine was cold soaked with skin contact and aged sur lies for eight months, then twelve months in French oak and twelve months in the bottle before being released.

I opened the wine about 15 minutes before Winephabet Street began. In hindsight I should have opened it about an hour before. As the wine began to open the fruit flavors became apparent. The tannins in the wine do hold the flavors on your palate. At first I got a little of tapenade and tomato (yes tomato) and not much fruit. As time progressed there were some hints of plum and red fruit.

 

The Podcast 

Listen to the podcast. If you do find yourself drinking a glass of Xinomavro, I would love to hear your feedback on the wine.

 

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Meet the wineries of the Haro Station District of Rioja, Spain, where old tradition born out of innovation.

 

Haro District

 

Haro, a historic city was one of the first cities in Spain to have electricity. While winemaking history in the region dates way back, in the 1860’s several wineries made their home near the railway station. It was the Railway that brought them together, put Rioja in communication with the rest of the world and allowed them to showcase their wines to the world.

 

Today the Haro Station District has the highest concentration of century old wineries creating incredible wines that are continuing the tradition of innovation and what makes the Haro Station District so special.

 

I recently went to an event showcasing 5 of the historic wineries in the Haro Station District. I had the opportunity along with my Winephabet Street partner Lori Budd of Exploring the Wine Glass to interview 3 of the wineries from the Haro District at the Rioja Railway Wine Experience held at the High Line in New York City.

 

Bodegas Muga

 

Founded in 1932 by Isaac Muga and Aurora Cano. They were closet winemakers, making wines in an underground cellar until 1968 when they built their winery. They have their own onsite cooperage with a Master Cooper and three assistants. They are the only winery in Spain that makes their own barrels. They are now in the third generation and follow their grandfather’s philosophy of winemaking

We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Juan Muga as he talks about his family winery his wines and the history behind it. “Power is Balance”

 

Bodegas Muga Wines

 

2015 Bodegas Muga Torre Muga This is a blend of 75% Tempranillo 15% Mazuelo and 10% Graciano. It spent 18 months in new Allier French oak barrels and 6 months in oak vat. It’s big, it’s nice, easy drinking with black fruit and nice black pepper spice on the finish. SRP $110

 

2010 Bodegas Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva A blend of 80% Tempranillo 10% Garnacha with the balalnce of Mazuelo and Graciano. Aged for 9 months in new French oak and then 27 months in second-fill French and American oak barrels. Then the wine is bottled and aged 36 months in the cellar before released. This particular vintage was a “perfect” vintage in their eyes. Beautiful plum and dark fruit with the black pepper spice and soft on the palate.

 

2015 Bodegas Muga Reserve Another wine made with a bled of 70% Tempranillo 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo and Graciano. This was aged 24 months in 70% French oak barrels and 30% American oak barrels. Then aged for another 12 months in the bottle before release. Nice red and black fruit, cherry, blackberry, violets and white pepper on the finish. SRO $30

 

 

 

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Meet the wineries of the Haro Station District of Rioja, Spain, where old tradition born out of innovation.

 

Haro District

 

Haro, a historic city was one of the first cities in Spain to have electricity. While winemaking history in the region dates way back, in the 1860’s several wineries made their home near the railway station. It was the Railway that brought them together, put Rioja in communication with the rest of the world and allowed them to showcase their wines to the world.

 

Today the Haro Station District has the highest concentration of century old wineries creating incredible wines that are continuing the tradition of innovation and what makes the Haro Station District so special.

 

I recently went to an event showcasing 5 of the historic wineries in the Haro Station District. I had the opportunity along with my Winephabet Street partner Lori Budd of Exploring the Wine Glass to interview 3 of the wineries from the Haro District at the Rioja Railway Wine Experience held at the High Line in New York City.

 

Bodegas Roda

 

A fairly young winery that was founded in 1987 they are considered the most classic of the modern in the region. Our discussion is with Maria Santolaya who spent some time with us talking about the winery and Cirsion.

 

Bodegas Roda Wines

 

2010 Bodegas Roda Roda 107 Made with 3 year old vines, although made with young vines this wine is complex. Notes of vanilla, bright red raspberry, blackberry layers and bursts of white pepper on the finish.

 

2015 Bodegas Roda A blend of 86% Tempranillo, 8% Granacha and 6% Graciano from vines older than 30 years. Ripe red fruit with cherry dancing throughout. Hints of cinnamon and clove on the finish.

 

2016 Cirsion This wine is made with individual selections of the oldest vines. It is not made every year. The 2016 is a blend of 89% Tempranillo and 11% Graciano. Earthy notes with black and red fruit. Powerful yet delicate with fine tannins, hints of licorice notes dance on the palate. SRp $325

 

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Meet the wineries of the Haro Station District of Rioja, Spain, where old tradition born out of innovation.

 

Haro District

 

Haro, a historic city was one of the first cities in Spain to have electricity. While winemaking history in the region dates way back, in the 1860’s several wineries made their home near the railway station. It was the Railway that brought them together, put Rioja in communication with the rest of the world and allowed them to showcase their wines to the world.

 

Today the Haro Station District has the highest concentration of century old wineries creating incredible wines that are continuing the tradition of innovation and what makes the Haro Station District so special.

 

I recently went to an event showcasing 5 of the historic wineries in the Haro Station District. I had the opportunity along with my Winephabet Street partner Lori Budd of Exploring the Wine Glass to interview 3 of the wineries from the Haro District at the Rioja Railway Wine Experience held at the High Line in New York City.

 

Vina Pomal Bodegas Bilbainas

Vina Pomal Bodegas Bilbainas established in 1901 is the oldest winery in the Haro district. It produces still and sparkling wine along with brandy. It has the largest surf area of underground cellars in the region. They have 250 hectares and bottle about one million bottles a year or about 83,000 cases.

Listen to our interview with Nolan Jones as he talks about the history of the winery, the grapes, the tradition and the wine.

 

Vina Pomal Wines

 

2018 Vina Pomal Blanco A blend of Malvasia and Viura with each grape bringing a different element to the wine. Very aromatic, fresh and vibrant. SRP $20

 

2014 Vina Pomal Reserva This is 100% Tempranillo aged for 18 months in American oak and 2 years in the bottle. Lots of dark fruit and cocoa with soft tannins. SRP $20

 

2011 Vina Pomal Gran Reserva This is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano aged for 2 years in American oak and another 3 years in the bottle. Elegant with layers of black and red fruit. This will pair with many foods. Drink now or age.

 

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Welcome to Winephabet Street Season 1 Episode 23 W is for Weissburgunder.

 

Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions on letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm and is free, but you must register to attend. Put it on your calendar, pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out with us.

 

Weissburgunder as it’s known in Germany, but you may be more familiar with it as Pinot Blanc. In German Weiss means White and Burgunder means Pinot, hence Weissburgunder - white pinot grape. It is a mutation of Grauer Burgunder which is Pinot Gris which is a mutation of Pinot Noir. Yup, lots of mutations here.

 

The grape originated in Burgundy and there was no distinction between Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. Pinot Blanc is somewhat of a full bodied wine as is Chardonnay. When you see a wine labeled Bourgogne Blanc it has Pinot Blanc blended in with the Chardonnay.

 

 

La Maison Willm 2016 Pinot Blanc Reserve

 

The wine for this episode I chose a 2016 Willm Pinot Blanc Reserve. Foundd 120 years ago by the Willm family. Adolphe Willm both a restaurateur and winegrower. His passion for the wine side was stronger and he decided to go at it full time giving birth to Maison Willm.

Willm’s wines were among the first Alsace wines to be exported to the United States when Prohibition ended.

 

The 2016 Pinot Blanc Reserve was hand harvested and fermented in stainless steel. It matured on it’s fine lees for 2 to 3 months. It’s full of lemon, pineapple and grapefruit with refreshing acidity. They say it will keep up to 5 years, but I would drink it now.

 

The Podcast

Listen to the podcast and let me know your thoughts on Weissburgunder

 

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    When you think Lodi you think all things Zinfandel. Did you know there is a German side to Lodi where there are 51 varieties of German and Austrian grapes planted?   While I was in Lodi we met the Koth family, third generation grape growers. They grow the German-Austrian Collection. You may wonder why German grapes? In the 1990's Bob’s daughter Ann-Marie was in college studying in Germany. This led Bob and Marylou to visit where they fell in love with the German varieties. Upon his return, he studied the German varietals and now grows 51 of them at his Mokelumne Glen Vineyards called “The German Austrian Collection.”       The vineyard is located on the banks of the east side of the Mokelumne River. The rivers sandy loam, crushed granite soil lends itself to give the grapes the natural acidity needed as if in a Mediterranean climate.   The German Austrian Collection is gaining popularity with-in California. There are nine wineries that currently purchase grapes from the Mokelumne Glen Vineyards with interest from neighboring wineries in Napa and Sonoma.   All the wines that we tasted were very good, but the one standout for me was the Trailmarker Wine Company 2017 Lodi Blaufrankisch. The fresh expression of the fruit and bright acidity won my palate, I’d say blew me away. I am not a Blaufrankisch fan but the way this wine is produced makes if light, fun and enjoyable. I can even see it slightly chilled on a summers evening.       Listen to the podcast of our tasting of the German-Austrian Collection. You’ll hear from the owners of Mokelumne Glen Vineyards along with a few of the wineries that produce wine from purchasing their grapes. You’ll get a feel of the winemakers and owners and the passion they have for what they do.
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Welcome to Winephabet Street Season 1 Episode 22 V is for Valdiguié.

Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions on letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm and is free, but you must register to attend. Put it on your calendar, pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out with us.

Before this I wasn’t really familiar with the Valdiguié grape. In fact I can say I really hadn’t heard of it, so researching it was fun for me. I found out it originated in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. For many years it was known as Napa Gamay. But in 1999 after genetic analysis the name was banned from being used on US wine labels.

The grape also is known as Gros Auxerrois. It’s a high yielding grape and the wine can be drunk young but it can also be made to age.

 

J. Lohr 2017 Wildflower Valdiguié

The wine pick for this episode was J. Lohr 2017 Wildflower Valdiguié from Monterey California.

I visited J. Lohr in Paso back in 2006 and had a wonderful experience. Jerry Lohr started J. Lohr in the 1970’s and was an early pioneer of the Monterey and Paso Robles region. He began with 280 acres planted in 1972 and today has more than 1400 acres of estate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco, Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey county where the emphasis is on Chardonnay, Riesling, Valdiguié and Pinot Noir. They have a total of 39 acres of Valdiguié. In Paso Robles they farm over 2700 acres dedicated to red varietals.

The J. Lohr 2017 Wildflower Valdiguié is dark in color but light and fruity on the palate. Flavors is full of field ripen raspberry with hint of blueberry and very fresh. Although I did not chill the wine, it would do well with a slight chill and be very nice during the hot summer months.

 

The Podcast

Listen or watch the webinar and let me know your thoughts on Valdiguié.

 

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Welcome to Winephabet Street Season 1 Episode 21 U is for United Kingdom Sparkling Wine. Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions on letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm and is free, but you must register to attend. Put it on your calendar, pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out with us.

 

This is my first taste of any kind of wine from the United Kingdom. History dates back that the British have been making sparkling wine for over 350 years, but the grapes weren’t always grown in the UK. In 1740 the Honourable Charles Hamilton planted a vineyard and many vineyards have been planted every since.

 

Today the famous Champagne house of Taittinger planted vines in the UK at Domaine Eyremond in Chilham, Kent. They anticipate their first vintage of English sparkling wine to be released in 2023. We’ll have to keep an eye on the regon.

 

The wine for this episode I receive as a gift from a friend who was living in England at the time. She brought it over a sparkling wine from Denbies in her suitcase. Denbies is a pretty big winery over there in the UK. They have 627 acres, 200 are woodlands and includes 10 estate houses and 265 acres are planted with grapes. The vineyards are situated in the Surrey area, North Downs in the town of Dorking with famous chalky soil.

 

Unfortunately, I had cellared it for a bit to long. Note to self: drink now don’t worry about the future.

 

Listen to the webinar and let me know if you spy any UK Sparkling Wine.

 

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A short interview with David Bova, General Manager of Millbrook Vineyard &  Winery inviting guests to the Millbrook dinner at Kitchen 330

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My brief conversation with Johannes Reinhardt of Kemmeter Wines at NY Drinks NY

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