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The Story of Port

by winenews on Oct.22, 2009, under Articles

Port Wine is a fortified wine, as defined in EU legislation. It is produced in the Demarcated Region of the Douro under very specific conditions resulting from natural and human factors. The winemaking process, based on traditional methods, includes stopping the fermentation of the “must” by adding grape brandy, making a blend of 2 or more wines, and letting the wine age.
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Incanto Vino Nobile

by winenews on Oct.04, 2009, under Reviews

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

The Incanto label is an excellent vintage 2005 Nobile.  The actual bottling is by a Co-op in Siena, Italy just north of the Montepulciano area.  Made from Sangiovese grapes, this variety of Montepulciano is close to Brunello…at substantially less money.  Nice aroma and soft flavor make this a great choice with pasta and mild meat sauces.  Good with grilled chicken as well.  Very fruity with lots of soft flavors.  Not as balanced and full as a good Brunello but pleasant.  At only $9.99 its a great value both with dinner and by itself.

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Callibriga Douro

by winenews on Oct.02, 2009, under Reviews

Here’s an amazing “almost port like” value from Portugal.  But it is truly a drinkable everyday red wine that’s juicy and delicious.  This 2006 vintage has a deep purple color and a lucious semi-sweet smell.  The first taste is an explosion of fruit, juicy and thick.  Very low in tannins the wine is not complex but very pleasing either alone or with meat sauces like pasta dishes.  Probably great with pizza.  There is a hint of spice and chocolate and the aftertaste is velvety.  

The winery making this is Quinto Da Leda.  They us oak barrels to age the wine for 12 months, with another 6 months in the bottle.  The result is a very lite port flavour in a drinkable table wine.

The Douro region of Portugal is famous for excellent grapes and this example is a real hit for only $8.99.

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Nerello del Bastardo

by winenews on Sep.22, 2009, under Reviews

Barolo is Italy’s top collectable wine.  When Piedmonte winemakers wish to make Barolo or Barberesco the laws governing these wines require a certain time of aging, a minimum of 4 years.  They can only then be classified as such.  Any excess wine can only be sold as table wine, even though the final products are relatively the same.  Hence the creation of “Bastardo”.

This blend of red wines may be a breakthrough in wine making.  In essence this wine is the illegitimate son of a Barolo, hence the name.  Full bodied this variety is excellent with game, red meat, pasta, rich cheese, or on it’s own.

The aroma is fruity and the taste is soft and smooth.  Lots of fruit, low tannins, and hint of spice on the finish.  Not as bold as Barolo but very similar flavor.  An amazing value at around $8.  The vintage we tasted was from 2002 and it has held up well.

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Six Grapes Port

by winenews on Sep.22, 2009, under Reviews

Graham, one of Portugal’s top port producers, has released this very drinkable everyday Port.  It derives its name from the traditional cask markings used to denote the finest wines from each harvest.  Only rich young wines of superior quality are used to make this blend.  The six varieties are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Amarela, and Tinto Cao.

Six Grapes is bottled relatively young to conserve its fresh assertive style and is not subject to fining ot filtration to ensure that it retains its superb, delicious fruit concentration.  Six Grapes is released for immediate enjoyment and does not require decanting.

Even though Six Grapes is truly a port wine, it is quite soft and lite.  It is great after a meal with chocolate, or any time with sharp cheeses.  Actually it goes good with some meals that can handle a juicy heavy tasting wine.  At $16 this is an amazing value, and a great way for folks new to port to explore the variety without going broke.

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Fast Cars & Great Wine

by winenews on Sep.20, 2009, under Articles, Travel

Do fast cars and Italian wine go well together?  You bet they do when the cars are the Formula1 racing machines at top speed on the Monza track, and the wines are Piemonte Barolos.  If you are a car and a wine fanatic you simply must see the Monza race and spend at least a week touring the Piemonte region of Italy.
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Gourmet Food in the Piemonte

by winenews on Sep.13, 2009, under Articles, Reviews, Travel

Welcome to “Da Felicin”

Felicin is a hotel and restaurant surrounded by the green of Langhe, whose history unfolds alongside the Rocca family history.  Three generations taking care of a way of life in which the relationship between man and land is essential, gives soul to a project of cooking as food culture.
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Antinori

by winenews on Jul.22, 2009, under Reviews

Wines & Villas

Besides great tuscan wines, the Antinori estate offers the traveler comfortable, well situated apartments in classic old countryside villas.  Weekly and daily rates are available, and they can handle everything from couples to large families.  The estate is made up of several “clusters” of farm house type accommodations, plus a central office, restaurant, and recreation area. The restaurant is a very small, limited selection room used mostly for breakfast.  Nearby is a pool, tennis court, and fitness center.  The office staff is very helpful, and they have a computer available to check your e-mail, at no charge.
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The History and Wines of Carpineto

by winenews on Jul.22, 2009, under Reviews

HISTORY

Carpineto is a partnership between the award winning winemaker Giovanni C. Sacchet and the dynamic Antonio M. Zaccheo, offering a product line of wines spanning from the most prestigious Tuscan DOCG appellations to varietal specific wines of great structure as well as innovative proprietary blends. The winery is widely regarded as one of the quality leaders on the Italian winemaking landscape, exporting the majority of the wine production to over 30 countries worldwide. About 90% of Carpineto’s wine production is red wine, 65% of this being “riserva” wines that are aged three or more years before their release date. Since Carpineto generally ages their red wines six to twelve months longer than the minimum time required by DOCG appellation rules the cellars hold at least three consecutive vintages of wine at any given time. This long aging period has allowed Carpineto to build a reputation for high quality and consistency, vintage after vintage.
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Castello del Trebbio

by winenews on May.22, 2009, under Reviews

Castello del Trebbio was built as a fortress in the twelfth century for the Pazzi family. Its fame is due to the “Pazzi Conspiracy”, a plot organized by the Pazzi family in 1478 to kill their old enemies Giuliano and Lorenzo de’ Medici. In the fifteenth century ownership transferred to the Medici family who converted it into a villa. The current family purchased it in 1968 and have restored it respecting its history. The estate comprises about 60 hectares of grapes, 10.000 olive trees and native forest, a total of 350 hectares. A tour of the castle and the old wine cellars with wine and olive oil tasting is possible for groups with reservation.  Also part of the estate are apartments for rent by tourists.The cellars date from 1184, with the newest part of the castle being the courtyard that is about 600 years old.  The the current owners’ parents bought the castle in 1968, and after 20 years restoration, both passed away between 1988 and 1990. Only 2 of the 5 children decided to keep the estate and the castle.  One of them, Anna, lives in the castle with her husband Stefano, the winemaker of the company, along with their 3 young children. Anna is responsible for the wine marketing, and for the olive oil and saffron production.
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