Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Press Release Files - Volume 1

Editor's note: from time to time, RedtoBrown receives press releases from a wide and wacky range of wine people. Below is the first of a series of responses ......

Interview? Valentine’​s Day Beyond Wine: A Chocolate Guide by Wine Spectator

Hi RedtoBrown --
If you’re looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day chocolate fix to top off your wine glass—or champagne bottle—consider a chat with Wine Spectator Features Editor Owen Dugan. Both a wine and chocolate extraordinaire, Owen recently rounded up the best chocolate bars in the U.S. and beyond—his picks can be found in Wine Spectator’s February 2014 issue, available on newsstands now.
Are you interested in setting up an interview or seeing a PDF of the full feature? Owen can recommend V Day bars and boxes that will impress your sweetheart on this special day. From best value, flavor, snack, novelty and more – take a peek at some of Owen’s favorites:
·         Xocolatl de David’s 68% Bolivian Cacao Sour-Dough & Olive Oil Bar—$9/2.2oz I Portland, OR I
·         Mast Brothers’ Crown Maple Dark Chocolate Bar—$9.45/2.5oz I Brooklyn, NY I
·         Blanxart’s Chocolate Negro Con Almendras—$10.45/7oz I from Barcelona I
Owen is also available to discuss candy and wine pairings that will make for the most scrumptious dessert this Valentine’s Day. Please let me know if you would like a PDF of Owen’s Best Chocolate Bars article and/or a copy of Wine Spectator’s February issue; the issue also includes the editors’ picks for Wines to Discover in 2014.
I look forward to your interest.

Best regards,

Dear Jacob,

I would literally give my right arm, or sell secrets to the Chinese government to interview Owen. Aside from Nelson Mandela and Gandhi, Owen is a hero of mine.
To think I could be asking him about the best champagne match to go with 70% cocoa dark chocolate is almost too much for me to bear.

You have made my dreams come true. Thank you, thank you

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2009 Chateau La Croix Romane Lalande de Pomerol

This is a good shout if you want to try a Pomerol from the much lauded 2009 vintage, and yet don’t want to shell out the silly money that is typically required.

It’s rich and plush as one might expect from an 09 Pomerol. Plummy fruit, liquorice, and an overall pleasing warmth. That being said it delivers a refreshing acidity, an ironstone like minerality, and lovely spice. It pushes through to a savoury finish that is framed by robust tannins. Plenty of enjoyment now and should age well over the next decade and beyond.

Rated: 4 Stars
RRP: $60
Closure: Cork
Drink: 2014-2024+


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Montalto Estate Pinot Noir 2012

Montalto Estate is firing on several cylinders at the moment, the result of some serious investment in their estate winemaking operation and the increasing payoff of 4 years of hard work and strategic planning by winemaker Simon Black and his team.

This wine has class – a varietal nose of red fruits, mixed spice, forest floor and a hint of smoky sweet oak. Juicy dark and red cherry, red plums and mixed spice all integrate harmoniously on the front and mid-palate, with acid and tannins balanced nicely. The savoury, focussed finish is laced with a savoury sappyness and stalkyness. Pleasing length.

Impressed on day two and day three on the tasting bench, and though moreish and in the zone right now will also gain more complexity in the future. An impressive wine from an impressive pinot vintage in the Mornington.

Rating: 93 pts
RRP: $48
ABV: 13.6%

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2009 Tyrrell’s 4 Acres Shiraz (Hunter Valley)

This was an unexpected treat at a family lunch on Australia day.

The 4 Acres Shiraz is one of the jewels in the Tyrrell’s crown, and indeed for Australian wine more generally.  The 4 Acres vineyard was planted in 1879 by Edward Tyrrell. Like many other century old vineyards in Australia, it was spared the ravages of phylloxera, and since that time has produced a medium-bodied Shiraz very much in the classic “Hunter Burgundy” mode. Tyrrell’s are sensitive to this history and the style, and the viticulture and winemaking reflects this, in particular with the ageing of the wine in large format, old oak. 

We decanted the wine for a few hours before consumption, but it still didn’t reveal too much on the nose – red fruits and some earthiness. To drink however, there is more pleasure to be had. It’s a light-medium bodied Shiraz that is Pinotesque in its weight and mouthfeel. Indeed, forget for a minute the substance here, and it works as a lovely luncheon red. Ponder the wine for a moment however, and there’s a future in the cellar to be excited about. It’s very much acid driven with an insistent yet fine acidity underpinning its medium bodied frame. While light, the fruit has a pitch perfect ripeness to it that carry the flavours through a long finish. Red fruits, mainly cranberry, and a beautiful mouth perfume are given savoury purpose by a lovely earthiness.

The quality of the fruit, the acidity and the latent complexity all lend themselves to the suggestion that this will be something quite special in another 10 years and beyond. The history of Tyrrell’s reds, and Hunter Shiraz more generally give further weight to this proposition. I’ve got 3 bottles in the cellar, the first of which I’ll open in another 10 years or so, from which I’ll take my cue on the remaining two.   

Rated: 4 Stars ++
RRP: $50
ABV: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2019-2030+

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