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Pictures of Thymiopoulos Vineyards

March 9, 2012 1 comment

Mount Vermio, Image from Athenee Importers

Andrea Englisis oversees Athenee Importers and was kind enough to provide images of Thymiopoulos Vineyards.  However, I became quite excited to find she called Apostolos Thymiopoulos to answer a few of my questions.  Many thanks to both Andrea and Apostolos for allowing me to enrich the content of my blog.

The Winery, Image from Athenee Importers

The wine region of Naoussa has been producing wine for some time and has been mentioned by foreign travelers in 19th century manuscripts.  Exports expanded during the beginning of the 20th century but the vineyards were devastated by the phylloxera.  In the 1960s the vineyards were replanted with success and money was invested in modern technology. The 1970s and 1980s saw the implementation of wine laws in preparation for joining the European Union.  These laws were based on French wine laws.  During this time French trained agronomists and oenologists returned to Greece and there was a continued influx of new money.

Xinomavro Vineyard, Image from Athenee Importers

The vineyards of Naoussa are located in the south-eastern slopes of Mount Vermio.  The winters are cold and there is plenty of rain in the summer.  Naoussa receives enough rain that irrigation is only used when the young vines require it or during exceptional years.

Old Xinomavro Vineyard, Image from Athenee Importers

Thymiopoulos Vineyards tends the vineyards and produces wines in a biodynamic fashion.

A Xinomavro Vine, Image from Athenee Importers

Apostolos sourced his fruit from his two vineyards.  The Trilofos vineyard located at 180-230 meters and Fytia vineyard located at 230-500 meters.  For the Young Vines 70% of the fruit is sourced from the Trilofos and 30% from the Fytia vineyards.  The “higher altitude vineyards yield fruit with higher acidity, are later ripening and greater fruit concentration.”  Apostolos ages his wines in 500 liter Austrian and French barrels.

Pictures from Domaine Chaume-Arnaud

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Valerie Chaume−Arnaud was kind enough two send me two pictures. Please enjoy!

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Two Old Journal Entries from 1993

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

In cleaning out a room in our basement, that was to become a wine room but became a wine & everything-else room, I came across two of my journals from the 1990s.    I have only found two entries related to wine from my Bristol days outside of the tasting notes I wrote at the official Bristol Wine Circle tastings .  Here is the first entry.

5 January 1993

At the Museum, Musee-Galerie de la Sieta.  There is a wine shop run by a middle-aged woman with horrible teeth (dark, crooked) a 1978 Pommard for FF 170.  Nicolas is a chain store that stocks a fair array of wines.

N.B. Buy the Bordeaux book and a vintage chart.

Upon return to Bristol I did purchase David Peppercorn’s “Bordeaux” for 15 Pounds Sterling from Georges.  A bit more interesting are my tasting notes from one of our wine dinners.  You may find this second entry here:

A Wine Dinner at Bristol, 30 April 1993

Pictures from Bodega Mustiguillo

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment

 

Bodega Mustiguillo

Fernando Crespo of Bodega Mustiguillo kindly sent me pictures of the vineyard and winery related to the Bobal for the making of Quincha Corral.  The Bodega is located near Valencia on a plateau at 700 meters.

Bobal Vines

Harvesting Bobal

Harvested Bobal in 12-Kg Boxes

After harvesting the grapes are re-sorted.

Re-sorting Grapes

Winemaker Toni Sarrión makes the wine in open-top oak barrels and cement tanks

Depositing Grapes into Cement

Grapes in Oak Barrel

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A Vineyard in Fall from Domaine Rimbert

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I have included a fall vineyard picture that Jean-Marie Rimbert of Domaine Rimbert sent me.  You may read my post on three of his current selections here.

Vineyard in Fall, Image from Domaine Rimbert

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Some Pictures From Seattle and the 2008 Bench Mark, Cabernet Sauvignon

September 28, 2011 2 comments

My plan for dinner was to walk The Local Vine located in Capitol Hill on 12th Street between Madison and Pine.  As I walked up Union Street I was reminded how gritty this part of Capitol Hill is with its mixture of turn of the century warehouses just one block from the popular Pike Street.  A friend once lived in this area, in an old warehouse filled with junk including a mid-century dust-covered Mercedes.  12th Avenue is flanked by new buildings that contain The Local Vine, Barrio, Tavern Law, La Spiga, and oh yes, Maserati.  This is the transition line from Capitol Hill to First Hill.

Front of Apartments Built in 1900

Back of Apartments Built in 1900

Brick Warehouse

There were only three or four customers at The Local Vine so I opted to walk some more so I could dine at Quinn’s Pub.  I ate fish & chips which I washed down with an Oktoberfest beer. On my way down Pike Street I walked past Sun Liquor Distillery.

Sun Liquor Distillery

Turning right on to Melrose Street the Melrose Market is immediatrely visible, sitting just past Rain Shadow Meats.  It is a converted warehouse space with a butcher, cheesemonger, wine store and bar, florist, and the Sitka & Spruce restaurant in the back.  The restaurant was crowded, a few people milled about the marker, and two friends drank wine at the bar.  I checked out the store side of Bar Ferd’nand and found some interesting selection from Willi Schaeffer and other producers imported by Kermit Lynch and Peter Weygandt.  An example is the 2008 Domaine Faury, Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes which will set you back $37.  The 2007 Morgues du Gres, Capitalles du Mourgues was also on hand.  The wine bar, strange enough, was selling 2002 Domaine Usseglio, Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc.  It was not specified whether it was Pierre or Raymond.  Now 2002 is not a good vintage, I once drank a sale priced 2002 Domaine Janasse, Chateuneuf du Pape and felt it was boring and over priced at $15.  In any event, I looked around some more and took a few pictures.

The Melrose Market

Inside the Market

Bar Ferd'nand

As you leave the market you cannot help but notice the black four-square house that looks down upon you.  I want to go inside there!

Spooky!

Being a big fan of Baer Winery I decided to try a $20 bottle of wine produced by the Good Taste Wine Co the I had purchased at Whole Foods.  Leroy Radford is the wine-maker at Baer Winery and also has other projects including this one where he is co-president along with Jocelyn Ungar.

2008 Good Taste Wine Co., Bench Mark, Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington
This wine is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot.  This medium+ bodied wine has ripe red fruit, that has a powdery texture to it.  Though this wine is quite easy to drink, there is a sense of depth to the fruit.  Barrels notes mix with balanced acidity and tannins.  I suspect this will develop with air so I will update my tasting note tonight. **(*) Now-2015.

The 2011 Nederburg Auction

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

The 2011 Nederburg Auction is taking place today and tomorrow.  Local wine blogger David White, founder and editor of Terroirist is delivering the keynote address. I like to look at images of old bottles of wine so I put together a gallery of six bottles. You may find notes about these wines in the auction catalog which is available for download on the main site.

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Tasting a Few Wines While Checking Out Lou’s Expansion

September 6, 2011 1 comment

The Future Wine Cellar

Last month workers cleanly demolished a corner of Lou’s house to start on a kitchen, dining room, and wine cellar expansion.  The wine cellar will be located in the newly expanded basement.  It will feature massive amounts of insulation, a split cooling system, LED lighting, and allow for the storage of several thousand bottles.  Lou has sent me some pictures over the last few weeks so when our schedules aligned yesterday afternoon I jumped at a chance to take a look at the construction.  We naturally enjoyed a bit of wine while chatting about the progress thus far.

2003 Michel-Schlumberger, Chardonnay, La Brume, Dry Creek Valley
This wine is 100% Chardonnay that was fermented and aged in French oak barrels.  There was a healthy looking golden/nutty color.  But on the nose there waves of nut aromas and a lactic note.  Clearly too old with Lou finding an odd sweet character in the mouth.  Sometimes there are bottles in the MacArthur’s dump bins that are not drinkable, this was one of them.  Over priced at $20. No Stars. Past.

2009 Domaine de la Chaise, Sauvignon, Touraine
This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc aged in stainless steel tanks.  This wine was the color of light straw.  The light nose was crisp, with light amounts of ripe, gritty fruit.  A fresh apple-citrus quality matched the liveliness.  A decent wine for the rather affordable price. ** Now.

2005 Ridge, Syrah, Lytton West, Dry Creek Valley
This wine is a blend of 94% Syrah and 6% Viognier that was fermented with natural yeasts then aged for 21 months in American oak.  There was a solid medium+ youthful color.  The light to medium strength nose had a nose of roast.  In the mouth it showed on the young side due to a lack of integration and its primary rather than complex flavor.  The redder fruits had Viognier lift, with tasty midpalate flavors.  There was an assertive, spicy aspect.  This is a good, solid wine that will plug along for years to come.  While it is a notch above our daily drinkers it was sensitive to temperature and not that interesting. **(*) Now-2017.

Lou and Aaron

Buying Wine in Ocean City, MD

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

We usually bring our own supplies to the beach.  There are beer and coolers to enjoy on the beach, bubbly to start off the evening, and a mixture of daily drinkers that taste just fine out of teeny tiny wine glasses.  But what do you do if you need more bottles of wine?  There is certainly an ample selection of stores selling cases of beer and bottles of liquor.  You could head up to 94th Street to shop and dine at Liquid Assets.  This is probably the largest wine selection in Ocean City.  If you are heading into Ocean City you can both gas up and buy wine at The Wine Rack/Exxon located on Route 50.

When Jenn returned from buying a soda she told me that I might want to take a look as they sold a lot of wine.  Sure enough the inside is like no other gas station I have been to, the vast majority of the space is dedicated to wine.  You may find wine by the gallon, box, or magnum.  Or you may step it up a bit and buy good, contemporary selections.  I saw 2009 Aubichon Pinot Noir, 2004 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, 1999 Chateau Simmard St. Emillion, 2010 Weingut Leth Gruenr Vetliner, amongst others.  I walked away with the L.A. Cetto, Petite Sirah, from Mexcio and the 2005 Ridge, Syrah, Lytton West.

Wine Rack and Exxon Signs

The Store Front

Almost All Wine!

Anthony’s Beer & Wine is a store and deli on 33rd Street that is not to be missed.  They have been around for over 35 years featuring a diverse selection of beer and wine along with a gigantic list of sandwiches.  I recommend that you place an order for some sandwiches then shop for liquid refreshments while you wait.  If you want to splurge there are bottles of Ridge Monte Bellow back to 1994, bottles of both Dunn Napa Valley and Howell Mountain back to 1998, and 1999 Mayacamas.  There are even cases of Boone’s Snow Creek Berry for $4.99.  If those extremes are not suitable then there are plenty of other bottles to be purchased.  The beer selection is good as well including the recently available New Belgium Brewing, Fat Tire Amber Ale and four different selections from the Maui Brewing Company.  If you are not in Ocean City then I recommend you visit the Anthony’s website to check out the old photographs on the About page.

The Entrance

Dancing Cans and Bottle

The Wine Selection

Bottles of Dunn

Bottles of Ridge Monte Bello

Beer!!!

Drinking Wine in Ocean City, MD

September 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I like to boogie board and lay out in the bright sun when I am at the beach.  Once I am hot I find that a beer or hard lemonade is quite refreshing.  But once I change for dinner I crave wine.  Ocean City, Maryland is full of family friendly restaurants appealing to masses of visitors and does not have the level of cooking that you may find at Rehoboth, Delaware.  I do not mind as my daughter goes to bed early so even a timely dinner may be tricky.  Last year we had a surprisingly good dinner at Fager’s Island where you may find a thorough and fairly priced wine list with over 500 selections.   This year I decided to pay attention to what we drank during two of our meals.

Ocean City, View From the Ferris Wheel

JR’s the place for RIBS has been around since 1980 in its original form.  My entire family loves ribs so four generations, grandmother, mother, wife, and daughter were happy eating ribs and licking fingers.  The wine list is succinct with several varietal selections from “The Wines of Mondavi.”  This completely eliminates any stress from selecting a vintage or a producer.  Simple pick a flavor then decide how much you want to drink!  Available by the glass, half-carafe, and carafe we opted for a carafe of Chardonnay for the friendly price of $15-$16.  Both the carafe and “cut” wine glasses are a complete throw back.  The wine went down well-enough with its tilt towards tropical and citrus flavors.

The JR’s Sign

Front of the Restaurant

The Author With Wine

My daughter loves spaghetti and meatballs so it was natural to dine out at Trattoria Lombardi’s.  This is a classic red-sauce joint where the pasts is proudly De Cecco.  The meals are a variation of thoroughly fried calamari followed by pizza and pasta.  The food is a mixture of frozen (the calamari) and fresh (the red sauce and pesto).  The pasta is cooked al dente and lasagna is made with bechamel then buried in red sauce.  It is popular and loud.  The wine list consists of Italian varietals from an unspecified producer by the carafe and three selections by the bottle.  Troubled about drinking a wine based on varietal alone we stepped it up and opted for a bottle.  I picked the 2006 St. Francis, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County for $28.  It was thoroughly pleasing with nothing wrong.  So much so that I completely focused on having fun during the meal and have no recollection of what the wine tasted like!

Trattoria Lombardi’s SignTrattoria Lombardi’s Front

Trattoria Lombardi’s Front

Shoes and Shirts Required

The Menu

Carry Out and Bar

Happy Diners

The Author Pouring Wine

2006 St. Francis, Cabernet Sauvignon