I stopped in at the Wines of Argentina trade show here in NYC yesterday. There were around 70 wineries pouring their wares, and a good crowd showed up (press and trade only). A solid buzz filled the room, and it was good to see.
We were cleaning up from lunch on Sunday when I asked my wife, Nancy, what she had thought of the red. It was a social lunch with guests, so Nancy hadn't seen the bottle--only tasted the wine. "It was really good," she said.
I sat down the other day with Daniel Pi, head winemaker for Argentina's large Trapiche winery, which has historically lagged behind in quality. Since Pi joined the winery in 2002, however, things have turned around somewhat.
I sat down with South African vintner Beyers Truter last week, to talk a bit about Pinotage. I haven’t been kind to the Pinotage grape – at one time South Africa’s most important red varietal. I find the wines dominated by rustic, stemmy notes and an aggressive tannin structure.
It’s sad to see the new James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, drawing such fire. My wife says, “He’s not even handsome. How could they do that?” Ouch. I’m ambivalent on that particular subject.
All wineries require hard work – good ones even more so. The work is often all-consuming, and the returns can be minimal. Some pay off handsomely though, as has Bodega Colomé, an Argentinean winery owned by Donald Hess, the Swiss multimillionaire who founded, but has since retired from, the Hess Collection winery in Napa Valley.
Last night, my merry band of BYOB-loving wine geeks got together for our pseudo-monthly wine night, this time at Nice Matin. When we planned it, we realized it fell on Sept. 11, and we had a collective pause before agreeing to proceed, despite the anniversary.
I sat down last week with Marcelo Papa, one of Concha y Toro’s winemakers. He is responsible for the Casillero del Diablo and Marqués de Casa Concha lines, two sources of consistently very good to outstanding values.
The northern Rhône is gearing up for harvest as well, and it seems the area also has outstanding potential in 2006. Here are some early comments from some of the region's top vignerons and domaines...
While we're all enjoying the weekend, harvest is starting in the Rhône. I received numerous updates from vigerons who make Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône this week; here are just a few of their comments.
I spent last weekend in the Hudson Valley of New York. It was rainy most of the time, but still beautiful. Rolling farm land, some good restaurants, and more than a handful of local wineries. I took the time to stop in at two of them.
I know you're all bored of me talking about the Rhône all the time. So here's an update on the other French wine region I cover - the Loire. I thought you might be interested to read a few of the comments that I've received from vignerons over the last few days as they get ready for the 2006 harvest.
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