Posts tagged ‘Online Tasting’

Ribera del Duero Tasting with Snooth

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

Ribera logo

 

 

2009 Bodegas y Vinedos Montecastro Alconte

2007 Bodegas Valdubon Reserva

 

 

 

Overview

I was invited to participate in a Virtual Tasting exploring the wines of Ribera del Duero.  This was perfect for me since I actually prefer this region over the other “famous” Spanish region, Rioja.  New technology and modern techniques, along with respect for tradition, have driven the quality of Ribera del Duero to its highest accomplishments in over two millennia of winemaking history.

 

Snooth’s Editor-in-Chief, Gregory dal Piaz, and Sommelier Roger Kugler led the discussion of Ribera’s rich history and amazing wines.

 

There were four wines to be discussed during the tasting.  Besides the two wines that were sent to me, 2013 Bodegas y Vinedos Monteabellon Avaniel Rose and 2010 Bodegas Montebaco Semele were also enjoyed by other participants.

 

 

Ribera pic

 

 

About the region

The Ribera del Duero is about a two hour drive north of Madrid.  Even though wine has been made in the region for over 2000 years, the region did not receive official Denominación de Origen (DO) status until 1982.

 

The area takes its name from the Duero River that cuts through the region.  The region is about 70 miles long and over 20 miles wide and is home over 250 wineries.

 

The main wine grape in the region is Tempranillo which also answers to Tinto del País and Tinto Fino.

 

This is a large, dry area that receives very little rain.  This dry climate forces the vines to dig deep into the ground to find water and nutrients.  This “struggle” reduces the yield but ensures the grapes produced are full of flavor and minerals.  These wines are generally on the rustic side with rugged tannins and good acidity, perfect with a piece of juicy meat hot off the grill.

 

Much more information on the region and wineries is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

Snooth_Logo_Low-Rez

 

This presentation and the wines were provided by Greg Dal Piaz and Snooth.

 

Snooth is the world’s most comprehensive wine site, hosts the largest online wine community & features reviews & local prices for millions of wines.

 

Mission

Snooth is a revolutionary web-based social shopping experience that is simplifying how people select, learn about, and purchase their favorite wines.

 

Company Overview

Philip James launched Snooth in 2007 with one goal: to make wine info clear, accessible, and freely available.

The idea for Snooth first came to Philip when he began working in the wine industry and realized just how complex wine was — if even the most seasoned wine collectors could become confused, what hope was there for the casual wine lover?

He realized that the wine industry was hopelessly fragmented — with neither a standardized naming system nor a centralized repository of information — and created Snooth to change all of that.

 

Visit Snooth by by clicking here.

 

 

 

My Line Up

Here is my line up for this online tasting event:

Snooth Ribera del Duero line up

Snooth Ribera del Duero line up

 

 

 

2009 Bodegas y Vinedos Montecastro Alconte

2009 was considered to be a near perfect vintage, comparable in quality to 2004.

 

This was aged for 14 months in a mix of French and American oak.  The total production was 13,345 bottles.  The grapes for this wine came from younger vines.

 

This has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark ruby color.  The outstanding nose has plums, blackberries, minerals, licorice, earthy underbrush, dark chocolate, baking spices and white pepper.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate, spicy fruit and minerals jump out first with earthy elements and dark chocolate coming out on the back end.  The finish has decent length but does get a touch rustic.  A year in the cellar may help smooth out the back end and perhaps add a bit more oomph on the finish.  (90 pts)

2009 Bodegas y Vinedos Montecastro Alconte

2009 Bodegas y Vinedos Montecastro Alconte

 

 

 

2007 Bodegas Valdubon Reserva – $25

2007 was considered to be a lighter, weaker vintage for the region.

 

This wine is 100% Tempranillo (Tinto del Pais).  The total production for the vintage was 35,868 bottles, mine was number 16,974.

 

The wine has 13% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark violet color.  The enticing nose has black plums, berries, tobacco, baking spices, minerals and a touch of mint.  This wine is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate, spicy fruit and minerals jump out first with spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has good length with some subtle earthiness entering the picture.  I wouldn’t stash this in the cellar to too long, open the bottle and enjoy it over the next year or two.  (89 pts)

2007 Bodegas Valdubon Reserva

2007 Bodegas Valdubon Reserva

 

 

 

Conclusion

These were both easy to like wines full of character.  Even though 2007 was considered to be a weaker vintage, the Valdubon was very nice.  The Valdubon is nearing the end of its life but the Alconte has a couple years to go before it even reaches its full potential.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Finger Lakes Wine Hour Tasting

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

New York’s Finger Lakes

North America’s premier cool-climate winegrowing region

 Logo

 

 

2012 Red Newt Cellars Riesling Semi-Dry

2011 Heron Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

It was my good fortune to be able to participate in an online tasting of wines from the Finger Lakes region of New York.  The event was called the “Finger Lakes Wine Hour” but actually lasted 4 hours.  Unfortunately for me, we got a late start returning from a vacation in South Carolina and arrived home just after the event ended.  That didn’t stop me from kicking back after the long drive and sampling the wines.  Thanks to the “Save as a Stream” feature in HootSuite, I was able to bring up the entire chat session and read along as I sampled my wines.

 

To follow ongoing conversations on the wines from the Finger Lakes region, check out the hashtag #FLXWine or follow @FLXwine on Twitter or give a “Like” to Finger Lakes Wine on Facebook.

 

 

I want to thank the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance and the wineries for providing these wines for me to sample.

 

 

About the region

The Finger Lakes became an official American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1982 but its history goes back much further.  The first vineyard in the region was planted by Reverend William Bostwick in his rectory garden in Hammondsport, NY in 1829.

 

The region is now home to over 115 wineries with about 9,200 acres of vineyards.  The region produces about 220,000 cases of Riesling wine from the 848 acres of Riesling grapes.

 

In 1998 the region was brought to the forefront in the wine world when Semi-Dry Rieslings from Dr. Konstantin Frank’s and Fox Run Vineyards each won a Gold medal in Strasbourg’s Rieslings of the World Competition in Alsace.

 

The major varieties of grapes planted in the region are Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer.  Each of these has over 100 acres of vines in the AVA.

 

Much more information about the region is available on the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance website.

 

 

My Line Up

This event revolved around the red wines of the Finger Lakes.  There were many different and varied wines opened for the event.  Here is my line up for the event:

Finger Lakes Line up

 

 

2012 Red Newt Cellars Riesling Semi-Dry – SRP $15

Red Newt Cellars was founded in 1998 by David and the late Debra Whiting in the hamlet of Hector on the east side of Seneca Lake.

 

Wine production started with the 1998 vintage.  The total production was only 1,200 cases of Chardonnay, Riesling, Vidal, Cayuga, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  The first white wines were released at the grand opening of the winery and restaurant in July of 1999.  Two years later, Red Newt Cellars was celebrated and honored with the Governor’s Cup for Riesling.  In 2011 the winery was a recipient of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 2011 Winery of the Year.

 

Much more information on the winery and their bistro is available by clicking here.

 

The Wine

Riesling production at Red Newt Cellars is straightforward and elegant. Fermentation is in stainless steel, mostly with Epernay II yeast at moderate temperatures. Fermentation is stopped with some residual sweetness. The wine is then fine-tuned and finished using the traditional method of adding back small amounts of unfermented Riesling juice reserve to the wine after fermentation.

This wine has 10.3% alcohol by volume and 2.1% residual sugar.  The bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The enticing nose has apples, honey, minerals, petrol and lime zest.  This barely has medium body with good acidity and nice lingering sweetness.  On the palate ripe apples, honey and minerals coat the palate with nice citrusy acidity coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with nice balance between the sweetness and acidity.  This isn’t the most complex Riesling out there but that doesn’t detract from the overall “yum” factor.  (87 pts)

2012 Red Newt Cellars Riesling Semi-Dry

2012 Red Newt Cellars Riesling Semi-Dry

 

 

 

2011 Heron Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc – SRP $15      

Heron Hill has grown from a 5,000 case, white wine only winery in 1977 to now producing 17,000 cases.  The days of white wines only is now in the distant past.  The winery now produces almost 20 different wine varieties.  The winery greets more than 50,000 visitors a year at its location on scenic Keuka Lake.

 

Heron Hill uses only careful processes and state of the art equipment in order to produce the best quality wines possible.  The vineyard is built into the side of a hill allowing Heron Hill’s team to gravity feed the juice instead of pumping, whenever possible.

 

Much more information about the winery and their wines is available by clicking here.  You can also buy wine and gifts on their website.

 

The Wine

This 100% Cabernet Franc uses grapes that were harvested over a week in late October.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 13 months in French, Eastern European and American oak barrels.

 

The wine has 12.5% alcohol and .03% residual sugar. The bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cassis, minerals, white pepper, dried herbs, cherries, tobacco, candied violets and a touch of dark chocolate.  This is barely medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cassis and white pepper jump out first with dried herbs and candied violets coming in later.  The finish has good length with the fruit leaning more towards cherries and some nice minerality entering the picture.  (89 pts)

2011 Heron Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2011 Heron Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

Conclusion

Once again New York’s Finger Lakes region showed that it produces world class wines that are sold for very consumer friendly prices.  Riesling is the star of the region but their red wines can also shine brightly.  I highly encourage readers to check out wines from this region.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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