Category Archives: Red

Don’t Balk at Balkan Wine: Montenegro Wine Review Plantaze’s Vranac Pro Corde 2013

Be good to your mother-in-law. You never know when she might share wines smuggled from the Balkans. After our New Year’s Eve Serbian bubbly (read here), today we try a serious red wine from Montenegro: a country sandwiched between the Adriatic Coast, inland Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia to its North, Albania and Kosovo to its South.

This wine’s producer, Plantaze, today makes 40 different wines, from 26 grape varieties, and four brandies totaling 17 million bottles. They are Montenegro’s biggest deal, wine-wise, but started humbly with a 1963 agricultural merger that planted an “infertile wasteland” (their words) of rocks and shallow soil around Skadar Lake: Continue reading

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Canadian Pinot Noir Eh!? Alderlea v Quill v DeVine Vancouver Island BC

By choice or by fate, I cannot escape Pinot Noir. I was born in Oregon and returned to its wine industry.  Our traipse through the extreme wines of Vancouver Island have gone from bad to worse to decent, usually faltering with noble grapes like Chardonnay (here), Gamay (here), but succeeding with weird hybrids like Savignette (read here). Can this warm pocket in the Northernmost fringes of winemaker pull off the queen of grapes: Pinot Noir? Continue reading

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Thirsty Thursday: Domaine Terlato and Chapoutier Shiraz Viognier Victoria Australia 2012

This Thirsty Thursday lights on a strange affair riven between three countries. The wine is from Domaine Terlato and Chapoutier. Neither name sounds very Australian. This is because Napa bound Tony Terlato began importing Michel Chapoutier’s wines from the Cotes … Continue reading

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Jack Creek Cellars, Estate, Pinot Noir Reserve, Central Coast, California, 2006

Let’s break from our EU Austerity Drinking Tour for something more to home. This Thanksgiving our family took a turkey break and visited Pinot Noir country in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Stops at Archery Summit, Angela, Lange, and Troon all highlighted the many forms and clones that Oregon Pinot could take on. Continue reading

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Thirsty Thursday: Nero d’Avola, COS, Nero di Lupo, Sicilia IGT 2011

For Christmas we suggested a wild Sicilian red aged in pithoi (read here). This Thirsty Thursday, we revisit Azienda Agricola COS in Southeastern Sicily (because we can’t help ourselves).

Again, the grape is Nero d’Avola. Again, wild yeasts did the work, biodynamic principles reigned supreme, and nothing beyond a dash of sulfur was added to the wine.

Yet this time, instead of those gloriously anochronistic pithoi (ceramic jugs), modernism creeps in with two years of cellaring in cement tanks under temp control.

The result? Continue reading

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