Category Archives: Old World

DISCOVERY! Spain’s Rising D.O. Utiel-Requena Wine Region — “Land of Bobal”

The Utiel-Requena D.O. in the Province of Valencia, in eastern Spain, ranks among our top wine discoveries of 2017.  Spanish wine, food, wine, and travel expert April Cullom introduced us to the region and its wines at a tasting she … Continue reading

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Gramona | Celler Batlle 2005 Brut Gran Reserva ~ 96 Points and III Lustros 2007 Brut Nature Gran Reserva ~ 93 Points

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We recently had the pleasure of visiting Gramona, Spain’s premier cava (sparkling wine) producer located southwest of Barcelona in the Alt Penedès region of Catalonia. Gramona dates back to 1881, when it was established under the name Cellar Batlle, and is … Continue reading

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G.D. Vajra | Rosso | Langhe | Italy | 2012 | $15 | 87 Points

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“Recommended” Family-owned and operated G.D. Vajra, established by Aldo and Milena Vaira in 1972 in the Barolo appellation of the Italian Piedmont, crafts wines of exceptional expression and purity. We recently had opportunity to tour the winery with Isidoro Vaira, … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Isaac Fernandez Selection | Bovale | Utiel-Requena D.O. | Spain | 2012 | $15

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90 POINTS | “HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” Here is something a little different: a single varietal wine made from Spain’s third-most planted, though not commonly recognized, grape variety — Bobal (pictured below). This native variety is grown in the Valencia province — in … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Domaine Philippe Plantevin | “Le Perussier” | Unoaked | Côtes du Rhône | France | 2012 | $17 | 88 pts

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Domaine Philippe Plantevin is a family-owned vineyard and winery located in the tiny, ancient village of Cairanne, in the southern Rhone Valley. The soils here are typically calcareous clay, composed of silty chalk and limestone. Wines from such soils tend … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY WINE PICK: Rio Madre | Graciano | Rioja | Spain | 2013 | $12 | 88 pts

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Graciano is a temperamental, low-yielding red variety native to Spain’s Rioja region that is traditionally blended with the region’s more celebrated variety – Tempranillo. This rendition consists of 100% Graciano grown at an elevation of 1,800 feet in dry, chalky soils. … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Cellers Baronia del Montsant | Englora | D.O. Montsant | Spain | 2008 | $18 | 90 pts

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A big brother of our previously featured 2009 Flor d’Englora Roure (red blend), here is another delightful red from northeastern Spain’s Montsant appellation (Denominación de Origen) — a mountainous region west of Barcelona where wine grapes are grown on steep, craggy slopes. Low-yielding old vine Grenache and Carignan are the dominant … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Château de Nages | Cuvée JT (White) | Costières de Nîmes | Rhône Valley | France | 2012 | $20 | 91 pts

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Costières de Nîmes AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) is the most southerly wine appellation of the Rhône Valley.  The region is nestled between two neighboring winegrowing regions — Languedoc to the west and Provence to the east — and is situated in close proximity to the Mediterranean sea to … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Campo Alla Sughera | Arnione | Bolgheri Superiore | Tuscany | Italy | 2008 | $50 | 93 pts

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Aromas:  black cherry; cured tobacco; pencil lead; anise; violets; cedar Character: dry; full-bodied & firm; elegant & velvety; smooth tannins & racy acidity; assertive oak;      14% ABV Flavors: black currant; red bell pepper; cured tobacco; clove; dried thyme; toasty oak Food Pairing: medium & sharp … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Rio Madre | Graciano | Rioja | Spain | 2010 | $10 | 88pts

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Aromas: black plum; mission fig; dark chocolate-covered cherries; hint of black pepper Character:  full-bodied, aromatic and lush; rich, velvety mouthfeel; moderate tannins & lively acidity; fruit-earth balance Flavors:  blackberry compote; vanilla bean; anise & baking spices; mineral; touch of leather Food … Continue reading

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