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Wine Of The Week – Dog Point Pinot Noir 2008

December 23, 2011 11:51 am - Posted by Jody in Drink

Dog PointMarlborough, New Zealand

90 POINTS, WINE ADVOCATE

“The 2008 Pinot Noir is matured in Francois Frere barriques, 50% new, for 18 months and bottled without fining or filtering. Medium-deep ruby colored, the nose is very fragrant, floral, with notes of violets and lavender over red cherry and crushed raspberry plus nuances of cedar, thyme, loam and moss. Crisp, medium bodied with a medium level of fine grained tannins, it has a long earthy finish. Approachable now, it should cellar to 2016+.

When we started, we really didn’t know where we were going to go,” James Healy, winemaker and co-founder, confessed as I perched on a stool in the winery’s tasting room. “Ivan (Sutherland, viticulturalist and co-founder) and I are such different people. But we see eye to eye a lot of the time. We never wanted to do the big thing. We wanted to do it for ourselves and develop.” Only 6 years after the first anticipated releases from these ex Cloudy Bay, etc. stalwarts, it’s now hard to imagine Marlborough’s complex jigsaw puzzle of players complete without this dynamic duo that is Dog Point. Emphasis on the vineyards, proponents of cork for all but their Sauvignon and use of indigenous yeast aren’t the only things that define their edges – the wines are simply superb.”

Wine Advocate #191 Oct 2010

Dog Point

THE STORY:

Dog Point Vineyard combines the considerable winegrowing experience of Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, the former chief viticulturalist and head winemaker at New Zealand’s famous wine estate Cloudy Bay.  After leaving Cloudy Bay, Sutherland and Healy began making wines from Sutherland’s own vineyards in Marlborough, which were planted in the 70′s and 80′s. In 2003 they launched the Dog Point label and their wines have made a huge impact in the wine world. Sutherland had previously sold the majority grapes from his vineyard to Cloudy Bay which assisted Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc to it’s international acclaim.

Now with their own label and focus they continue to sell their grapes to Cloudy bay but keep the best for themselves. The Sauvignon Blanc vineyards are partly older plantings on the clay silt of the valley floor where the Brancott valley joins the Wairau valley, and partly newer plantings on three ridges on the west side of the Brancott.

Grapes for Dog Point’s Pinot Noir are all hand-picked and given minimal handling.  Healy’s non-interventionalist, natural hands-off approach to winemaking characterizes the outstanding quality and highly expressive wine that the estate is known for.  While Dog Point gets most of their accolades for their outstanding Sauvignon Blanc, their Pinot Noir should not be overlooked.  Barrel fermented (50% new, in 100% French oak), this Pinot exhibits beautiful fragrance and lovely elegance while maintaining a solid, cleansing backbone of acidity.  A perennial favourite with sommeliers and wine critics!

Wine Of The Week – Quinta Sardonia, Castilla y Leon 2007

December 2, 2011 3:17 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

Quinta Sardonia, Castilla y Leon 2007REGION: Sardón del Duero, SPAINREGION:Sardón del Duero, SPAIN

94 POINTS, WINE ADVOCATE:

“The 2007 Quinta Sardonia is made up of 51% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), 29% Cabernet Sauvignon with the balance Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec aged for 18 months in French oak. Purple-colored, it delivers an already complex perfume of Asian spices, violets, incense, espresso, black cherry, and blackberry. upple-textured, sweetly-fruited, impeccably balanced, and structured enough to evolve for another 3-4 years, it will offer a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2027. It is already being proclaimed as Spain’s next cult wine.”

- Wine Advocate 188 April 2010

The estate’s full name is Vinas de la Vega del Duero but all you need to remember is Quinta Sardonia. Located in Sardon del Duero, just outside the Ribera del Duero demarcation line but close enough for inclusion in this report, Quinta Sardonia is a biodynamic project from Peter Sisseck (of Pingus fame) and Jerome Bougnaud. The estate has about 37 acres under vine planted in 2000. The wine is typically composed of a blend of roughly 50% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec with aging for 18 months in French oak. It is already being proclaimed by some as Spain’s next cult wine.

Quinta LandscapeThe Story:

Like much of viticultural Spain, Sardon del Duero has a long history of winemaking. As far back as 2,000 years ago, there is strong evidence of grape growing and winemaking by the Romans. Located just outside of the more famous region of Ribera del Duero, the wines of Sardon del Duero are also based around Tinto Fino and traditional Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.

Created in 2002, Quinta Sardonia is a joint project between star winemaker Peter Sisseck of Pingus (Ribera del Duero) and Jerome Bougnaud. Located just 400 meters from the Duero river, the property lies at 700-800 meters above sea level. Cultivated in biodynamics since the beginning, the property is cultivated without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.
Sardon del Duero does not benefit from the constantcy of climate in the Southern part of the country and experiences dramatic shifts in temperatures and climatic conditions throughout the year. The winters are quite cold, with temperatures as low as -18 degrees Celsius, and the summers are hot and very dry, with lower than average rainfall than the rest of Spain.

Altitude is between 750 and 950 meters and the soil is made up of clay alternated in many parts by sheets of limestone and harder chalk. The vineyards are plowed under and compost (which is made at the property) is used between the rows once a year. Harvest is always carried out by hand and there is a very aggressive triage at the winery before crush. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks of 10,000 liters which are specifically made for the estate and are very low and wide. Ageing is in new French oak for at least 18 months. Production is still quite low and the first vintage was only 6,000 bottles.

Peter Sisseck has brought some serious fame to the region of Ribera del Duero.  His other winery Pingus, is one of the most highly sought after wines in the world and the prices match accordingly: a bottle of Pingus can go for upwards of $1000.  To be able to get a wine from Peter at this reasonable price is a real value, so don’t miss your chance to own the newest cult wine from Spain!

Wine Of The Week – La Posta Cocina Blend 2008

July 6, 2011 1:38 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

Each week I like to choose a new wine to introduce to our fans. These wines vary by region, by varietal and even by price. I don’t think cost and value are necessarily related. So I like to focus on wines I have experienced on my travels and I think our fans will enjoy trying. salut!

Mendoza, Argentina

90 Points — Wine Advocate

The 2008 Cocina Blend composed of 60% Malbec, 20% Bonarda, and 20% Syrah aged for 12 months in 20% new French and American oak before bottling without fining and filtration (as are all of these red wines). Purple-colored, it has an enticing bouquet of cinnamon, Dentyne gum, cigar box, violets, black cherry, and blueberry. Medium-bodied, round and sweetly-fruited on the palate, it has plenty of savory spice notes, enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years, and a lengthy, pure finish. Drink it from 2010 to 2016.

Jay Miller, August 2009