We are off to Argentina in our trip around the World of wine. This country has a climate that ranges from mild in the Buenos Aires region to sub-tropical, to cold and dry near the Andes Mountains, and sub-Antarctic cold in the south. We’ll stay away from the cold, feeling our share of a “winter” here in Tampa Bay, and head straight to wine country in Mendoza and Salta- the two prime grape growing regions in Argentina.
The famous red grape of Argentina did not actually originate there. Malbec is an original Bordeaux varietal from France often used as a blending grape. The Malbec grape has flourished in South America, with its deep, dark inky color, heavy tannins and deep structure. The Malbec grape is thick skinned and less resistant to pests and bad weather. Argentina has been growing Malbec since the late 1900’s with over 75,000 acres planted.
Salta has a mild climate year round, and is the highest elevation for grape growing in the world. Salta La Linda or Salta “the beautiful” is located in the northwest section of the country. Tourist friendly with Colonial architecture and stunning valley views, the area encompasses the Andes, lush forests and vineyards. The town of Cafayete is a gateway to wineries and features a high altitude railway, let’s climb on board and take a trip with our wine glass.
Bodega Amalaya Malbec Blend owned and operated by the Hess Family of California, this winery is located nearly 6,000 (1800 meters) above sea level. This elevation is important for many reasons. Pests do not thrive in higher elevations, so minimal pest control chemicals are needed. The soil is rocky and sandy so when there is infrequent rain, it drains down through to the roots of the vines where it is most effective. Struggling vines produce more intense, riper fruit, and this Malbec shows plum and dark fruit flavors with hints of spice and vanilla. Blended with 10% Tannat and 5% Petite Verdot, I give it two bones!
Mendoza is located just north of central in the country of Argentina, with an average yearly temperature of 61, the diurnal range during growing season is about 30 degrees, excellent for wine growing. Olives are the second big agricultural crop for Argentina with a large export business of olive oil in addition to wine. The Cuyo area in Mendoza has extreme temperatures, but due to the natural irrigation from runoff of the Andes Mountains, wine grapes can still thrive in the hot summers.
Padrillos Malbec or Finca de los Padrillos was founded by Ernesto Catena, a fourth generation winemaker originally from Italy. Padrillos means horse in Spanish, the native language of Argentina, and Ernesto has homed over 30 retired Polo Ponies on his winery and farm in Mendoza, the Padrillos logo pays homage to them. Light to medium bodied this 100% Malbec is a fresh style with violet floral aromas and flavors of plum, cherries and dried berries. I give it two bones.
Torrontes (torh on tez) is a white grape varietal specific to Argentina. DNA testing suggests the grape is loosely related to the Muscat grape from France, and has a slightly similar taste profile. Both Chile and Spain grow the varietal, but it is not considered to be related, and is the premier white grape of Argentina’s wine growing regions. If you’re like me, and you like to smell the flowers, this is a great wine to try! Over 20,000 acres are planted to Torrontes and the grapes tend to like harsh growing conditions. Wind and cool temperatures allow the fruit to attain a higher level of acidity and offer more intense fruit flavors and a floral nose.
Pascual Toso Torrontes is highly aromatic with floral notes of honey suckle and orange blossom. 100% Torrontes grown in the Maipu District of Mendoza, all stainless steel fermentation this wine is fresh, clean and crisp. A great starter before a meal or with spicy foods. I give it three bones.
We have a large selection of South American wines and rows and rows of several price points from Argentina to choose from. Give us a call and we can hand select a few for you, or come in and say hello. I am anxiously awaiting a scratch on the ears or a dog cookie!
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown
It’s January 2021, the world is still not a place we can travel, and wineries both here and abroad are not able to accommodate international travelers. In the interest of personal safety, we are going to wind our way around the wine globe via the aisles of the store here at Ed’s Fine Wines, from A to Z. Perhaps Z will be New Zealand? But today we begin in Australia.
If you step off the plane in South Australia in January, it’s like our July temperatures- heat and humidity around 90 degrees. Because the southern part of the country is nearly pointed directly at the sun, Australia has been noted as being the hottest place on earth! Much of your journey in the winter months (November through February) would be similar to our hot summers here in Tampa Bay. However, summers are like our winters, with average day time temperatures in the 70’s. There are lush palms and other tropical vegetation in certain areas, with wine regions growing vastly different varietals all over the bottom part of the world- Down Under. Chardonnay grows particularly well near the coast, with cooling ocean breezes, while cooler climate varietals like Riesling do well in the higher elevations. Syrah (Shiraz, or she roz as the natives call it) grows exceptionally well in Barossa. Soil types vary across the state, just as they do here in the United States. Remember, we grow wine grapes in every state of the union here in the US, so it should not come as a surprise that Australia is growing different varietals all over their country as well.
The wine world Down Under has over 150,000 acres planted to vine, with over 130 different varietals, Shiraz being most widely planted. In the late 1700’s cuttings were brought through the Cape of Good Hope to New South Wales, and by the early 1800’s Australia was producing and exporting wine. Around this time French and Spanish grape varieties were brought in and planted. Settlers from Europe began improving upon the quality of wine produced in Australia by the mid 1850’s, and had great initial success with the Syrah grape. Shiraz would become the number one selling red varietal from Down Under. The country has no known native grape, but the climate proves ideal for many different styles of wine varietals with irrigation and farming techniques. Eventually, Australia became famous for GSM- the blend consisting of three French varietals: Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz) and Mourvèdre. The most famous of which is Penfolds Grange. This blend has often been touted as a top wine in the world by wine publications and critics, and consistently garners high ratings and an even higher price point. Penfolds Winery dates to 1844 and played a pivotal role in the evolution of winemaking in Australia. Today, Penfolds, owned by Treasury Wine Estates, and considered their crown jewel, is still producing Penfolds wine, with vineyard estates all over South Australia. From table wines to the celebrated Grange, Penfolds has a portfolio rich in Australian farming and history. Penfolds Bin 389 is a fine blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, often referred to as “baby Grange” this wine receives the highest of accolades from wine critics the world over- elegant, smooth and supple with flavors of cedar, black tea and sandalwood. The raspberry and blood orange notes hit mid palate, with rich cocoa and Madagascar vanilla and licorice to finish. I give it three bones.
Another Australian winery famous for quality production is Yalumba. Founded by a British brewer in Barossa Valley. Yalumba was named for an indigenous Australian phrase, “all the land around” and is Australia’s oldest family run winery. Yalumba has consistently produced both great red blends – a GSM, as well as whites, including Viognier (another Rhone varietal that grows well in South Australia) and Chardonnay. Robert Hill-Smith, Yalumba’s fifth generation proprietor touts the winery as both Sustainable in Practice as well as using minimal intervention, from the vineyard to the cellar. The Y Series are table wines for every day drinking. The horse depicted on the label is a symbol of tradition- as horses were used for both transport and tractor. A great blend,the Y Series Shiraz Viognier (red and white grapes) shows luscious and exotic aromas of boysenberry and hints of white pepper and violet. The wine is full bodied and finishes with a lingering cherry finish. I give it three bones.
While Australia became somewhat infamous for the years they marketed their “Critter Wines”, at the time, this was what the world was demanding, low priced, high volume lower tier wines. It was a time when American White Zinfandel was a rage, and so were the wines with animals on their labels. Australia as a wine industry has grown from there, as America has, along with our palates. This country will one day again be available for us to explore as travelers, and their wine regions await us. For the time being, we have many award winning varietals and labels on our shelves for you to explore.
Don’t we all say at the end of the year, how much we want to “get healthy” for the New Year? We commit to eating less and exercising more, and January becomes a very long month! Fresh Vine Wines is a recent concept of wine for people who are fitness conscious. Why shouldn’t you be able to work out hard, and do all you can to keep yourself healthy and fit, and still be able to enjoy a few glasses of wine with your dinner? Fresh Vine Wines have been specifically crafted with no extra additives, all natural, low sugar, low calorie and low carb! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?
Founder Jamey Whetstone put two years into research to make a wine that could taste great and be good for you. We know the “good properties” in wine, it’s a natural beverage, there is resveratrol in the skins- possibly protecting the heart and lowering cholesterol, it boosts the immune system, and has anti-oxidants. Fresh Vine Wines was founded to promote these principals for people with active lifestyles.
Whetstone is no newbie, he made wine for more than 20 years in California’s famous Napa Valley, at Turley Cellars where he apprenticed after a career at the highly proclaimed Mustard’s Grill, in Napa, CA, then a sabbatical at the famed Domain Dujac in Burgundy, then founding his own Whetstone Cellars in 2002. Jamey’s wife Michelle runs Whetstone, while Jamey has ventured into the “lifestyle wine” category with Fresh Vine Wines. Jamey is a surfer, a gardener, a father, and a wine maker. His active life style was craving a premium wine that is low calorie, low sugar, and low carb. These wines are Keto and Vegan friendly. Jamey looked for lower sugar grapes, while trying to maintain quality of flavor. He met the challenge in Fresh Vine Wines, grown throughout California, produced and bottled in Napa.
Fresh Vine Chardonnay offers a nose full of ripe pear, green apple, lychee, hazelnut and toasty oak. There are notes of tropical fruit and citrus, with a medium body and a lingering pear finish. I give it two bones.
Fresh Vine Pinot Noir has a bright floral nose with hints of rose petal, dark cherry and baking spices. Flavors of red raspberry and plum, and a hint of chocolate on the finish. I give it two bones.
Fresh Vine Cabernet Sauvignon shows aromas of black cherry and blackberry pie and spice. The wine is medium bodied with concentrated fruit flavors like boysenberry and blackberry. This cab finishes with hints of baker’s chocolate and plum. I give it three bones.
Fresh Vine Wines are also a partner with the Tampa Bay Rays, and are a large contributor to Feeding Tampa Bay. Another reason to support a “healthy lifestyle” wine. Here’s to us celebrating the New Year, putting the challenges of 2020 behind us. With 2021, a fresh beginning, good health and good wine. Cheers!
Laura Catena is a fourth-generation winemaker from Argentina. Her father, Nicolas, helped build the country’s prominence and influence in the New World wine category. In addition to Luca and LaPosta wines, Laura runs Catena Winery, and the Catena Wine Institute, all while living in San Francisco, where she is a mother of three, an ER doctor, and an author! Luca Wines are named for her first son, and is a boutique winery of artisan quality. Alongside winemaker and viticulturist Luis Reginato, Laura works with small growers around the Mendoza region to contract out low yield, high quality grapes. High acclaim and limited production, these wines show a unique expression of the terroir that is the Uco Valley of Mendoza. The family crest that appears on the label is that of her husband, Dan McDermott’s family. If you missed it, you could check out the podcast and listen to Laura discuss just how she manages it all.
Argentina is the 5th largest producer of wine in the world with over 75,000 acres planted to vine. Malbec has long been known to be the “red grape of Argentina” and put this South American country on the wine world map. Many varietals grow well in Argentina, and even thrive in some of the highest elevations in the world. Soils vary from sandy loam to clay, but are predominantly loam with excellent drainage. Well controlled irrigation from the runoff of the Andes Mountains, and minimal insect and pesticides are needed due to the elevation and desert climate. These conditions have proven over the years to produce excellent quality fruit, which leads to even better quality wine production.
Luca Chardonnay The prefect balance between a Burgundian and California – style Chardonnay, this wine entices with aromas of lemon crème, baking spices and caramel. Tropical fruit flavors, spiced baked pear, and a stony, mineral finish. I give it three bones on the Brunello scale.
Luca Pinot Noir The critical acclaim is amazing for this wine- 94 points from James Suckling. Aromas of wild strawberries, saddle leather and cola root. A complex Pinot with notes of leather, spice. The cherry and raspberry flavors pair well with duck, game, even grilled salmon, or lamb. I give it three bones.
Luca Old Vine Malbec This wine has made Wine Spectator’s top 100 two years in a row. It expresses the terroir of Mendoza with spice and black cherry cola aromas, and hints of cocoa. The berry flavors on the palate finish with a hint of espresso. I give it three bones.
Luca Laborde Double Select Syrah This Syrah was born of cuttings taken from the Rhone Valley over 50 years ago and planted in the Uco Valley. Aromas of cigar, leather, and smoked meat hit the nose with hints of toasty oak, forest floor and baking spices. Well structured tannins support the big fruit flavors of blackberry jam and spiced black cherry, with a hint of ground fresh black pepper and rhubarb on the finish. This wine is easy to consume now, or hold for a few years. I give it three bones.
Laura Catena’s wines continually gain wine press recognition for consistency in quality. Laura made history as the first to plant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes at over 4,500 feet- the highest elevation in Mendoza. Laura has always had a vision of creating a new breed of Argentine wine, and these wines deliver. Stop in today, or call ahead for curb side pick-up.
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown
There is nothing scary about the great wines we have coming up in a Zoom Tasting on October 30th. A live Zoom Party featuring these four South American wines from Vine Connections!
Pais Viejo (‘Old Pais’) is a wine with history. Made with Pais grapes from over 100-year-old Gobelet vines planted in the coastal region of Maule in Chile. The Bouchon Family Wines began in the late 19th century when young viticulturist Emile Bouchon left Bordeaux, France for Chile. Today, Julio Bouchon and his children carry on their 4th generation family winemaking tradition in the Maule Valley. With their in-depth soil research alongside terroir-specialist Pedro Parra, Bouchon is preserving the historic character of the Maule Valley with distinctive, terroir-driven wines. The Pais vines are planted on very old soil of granitic, sandy loam formed by Chile’s coastal mountains. Pais Viejo is 100% naturally-vinified using century-old winemaking techniques, including the use of the zaranda (a structure made of sticks to destem the grape clusters). The grapes are hand harvested and fermented with native yeasts in concrete tanks to preserve the wine’s authentic expression of terroir.
Bright cherry color with juicy, fresh, light aromas of strawberry, wildflowers and sour cherry. This wine pairs well with fish and pasta, can also be used as an aperitif- and for the Halloween Zoom, we pair it with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or Twix bars! I give it three bones.
Boya Pinot Noir was created by the Garcés Silva family, pioneers of the coastal Leyda Valley in Chile. Boya in Spanish means “buoy” – apropriate as the vineyard blocks overlook the Pacific Ocean. The winery’s architecture is inspired by its environment, and the surrounding rolling hills determine the different levels of the winery. The winery is gravity flow, a winemaking practice that preserves its aromatic potential and natural structure. Boya wines are made using fruit that is harvested early, in order to achieve a very bright, low alcohol, fresh style. Old barrels that have been used 4 to 8 times, are used to age the wine for a short period of 8 to 10 months. Natural acidity and good balance give Boya wines a remarkable sense of place, representing the cool coastal climate of the Chilean Leyda Valley.
Intense nose of fresh fruits like strawberry, red cherries and plenty of floral aroma. The palate is medium bodied with supple tannins, good natural acidity and fresh berry fruits towards the finish. It is well balanced, clean, and expressive. Try it with grilled salmon, Gruyère cheese, or wild mushrooms, and for a tricky treat, try it with Mounds or Almond Joy. I give it two bones.
Lunta Malbec is named after the region, Lunlunta, which the ancient Huarpe Indians named to represent the sound of stones colliding in the flowing Mendoza River in Argentina. Lunta Malbec is hand-harvested from small vineyards in the region of Luján de Cuyo. It undergoes malolactic fermentation in barrels, and is then aged for 12 months in 50% oak barrels and 50% stainless steel. This old-vine Malbec hails from a restored ancient riverside vineyard overlooking the Lunlunta Hills and highlights fresh, expressive floral and red fruit characteristics. Roberto de la Mota, Argentina’s legendary winemaker behind Mendel Wines, makes Lunta in a vibrant style to showcase the terroir of this estate. He personally revived this forgotten 1928 vineyard, recognizing this unique location’s promise to craft a truly dynamic wine.
Intense fruity aromas of raspberry, plum, blackberry and cassis immediately greet you upon first sniff. These explosive fruit notes continue on the palate of this medium-bodied, easy to drink Malbec. Soft tannins give way to a long finish making this wine enjoyable on its own or paired with lamb, spareribs or pork- and in this case we think it would be spook tacular with Milky Way or Junior Mints! I give it three bones.
Tikal Patriota was #45 on Wine Spectator’s ‘Top 100 List’ in 2015. This ‘Patriotic’ old-vine Bonarda and Malbec is blended to perfection. Bonarda being a native Argentine red varietal. Tikal was founded by Ernesto Catena, a 4th generation winemaker of Italian descent who, having spent a part of his life working as a designer and being a fervent student of Renaissance humanism, sees it as his mission to transform everything in his wine world into art. To share a meal, to enjoy the fruits of their labor—these are the things that matter to him. Over the years, Ernesto and his team designed their biodynamic farm and vineyard as a
sculpture to be gazed upon from the sky, similar to how the Mayas and the Incas designed their cities to be enjoyed by the Gods. Their vineyard is surrounded by natural flora and animals that help them achieve a state of harmony and equilibrium. They pay homage to the Sun in their Rose Garden, and to the Moon in their Vine Labyrinth with music and dancing. They see their winery and vineyard as a home for an artist to create and commune with Nature; to be one with the poetic nature of life.
The Malbec grapes are from high elevation vineyards- the Vist ta Flores vineyard, and the Bonarda grapes comes from Rivadavia. They’re hand-harvested and aged 12 months in 70% French & 30% American oak barrels.
Deep purple and red hues, with aromas of bright berry/cherry fruit. Big body yet very balanced with luscious layers of raspberry, cherry, and cocoa flavors. Just a hint of baking spice at the end brings it all together. A great companion to grilled or smoked meats. Pairs well with beef and pork, and even pizza! But for Halloween we suggest a Snickers Bar. I give it three bones.
Please join us for the virtual tasting event and see our special pricing for these wines. Happy Halloween!
We here at Ed’s have witnessed the transformation of two brothers, Michael and David Phillips, who owned a family farm, in the middle of the Lodi grape growing region in California. Andrew Harshner and his wife Lucille, the Great, Great Grandparents of Michael and David, homesteaded the property – 160 acres near the town of Lodi, following the Civil War in the 1860’s. They grew many types of produce, but grapes proved to be prolific. Now, over a century and a half later, this family is still farming on the property, and the Lodi region has become one of California’s largest grape producers- nearly 25% of the state’s grapes are grown there for wine. The Phillips land is now 7th generation farmed with approximately 800 acres. Michael David Winery was established in 1984 by Michael and David’s parents. The family recently expanded their operations with the purchase of Silver Oak Cellars in Geyserville. Soon there will be releases of Sonoma and North Coast Appellations as well.
The most popular wine from Michael and David Phillips Winery was “Petite Petit”. Their inaugural success of a rich, red blend made up of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. This was followed by successes of their Zinfandels and blends from Freakshow, and the Earthquake and Inkblot series of wines. Jeff Farthing, Derek DeVries, and Adam Mettler make up the winemaking team at Michael David. The wines are farmed sustainably and are third party certified. Ed’s Fine Wines has taken a few groups out to California for festivals and winery tours over the years. It was on one of these trips that my Uncle Perry began lobbying to get distribution of a “winery only” red blend called Lodi Red. The wine was originally released in 1999 to celebrate Michael and David’s father’s 75th birthday. The Phillips family have been great partners to us here at Ed’s, and that partnership finally brought a former winery exclusive out to the market. The new release is a blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Carignane. Lodi Red pays homage to the region and the varietals that thrive there. A Bistro wine with medium body, ripe berry fruit, and aromas of pecans, interlaced with flavors of huckleberry, cola and spice. I give it three bones!
Robert Hall moved west from St. Paul, Minnesota, landing in Paso Robles, California nearly 3 decades ago. “Paso” as it is often referred to, lies 20 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Cool breezes flow from the Santa Lucia Mountains after a hot day, offering ideal growing conditions for many wine varietals. The diurnal temperature swing can be as much as 50 degrees or more (meaning day time highs can exceed 100 degrees and nighttime lows can be 65 degrees or less!). The winery boasts over a dozen varietals grown on their 173 acre estate- with various micro climates and soil types.
Robert Hall’s story is one of passion. Hall moved to California in the early 1990’s and founded the winery in 1999 with his wife Margaret. They grew it to the fifth largest winery in the region, complete with an updated production facility, and massive tasting and hospitality center, as well as acres of underground caverns-with an annual production of around 85,000 cases. Hall was always considered a self-made, hard-working man. In addition to the winery he had several other investment businesses, but the family lived at the winery estate. Hall was well into his 80’s still walking the vineyards with his crew. He earned a reputation for producing distinctive wines from Paso, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Rhone varietals. The winery earned accolades from the trade such as Winery of the Year in California, and continues to show growth. Hall passed away at 85 years of age in 2014. Margaret continued to run the winery with Don Brady at the helm of winemaking. Don had been a partner to the Hall’s since the beginning. Don Brady helped establish Paso Robles as an American Viticultural Area in 1983, and helped to create the unique style that the region is renowned for. The Hall family sold the winery to O’Neil Vintners in 2016- O’Neil is the seventh largest wine producer in California by volume. O’Neil is a family owned and operated business, and Margaret Hall agreed there were no greater stewards for Robert Hall Winery. O’Neil provides winemaking services for many wine makers in the industry at their facility in Fresno, and produces several labels of their own. Call us or stop by to try out any of these wonderful selections from the Paso Robles region.
Robert Hall Viognier features honeysuckle blossom and sweet spice aromas, with flavors of white peach, apricot and tropical fruit. A pleasant lime zest hint on the finish. I give it three bones!
Robert Hall Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of green apple and citrus and lemongrass. Refreshingly dry with crisp acidity. I give it two bones!
Robert Hall Chardonnay features apple and lemon peel aromas with a hint of vanilla spice. This wine is rich from gentle oak aging; flavors of poached peach and butterscotch. I give it two bones!
Robert Hall Merlot has aromas of ripe black cherry with hints of cedar. The palate is dark plum and black cherry fruit with a velvety finish. I give it three bones!
Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon has intense dark ruby color with a core of black currant and hints of cedar along with cocoa aromas. Dark chocolate and anise with rich velvety tannins on the finish. I give it three bones!
Take a trip through the region of Paso Robles with these fine selections from Robert Hall Wines. Remember, we have curbside pick up, just give us a call. See you soon.
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown
A “juggernaut” is something described as a force or institution that inspires devotion and stops at nothing. After 50 years of winemaking, the Bogle family set about creating a unique wine and brand, sourced from different vineyards, that could be set apart from their regular line up. Juggernaut Cabernet was released a couple of years ago, followed by Juggernaut Pinot Noir, with much acclaim. The striking label with the artwork of an open-mouthed dog/ lion character is preparing you for what’s inside the bottle.
Three generations of the Bogle family now run their operation, from humble beginnings in Clarksburg, a town just south of Sacramento and east of Sonoma. Grandfather Bogle grew potatoes and corn, and later grapes. Today, the children and grandchildren run the company and winery, in a family style, hand crafted way, using sustainable farming practices, and offering a quality product for the money. We carry many Bogle wines here at Ed’s, but the Juggernaut is a step up for sure.
Juggernaut Cabernet Sauvignon Four hillside appellations from California are the source for this wine. Sierra Foothills, Livermore Valley, Alexander Valley, and Lake County. The Sierra Foothills get windy mountain breezes in the evenings off the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and very warm days. Rocky soils make grape growing difficult, but intense fruit driven wines are the result. Livermore’s gravel-based soils and unique east west orientation separates the region from other wine growing valleys. South of the San Francisco Bay area, this region produces premium grapes. Alexander Valley in Sonoma is world famous. The Russian River runs through the center of Alexander Valley’s 22-mile length, and early morning fog creates ideal grape growing conditions. Lake County is warm and dry with varying altitudes, with ridges that were formed by volcanic activity. The soil here is also prized for growing grapes. When the grapes are growing at a higher elevation, the vines get stressed, which forces more energy into the fruit, giving it a more lush structure. All of these appellations are held separate and the winemaker produces the final blend for the Juggernaut Cab each vintage. Flavors of vanilla come from 12 to 18 months in French oak barrels, the wine shows black licorice, black currants and is outstanding- I give it three bones!
Juggernaut Pinot Noir is produced with grapes grown in the Russian River Valley, also world famous for Pinot Noir grape growing. The region’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean, along with the fog influence and soil composition make for a cool climate and ideal sanctuary for this temperamental grape. The thin-skinned Pinot Noir doesn’t like to be too hot or too cool. The wine is aged for 12 months in a combination of new and used oak barrels. An intriguing perfume of lilies, vanilla and toasty oak follow up on the palate with hints of spice, red cherries, and raspberries. I give it three bones!
The Bogle family is dedicated to farming, sustainability, and producing quality wines at consumer-friendly prices. We hope you will enjoy these small production, hand crafted wines by Bogle, a real Juggernaut!
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown
It’s the “unofficial start of summer” and nothing chills you out better on a hot Florida day than a lovely glass of rose’! Rose’ can be made from any red grape, or a combination or blend of red and white grapes. Wonderful to sip on a hot sunny day with your toes in the water. The wine is usually lower in alcohol, and ranges in color from pale pink to dark salmon and copper. True Provence Rose’- wine made from that particular region in France, tends to be lighter- and ALL of these rose’ wines are finished in a DRY style. It is not the sweet stuff of White Zinfandel, which garnered fame from California in the 1980’s and 90’s. Today, rose’ means strawberry, cherry, tart fruit and acid, and often a bone-dry finish. Refreshing to drink as an aperitif, or with any combination of lighter meals such as fish and chicken.
How did rose’ get started? Well, back in 500 BC when the Romans and then the Greeks were growing grapes in the south of France, they were not that sophisticated at winemaking. Many wines were fermented quickly and the skins were removed leaving a slightly alcoholic pink wine; the first rose’ ever produced was believed to be in Provence. Cote de Provence is a large Appellation with four sub regions. Over 80% of the wine produced in Provence goes into rose’ winemaking. Different regions of Provence, known for its lavender and thyme fields, allow different varietals to grow many different flavor profiles based on the “terroir”. That being said, almost every region of the world is producing a rose’ wine these days. Let’s explore how it’s made and a few we have here on the shelf for you to try.
There are a couple of ways to turn red wine grape varietals into rose’; the French method of Saignee, which literally means bleed, is a popular method. Winemakers will “bleed off” a small percentage of their red wine production in the early stage of fermentation to make a rose’- typically much darker pink in color with a richer flavor profile.
The Maceration method is the most popular, where the grapes are allowed to rest on their skins for a very short time, allowing more subtle color extraction. The longer the maceration, the darker and more richly flavored the wine will be. This method can produce many styles of rose’ based on the winemaker and terroir of the grapes harvested. Grapes can macerate on the skins from minutes to hours to days.
Direct Pressing is a method similar to maceration- instead of allowing the juice a lot of time to sit with the skins, the grapes are pressed quickly and the skins removed, leaving a natural pink color. Direct Press rose’ usually has more citrus flavors.
Blending is an uncommon method of making rose’ that is actually banned in most parts of Europe (save for Champagne). A small amount of red wine is added to a still white wine to change the color and flavor profile. This method is used in countries outside Europe, though it is not wildly popular.
Here are a few rose’ wines we have on our shelves from all around the world.
Studio by Miraval is a wonderful Provence rose’ born out of plots of vineyards in the south of France surrounded by olive groves and Pine trees. This winery is run by the famed Familie Perrin- who has been making wine for hundreds of years. In partnership with the Pit -Jolie company; yes, Brad Pit still owns the Miraval Winery, and Studio is their entry rose’ wine. A blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle, and Tibouren (all grapes known to the Provence Region of France) this wine shows flavors of strawberry, blood orange and ginger spice, with a smooth richness on the finish. It is perfectly paired with seafood, as the salinity is apparent on the first sip- the vines close proximity to the ocean plays a part in the terroir. Studio is named for the recording studio at the winery where many famous musicians have come to relax, unwind, play music, record music, and sip Studio Rose’! I give it three bones.
Pasqua Rose’ 11 Minutes is from the Trevenezie IGT located near Lake Garda in the Friuli region of Italy. This fun rose’ wine is named for the number of minutes the skins spend resting with the juice (maceration). Mostly Corvina grapes (50%) with some Trebbiano (25%) blended in, and a touch of Syrah (15%) and Carmenere (10%). Pale pink in color with floral aromas and significant acidity. Soft berry and mineral notes. I give it three bones!
Honoro Vera Rosado from Spain is a blend of Syrah and Tempranillo made with a combination of direct press and saignee’. The wine is elegant with a bouquet of apple and lemon peel, with hints of flint. The beautiful salmon color expresses subtle flavors of watermelon and strawberry with bright acidity. I give it two bones!
Belle Glos Pinot Noir Blanc This famous Joe Wagner California produced wine is offering a rose’ from Sonoma County. Pale pink with a copper hue, citrus aromas, and creamy orange notes, with a dried fruit finish. I give it two bones!
There are South American rose’ and Australian rose’- nearly every part of the world that produces wine has a rose’ in one form or another. Stay cool and refreshed and enjoy a trip around the rose’ world by exploring our aisles. Remember we offer curb side pick up as well. We hope to see you soon!
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown
We have all settled in to the new “normal”- we are practicing safe distances and staying at home, and finding new ways of working and doing things, including communicating and shopping. If you’re budget has taken a hit, or if your wine consumption has gone up significantly (whose hasn’t?!) don’t raid all of your good stuff out of the wine cellar. We have some great wines all under $10 a bottle that won’t disappoint. Don’t forget, you can call us or e-mail and we will pull your order for you. Here’s some popular varietals that are budget friendly- all around $10 a bottle or less.
Washington Hills Riesling This wine is grown in Columbia Valley, in Washington State. It’s light and fruity with flavors of orange zest and dried apricot, with a hint of red roses on the nose. A touch of Gewurztraminer blended in gives a ripe pineapple and sweet tart finish. The winery is owned by the largest wine company in the Northwest, Precept Brands. Lots of fruit sources and quality. I give it two bones!
Chateau St Jean Crisp Chardonnay Part of the Treasury Wine Group, St Jean has a long history of quality in Sonoma, California. Founded in 1973, the current winemaker Margo Van Staaveren has over 35 years of viticulture and winemaking experience. This “crisp” Chardonnay is aged in stainless steel – hints of lemon, fresh pear, and apple blossom. This wine shows the true expression of the grape grown on their vineyards in Kenwood, Sonoma. I give it three bones!
Day Owl Rose’ This wine radiates floral red fruit and vibrant orange zest. The lively acidity makes the wine great just for sipping on a hot day, or with light seafood or chicken dishes. The grape is Barbera- an Italian varietal that grows well in California. The fruit is sourced from Central Coast and Paso Robles and it is slightly lower in alcohol, 12% so we love it for “day drinking”! I give it three bones!
Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir Another value from California that is owned by a wine group that contracts out for the fruit. This practice is common in Europe and a growing theme in California, as quality wines can be produced affordably. Wine Hooligans purchased the Cycles Gladiator brand and the grapes are sourced from up and down North and Central Coast areas of California, within ten miles of the Pacific Ocean. Aromas of cherries with soft, toasty oak. Flavors of Pomegranate and strawberry, with tobacco and raspberry on the finish. I give it two bones!
Sterling Vintner’s Collection Merlot Another treasured wine from the Treasury Estate folks- this Merlot has ripe dark fruit flavors and a touch of spicy oak. Blackberry fruit up front with a hint of chocolate on the finish. The winery is located in Calistoga, California and is famous for their aerial tram that takes visitors up the mountain with amazing views of the vineyards and countryside. The Vintner’s Collection is their entry level tier of wines and grapes are sourced from vineyards throughout CA. I give this Merlot three bones!
Line 39 Cabernet Sauvignon This wine is a pleasure to drink at this price point! The 39th Parallel runs through the heart of California wine country and this is the inspiration behind this label. Grapes are sourced throughout the best regions: North Coast, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino for this wine. Aromas of blackberry, plum and vanilla- medium bodied with a smooth palate. I give it three bones!
19 Crimes Shiraz Named for the English convicts that were sent to Australia via boats for committing any of 19 Crimes. These convicts eventually became colonists and settled the land, became farmers and viticulturists. Intense aromas of vanilla, ripe raspberry and plum fruits. A great value, I give it two bones!
Piatelli Malbec Over 50 years ago, an Italian family settled in Mendoza, Argentina and planted wine grapes. The current winemaker, Valeria Antolin is a second-generation viticulturist following in the footsteps of her father and uncle. She grew up in the industry and has consistently garnered 90+ ratings on these wines. Intensely aromatic blueberries on the nose, flavors of plum and raspberries. Medium to heavy weight with a smooth finish. This is a super- premium wine at a bargain price point. I give it three bones!
There’s something for everyone to enjoy here at Ed’s. We offer curb side service; we will gather your order and have it ready for you when you pull up in your car. Stay safe and stay sane, and remember you can’t walk your dog too many times!
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown