Umbra Winery


By in news-events Comments Off on Texas Wine Info: Review of Hacienda de Arínzano Rosé 2015: The post Review of Hacienda de Ar… Via @TXWineLover

Texas Wine Info: Review of Hacienda de Arínzano Rosé 2015: The post Review of Hacienda de Ar… Via @TXWineLover

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May 12, 2016 at 01:57AM

By in news-events Comments Off on Love Dont Live Here Anymore (2011 version) by roman rauch

Love Dont Live Here Anymore (2011 version) by roman rauch

lil edit i did some years ago, revisited a couple of days ago i decided to upload it again and give away for download! please spread, share & play it if you like it, thx. hope you dig!

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By in news-events Comments Off on French winemaker threats secure Tour de France deal

French winemaker threats secure Tour de France deal

French winemaker threats secure Tour de France deal

Organisers of the Tour de France 2016 have agreed a promotional deal with winemakers in southern France in order to avoid a threatened blockade of the annual cycling race.

Tour de France riders near to Limoux in Languedoc-Roussillon
Tour de France riders near to Limoux in Languedoc-Roussillon.

Winemakers in the Aude area of Languedoc-Roussillon had threatened to disrupt the Tour de France 2016 when it passed through their region, because the organising body had earlier signed up a Chilean wine brand as an event sponsor.

But, a deal has been struck to end the stand-off, following meetings in Narbonne between Frédéric Rouanet, président des Vignerons de l’Aude, Christian Prudhomme, general director of Tour de France, and Jérôme Despey from France AgriMer.

The trio agreed to a deal ‘offering French winemakers the chance to create a flag for French wine, in addition to separate flags for regional products’, Prudhomme told French TV station France 3.

‘We understand the emotion of winemakers,’ he added.

Frédéric Rouanet told, ‘With this proposition, we will not need to block the Tour de France and we know that the Tour de France will be associated with [French] wine this year.’

Prudhomme said that no French wine brand had applied to be Tour de France sponsor before a deal was agreed with Chile’s Cono Sur in 2015.

Cono Sur’s Bicicleta can only be promoted at Tour de France stages outside of France – this  year Spain, Switzerland and Andorra – because of French restrictions on promoting alcoholic drinks at sporting events.

Editing by Chris Mercer

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May 10, 2016 at 06:44PM

By in news-events Comments Off on Wine Legend: Trimbach, Clos Ste-Hune 1990

Wine Legend: Trimbach, Clos Ste-Hune 1990

Wine Legend: Trimbach, Clos Ste-Hune 1990

This Alsace Riesling is from a single grand cru site in one of the best Alsace vintages.


A wine legend because…

Single-vineyard wines, other than those from grand cru sites, are not that common in Alsace, and over the decades Clos Ste-Hune has won a reputation as the finest of them all. It is only produced in good vintages; thus in 1980 and 1984 no Clos Ste-Hune was bottled. 1990, by contrast, is recognised as one of the greatest years in Alsace. The reputation of the Clos is not restricted to Alsace; many critics and sommeliers regard it as one of the greatest white wines in the world.

Looking back

The Trimbachs have been producing wine in Alsace since the early 17th century, and have owned the Clos for more than two centuries, although the first vintage to be released commercially was the 1919. In 1990 the winemaker would have been Pierre Trimbach and this was his first vintage after taking over from his father Bernard.

The vintage

Like its predecessor 1989, 1990 was an outstanding vintage in Alsace, although the crop was reduced by about 25% after poor weather at flowering. But the aromatic varieties were more troubled by these problems than Riesling. The winter was mild and dry, so in spring the vines experienced a growth spurt that was brought to a halt by miserable weather in June, just before flowering. Thereafter the growing season was fine and the harvest took place in early October in perfect conditions; sugar levels were abnormally high.

The terroir

The Clos is a 1.67-hectare parcel within the 26ha Rosacker Grand Cru, but the Trimbachs (like the firms of Hugel and Beyer) have always been firmly opposed to the grand cru system in Alsace. Since the existing grands crus have been generously defined, they feel it would be a disservice to this great wine to place it on the same level as other Rieslings from this site. There is no doubt that Clos Ste-Hune is easily the finest wine to be produced from Rosacker, and the Trimbachs wish to protect that renown. The site faces southeast on a gentle slope, and has rather heavy marl and clay soils over a limestone subsoil. The average age of the vines is about 50 years. Yields are generally about 50 hectolitres per hectare – low but not especially so, given that Riesling can reach a potential alcohol level of 13.5% at such a yield. It is the small size of the Clos that ensures production rarely exceeds 8,000 bottles in any year, a rarity factor that, in addition to its quality, justifies a very high price. Despite this very limited production, the Trimbachs have occasionally, as in 1989, produced an even scarcer Vendange Tardive (late harvest) from the Clos.

The wine

The Trimbachs have long produced Rieslings that are among the most severe and uncompromising from Alsace. These include not only Clos Ste-Hune but the magnificent Cuvée Frédéric Emile as well. They have never followed, indeed have always opposed, the trend to leave some residual sugar in the wine. (That said, the 1990 did have 5.6 grams of residual sugar, so rich was the fruit, but there is no perceptible sweetness.) To preserve the acidity so key for the longevity of their wines, the Rieslings do not go through malolactic fermentation. Although fermented in stainless steel, the wine is aged for about six months in large old casks. It is bottled relatively young, but then spends five years in the Trimbach cellars before release. Clos Ste-Hune does not seek to charm, and the initial impression given by a young vintage is often one of ruthless austerity. It’s a wine that demands bottle age and should not be broached until it is at least seven years old.

How does it taste?

Reserved, nutty apricot and apple nose. Very rich and full-bodied on the palate, supple yet nutty and mineral, a touch alcoholic but has splendid persistence.

The facts

Bottles produced 8,300

Composition 100% Riesling

Yield 59 hl/ha

Alcohol 14.2%

Release price N/A

Price today £395 x1 bottle Handford Wines (UK)

The post Wine Legend: Trimbach, Clos Ste-Hune 1990 appeared first on Decanter.


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May 6, 2016 at 04:16AM

By in news-events Comments Off on Pre-French Revolution Cognac auctioned by La Tour d’Argent

Pre-French Revolution Cognac auctioned by La Tour d’Argent

Pre-French Revolution Cognac auctioned by La Tour d’Argent

One of the most famous restaurants in Paris, La Tour d’Argent, is set to auction some of the rarest wine and spirits lying in its 50,000-bottle cellar, including a pre-French Revolution Cognac.

Clos du Griffier Cognac 1788, La Tour d'Argent
Clos du Griffier Cognac from 1788 is among those bottles to be auctioned.

The La Tour d’Argent auction is scheduled for today (9 May) and includes a pre-French Revolution Grande Fine Clos du Griffier Cognac from 1788, as well as thousands of bespoke Riedel and Baccarat glasses and other objects. The Cognac alone was expected to fetch up to €20,000 (£15,850).

The Michelin one-star restaurant traces its origins to 1582. It was once owned by Napoleon’s personal chef and was parodied affectionately in Disney film Ratatouille.

The sale is one of several in recent years and helps make way for the restaurant’s refreshed branding and décor.

‘The bottles up for auction are as much a part of history as they are wines and spirits,’ said head sommelier David Ridgway, who has worked at La Tour d’Argent since 1981.

‘At a certain point, the price we have to charge for these in the restaurant is a bit obscene, and we pride ourselves on pricing our list very keenly,’ he told

The sale features several lots of private-label Armagnac from 1875; Domaine de Semainville A. Camut Calvados du Pays d’Auge 1929; and Blandy Voal Madeira 1850, bottled in 1887.

Also of note among non-wine items: a Christofle silver duck presse, estimated to fetch €4,000 and used to make the restaurant’s signature canard au sang – a piece of culinary theatre served only in a handful of restaurants, including Otto’s in London.

Ridgway, who is working with newly hired chef Philippe Labbé to modernise the wine pairings for an updated menu, said of the older bottles up for auction, ‘The styles are different from what 21st century diners might be accustomed to.

‘The Cognacs and Armagnacs are purer, perhaps less rounded than what is being produced today.’

The total sale, organised by auctioneer Artcurial, is expected to achieve up to €500,000.

More on La Tour d’Argent in Paris:

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May 8, 2016 at 10:34PM

By in news-events Comments Off on Putting wine in the fridge – ask Decanter

Putting wine in the fridge – ask Decanter

Putting wine in the fridge – ask Decanter

Do temperature changes have an adverse effect on wine? And can you take wine in and out of the fridge? Paolo Basso gives Decanter an answer.

chilled sparkling wine

Ask Decanter: Putting wine in the fridge

John McGlynn, from Edinburgh, asks: On occasion, I put a bottle of wine (including sparking and fortifieds) in the fridge with the intention of drinking it, leaving it there for up to a month or more before changing my mind and putting it back in my cellar. Would these temperature changes have an adverse effect on the wine, given that you always read about consistent storing temperature being vital?

Paolo Basso, for Decanter, replies: Like any food product, exposure to cold will slow or stop the ripening process. If you do this only once to a young and robust wine, it will generally resume its ageing process without consequence after a period in the fridge, but a more mature wine, which is less resistant to shock, may suffer some disruption to its ageing process. Wine is like us: in youth, we will recover more easily after an accident; when we are older, recovery will be more difficult. Of course, it is better not to have the accident in the first place.

Paolo Basso was named Best Sommelier in the World in 2013.

At the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter in November 2014, Louis Roederer’s chef de cave and executive vice-president, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, told guests that they should ‘put Champagne in the fridge 48 hours before drinking it,’ if possible.

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May 6, 2016 at 10:31PM

By in news-events Comments Off on Flashback Friday: Malbec & Maradona

Flashback Friday: Malbec & Maradona

Flashback Friday: Malbec & Maradona

51gap2blvbgl-_sx332_bo1204203200_Here is another Flashback Friday column in honor of Malbec World Day, which Wines of Argentina has set for Sunday, April 17. This is a book review from 2012 that links Malbec, Argentina’s signature grape variety, with Diego Maradona, one of that country’s legendary soccer stars.


Ian Mount, The Vineyard at the End of the World: Maverick Winemakers and the Rebirth of Malbec. Norton: 2011.

Malbec and Maradona

One of the most stunningly creative student papers I’ve received in more than 30 years as a college professor was written by a first year student enrolled in my introductory International Political Economy class. We were studying Argentina’s latest financial crisis and she analyzed the situation not just through facts and figures but rather by telling the story of Diego Maradona, the legendary soccer player who achieved great success on the global stage but succumbed to the pressures, stresses and temptations that came with it.

Maradona is always measured against Pele, the Brazilian star who is often proclaimed the greatest soccer player in history, and every talented young Argentinean forward is compared to  him (Messi is only the latest “next Maradona”). But an air of tragedy is unmistakable despite Maradona’s heroic achievements. This same air, my student wrote, hangs over Argentina’s politics and economy, and then she proceeded to analyze Argentina’s political economy history in detail in  terms of the Maradona story. It was, in both conception and execution, a brilliant analysis.

Ian Mount’s new book on Argentinean wine, The Vineyard at the End of the World, is also brilliant and in much the same way. Like my student’s paper, it can be read at several levels. It is, first and foremost, a history of the Argentinean wine industry from its roots with the Spanish explorers to its current spectacular flowering.

Although Argentina has been a major wine producer for literally centuries, it has only arrived on the global stage in the last ten years. Within Argentina its long history is heavy baggage that sometimes weighs it down. For the rest of the world, however, Argentina is a new discovery and the lack of prior experience of and attitudes toward its wines has arguably been an advantage.

Mount fills us in on the history and serious readers will appreciate the added depth this gives to the appreciation of the wines themselves. It also provides an interesting contrast to neighboring Chile and its wines, whose history is perhaps better known. But that’s only the beginning.ce1509cd596b49b050639487b3d03dcc

 Lucky Survivors

Malbec is a second theme, which is understandable because Malbec is king in Argentina right now. Malbec from Argentina has been one of the hottest product categories in the U.S. wine market is the past few years. But today’s Malbec (like Maradona) is a lucky survivor of Argentina’s booms and busts – a lot of Malbec was grubbed up during the market swings and swirls. It makes me appreciate wines (like one of our favorites, Mendel Malbec) that are made from the surviving old vine blocks.

More than anything, however, this is a history of Argentina itself told through wine, making this a book that deserves a very broad readership. Based on my previous research, I knew that Argentina’s politics and economics were reflected in the wine industry, but I didn’t know how much. Come for the Malbec, stay for the politics, economics and personal stories of those who succeeded or failed (or did both) and try to understand the country and people of Argentina.

Significantly, the book ends with a sort of Maradona moment. In terms of wine, Argentina has won the World Cup with Malbec, although the country must share the glory with international consultants (like Paul Hobbs and Michel Rolland) and foreign investors and partners (too numerous to mention). But for all its strengths the industry is still somewhat fragile, struggling to overcome the problems of the domestic wine market that it still depends upon and the domestic economy in which it is embedded.

After decades of “crisis and glory,” Mount sees a  bright future for both Malbec and Argentina. Let’s hope he’s right and the Maradona moment passes.e91c4e409ca6d78d656bc85a82fa6422

Ian Mount’s new book is a valuable addition to any wine enthusiast’s library. Mount provides a strong sense of the land and people of Argentina and the flow of history that connects them. Argentina is unique, as Mount notes early on, in that it is an Old World wine country (in terms of the nature of its wine culture) set in the New World, so that its history is broadly relevant and deeply interesting.

I studied the Argentina industry before going there last year, but Mount taught me things I didn’t know in every chapter. I love Laura Catena’s Vino Argentino for its account of the history of wine in Argentina told through the Catena family story and now I’m glad to also have The Vineyard at the End of the World for its broad sweep and detailed analysis. They are must reading for anyone with an interest in Argentina and its wines.


Editor’s note: The way this 2012 book review ends with the reference to a “Maradona moment” is timely because of the recent election of the Macri government. I wrote two columns on Argentina wine’s prospects for revival back in January 2016. Click here and here to read them.

Here’s a short video about Maradona.


via The Wine Economist

April 14, 2016 at 09:02PM