“Three Big Reds” This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at http://www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/02/19/wine-guy-mike-for-february-19/

NBC Montana Today TV Segment with Valentine’s Day wines; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30455384/index.html

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors      

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Good Sunday morning and welcome back to the WineGuyMike show.  It’s the middle of winter and it’s time to move with my shifting palate and that can only mean one thing.  It’s time to break out the big guns, some familiar and some not so familiar.  Today I’m going to share three great full bodied wines with you, and they’re all from The big “C”, California.

In recent weeks my focus has been on Old World wines that pair so well with food. 

WineGuyMike and Gia the wonderdog

WineGuyMike and Gia the wonderdog

I’m hunkered down here in the Rocky Mountains of Montana sitting with Gia the wonderdog, she is my tasting partner, and we are sipping and tasting wine.  As I have mentioned in previous weeks New World wines are made to be drunk, not necessarily with food but paired correctly are excellent companions.  Today though Gia and I are just tasting wine, no dining.

The wines we are sharing with you today are from artisanal family owned wineries in California and all produce beautiful examples of the single varietal wines.  All three of these wines are full bodied, powerful, yet are made with finesse and elegance.

Today I have two Zinfandel’s and one varietal you may not be familier with, Cabernet Franc, the spicy cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Remember Cabernet Sauvignon is a big, powerful red wine that is full in body, rich, and very flavorful imparting nuances of fruits, berries, currants, and plums.  Cabernet Franc has traditionally been used as blending wine but now is gaining popularity as its own stand alone wine type or varietal. This is a full bodied wine and in the hands of a good winemaker is lovely to drink as a single varietal wine.

Zinfandel is full bodied wine that is fruit forward, spicy wine that is one of California’s favorites, and most plentiful.  Berries, cherries, tobacco, oak, and vanilla, this wine seems to have it all.

The wines I’m sharing with you today are all delightful examples of the varietals they represent.  The Zinfandel wines are different, yet both are very good wines.  J Dusi’s Zin is a wonderful wine made with the delicate touch of a woman, so easy and nice to drink.  The Truchard Zin is powerful, complex with structure and such a nice Zinfandel to drink.

The Cabernet Franc from Lang & Reed is also a great wine to enjoy in these long Winter months.  This wine is affordable, very well made, and elegant with just a hint of spice.  Enjoy these wines that Gia the wonderdog and I share with you today from the WineGuyMike world headquarters here in Montana.

Welcome to J Dusi Wines

Janell was born and raised on the Dusi Vineyard where her grandfather Dante taught her the Old World Italian style of winemaking.

Her family’s heritage dates back to the early 1920’s, where grape growing has been a craft that has deep roots in the Dusi family.  The farming practices that were implemented by her great-grandparents eighty years ago, are still the standard that they follow today.  The unique, hand crafted quality of J Dusi Wines results from Janell’s intimate involvement in every step of the process: working in the vineyard, driving the tractor, hand picking their own fruit, crushing the grapes and fermenting the juice from the bins to the barrels to the bottle.  One thing that Janell knows and understands is that; winemaking is part science, part art and 100% passion.

She takes great pride in blending tradition with progress.  Her family has partnered together to purchase other vineyards, with different grape varietals, so with an adventurous spirit; Janell is able to produce more hand crafted wines that highlight her “spice rack” in the cellar.

Her name is Janell Dusi.  Her true passion is Zinfandel.  Her label is J Dusi Wines.  She is a farmer and a winemaker.  She carries on the legacy and also the dream: A family tradition with a new perspective.

2009 Zinfandel

Big bright fruit envelopes you on the front palate with a hint of spice towards the end. This garnet Zinfandel gives you the essence of 100% Zinfandel from the westside terroir of the Dusi Vineyard.  Brambleberry essence and a dry finish that is medium in body.  

Truchard

Truchard Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery in the Carneros region of Napa Valley.  Proprietors Tony and Jo Ann Truchard have managed a successful vineyard and grown exceptional grapes for over 30 years.  Through their hard work and devotion to this unique property, they helped pioneer grape growing in the Carneros.  In 1989, the Truchards established a winery and began producing wines using only their estate-grown fruit.

Truchard Vineyards produces the only Zin made entirely from Napa Carneros fruit.

2009 Truchard Zinfandel

Beautiful aromas of cherry, cranberry and cassis; with a touch of cedar and mint.  The mouth is filled with ripe jammy flavors of plum, wild berries, and sweet vanilla.  Round tannins and firm acidity provide a long, delicate finish of spice and red fruits.

Lang & Reed

In the last century Lang & Reed began their exploration into Cabernet Franc, they did so with a constant sense of resolve to stay keenly aware of all things ‘Cabernet Franc’.   So it was with resolve that they investigated and strived to understand the source material, the clonal selections as they were evolving throughout the 1990’s.  The choice of Cabernet Franc clones before this time was minimal, but in those roaring 90’s a number of great clones made their way into the vineyards of Napa Valley.  One of these unique selections was Clone 214, a cultivar that originated in the Loire Valley of France, home to some of the worlds’ most renowned Cabernet Franc vineyards and producers.

In 2007 Lang & Reed found a vineyard located on ideal rocky soils on a beautiful hillside slope in the southeastern corner of Napa Valley.  The Sugarloaf Mountain benefits from moderate temperatures and cooling breezes that emanate from the northern reaches of San Francisco Bay.  This New World climate combined with this Old World Loire Valley Clone provides the basis for a unique and immensely gratifying presentation of the Cabernet Franc grape.  

When Lang & Reed began their exploration of Cabernet Franc they set out with the goal to present a wine that was ‘true to type,’ or in wine-speak, a wine that showed ‘typicity’ – boldly saying ‘Cabernet Franc’! Their exploration, in progress for over a decade, brought them to the rows of many vineyards in very diverse growing conditions.  For seven vintages we have been focused a little north of us [north of Napa Valley that is] in the hills of Lake County.  They have been working with vineyards ‘up’ in Lake County long enough to have found growers who are passionate in providing them with the grapes they needed to realize their Cabernet Franc vision.

The 2009 is a compelation of grapes from four vineyards, two located in the Napa Valley and two from the northern reaches of Lake County.  Though only a small percent, the Stanton Vineyard in Oakville provides that bright crisp cherry aroma and flavor component.  Sugarloaf Mountain, located in the cool southeastern reaches of Napa Valley contributes to the effusive aromas and texture. The High Chaparral Vineyard, located high up in the real red hills of Lake County just north of Kelseyville was planted back in the 70’s.  It is the only Cabernet Franc vineyard Lang & Reed know of that is planted on its own roots – a true Franc de Pied providing deep structure and lovely fruit tannins.  Also above the 2,000ft elevation in the High Valley appellation of Lake County are the Cross Spring Vineyards. The grapes from this vineyard provide them with an exciting facet in their quest to express ‘typicity’ in our North Coast bottling.

The 2009 North Coast Cabernet Franc has a bright, clear and brilliant red color rimmed in youthful violet-blue.  Sweet cherry, herb and spice aromatics push forward accented with lightly toasted top notes. The flavors call forth bright cherry fruit and a mélange of dried herbs – all with a beguiling softness that begs for another glass.

All of these wines receive the WineGuyMike Seal of Approval®

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

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What’s Your Wine Style? This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at http://www.trail1033.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast;  will be posted as soon as it is available, thank you.

NBC Montana Today TV Segment with Christmas wines; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30063511/index.html

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Sponsors      

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

Sleep City Missoula  www.SleepCity.com

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

W.J. Deutsch & Sons since 1981 has been marketing quality wines produced by prestigious families from major wine regions of the world. 

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Good Sunday morning and welcome to the WineGuyMike Radio Show.  It’s 2012 and I’m ready to rock this year’s vintage with you.  Together we are going to take a new approach and a new look at great wines that I can’t wait to share with you.

Pick up your empty glass and hold it up to the sky as you look out the window.  Imagine the beautiful color of your favorite wine adorning the glass, bend your elbow and pull the glass close and tip your nose deep into the glass.  Breathe deeply and imagine the wildest exotic aromas of your favorite wine rising from the juice in your glass.  Lower the glass to your lips, tilt your head gently back and take an imaginary sip of the finest wine you have ever tasted.  Swish the wine all about as it invigorates your palate.  Swallow the liquid nectar and imagine The Trail that it has left behind, the finish of the best wine you have ever tasted.  It lingers on your palate just like a song you hear on the radio and then it is stuck in your head.  You play it over and over, on your palate and in your mind.

That’s right this I’m going to take you on a new virtual wine journey week after week in 2012.  We are going to meet interesting new people from the vast world of wine.  Virtually traveling to new places we have yet to visit, experiencing wine in a way you and I have never imagined.  

Welcome to 2012.  Today I’m going to talk about style, your wine style preference is what I’m referring to.  So far this winter Western Montana has been a little bit strange.  Why you ask, well it has in the high 30’s to low 50’s and the last time I checked it is early January.  As memory serves me it is usually about zeroish this time of year in the Rocky Mountains.  This is more than a little disconcerting, it is just downright unusual.

Did you know that all throughout the decade of the 60’s that grape farmers in Burgundy, France harvested their grapes on average at the end of September?  In the first few years of the millennium that harvest took place in the first week of September.  I don’t begin to know what that means but it is a huge change.  When I think about having Spring in the middle of Winter in the Rocky Mountains and major climate changes in wine country around the world it is one of those circumstances that make me go hmm……………..

Old World, New World, what’s your style?  Let’s take a closer look and see if we can define this.  First of all let’s consider these terms; Old World wine, Old World winemaking, New World wine, and New World winemaking.  What do these terms mean and why are they relevant?

When I think about terminology that best describes Old World vs. New World these are a few thoughts that come to mind.

Old World; Ancient, Europe, tried, apprenticeships, craftsman, details, tradition, experience, patience, aged, practical, these are my thoughts when I think of Old World.

New World; Young, new, melting pot, now, in the moment, technology, science, instant gratification, excess, impatient, brash, learn as I go, these are a few terms that come to mind when I think of New World.

I’m not suggesting that one is better that the other, what I am suggesting is that when it comes to wine, these are styles.  Styles should be considered for the situation, perhaps a style to suite your mood, or your frame of mind.

For me Old World vs. New World could be compared to the difference between those who cook with feel and experience and those who cook with recipes.  Old World draws on centuries of experience thus allowing for intuitive multi-dimensional winemaking.   New World has decades of experience, it may still be developing its formula, striving to become more dimensional.  Experience enables chef’s to create and cook with intuition; the same can be said for winemakers as well.

Winemakers from the Old World are very much in the background.  Current winemakers are a result of many years of understudy and apprenticeship with the winemaker who made wines at that particular Chateau or Estate. Rarely do you know the name of a famous Old World winemaker, but it is common to be aware of a famous Chateau or Estate that produces excellent wine.  This is because European wine laws typically dictate what grapes can be grown, how much of them can be grown, harvested, and dictate how the wines are made.  Wine regions of the Old World have be growing grapes and making wine for centuries.  The New World does not yet have this type of experience to draw from.  The Old World quite literally has this down to a formula and they understand their terroir, or sense of place.

Let’s remember that Old World wine is made by design, it is made to complement foods that are indigenous to that particular region.  These wines are blends of grapes that are smooth and easy to drink and are easily enjoyed with foods they are designed to pair with.  Old World wines exude restraint but express subtle nuances of sense of place, are understated yet complex, these are sophisticated wines that present as simple.

Wine in the New World in the most historic sense may only be a century old.  Cavalier vineyard owners and young winemakers are still discovering new places to grow grapes as they understand terrior.  Historic floods, fossils, seismic activities, and cataclysmic eruptions up and down the west coasts of North and South America are now the home of multitudes of renowned vineyards with serious potential.

If you look closely at the pedigrees of New World winemakers almost all have wine related degrees of Enology or Viticulture from UC Davis or Oregon State.  What does this mean for you and me?  Most new young winemakers have these degrees prior to having the opportunity to utilize their specialties at a wine estate. This is unlike the Old World that is steeped in the tradition of apprenticeship.  New World winemaking comes at wine from a very different direction than Old World in some respects and I believe it is reflected in the wine, not that this is bad, it is just different. 

New World wines are not made as a result of foods indigenous to regions.  These wines are driven by science and now are also by an understanding of the terroir.  Vineyard owners and winemakers understand terroir now in a way the Old World has for centuries.  So how are the wines different, well to start with most New World wines are single varietal wines, although many winemakers that are beginning to blend wines well.  Most New World wine has a much higher percentage of alcohol than Old World wine.  This presents wines that are much bigger, much bolder than their European counterparts.  In general most New World wines are designed to drink and not necessarily made with a food pairing purpose in mind.  That is not to say New World wines do not pair well with food, they are not made to complement food localized to a region.

I find that New World wines have a much sturdier frame or structure, are much more pronounced visually, aromatically, and certainly on the palate.  This is the New World style of wine, is this better, less than, no they really cannot be compared because they are simply different.   As for me it really comes down to what is the circumstance and what kind of mood I’m in.  Do you want wine to enjoy dinner with or do I want to sip on wine to be social, a lot to consider.  New World and Old World alike both produce wonderful wines, but perhaps with a different focus.

2009 “In the Rocks” Syrah from Reynvaan Family Vineyards

This is an example of an Old World style of wine made by Matt Reynvaan who last year was noted as one of the top 30 winemakers under 30 years of age in the world.  Nobody does wine better that Reynvaan Vineyards from Walla Walla in the Columbia Valley AVA.

The 2009 “In The Rocks” is packed with dark fruit aromatics, smoked meats, crushed gravel, and white pepper.  It is very animalistic with hints of sweet creme brulee and will benefit from 5 years of cellaring if you are able to resist the temptation to drink it.  Terroir driven wine that is outstanding, you don’t want to miss this.  Check this wine out at Liquid Planet in the heart of Downtown Missoula.

2009 Truchard Vineyards Syrah from Carneros Napa Valley

The 2009 vintage produced fruity wines with intense flavors, great texture, and beautiful balance.  This terrific example of a New World style of wine from the Carneros area in the Napa Valley has aromas of plum, boysenberry, and blackberry; highlighted with vanilla, earth, and white pepper.  On the palate this wine is fills your mouth with rich flavors of cassis and black cherry; followed by mineral and cracked black pepper.  Ripe tannins provide an opulent, long finish of fruit and spice.  This wine is well made and a beautiful wine to drink.

*Both of these wines are upscale wines that represent the Old World vs. New World styles reffered to in today’s blog.  There will be selections of both styles available at  your favorite place to shop for affordable wines too.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"