This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Wine Cellar Craftsman and Designer Philippe Leiritz


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 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;

This week’s podcast; Philippe Leiritz and Your Custom Cellar http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/08/05/wine-guy-mike-for-august-5/

Recent podcast; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Last week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

Father’s Day podcast, Special Father’s and Special Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/17/wine-guy-mike-for-june-17/

Recent Podcast with John Balletto of Balletto Vineyards & Winery http://bit.ly/WineGuyMike2

WineGuyMike with Perfect Patio Wines on KECI NBC Montana Today; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html

NBC Montana Today TV Segment on Easter wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/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

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 WineGuyMike show wines for the lowest price.  Located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Philippe Leiritz

Philippe Leiritz from YourCustomCellar.com

Philippe Leiritz was this week’s featured guest on the WineGuyMike Radio Show.  Leiritz is a native of Alsace, France and by professional trade worked as a mechanical engineer.  Leiritz and his wife Frederique worked together in Geneva, Switzerland prior to moving to and settling in Michigan.  Leiritz continued working in the engineering field but had no time to spend with his family. Frederique and Philippe made a decision to move to Missoula, Montana in pursuit of their dreams.

Collectively the Leiritz family is owner and proprietor of the Missoula Winery and Event Center.  Frederique who is from Champagne, France grew up and worked in a winery.  She is now the winemaker for her family winery and Philippe designs and builds wine cellars. 

Leiritz truly is a master craftsman with the mechanical engineering background.  A functional combination that comes together in the form of beautiful wine cellars custom built for all types of homes and businesses.

Learning how light, humidity and temperature are crucial for the finest wine storage.  There are four things that affect wines as they are stored; Temperature, Humidity, Light, and bottles need be stored horizontally on their side.

  1. Temperature 55°F – 59°F
  2. Humidity 50-70%
  3. Light – wines that are stored in areas with ample light often time indicates incorrect storage temperature.  Constant direct light is another factor to consider as it will begin breaking down wine.

In today’s world 90% of wines are made to be drunk within one year.  If you are a collector of vintage wines you already know how and where you should be storing your wines.  The bottom line; temperature is far more critical than a dark wine cellar.

  1. Lying the bottle down is critical, especially if you intend to store the wine for any length of time. The purpose of this is to keep the cork moist, if your bottle is setting upright there is no liquid to keep the cork wet and swollen thus sealing the bottle correctly and keeping the oxygen out until you are ready to drink the wine.

With synthetic corks do not need contact with the wine to protect the bottle but then you should still be laying the bottle down.  This is important for unfiltered wines with sediment being spread out evenly through a horizontally stored bottle rather than collecting on the bottom of one that is stored upright.  Remember the wine in the bottle is alive and changing every day and the sediment in the bottle plays its part in this too, but that is another story for another day…

Commercial wine rack at a local tasting room

Commercial wine rack at a local tasting room

Master craftsman Leiritz also points out the choice of wood used in a cellar is critical for your cellar.  Redwood, mahogany, oak and alder are a few of the recommended choices for cellars.  Price, relative humidity, home décor, and personal preference all become a part of making the right choice for your wine cellar, Leiritz’s expertise is crucial when it comes to assisting you in these decisions.  

It is important to note that Leiritz builds cellars for all types of homes from modest to elegant custom homes.  There are even nice small racks that allow for proper wine storage for common guys like me.

This was a fun and informative radio show this week and Philippe Leiritz craftsmanship is extraordinary, having a nice cellar makes collecting and drinking wine just that much more enjoyable.  For more information please visit the website at; http://www.yourcustomcellar.com/home   

Here are two WineGuyMike wines that I recommend for your wine rack, pick them up at Missoula’s finest wine shopping experience, Liquid Planet located in the Heart of Downtown Missoula.

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

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This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Simply What You Need To Know About Wine


Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and U 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; What You Need To Know About Wine  http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/

Last week’s podcast; Perfect Patio Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/01/wine-guy-mike-for-july-1/

Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/

Father’s Day podcast, Special Father’s and Special Wines http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/17/wine-guy-mike-for-june-17/

Recent Podcast with John Balletto of Balletto Vineyards & Winery http://bit.ly/WineGuyMike2

NBC Montana Today TV Segment on Easter wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30847522/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

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 WineGuyMike show wines for the lowest price.  Located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

What’s Important to Know about Wine

This is WineGuyMike, good Sunday morning and welcome back to this week’s show.  Before I delve into this week’s topic I wanted to let you know that next week my featured guest will be Scott Morrison from the Russian River Valley.  Scott is winemaker the Paul Hobbs label, Crossbarn.  You will not want to miss this interesting show.

This week I’m sharing with you what I believe is really important to know about wine.  I have developed the WineGuyMike Wine Template©, a 10 point simple look that allows you to understand any wine easily.  This is important to know for many reasons, it empowers you if you are shopping for wine, tasting wine, or helping someone else to better understand wine. 

You may have noticed the last few weeks on my blog that I have been displaying the wines I’m sharing with you by utilizing the wine templates.  I feel very strongly that keeping wine as simple as possible is ultimately important.  As you may know we don’t encourage any wine snobbery here on the WineGuyMike show.

The templates generally include ten different points that is necessary for you to understand what a wines personality and a wines physical attributes.  The new templates also help you to better understand your palate and the taste profile of a wine that are appealing to you.

Here is the list and a description of 10 points I cover on each WineGuyMike Wine Template©.

  1. Style – New World or Old World

–         The style of wines can be significant depending on the winemaker’s philosophy and whether they make their wines in an Old World or New World Style.  Remember Old World wines from the Old World are made to complement foods that are grown or raised in that particular area or region.  The Old World wines often are restrained, simple and lower in alcohol content.  Wine from the New World typically has been made to drink; pairing foods with a New World wine is a bit more complicated for the average wine drinker, unlike the Old World you know what to pair the wine with if you understand what the common foods from a particular region are. 

  1. Region or Area – Where is the wine from?

–         In the Old World viticulturists and winemakers have let the land and weather, also known as terroir, dictate what grapes are grown where.  The New World now is also acutely focused on terroir, it is critical to growing grapes that reflect a true expression of the grapes varietal and tha sense of place.  Grapes that are grown in areas that are not best suited for the varietal may produce wines that are not pleasing.

  1. Grapes – What is the grape type?

–         What is your grape style?  Do you like light, medium, or full bodied wines?  Do you like wines that are dry or have a subtle sweetness to them?  Do you like wines that are lush or may have a bit of zing to them?  Knowing the grape varietals and their particular characteristics is vital to your enjoyment of wine.

  1. Designation – Old World Laws vs. New World Regions

–         In the Old World there are wines laws that dictate where a grape is grown, and how much can be produced, how grapes are pruned, harvested, and in some cases how the wines are made.  The New World is now beginning to implement some of these requirements although not nearly to the degree of the Old World.  In France you will notice on a label A.O.C., in Italy you have the D.O.C. or D.O.C.G and Spain you have the D.O.  The New World now typically identifies the origin, AVA or American Viticulture Area, of a wine.  These areas are geographically defined.  American wine law identifies on the label whether a wine is Estate produced and bottled, there are also requirements about how much of a varietal must be in a bottle of wine in order to be identified as such.

  1. Vintage – What year was the wine produced?

–         This is important to know as wines from the same vineyards vary mainly depending on weather.  Each year, just like vegetables crops, the harvest will be different. 

  1. Color – Colors vary and tell part of a wines story

–         In white wines this varies from Pale Yellow Green at one end of the spectrum to Brown. This is due to age, varietal, and influence from oak barrels.  Red wines vary from Purple to Brown, white wines gain color as they age and red wines lose color with age.

  1. Nose – This is what we sense when we put our nose to the glass

–         Aroma; a generally positive term describing the smell of a wine, for example, fruity, earthy, or even spicy.

–         Bouquet; this refers to the scent that a wine develops with age.  This is not to be confused with the wines aroma.

  1. Palate – That’s right what do we taste, what is the flavor?

–         We can sense four different tastes and possible five but that is still debatable, and they are;  sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and perhaps an ability to sense MSG otherwise known as umami

  1. Finish – What’s left behind?

–         The aftertaste of the wine, flavor and sensation.  How long does it last and what are the subtle nuances?

  1.  Vinification– What do you need to know about how the wine was made?

–         There are techniques that are used by winemakers that greatly affect a wines style, this is important to know.

Here are the wines that I’m recommending for you this week, yes in the WineGuyMike Wine Template© format.  Please let me know what you think.  The wines I’m sharing are great inexpensive food friendly wines that are available at Liquid Planet. 

Pair this wine with; Oysters on the half shell, Salmon, Tuna, Tenderloin of Pork.

Sale Price until 7/20/2012  $13.99

Pair this wine with; Barbeque, Pork Chop with herbs, Fowl.

Sale Price until 7/20/2012  $9.99

The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™

The wine selections from today’s show are available today, all especially priced until 7/20, at Liquid Planet, in the heart of Downtown Missoula, Missoula’s ultimate wine shopping experience and the very best of beverage.

From my table to yours,

"from my table to yours"

“Wine… it’s been berry berry good… to me,” Summer All Star lineup 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 MDT.

Each week WineGuyMike™ will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 – $25.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/09/04/wine-guy-mike-for-september-4th/

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 http://www.CiaoMambo.com

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.

This week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© it occurred to me the holiday in America known as, “Labor Day,” is like a break that takes place with one of America’s favorite past times, Baseball and its All Star Break.  Now for those of you reading this that may not be familiar with Baseball, really, there is a break that takes place just after the mid-point of the season.  During this three day break, just like Labor Day weekend, the sport of baseball showcases its top athletes’ in an All Star Baseball game that the world can watch on Television.

Well this is that point of the wine season for me and I thought it would be nice to take a look back over the summer at some of the wines I have written about on my blog and talked about on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©.  This Labor Day weekend is really a turning point for wine drinkers, winemakers, and winery owners.  Wine drinkers like you and I will still enjoy our go to summer wines for another few weeks but then the season begins to change and so will the wines we choose to drink, it’s a natural evolution.  

Winery owners are beginning to think about the harvest.  They are considering what Mother Nature has given them in the way of weather in the spring and summer and what the harvest will produce.  The grapes have begun Veraison or the transition of growth into the ripening stage and everyone hopes for warm days, cool nights, and dry weather.  This is what produces good grapes at harvest.

Winemakers are pondering the timing, and weather of past seasons, reflecting on what the grapes have given them to work with from vintages past.  That is what they are beginning to think about as they sip on their glass of wine after a long days work in the vineyard for winemakers from smaller vineyards.  Larger operations may have many specialists, but for many vineyards they are farmers first and then transition after harvest into their true specialized rolls.

As I thought about all that I share with you today I really kept coming back to the parallel with baseball.  The season has changed and now we are entering the last trimester.  This is where it all counts, winding down the season and delivering the goods.

One of Saturday Night Lives’ best known sketches was about baseball and a certain character in particular.   In this comedic sketch Garrett Morris who portrayed the Dominican baseball player Chico Escuela, who spoke very disjointed English, delivered one of the best known catch phrases ever to a television audience; “Baseball… been berra berra good… to me.”

This week I give you my summer All Star lineup of wines.  The criteria for this lineup may exclude many of the great wines I have enjoyed this summer because the wines I share with you today must; affordable for the regular girl or guy, refreshing, easy to find, and go great with your Labor Day grillin’ and chillin’ get together with friends and family.  But I want to leave you with this parting thought; “Wine… it’s been berry berry good… to me™.”

A few Labor Day wine recommendations from WineGuyMike™:

Balletto 2008 Pinot Gris

One of my go to wines of the summe.  This pale-straw colored wine opens with musky and exotic fresh fig and floral honey tones.  The secondary aromas reveal ripe red apple, melon and lemon.  Altogether, these aromas are ever-changing and intoxicating.  In the mouth, it’s lush and perfectly viscous with a dose of tartness that balances and holds the wine together.

The fig and honey aromas make a secondary appearance in the finish to create a generous and incredibly long aftertaste that’s enhanced with a hint of butterscotch.

Lucien Albrecht Reserve Riesling

A beautiful French Riesling from the Alsace region of France.  This wine has a lovely nose that offers up both minerality and nice floral notes.  In the mouth this wine is both elegant and robust.  It has such great structure and being an Alsatian Riesling is beautifully dry and crisp.  Pair this with your seafood dishes this weekend.

Tuck Beckstoffer’s 75 Sauvignon Blanc

This wine presents as a classic Graves-style Sauvignon Blanc.  The light straw color is reminiscent of classic left-bank Bordeaux Blanc, while the flavors are a perfect blend of old-world complexity and crisp North Coast fruit.  The nose is just right on this gem, neither to fruity or grassy, but a nice aromatic of grass and grapefruit. On the palate this wine offers bright fruit flavors of apple skin and pear balanced by undertones of cherimoya, fig and melon.

This wine is the perfect pairing for soft cheeses, summer salads, grilled chicken and is one of my favorite domestic Sauvignon Blancs.

Vipra Bianca 2009

On the nose, this dry white wine expresses hints of fresh almonds, acacia, and citrus.  It is rich, yet fresh with a savory, elegant flavor.  This Italian white wine is a nice alternative to Sauvignon Blanc yet maintains a nice partnership with food because of the nice balance of fruit and acidity.

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2009

The Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2009 is very well made.  This wine has wonderful tannin, is lush and full of its beautiful berry self.  It is a wonderfully balanced wine that will be so food friendly due to its fruit and acid companionship.  It doesn’t stop there though this wine for me delivers a great little nuance of toast and butter too.  It’s like a great mildly toasted piece of bread with homemade raspberry and cherry jam.  Serve this wine slightly chilled and pair it with everything from burgers, a nice grilled steak, or even a nice filet of grilled salmon.

Pennywise Pinot Noir

Light brick red in color with hints of emerald, the 2009 Pinot Noir blend of 94% Pinot Noir and 6% Syrah delivers aromas of cherries jubilee, root beer, rose petal, and cotton candy.  In the mouth this wine coats the palate with flavors of delicate plum, strawberry, watermelon rind, cream caramel, and vanilla bean.  The finish leaves you with delicate notes of fresh summer sweet strawberries.  Pair this wine with salads to pork chops or burgers, inexpensive and great to serve at a gathering.

Le Clos

This new wine, just released, is the latest addition to Domaine Sainte Eugénie.  It is unique in that it has a slight, refined oak character, highlighting a sturdy base of red fruit and oriental spices. Bringing into play terroir and savoir-faire, tradition and exotic flair, Le Clos seems to be like something out of “The Arabian Nights.”  This wine displays an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet.  Its nose is lively and complex, with notes of red and black fruits.  Refined oak fragrance (very subtle) with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco.  Le Clos is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity, and delivers wonderful balance.  It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.  It will perfectly accompany a roast rack of lamb, barbecued beef or pork chops with fine herbs.

Rosenere Reggiano Lambrusco

Speaking of refreshing this sparkling gem from Italy was so nice to taste. The Rosenere immediately shows beautifully in the glass, a rich and lovely deep purple color with perfect frothy head. Remember this is what a good Lambrusco should have and even as this wine sits in between sips and you give it a swirl the nice frothy head returns immediately.

The nose on this beauty is equally as pleasing with notes of grape, raspberry, strawberry, and a little cherry. On the palate this wine is so tasty with nicely balanced fruit, acid, and tannin. The Rosenere Lambrusco is like an extra-dry Prosecco which means it is semi-dry and is slightly sweet. The sweetness is appropriate and not annoying in any way.  It just feels right in your mouth, and it is.  The finish leaves you with a delightful lingering memory of refreshing fruit.

This fun frizzante sparkler is nice to pair with rich dishes you may serving or is perfect to enjoy with a nice wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as an appetizer.

The Sum

 The inaugural vintage of The Sum is a cabernet based blended red wine created by Tuck Beckstoffer whose family is widely considered to be the most famous grape growing family in the Napa Valley.

This amazingly well endowed profoundly rich red wine must be smelled and tasted to be believed.  The color is a rich, deep purple garnet and gives but a small hint as to what’s inside. The nose gives off soaring and wonderfully focused aromas of ripe stone fruit, vanilla, cherries, cedar cigar box, blackberries and cinnamon.  In the mouth, there are layers upon layers of broad, sweet opulent fruit balanced by firm tannins, great acidity and oak. 

This wine is amazing and offers huge value, just one word on pairing with this bad boy from Tuck; Steak, steak and more steak.  I recommend firing up your grill now because this wine at this price point will blow you away.

Saracco Moscato d’Asti 2008 D.O.C.G.

A fabulous way to end the day with this beautiful wine that offers a perfume of fresh peach, pear and aromatic white flowers.  A gentle sparkle brightens the fruit and a tingle of sweetness hints of candied fruits.  This wine is perfect as refreshing aperitif or a light finish to a meal.  Moscato d’ Asti is highly aromatic with notes of fruit and white flowers, Paolo Saracco keeps tight control of the harvest to ensure a perfect acid balance to the natural sweetness of this grape.   A slight sparkle is traditional for Moscato d’Asti, it lifts the fruit and guarantees a wine that is light and refreshing.  It is your dessert in a glass, everyone loves this wine.

My favorite summer recipe from WineGuyMike™:

Start with a very hot grill and a nice New York Strip Steak.

Sear on both sides for 2-3 minutes.

Kill the heat and let the steak hangout in the grill at 200 degrees

Saute sweet onions with a finely sliced mixture of peppers from mildly to fairly hot.

Your steaks should be between medium rare and medium at this point.

Plate steaks and your onion and pepper sauté right on top.  This dish has incredible flavor with just a hint of sweetness and heat from the sauté.

Pair that with The Sum I have recommended in my summer All Star wine lineup and you are in heaven.

Have a wonderful Labor Day celebration; I’ve enjoyed sharing some of my summer favorites and this recipe with you.  Salute!

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

Fine Artist of Wine Leanne Laine 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 or http://www.fresh1045.com where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MDT.

Each week WineGuyMike™ will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 – $25.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.c​om/2011/07/24/wine-guy-mik​e-for-72411/

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 http://www.CiaoMambo.com

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.

This week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© I would like to introduce you to the wonderful wine artist Leanne Laine.  Leanne is a fine artist that shares her work with you and I from perhaps the most beautiful city in the northern hemisphere Vancouver, BC in Canada, a city where the mountains appear to rise from the ocean.  That in itself would seemingly be an inspiration to paint and that she does, please meet my wine artist friend Leanne Laine.

Leanne Laine Fine Artist of Wine

Leanne Laine Fine Artist of Wine

Leanne and I met by following one another on Twitter.  I make a concerted effort to be personally connected with anyone I follow on Twitter.  When someone is thoughtful enough to consider following @WineGuyMike I take a moment to reach out and discover what that follower is sharing with the world.  That is when I discovered that my guest this week is the artist whose work adorns the walls of all of the Ciao Mambo restaurants.  Ciao Mambo in Missoula where I taste and write about wine happens to sponsor the show I produce each week at the Trail 1033 and Fresh 104.5.

For me wine is an experience because it almost always revolves around a social event whether it is an event or an outing with my wife.  My point is that I always put thought into my wine outing or even shopping for wine, there is a purpose behind it and culminates with the sharing of wine with someone I enjoy and care about or at an event that is striving to do good things for the world.  Sometimes they are business gatherings where I’m meeting interesting people who are making things happen in their particular niche of the world.  You get the point wine is an experience that can be shared and enjoyed with other you value in your life.

Leanne Laine the fine artist of wine is just that person, she paints her passion that helps create the experience and she is that person who is part of that experience.  Ciao Mambo is an Italian restaurant that my wife and I enjoy, the food is great, they have the best Italian wine list you will find in most establishments.  We always have a great experience when we have dinner there, and we love proprietor Bret Evje.  Ciao as we call it in Missoula has great music and great art hanging in the restaurant thanks to my new friend Leanne Laine.

Leanne journey as a fine artist began like this; Leanne started her career working as Human Resources consultant for a large company.  Growing up she loved art and has always been an artist.  For most parents though I think their greatest fear is for their children to want to go to art school, that might translate as oh no my child will be living with me until they are 40 years old.  Leanne’s parents encouraged her to go to school and find a degree that would provide gainful employment when finished and that’s exactly what she did.  That is until Leanne was laid off from her gainful employment.  Leanne is married to husband Stewart and has a 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old son. 

Leanne is a self-taught artist that is now internationally-collected and published for her renowned wine art.  After being displaced from her day job Leanne decided to turn her passion for creating art into a business by selling her paintings and limited edition canvas prints online.  Leanne’s work has caught fire and as a result her husband Stewart left his newly appointed position as head of engineering for a large corporate company to help keep up with the demand of their quickly growing art business.  Not only does her work sell online but many businesses in the restaurant, hospitality and wine industries across North America are picking up on Leanne’s work.   Businesses displaying her works in their establishments are selling them to patrons who want to buy her art right off their walls.  Leanne is a tenacious creative woman who has followed her passion and turned a seemingly difficult situation into an amazing career as a wine artist that she loves, it’s obvious when you listen to her story as she shares it with us.  Leanne loves to do good things in the world too, she gives back by donating her art pieces for silent auction throughout the year, both in the US and Canada to many charitable events, my main focus is children and cancer research.

Her is a little side story from our conversation about how she started painting wine art; Having a glass of wine while painting became a ritual for Leanne as she grew her portfolio… though she had not begin painting wines.  One night sitting in front of her blank canvas she realized she had the dreaded “artists’ block”.  She felt that creative surge but just didn’t know what to paint.  So she poured herself another glass of wine and voila…her fascination with wine as a subject matter was born.  Since then, she began looking at wine differently… by incorporating everything around us into wine… especially women.  Put bluntly, Leanne sees wine as a sexy and sensual subject.  Leanne states “wine can hold its own”.  She sees wine as coming to life in the wine glass, basically putting on a show in the glass once it has been poured: swirling, seducing, and tantalizing the taste buds. To Leanne wine seemed to have similar qualities to that of a woman (hence, her Women in Wine Series).  Sensual, sexy, empowering, and you tend to notice when a beautiful, confident woman enters the room.  People want to be her; people want to be with her….Leanne I couldn’t agree more.  My wife and I love Leanne’s art, it is always a conversation we have while dining at Ciao Mambo enjoying a glass of wine together.  You can’t help becoming lost in her work with contemplative thought; it makes for a terrific conversation when paired with wine which is exactly what I share with you this week.

Leanne was kind enough to select three pieces of her collection with descriptions that I will pair with a bottle of wine that I’m inclined to enjoy as I study her art. 

The Three Art Pieces we will have a little fun with this week:

Temptress Tempranillo http://www.leannelainefineart.com/galleries/product.php?cat=&productid=23579&rowpos=1

Leanne’s signature piece, the TEMPTRESS TEMPRANILLO.  Many women tell her this piece helps them truly appreciate what lies beneath their own skin, leaving them feeling empowered, sexy and powerful, especially while enjoying their favorite glass of wine.  As a woman and wine enthusiast, this is exactly the feeling that she expressed while painting this piece and she loves that other women connect with this as well.

Autumn Blend http://www.leannelainefineart.com/galleries/product.php?cat=&productid=23623&rowpos=1&nextid=2

Her AUTUMN BLEND is a piece where she had incorporated a rich, foliage autumn tree.  Wines come in reds, yellows, whites, ambers, purples… so do Fall leaves.  Living in beautiful BC, there are many places here displaying such a richness of fall colors that in her opinion, it’s practically quenching to the eyes.  They say to stop and smell the roses.  How about stop and watch the colors of our natural surroundings turn.

Smooth & Saxy http://www.leannelainefineart.com/galleries/product.php?cat=&productid=23530&rowpos=4&previd=3&nextid=5

Leanne’s SMOOTH & SAXY piece is an expression for her love and appreciation for all kinds of music.  Besides enjoying a glass of wine, another part of Leanne’s rituals while painting is listening to jazz.  Wine, Art, and Jazz this is one Leanne’s favorites and one of her collector’s favorite pieces from her jazz series of works.

Visit Leanne’s site for a chance to win a free limited edition giclee and to connect with her:

Leanne’s website; http://www.leannelainefineart.com

Follow her on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/leanne_laine

Follow her on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/leannelainefineart

YouTube – Watch Leanne Speed Paint for Japan Relief Efforts!

The Three Art Piece and Wine Pairings from WineGuyMike™

Let’s start with Leanne’s signature piece the TEMPTRESS TEMPRANILLO.  Okay it’s Summer time and I’m going to deviate from a Tempranillo and go to a lighter bodied Pinot Noir that I tasted recently on the show and it knocked my socks off; the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from Balletto Vineyards and Winery.  Winemaker Anthony Beckman killed it on this wine; it is a fabulous Pinot Noir that pairs perfectly with the Temptress Tempranillo.

2009 Russian River Pinot Noir

This dark, garnet colored Pinot Noir exhibits floral aromas of rose petals intertwined with spice components of ginger, dusty earth and a hint of vanilla. Fruit aromas of raspberry and cassis form the core of the wine, and in the mouth, create a long, delicious finish that can be tasted for several minutes.

The wine is showy with a seamless viscosity that is balanced with a healthy bit of tartness to keep the wine fresh and lively.  It’s full in the palate with fine, coco-powder like tannins and a nice dose of astringency that lend additional grip and structure to this wine.  Overall, the wine has struck the fine balance between delicate and structured, and will improve with bottle aging during the next five years (or more). 

On to the next beautiful piece from Leanne; AUTUMN BLEND is paired with a simple blend that is perfect for you summer palate.  It is an inexpensive value driven wine that is a must try.

Le Clos

Le Clos seems to be like something out of “The Arabian Nights.”  This wine displays an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet.  Its nose is lively and complex, with notes of red and black fruits.  Refined oak fragrance with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco. It is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity.  Le Clos shows a wonderful balance.  It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.  It will perfectly accompany a duck terrine laced with olives, a roast rack of lamb, barbecued beef or pork chops with fines herbes, as well as pheasant with wild mushrooms or boeuf bourguignon.

Domaine Sainte Eugénie is positioned within the district of Fontfroide, the sweet spot of Corbières, with an 800 year history of viticulture.  The estate is located within the foothills of the Pyrénées along the Mediterranean coast.  Clay and chalk soils dominate here.  The dry weather, sunny and warm climate combine to create an optimal growing environment.  This new wine, just released, is the latest addition to Domaine Sainte Eugénie.  It is unique in that it has a slight, refined oak character, highlighting a sturdy base of red fruit and oriental spices. Bringing into play terroir and savoir-faire, tradition and exotic flair, a blend of  45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine hails from Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.  Don’t miss this wine it’s fantastic complement for any summer barbeque.

Now for Leanne’s SMOOTH & SAXY I have selected one of my favorite producers from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Argyle Winery and their sparkling wine that is readily available.

Argyle 2007 Brut –this gem has a 90 PT. Wine Spectator Rating, 63% Oregon Chardonnay, 37% Oregon Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine Knudsen Vineyards, Lone Star Vineyard Willamette Valley AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon.  Prepare to be fascinated by this alluring sparkling vintage.  The aromas are a weaving together of the best that fine sparkling wines deliver.  Look for vanilla spiced pear fruit with very floral citrus blossom scents.  A lovely yeastiness blends nicely with fresh baguette bouquet.  There’s a hint of Fresca-like citrus in there too.  The palate is Vibrant and chock full of tiny bubbles.  Pear to red apple fruit folds nicely into vanilla spice.  The texture is creamy-plus, providing amazing richness while remaining zippy and citrusy.  The yeast flavor has evolved into filo dough right out of the oven.   A beautiful finish offers flavors that go on and on after the wine is gone.  Don’t miss this one folks.

It was a real pleasure to host Fine Wine Artist Leanne Laine this week, thanks for what you do to enhance wine lovers wine experience.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

Jon Troutman from the DailyGrape.com, one of wines game changers with WineGuyMike™


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

Each week WineGuyMike™ will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 – $25.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

Social Media links; see this week’s show on YouTube  each week on Sunday morning.  My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

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Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Podcast; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2011/04/03/wine-guy-mike-show-4311/

Sponsors                                                                                                                     

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

This week as I’m sitting, contemplating, and hopefully writing one reoccurring thought that keeps running through my head is just how much I love my work and what I’m doing.  For that I’m very thankful and grateful but then I had to wonder just why is it that I love doing what I do so much.  Then after much deep thought, and trust me I use the term deep thought loosely as the thought pool is not all that deep, I realized it is the guests that I work and share with weekly.  My guests are game changers, they are men and women that are so dynamic and so creative no matter what niche they work in they are changing the game.  How exciting is it to work with people every week that make a difference and make it happen.  No wonder I have a burning passion for what I do.

Which brings me to this week’s very special guest Jon Troutman, Jon currently is Director of Operations for the DailyGrape.com.  The DailyGrape.com is a new site that has just been launched and spearheaded by Gary Vanerychuk or as he is known in Social Media circles as Gary Vee.  For those of you who may not know Gary Vee he is one of Social Media’s most prolific brand personalities and is in my opinion online, wired in, wired up, social media upped, prominent wine reviewers in today’s “in the moment” world.

Jon runs the operations at the DailyGrape and also serves as Gary’s right hand man.  I want to share Jon’s background with you.  Jon loves all things wine related – discussing, learning, drinking and above all, sharing it.  He was born and raised on Cape Cod, MA and was introduced to food and wine from a very young age while working in his family’s restaurant.  Prior to joining Cork’d, Jon attended the University of Vermont where he received his B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.  After graduating, he returned home to his family’s restaurant, Scargo Café, as the general manager.  In less than a year he took the wine program from a modest 40 bottle selection to a multiple award winning program.  In the summer of 2009 he became certified with the Court of Master Sommeliers.  During this time Jon worked at Cork’d which is a Social Network for wine that was another Gary Vee project where people connect, share, and learn about wine.   At Cork’d Jon oversaw and produced both the written and video content.

In January of 2011, Jon assumed a new role while continuing to work closely with Gary Vaynerchuk, as Director of Operations for the newly launched website and iPhone app, Daily Grape.  

In addition to wine, Jon’s interests include running, skiing, eating out, social media and spending time with friends and family.  Some of his favorite wine regions are Rhone, Champagne and Germany.

The DailyGrape.com is a continuation of Gary’s wildly popular daily wine show, Wine Library TV.  Daily Grape is a useful and educational app, helping you discover, buy and order wine either on-the-go or from the comfort of home.  I find Daily Grape to be an intersection of where the best of Gary’s projects have come together at one site.  I love what Jon and Gary have done with this site because it truly is an interaction of sharing, learning, and convenience. 

I want to thank my friend Jon Troutman for taking the time to be a guest on the WineGuyMike™ radio show this week.  Jon is not only a wine expert, a Director of Operations for the most exciting new social wine website/application, he is just a really great guy.  Thank you Jon and please keep doing all that you do.

I want to recommend to all of you my friends, fans, and followers to subscribe to the Daily Grape at www.dailygrape.com.  You may also subscribe to a very useful newsletter that Jon and Gary share for $3.99 a month.

This week’s WineGuyMike™ wine recommendation:

Le Clos

Le Clos

Le Clos

 

 Domaine Sainte Eugénie is positioned within the district of Fontfroide, the sweet spot of Corbières, with an 800 year history of viticulture.  The estate is located within the foothills of the Pyrénées along the Mediterranean coast.  Clay and chalk soils dominate here.  The dry weather, sunny and warm climate combine to create an optimal growing environment.  This new wine, just released, is the latest addition to Domaine Sainte Eugénie.  It is unique in that it has a slight, refined oak character, highlighting a sturdy base of red fruit and oriental spices. Bringing into play terroir and savoir-faire, tradition and exotic flair, Le Clos seems to be like something out of “The Arabian Nights.”  This wine displays an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet.  Its nose is lively and complex, with notes of red and black fruits.  Refined oak fragrance(very subtle) with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco.  Le Clos is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity, and delivers wonderful balance.  It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.  It will perfectly accompany a duck terrine laced with olives, a roast rack of lamb, barbecued beef or pork chops with fines herbes, as well as pheasant with wild mushrooms or boeuf bourguignon.

 Domaine: Domaine Sainte Eugénie
Vintage: 2008
Producer: Gantier, Ratero and Brignoli
Variety: 45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon

I highly recommend this wine, it is a must try.  You will love the price of this wine too, it’s under $10.00.  This is such a great wine you can drink it alone or it will accompany food beautifully because of the balance of fruit and acid.  Try it WineGuyMike™ like it!

Le Clos receives the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval, price and big value in this recommendation.

WineGuyMike™ recipe pairing; Herb-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Dijon-Apricot Mop Sauce

Serves 8 – A dry herb rub flavors the pork and makes a nice crust. You may want to stop right there, or you can go one step further and add the tangy mop sauce.

Ingredients:

HERB RUB

1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons celery seeds

2 1-pound pork tenderloins, all visible fat removed

DIJON-APRICOT MOP SAUCE

1 teaspoon acceptable vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely chopped (3/8 cup)

½ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup all-fruit apricot preserves

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Vegetable oil spray

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine rub ingredients. Using your hands or a spoon, rub mixture evenly over pork. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 360 degrees F or preheat grill on medium-high.

For mop sauce, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling to coat. Saute onion for 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent, stirring occasionally.

Stir in remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You may wish to reserve ½ cup sauce to use as a dipping sauce for cooked pork.)

Lightly spray a broiling pan and rack with vegetable oil spray. Put tenderloins on a rack in pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush or basting mop (a small dishwashing mop can be used-new and clean, of course!), baste on all sides. Bake for 10 minutes, then baste again. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until pork is no longer pink in center or registers 165 degrees F on meat thermometer. Or grill tenderloins for 10 minutes per side (40 minutes total), then baste with mop sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until pork is cooked through.

Sauce;

Calories 218

Protein 25 g

Carbohydrates 18 g

Cholesterol 67 mg

Total Fat 5 g

            Saturated 2 g

            Polyunsaturated 1 g

            Monounsaturated 2 g

Fiber 1 g

Sodium 145 mg

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© with Scott and Paula on The Ranch 10/13/10


Check out the radio show on The Ranch 107.1FM or 97.9FM in The Bitterroot Valley.  How about a live stream feed at www.107theranch.com.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© with Scott and Paula on The Ranch airs weekly on Wednesday mornings at 8:20AM MDT.

Each week we will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

See this week’s show on YouTube  each week on Thursday morning, the day after the show.  Our YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Sponsors                                                                                                                                            

The show is sponsored by Grizzly Liquor, “Missoula’s Best Choice”.  Follow Grizzly Liquor on their Facebook fan page – Grizzly Liquor Missoula

The Lolo Creek Steak House, “Rare yet Well Done”, located in Lolo, MT.  Find them online at www.lolocreeksteakhouse.com

This week’s winners are; Ken Munson and Daniel Gallacher, thanks for your great questions to WineGuyMike™.

This week WineGuyMike is going to be talking about no rules wine, terrior, and a follow up on 11th annual Table Talk Event Benefit for The St. Patrick House in Missoula, MT.

Okay on to our Fans fantastic questions this week; Ken asks I have never been a person to drink alcohol until my wife started getting into your program.  We have now shared a few bottles of wine together and I find myself liking a sweet wine, probably pretty typical.  The one I have really enjoyed is Huck with huckleberry flavoring by Huck Wines of Walla Walla, WA. Can you recommend another kind of wine that is sweet that we may enjoy?  I am your typical Montana boy who loves steak.. so anything that goes well with steak would be wonderful too!

Fruit wines have traditionally been popular with home winemakers and in areas with cool northern climates.  Most fruits and berries have the potential to produce wine.  Grapes are one of the few foods that produce a natural balance of sugar, acid, tannin, and nutritive salts that promote proper fermentation.  With that in mind Fruit based wines are enriched in the wine making process.  Fermentable sugars are too low to produced wines with a correct alcohol level and rely on a supplementation process called chaptalization.  This enrichment process of adding sugar to unfermented grape must to increase the alcohol level after fermentation is a technique that is named for its developer, the French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal.  This does not make the wine sweeter but aides the yeast to further ferment and raise alcohol levels to result in a proper finished wine.  Fruit wines with high acid levels may have sucrose added to help balance those levels. Fruit wines do not improve with age and should be consumed within a year of bottling.

Now Ken for your recommendations that are all available from WineGuyMike sponsor Grizzly Liquor; Ken I want to also preface these recommendations of wines by pointing out the one rule we have on The WineGuyMike Show, there are no rules.  What’s my point you might ask, if you like a good dessert wine with your steak by all means enjoy it.  I mean really as a kid growing up didn’t you really want to have dessert before your dinner, well Ken here is your chance and WineGuyMike says go for it.  Salute to you Ken.

Cherry Blossom from Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery, Missoula, MT

Cherry Blossom from Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery, Missoula, MT

Cherry Blossom $19.50 – A sweet blend of cherry, pear, and zinfandel makes a lighter, juicier alternative to port.  Versatile and complex, Cherry Blossom pairs with a wide array of foods from lamb and couscous to cheese, nuts, and chocolate—always good by the fire.

Glacier Wild Huckleberry Wine from The Flathead Winery

Glacier Wild Huckleberry Wine from The Flathead Winery

GLACIER WILD HUCKLEBERRY WINE (The only wine made with 100% wild huckleberries) $21.55

Flathead Lake Winery is a small, family-owned, craft winery that specializes in small-batch wines made from Montana fruit.  They make wine from fruit that was either grown in Montana or picked wild in Montana.  Flathead Lake Winery was the 6th winery licensed in Montana and began operations in 2003.  At Flathead Lake Winery they hand make, hand fill, hand cork, and hand label each and every bottle.  This is the only winery to use 100% Montana grown fruit.

This is the original huckleberry wine and the only wine made of 100% wild huckleberries.  There are those out there who try to flavor their grape wine with huckleberries.  Don’t be fooled.  Get the real thing.  While using 100% wild huckleberries is much more costly, they believe it is worth it and believe you will agree.  They know you will be able to taste the difference.  They use approximately 2 lbs ($12) of huckleberries in each bottle.

 2009 Frisk Prickly (83% Riesling, 17% Muscat Gordo

2009 Frisk Prickly (83% Riesling, 17% Muscat Gordo

Frisk Prickly (83% Riesling, 17% Muscat Gordo) $9.75

Nestled into the Northern foothills of the Victorian Alps, the Alpine Valleys harbor a handful of dogged grape growers whose ancestors arrived in the 1850s after a less-than-comfortable boat trip from Italy.  With lofty slopes climbing to 2000 feet, vineyards are snow clad in winter and punch through clouds to nab a slice of sunshine during summer.  Made by a team of maverick winemakers, Frisk is crafted by seasoned hands.  Harvested in the chilly eve and delivered to the winery in pristine condition, prized free-run Riesling juice is fermented with canny yeasts that ensure the wine is sporting plenty of aromatic verve along with a low 8% alcohol.  And the prickle?  A gentle spritz produced by those clever yeasts, captured to deliver a tickle that will rouse your palate.  It’s downright Frisky.

It’s a mouth-revving Riesling with a bite that sings with mountain-stream purity.  Its flavors dart all over, quartz-like acidity coming right at you, bold and unapologetic.  You may see notes of lemon sorbet, bath salts and white lilies layered with spices from your favorite childhood pie shop…guess that depends on your childhood.  But you can’t deny its raciness and versatility, sidling up suggestively to food that’s both sweet and spicy.  Its intensity will slap you in the face.

Saracco Moscato d’Asti 2008 D.O.C.G.

Saracco Moscato d’Asti 2008 D.O.C.G.

Saracco Moscato d’Asti 2008 D.O.C.G. $16.20

Perfume of fresh peach, pear and aromatic white flowers. A gentle sparkle brightens the fruit and a tingle of sweetness hints of candied fruits.

This wine is perfect as refreshing aperitif or a light finish to a meal.

Saracco has perfected the balance of acid and residual sugar to make an incredibly light and floral sparkling wine keeps the natural effervescence in the wine.  The Saracco Moscato d’Asti wine is made by fermenting the juice in sealed, pressurized and temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.  This method of fermentation pressurized tanks for 60 days, then filtered repeatedly to stop fermentation.  The tank method allows the naturally sparkling wine to be kept fresh until it is ordered, only then is it bottled to ensure the best possible wine in the glass.  Moscato d’ Asti is highly aromatic with notes of fruit and white flowers, Paolo Saracco keeps tight control of the harvest to ensure a perfect acid balance to the natural sweetness of this grape.   A slight sparkle is traditional for Moscato d’Asti, it lifts the fruit and guarantees a wine that is light and refreshing.

Question #2 from Daniel Gallacher, Daniel asks what are your thoughts on the Missoula valley as a wine producing area?

In Missoula’s rich agricultural past The Garden City grew and provided fruit and vegetables for many neighboring cities.  During the Ice Age glaciers formed in our mountains, creating peaks and valleys from the Precambrian quartzites and argillites.  Geologists believe the reformation of Lake Missoula reoccurred 41 times each time leaving behind a deep layer of argillite. 

The geologic past of The Missoula Valley left behind very good soil conditions for grape growing.  With regard to our various zonal growing areas in the greater Missoula Valley grape growers are limited to certain grape varietals that will resist sometimes harsh growing conditions over time.   Here are a few examples of varietals grown here and are tough enough to withstand our sometimes severe weather conditions; Maréchal Foch, Frontenac, Leon Millot, Swenson Red and St. Croix (reds), and St. Pepin, a white grape.

In the North we have an advantage of long days in spite of a shorter growing season.  Grapes require enough growing days with an ambient temperature over 50 degrees Farenheit, we do meet that grape growing requirement in The Missoula Valley.

Overall Daniel for my money it is a tough go but I’m glad we have winery owners who have the skill and tenacity to make it happen here.  We quite literally enjoy the fruits of their labor. 

I recommend everyone visit our own Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery, it is a beautiful property.

Table Talk Event Benefit 2010 on October 16th at 5:30 at The Double Tree

Table Talk Event Benefit 2010 on October 16th at 5:30 at The Double Tree

Table Talk is an annual event that is one of five major fund raising events hosted by St. Patrick Hospital and Health Foundation.  The Table Talk Event is an evening of great conversation, dining, learning, and sharing by a group of 250 people who will come together to benefit The St. Patrick House.  This event takes place at The Double Tree Hotel on Saturday October 16th  in Missoula, MT at 5:30 PM.  There are 25 tables and each table is hosted by a celebrity or a significant person of interest.  All the proceeds of this event directly benefit The St. Patrick House located one block away from St. Patrick Hospital.

Tickets for The Table Talk Event Benefit are available through the St. Patrick Hospital and Health Foundation offices for $75.00 per ticket.  You may call 406-327-3052 to purchase your tickets for this event, remember tickets go fast and if you want to select your particular table of interest call to get your ticket today.

Table Talk Event wine flight

Ochoa Tempranillo/Granache

Bigi Vipra Bianca

Ercavio White

Le Clos

Heron Pinot Noir

Ochoa Tempranillo 70%, Garnacha 30%

Ochoa Tempranillo 70%, Garnacha 30%

 Ochoa Tempranillo/Granache

The picturesque town of Olite was historically significant during the Roman Empire and was the capital of the Kingdom of Navarra during the Middle Ages. Bodegas Ochoa has documents dated 1370 A.D. confirming that the bodega was the personal winemakers for the king of Navarra and his royal court, which continued for about another 400 years.  The bodega was located within the walled portion of the city, but its growth during the past century caused the bodega to be relocated outside the walls.

Bodegas Ochoa is still family owned and operated with Javier Ochoa at the helm for the past 35 years.  Adriana, Javier?s daughter, was trained in Bordeaux and continued her wine education in Australia is following Javier?s footsteps.  Adriana is assuming more of the winemaking responsibilities of the bodega under her father’s guidance.

All of the grapes used to make Ochoa?s wines are estate grown in their 143 hectares of vineyards. The vineyards are located in the higher elevations of Navarra, which lend additional structure and character to the grapes.

 General Winery          Bodegas Ochoa

Region             Navarra

Town of production     Olite

Varietal           Tempranillo 70%, Garnacha 30%

Total production of the wine  80,000 liters

Name of winemaker   Adriana Ochoa

Vineyard Age of vines used to produce wine 11 years

Yield    7,500 kg / hectare

Size of vineyard, hectares       Tempranillo 55 hectares, Garnacha 20 hectares

Elevation above sea level       410 meters

Inclination of vineyard            south

Soil composition          clay and limestone

Irrigation         yes, drip irrigation

Harvest method          machine

Date of harvest           third week of September, 2008

Fermentation  Alcoholic fermentation, type  in stainless steel tanks

Alcoholic fermentation, duration       10 days

Alcoholic fermentation, temperature            22 degrees C

Malolactic fermentation, type           in stainless steel tanks

Malolactic fermentation, duration     10 days

Malolactic fermentation, temperature 20 degrees C

Aging Time in bottle before release  2 months

Bottling           Cold stabilized yes

Filtered            yes

Bigi Vipra Bianca 2009 60% Grechetto 40% Chardonnay

Bigi Vipra Bianca 2009 60% Grechetto 40% Chardonnay

 Bigi Vipra Bianca

Bigi was founded by Luigi Bigi in 1880.  Today it is the leading winery in Orvieto. Located just beneath the lofty walls of ancient Orvieto, Bigi is one of Italy’s busiest cellars.  The winery and cellars, redesigned and modernized by renowned oenologist Giacomo Tachis, draw thousands of visitors each year.  Bigi is the leading brand of Orvieto with a thirty percent share of the total output of the zone.  Equally important is the outstanding vineyard work done by Bigi.  They own or manage almost 200 hectares (nearly 500 acres), notably Torricella, Orzalume, Viavalle and Il Poggio.  Bigi thus controls the quality of its wines from vine to bottle under the direction of dynamic enologist Francesco Bardi, who is considered one of Umbria’s most innovative winemakers.

 Vipra Bianca 2009

Grape(s): 60% Grechetto, 40% Chardonnay

Type: Dry Still White 

Alcohol: 12.90%

Region: Umbria, Italy

The name Vipra — local dialect for “viper” — was inspired by one of the most powerful noble families of the Middle Ages: Monaldeschi della Vipera.

Vineyards:

Scattered throughout the town of Orvieto and its neighboring communities, the vineyards were planted in the late 1990s.  Using the spurred cordon and guyot training methods at a density of 3500-4000 vines/hectare, both indigenous and international varieties of grapes thrive in this poor, pebbly soil.  Altitudes average 300 meters above sea level and all vineyards have southwestern exposures.

Technical Data:

•          pH: 3.31

•          Residual Sugar: 2.50 grams/liter

•          Acidity: 4.50 grams/liter

•          Dry Extract: 17.10 grams/liter

Winemaking:

Harvest took place in early October.  Prior to fermentation, the grapes underwent a criomaceration for 8-9 hours, followed by static decanting of the musts for 24 hours in stainless steel tanks at 12-18°C.  Fermentation occurred in stainless steel tanks as well, at temperatures of 14-16°C over 20 days.  The wine was aged for 2 months before being filtered, fined, refrigerated, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, this wine expresses hints of fresh almonds, acacia, and citrus. It is rich, yet fresh with a savory, elegant flavor.  Best when drunk young.

Ercavio White (Airen 90% Sauvignon Blanc 10%)

Ercavio White (Airen 90% Sauvignon Blanc 10%)

Ercavio White

Mas Que Vinos is the brainchild of a group of friends, Margarita Madrigal, Gonzalo Rodriguez, and Alexandra Schmedes.  Having renovated an old family winery which dates to 1851, the three sought to preserve as much as they could from the original property, including the old tinajas (clay amphors) which are still used today for the malolactic fermentation.

La Mancha is one of the few areas of Spain that benefits from one single climate instead of two or three such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero.  This Continental climate favors the extremes, with very cold winters and very hot summers.  In the summer, and because of the altitude (often over 700 meters), the nights are quite cool which is perfect for an grape maturation.  Soils in the zone are usually clay and limestone, with small patches of granite.

Mas Que Vinos works with two varietals with which many American buyers may not be familiar.  Cencibel, a red varietal, is simply another name for Tempranillo when grown in certain areas of Central and Southern Spain.  Arien, equally as unknown, is Spain’s most widely planted white varietal.  Bunches are large and very tightly packed and alcohol levels tend to be between 13% and 14%.  Often it is added to a blend for texture, but as it tends to be lower in alcohol in the area near Mas Que Vinos and the aromatics quite interesting, the property has decided to make it the centerpiece of their white wine.

Primarily made from the white varietal Airen and a small percentage of Sauvignon Blanc.  Ercavio Blanco is young, fresh and fruity–and ideal aperitif or accompaniment to seafood and lighter fare.

Le Clos 2008 (this was the newest available image)

Le Clos 2008 (this was the newest available image)

Le Clos

Domaine Sainte Eugénie is positioned within the district of Fontfroide, the sweet spot of Corbières, with an 800 year history of viticulture.  The estate is located within the foothills of the Pyrénées along the Mediterranean coast.  Clay and chalk soils dominate here.  The dry weather, sunny and warm climate combine to create an optimal growing environment.  This new wine, just released, is the latest addition to Domaine Sainte Eugénie.  It is unique in that it has a slight, refined oak character, highlighting a sturdy base of red fruit and oriental spices.  Bringing into play terroir and savoir-faire, tradition and exotic flair, Le Clos seems to be like something out of “The Arabian Nights.”  This wine displays an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet.  Its nose is lively and complex, with notes of red and black fruits.  Refined oak fragrance with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco.  It is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity.  Le Clos shows a wonderful balance. It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.  It will perfectly accompany a duck terrine laced with olives, a roast rack of lamb, barbecued beef or pork chops with fines herbes, as well as pheasant with wild mushrooms or boeuf bourguignon.

 Domaine: Domaine Sainte Eugénie

Vintage: 2008

Producer: Gantier, Ratero and Brignoli

Variety: 45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Country: France

Region: Languedoc-Roussillon

Heron Pinot Noir 2009 California

Heron Pinot Noir 2009 California

 Heron Pinot Noir

 This 2009 Pinot Noir hails from California and marks my return after 4 years of making French Pinot Noir.  The decision to produce a French Pinot Noir was driven by grape quality and grape prices, and the decision to return to California is the same.  Four years ago they could buy higher quality grapes at a better price in France; today, the better grapes and prices are in California. They sourced grapes from Paso Robles (Westside with cool ocean temperatures), Monterey and the Russian River Valley.  The wine is generous on the palate with nice forward fruit and well-balanced oak — in a word, elegant.

 WEATHER PECULIARITIES

Spring — Cool into April. Summer — Moderate then warm in late Summer, large canopies.  Fall – Cool in September, wet in October, and dry into November.  Harvest started early in with cool temperatures which delayed maturation and allowed for the development of ripe luscious flavors.  Berries were smaller than usual and had lower sugar levels, higher acid and lower Ph.  Lack of rain in the preceding winter made for lower than average yields due to small berries.

 FERMENTATION DETAILS

A pre-fermentation cold-soak at 50% initiates rich fruit and color extraction; followed by closed stainless steel fermentation, minimizing oxygen exposure and emphasizing fruitiness.  25% of the wine is drawn off to finish fermentation in oak to enrich the mouth-feel and gain greater fruit/oak cohesion.  The wine is aged for about another nine months in new, one and two year old French oak barrels with medium-toast.  Alcohol: 13.0% — refreshingly balanced in today’s world of high-alcohol wines.

 WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS

This handcrafted Pinot Noir is an elegant composition of sustainably farmed grapes from several of California’s cool, marine influenced micro-climates.  Ripe red berry and black cherry fruit balance its delicate spiciness.  Join Heron in celebrating 15 years of making wines in California, France and Spain!  The wine is generous on the palate with nice forward fruit and well-balanced oak — in a word, elegant.

The wines in this flight receive The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©

Now let’s get on with tasting the wine.  Here is a simple process for basic wine tasting I call the 5 sssss’s:

  1. Swirl – with your glass on the table or in your hand move the glass so the wine moves in a circular motion in your glass
  2. Smell – stick your nose in the glass and think about the different aromas’ that you are able to discern
  3. Sight – hold the wine up toward light, what does it look like, color, viscosity, what do the individual streams of wine dribbling down the side of the glass look like
  4. Swill – take a small sip, pucker your lips and gently breath in
  5. Spit or Swallow – if you have a bucket spit, if not swallow

Next step:

  1. What is your sense of the wine in your mouth
  2. What does the wine taste like
  3. What does the wine feel like in your mouth
  4. How does your mouth perceive the wine, all up front, in the middle, more in the back of your mouth
  5. Is there a lingering after taste

Last Step:

  1. This is where the brain, mouth, and eyes come together as one
  2. Your description of what your nose, mouth, and eyes just experienced
  3. How would you describe this, remember there is no right or wrong description this is your subjective experience
  4. Try the cheese now and think about how you would now describe the wine

WineGuyMike’s Wine Lingo

This week’s new wine term is; Terroir is a French term for the notion that the complex combination of soil, climate, exposition and local tradition define the style of wine, a taste of the earth.

Astringent – This refers to a drying sensation in the mouth that may make you pucker.  It is common in young full bodied red wines such as a Cabernet or a Zinfandel.  This is caused by high tannin content in the wine.  Tannin is a tactile sensation, not a taste.

Balance this term is one that would refer to a harmony of fruit, tannin, acid, and alcohol.  There may be a nuance of fruit in a wine but it would not be so overwhelming that it would be out of balance or harmony when considering the other characteristics of a wine.

Cheesemonger this term refers to someone who sells cheese, in this case a specialist or purveyor of artisanal cheeses. 

Crisp – Fresh, Bright, Young, and Slightly Acidic.  Wine Types are Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, and Chablis

Grassy – Refers to Herbal Characteristics often associated with Sauvignon Blanc

Meritage – pronounced just like “Heritage”, is a proprietary term used to denote red and white Bordeaux-style wines without infringing on the Bordeaux region’s legally protected designation of origin.  Winemakers must license the Meritage trademark from its owner, the California-based Meritage Alliance.  Member wineries are found principally in the United States, though increasingly elsewhere.

Oaky – A reference to a nuance in a wine resulting from wooden oak barrels that wines are aged in.  This term is common to Chardonnay’s and Cabernet wines.

Rose′ ­- “pinkish”(French).  Depending on the grapes and winemakers style the wines can be colored from vivid orange to nearly a purple hue.

Velvety – This term characterizes a wines texture.  This term would be used with a wine that has a rich and supple mouth feel.

Wine Tasting Flight is a term used by wine tasters to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.

 Match the words that you think make sense; these words are descriptors for wine:

Bright = Flinty an epiphany in your mouth

Rich = Subtle mellow, smooth, decadent, just easy and fulfilling

Lively = Crisp the wine is refreshing, a zing, literally comes to life in your mouth

Intense = Juicy big, bold, forward just tastes like fruit you could bite into

Velvety = Aromatic sexy, goes down like silk, fills the room with its aroma

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© with Scott and Paula on The Ranch 10/06/10


Check out the radio show on The Ranch 107.1FM or 97.9FM in The Bitterroot Valley.  How about a live stream feed at www.107theranch.com.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© with Scott and Paula on The Ranch airs weekly on Wednesday mornings at 8:20AM MDT.

Each week we will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

See this week’s show on YouTube  each week on Thursday morning, the day after the show.  Our YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Sponsors                                                                                                                                            

The show is sponsored by Grizzly Liquor, “Missoula’s Best Choice”.  Follow Grizzly Liquor on their Facebook fan page – Grizzly Liquor Missoula 

The Lolo Creek Steak House, “Rare yet Well Done”, located in Lolo, MT.  Find them online at www.lolocreeksteakhouse.com


This week’s winners are; Alice Gardner and Janet Kaufman

This week WineGuyMike is going to be talking about some very important wine and entree selections.  So important that lives depend on it, I’m talking about The St. Patrick’s House and the 11th annual Table Talk Event Benefit.

Table Talk is an annual event that is one of five major fund raising events hosted by St. Patrick Hospital and Health Foundation.  The Table Talk Event is an evening of great conversation, dining, learning, and sharing by a group of 250 people who have come together to benefit The St. Patrick House.  This event takes place at The Double Tree Hotel on Saturday October 16th  in Missoula, MT at 5:30 PM.  There are 25 tables and each table is hosted by a celebrity or a significant person of interest.  All the proceeds of this event directly benefit The St. Patrick House located one block away from St. Patrick Hospital.

WineGuyMike is a member of The Table Talk Committee; this event is a personal passion for me.  The St. Patrick House is a blessing within our community and to those who utilize this home.  I have personal friends or family members of friends who have had to use St. Patrick House.  Lives are forever changed and touched by this house and the staff does an amazing job of running this home supported by a group of wonderful volunteers.  The annual budget for operations is $200,000.00 which I personally cannot comprehend how they accomplish what they do and provide the services they are able to for that small of a budget.  The fact of the matter is that they barely survive on that budget and that is exactly why this Table Talk Event is being held. 

Table Talk Event hosts are the highlight of the evening along with great wine and food.  This year we have an incredible lineup of guest hosts that are as diverse as Montana State Attorney General Steve Bullock to top 100 swimmer of the century and Olympic gold medal  winner David Berkoff.

Tickets for The Table Talk Event Benefit are available through the St. Patrick Hospital and Health Foundation offices for $75.00 per ticket.  You may call 406-327-3052 to purchase your tickets for this event, remember tickets go fast and if you want to select your particular table of interest call to get your ticket today.

To Register for Table Talk Event; http://bit.ly/9ePgXx

For a list of the events esteemed guest host list and bio’s; http://bit.ly/auTNPy

The mission of St. Patrick House is to provide compassionate shelter to patients and their families during their time of need.  Last year St. Patrick House served over 2,000 children, women and men and this year we hope to serve even more!  These individuals come from all across Montana seeking medical care, and are often left without a place to lay their head while they are in Missoula.

•Comfortable lodging, family style kitchen, complete laundry facilities
•Just one block north of St. Patrick Hospital, corner of Owens and Alder
•Maximum two adults & one small child per room, two rooms per family
•$25 per night
•No smoking, alcohol, pets or housekeeping services
•Renovated, staffed Victorian style three story home with fifteen bedrooms
•Medical referral required, reservations encouraged, wheelchair accessible
•Supported by the communities we serve, donation welcome, 100 % tax deductible

Guest Comments:
“Very comfortable and affordable… thank you!”
“We were treated with extreme kindness, love and understanding…”
“A welcome refuge during a difficult time… everything was great!”

Happy 100th Birthday, a brief history of The St. Patrick House

St. Patrick House

St. Patrick House

The house that we now know as St. Patrick House was constructed in 1910.

For many years it was used as a lodging house for transitional industrial labor workers in the area.  In 1948 the house was converted to a convalescent home and used as such for the next 16 years. The house was then used as an apartment house offering furnished rooms.

From 1983 until 1993, the house was used as a Missoula Youth Home.  For the next two years, Women’s Place purchased the building for offices and temporary housing for women in crisis.  In 1995, it was known as the Montana Grand Bed and Breakfast and Trappings Interior Design.  In 1998 Heidi Dewey, the wife of a Missoula physician, noticed that although Missoula offered exceptional medical treatment for a wide variety of ailments, many low and moderate income medical travelers couldn’t afford shelter and food staples while in town.  She spoke with Jean Bowman, then the Executive Director of the St. Patrick Hospital Foundation, and presented her passion to create a hospitality house for those in need.  The vision spread quickly as others grasped the obvious need, and the Foundation raised enough money to purchase the building and land to create this “place like home” for those patients and families in need.  In September of 1999 the doors of St. Patrick House opened.  The original house had 10 bedrooms and could accommodate 20 people a night. People could cook their own meals and find peace away from the stressful hospital atmosphere.  In 2007, the Foundation added five more rooms allowing us to accommodate 30 plus individuals each night.  In 2009 alone, 2,173 individuals found a safe refuge under the roof of the St. Patrick House.  Since opening in 1999, we have helped over 13,000 men, women and children from nearly every community in Montana, every state in the nation and 14 foreign countries.

Table Talk Event Benefit wine flight and entrée selections:

 Vegetarian Plate:

Portobello Ravioli - Creamy Pesto Fettuccine

Portobello Ravioli - Creamy Pesto Fettuccine

  • Portobello Ravioli
    • Fresh Ravioli Pasta stuffed with Portobello Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese, topped with a White Wine Supreme Sauce and served with a Seasonal Vegetable.
  • Creamy Pesto Fettuccine
    • Fettuccine Pasta tossed with a creamy pesto sauce and topped with sautéed vegetables.  Served with homemade Garlic Bread.

Chicken Plate:

Chef Erin’s Stuffed Chicken - Grilled Chicken

Chef Erin’s Stuffed Chicken - Grilled Chicken

  • Chef Erin’s Stuffed Chicken
    • Baked Chicken Breast stuffed with Feta Cheese, Spinach and Sundried Tomato and topped with a Smoke Roma Tomato Cream Sauce, served with choice of Potato and Seasonal VegetablesGrilled Chicken
    • Grilled Chicken Breast topped with White Wine Peppercorn Sauce served with Choice of Potato and Seasonal Vegetables

Beef Plate:

Filet - Sirloin

Filet - Sirloin

  • Filet
    • Four Ounce Petite Filet cooked Medium and topped with Choice of Red Wine Demi Glace or Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce, served with choice of Potato and Seasonal Vegetables
  • Sirloin
  • Sliced Sirloin cooked Medium and topped  Wild   Mushroom   Cream Sauce, served with choice of Potato and Seasonal Vegetables

Choice of Potato:

  • Bleu Cheese Mashed Potato
  • Garlic Mashed Potato
  • Roasted Baby Red Potatoes
  • Wild Rice Pilaf
  • Basmati Rice

Wine Flight

Bigi Vipra Bianca

Ercavio White

Le Clos

Heron Pinot Noir

Ochoa Temprenillo/Granache

Ochoa Tempranillo 70%/Granache %30

Ochoa Tempranillo 70%/Granache %30

The picturesque town of Olite was historically significant during the Roman Empire and was the capital of the Kingdom of Navarra during the Middle Ages.  Bodegas Ochoa has documents dated 1370 A.D. confirming that the bodega was the personal winemakers for the king of Navarra and his royal court, which continued for about another 400 years.  The bodega was located within the walled portion of the city, but its growth during the past century caused the bodega to be relocated outside the walls.

Bodegas Ochoa is still family owned and operated with Javier Ochoa at the helm for the past 35 years.  Adriana, Javier?s daughter, was trained in Bordeaux and continued her wine education in Australia is following Javier?s footsteps.  Adriana is assuming more of the winemaking responsibilities of the bodega under her father?s guidance.

All of the grapes used to make Ochoa?s wines are estate grown in their 143 hectares of vineyards.  The vineyards are located in the higher elevations of Navarra, which lend additional structure and character to the grapes.

General Winery Bodegas Ochoa
Region Navarra
Town of production Olite
Varietal Tempranillo 70%, Garnacha 30%
Total production of the wine 80,000 liters
Name of winemaker Adriana Ochoa
Vineyard Age of vines used to produce wine 11 years
Yield 7,500 kg / hectare
Size of vineyard, hectares Tempranillo 55 hectares, Garnacha 20 hectares
Elevation above sea level 410 meters
Inclination of vineyard south
Soil composition clay and limestone
Irrigation yes, drip irrigation
Harvest Harvest method machine
Date of harvest third week of September, 2008
Fermentation Alcoholic fermentation, type in stainless steel tanks
Alcoholic fermentation, duration 10 days
Alcoholic fermentation, temperature 22 degrees C
Malolactic fermentation, type in stainless steel tanks
Malolactic fermentation, duration 10 days
Malolactic fermentation, temperature 20 degrees C
Aging Time in bottle before release 2 months
Bottling Cold stabilized yes
Filtered yes

Bigi Vipra Bianca

Bigi Vipra Bianca 2009 %60 Grechetto/%Chardonnay

Bigi Vipra Bianca 2009 %60 Grechetto/%Chardonnay

 Bigi was founded by Luigi Bigi in 1880.  Today it is the leading winery in Orvieto. Located just beneath the lofty walls of ancient Orvieto, Bigi is one of Italy’s busiest cellars.  The winery and cellars, redesigned and modernized by renowned oenologist Giacomo Tachis, draw thousands of visitors each year.  Bigi is the leading brand of Orvieto with a thirty percent share of the total output of the zone.  Equally important is the outstanding vineyard work done by Bigi.  They own or manage almost 200 hectares (nearly 500 acres), notably Torricella, Orzalume, Viavalle and Il Poggio.  Bigi thus controls the quality of its wines from vine to bottle under the direction of dynamic enologist Francesco Bardi, who is considered one of Umbria’s most innovative winemakers.

 Vipra Bianca 2009

Grape(s):

60% Grechetto

40% Chardonnay

Type:

Dry Still White

Alcohol:

12.90%

Region:

Umbria, Italy

The name Vipra — local dialect for “viper” — was inspired by one of the most powerful noble families of the Middle Ages: Monaldeschi della Vipera.

Vineyards:

Scattered throughout the town of Orvieto and its neighboring communities, the vineyards were planted in the late 1990s.  Using the spurred cordon and guyot training methods at a density of 3500-4000 vines/hectare, both indigenous and international varieties of grapes thrive in this poor, pebbly soil.  Altitudes average 300 meters above sea level and all vineyards have southwestern exposures.

Technical Data:

  • pH: 3.31
  • Residual Sugar: 2.50 grams/liter
  • Acidity: 4.50 grams/liter
  • Dry Extract: 17.10 grams/liter

Winemaking:

Harvest took place in early October.  Prior to fermentation, the grapes underwent a criomaceration for 8-9 hours, followed by static decanting of the musts for 24 hours in stainless steel tanks at 12-18°C.  Fermentation occurred in stainless steel tanks as well, at temperatures of 14-16°C over 20 days.  The wine was aged for 2 months before being filtered, fined, refrigerated, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, this wine expresses hints of fresh almonds, acacia, and citrus. It is rich, yet fresh with a savory, elegant flavor.  Best when drunk young.

Ercavio White

Ercavio Blanco %90 Airen - %10 Sauvignon Blanc

Ercavio Blanco %90 Airen - %10 Sauvignon Blanc

 Mas Que Vinos is the brainchild of a group of friends, Margarita Madrigal, Gonzalo Rodriguez, and Alexandra Schmedes.  Having renovated an old family winery which dates to 1851, the three sought to preserve as much as they could from the original property, including the old tinajas (clay amphors) which are still used today for the malolactic fermentation.

La Mancha is one of the few areas of Spain that benefits from one single climate instead of two or three such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero.  This Continental climate favors the extremes, with very cold winters and very hot summers.  In the summer, and because of the altitude (often over 700 meters), the nights are quite cool which is perfect for an grape maturation.  Soils in the zone are usually clay and limestone, with small patches of granite.

Mas Que Vinos works with two varietals with which many American buyers may not be familiar. Cencibel, a red varietal, is simply another name for Tempranillo when grown in certain areas of Central and Southern Spain.  Arien, equally as unknown, is Spain’s most widely planted white varietal.  Bunches are large and very tightly packed and alcohol levels tend to be between 13% and 14%.  Often it is added to a blend for texture, but as it tends to be lower in alcohol in the area near Mas Que Vinos and the aromatics quite interesting, the property has decided to make it the centerpiece of their white wine.

Primarily made from the white varietal Airen and a small percentage of Sauvignon Blanc.

 Ercavio Blanco is young, fresh and fruity–and ideal aperitif or accompaniment to seafood and lighter fare.

 Le Clos

Le Clos 2008(newest avail. label) 45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Le Clos 2008(newest avail. label) 45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Domaine Sainte Eugénie is positioned within the district of Fontfroide, the sweet spot of Corbières, with an 800 year history of viticulture.  The estate is located within the foothills of the Pyrénées along the Mediterranean coast.  Clay and chalk soils dominate here.  The dry weather, sunny and warm climate combine to create an optimal growing environment.  This new wine, just released, is the latest addition to Domaine Sainte Eugénie.  It is unique in that it has a slight, refined oak character, highlighting a sturdy base of red fruit and oriental spices. Bringing into play terroir and savoir-faire, tradition and exotic flair, Le Clos seems to be like something out of “The Arabian Nights.”  This wine displays an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet.  Its nose is lively and complex, with notes of red and black fruits. Refined oak fragrance with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco. It is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity.  Le Clos shows a wonderful balance. It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.  It will perfectly accompany a duck terrine laced with olives, a roast rack of lamb, barbecued beef or pork chops with fines herbes, as well as pheasant with wild mushrooms or boeuf bourguignon.

Domaine: Domaine Sainte Eugénie
Vintage: 2008
Producer: Gantier, Ratero and Brignoli
Variety: 45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon

 Heron Pinot Noir

Heron Pinot Noir 2009

Heron Pinot Noir 2009

This 2009 Pinot Noir hails from California and marks my return after 4 years of making French Pinot Noir.  My decision to produce a French Pinot Noir was driven by grape quality and grape prices, and the decision to return to California is the same.  Four years ago I could buy higher quality grapes at a better price in France; today, the better grapes and prices are in California.  I sourced grapes from Paso Robles (Westside with cool ocean temperatures), Monterey and the Russian River Valley.  The wine is generous on the palate with nice forward fruit and well-balanced oak — in a word, elegant. WEATHER PECULIARITIES
Spring — Cool into April. Summer — Moderate then warm in late Summer, large canopies.  Fall – Cool in September, wet in October, and dry into November.  Harvest started early in with cool temperatures which delayed maturation and allowed for the development of ripe luscious flavors.  Berries were smaller than usual and had lower sugar levels, higher acid and lower Ph.  Lack of rain in the preceding winter made for lower than average yields due to small berries.
 
FERMENTATION DETAILS
A pre-fermentation cold-soak at 50% initiates rich fruit and color extraction; followed by closed stainless steel fermentation, minimizing oxygen exposure and emphasizing fruitiness. 25% of the wine is drawn off to finish fermentation in oak to enrich the mouth-feel and gain greater fruit/oak cohesion.  The wine is aged for about another nine months in new, one and two year old French oak barrels with medium-toast. Alcohol: 13.0% — refreshingly balanced in today’s world of high-alcohol wines.
 
WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS
This handcrafted Pinot Noir is an elegant composition of sustainably farmed grapes from several of California’s cool, marine influenced micro-climates. Ripe red berry and black cherry fruit balance its delicate spiciness.  Join me in celebrating 15 years of making wines in California, France and Spain!  The wine is generous on the palate with nice forward fruit and well-balanced oak — in a word, elegant.
 
 

These wines in this flight receive The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©

Now let’s get on with tasting the wine.  Here is a simple process for basic wine tasting I call the 5 sssss’s:

  1. Swirl – with your glass on the table or in your hand move the glass so the wine moves in a circular motion in your glass
  2. Smell – stick your nose in the glass and think about the different aromas’ that you are able to discern
  3. Sight – hold the wine up toward light, what does it look like, color, viscosity, what do the individual streams of wine dribbling down the side of the glass look like
  4. Swill – take a small sip, pucker your lips and gently breath in
  5. Spit or Swallow – if you have a bucket spit, if not swallow

Next step:

  1. What is your sense of the wine in your mouth
  2. What does the wine taste like
  3. What does the wine feel like in your mouth
  4. How does your mouth perceive the wine, all up front, in the middle, more in the back of your mouth
  5. Is there a lingering after taste

Last Step:

  1. This is where the brain, mouth, and eyes come together as one
  2. Your description of what your nose, mouth, and eyes just experienced
  3. How would you describe this, remember there is no right or wrong description this is your subjective experience
  4. Try the cheese now and think about how you would now describe the wine

WineGuyMike’s Wine Lingo

This week’s new wine term is; Rose ­- “pinkish”(French).  Depending on the grapes and winemakers style the wines can be colored from vivid orange to nearly a purple hue.

Astringent – This refers to a drying sensation in the mouth that may make you pucker.  It is common in young full bodied red wines such as a Cabernet or a Zinfandel.  This is caused by high tannin content in the wine.  Tannin is a tactile sensation, not a taste.

Balance – this term is one that would refer to a harmony of fruit, tannin, acid, and alcohol.  There may be a nuance of fruit in a wine but it would not be so overwhelming that it would be out of balance or harmony when considering the other characteristics of a wine.

Cheesemonger – this term refers to someone who sells cheese, in this case a specialist or purveyor of artisanal cheeses. 

Crisp – Fresh, Bright, Young, and Slightly Acidic.  Wine Types are Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, and Chablis

Grassy – Refers to Herbal Characteristics often associated with Sauvignon Blanc

Meritage – pronounced just like “Heritage”, is a proprietary term used to denote red and white Bordeaux-style wines without infringing on the Bordeaux region’s legally protected designation of origin.  Winemakers must license the Meritage trademark from its owner, the California-based Meritage Alliance.  Member wineries are found principally in the United States, though increasingly elsewhere.

Oaky – A reference to a nuance in a wine resulting from wooden oak barrels that wines are aged in.  This term is common to Chardonnay’s and Cabernet wines.

Velvety – This term characterizes a wines texture.  This term would be used with a wine that has a rich and supple mouth feel.

Wine Tasting Flight is a term used by wine tasters to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.

Match the words that you think make sense; these words are descriptors for wine:

Bright = Flinty an epiphany in your mouth

Rich = Subtle mellow, smooth, decadent, just easy and fulfilling

Lively = Crisp the wine is refreshing, a zing, literally comes to life in your mouth

Intense = Juicy big, bold, forward just tastes like fruit you could bite into

Velvety = Aromatic sexy, goes down like silk, fills the room with its aroma

WineGuyMike

"From My Table to Yours"