Rioja

if-you-like-rioja

Riojas have a lot in common with Bordeauxs. Both wines are made from a traditional distinct and time-tested blend of a few different varietals. Any wine classified as a Rioja will be a Tempranillo-based blend that incorporates smaller amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano grapes. Rioja is especially known for the notes of vanilla and…

Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc

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When considering Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, it can be hard to find comparisons because these wines stand out relative to Sauvignon Blancs produced in other parts of the world. Many in the wine world consider these wines to be the absolute best expression of the grape because they manage to showcase all…

Red Zinfandel, White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is one of California’s all-time most-successful accidents. Zinfandel, the grape from which both red and white wine is made, is almost black in color. Although the vine is infamous for its unevenly-ripening berries (often, ripe black berries will hang next to a tart, green, small berry on the same bunch), White and Red…

Paso Robles Zinfandel

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Zinfandel has a colorful past. Even though it was long thought to be an indigenous American grape, sometimes dubbed “California’s own,” its origins are Croatian. Zinfandel’s origins were not known for certain until as late as the 1990s, when researchers at UC Davis and in Croatia worked closely to determine that Zinfandel is the same…

Mendoza Malbec

if-you-like-mendoza-malbec

Even though Malbec is currently most associated with Medoza, Argentina, the grape’s origins are French. Experts have traced Malbec to Auxerrois, a small region in Northern Burgundy, and to Southwest France. The grape currently thrives in several French regions. It is perhaps most associated with Bordeaux (where it is one of the five allowed varieties,…

Chardonnay: To Oak or Not to Oak

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For a very long time winemakers noted something mysterious happening to their wine as it was aged in oak barrels – if the wine was left in the barrel for a while after it had fully fermented, it took on a soft and supple character. It wasn’t until a Frenchman named Pascal discovered the bacteria…

Modern vs Traditional Wine Making in Burgundy

One of the things that came up during Vine Talk’s tasting of wines from Burgundy was the difference between wines made in a modern style and wines made in a more traditional style. One of the reasons that the wine from Burgundy is so treasured the world over is because it is a wine that…

Columbia Valley Chardonnay

Though some might argue that delicate is not a word that has much to do with Chardonnay, many producers in Washington State are taking that sentiment to task and turning out fine examples of Chardonnay that show the wine’s refined side. Chardonnay as most Americans know it is a wine that really came of age…

The Burgundian Wine Business

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As our wine expert Emilie mentioned, the key word for the wine business in Burgundy is “small” – small vineyards, small yields, small production, and small producers. The scale of wine production in Burgundy means that things are done a little differently there when it comes to making wine. Especially in the glorified areas of…

Napa Oakville Cabernets…

Cabernet Sauvignon is a survivor. It’s relatively easy to grow and can thrive in an impressively wide array of climates. It’s a grape that produces rich, dark, and fairly tannic wine that is easily manipulated to exaggerate certain flavors while muting others. Napa Valley is one of the world’s leading producers of Cabernet Sauvignon. Unlike…