Peter Mondavi Turns 100, Memories Of A Visit To Charles Krug

I have been absent from this blog for nine weeks, the age of my new baby but today I am back and want to take the occasion to write about Peter Mondavi of Charles Krug Winery who turns 100 today, a venerable age for a remarkable man. I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Mondavi two years ago in October together with Giacomo Pondini from the Consorzio di Tutela del Morellino di Scansano and Karen MacKenzie of the eponymous agency.

Peter Mondavi

Mr. Mondavi still goes to the office everyday and credits his longevity to wine and staying involved. He was incredibly generous with his time and I am thrilled that I got the chance to meet him thanks to Karen Mackenzie’s efforts.

Mondavi was one of the first wineries I had ever visited when I was 20 years old. I went with my Mother during college. I remember being overwhelmed at its luxury and its size. Since then the family fortunes have ebbed and flowed and Robert Mondavi sold his winery before his death.

Giacomo and I also tasted through a number of the wines with Mr. Mondavi. The one that I was most partial to that particular day in October 2012 was the Family Reserve Generations.

Generations - Charles Krug

I liked the wine itself and I liked the symbolism behind the wine and the idea of generations of family. I drank it with my family as part of our Christmas meal if memory serves. The wine was made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. It spent 21 months in new French oak. Despite its high alcohol level, I thought it was quite delicious and showed lovely fruit, spice and earthy notes on the nose and palate. I think Cabernet lovers would also like this wine as the other Bordeaux varieties give it pepper and spice but the essence of this wine is pure Napa Cabernet.

I wish Mr. Mondavi cent di questi giorni (Nov. 8) and marvel at his kindness, modesty, and achievements.

2 Comments

Filed under wines

Jewish New York With Kosher Chianti From Terra di Seta

Susannah:

Happy New Year. Certainly a year to celebrate with my new arrival. The year is 5775, may it be a great one.

Originally posted on avvinare:

With wine tasting season here and harvest underway around the world, there is so much to write about. First though, it is time to take stock, look at the year gone by and note with pleasure all that has taken place in the past year.

I am not a religious person but I do like to celebrate holidays of all kinds as a way of making markers throughout the year and remembering how sweet life can be.

This year, one of my most read posts was, as always, that about a winery called Terra di Seta in Chianti. It is the only kosher winery in Italy run by a lovely couple whom I met a few years ago at a tasting in New York and have since met with a few times at Vinitaly. Their Chianti seemed an appropriate choice for this New Year.

View original

Leave a comment

Filed under wines

We Remember – 9/11

Towers of Light

1 Comment

Filed under wines

Wine of the Week: Nino Franco Valdobbiadne Superiore D.O.C.G. Brut

Nino Franco Brut

Earlier this year I had the occasion to meet Primo Franco of the Nino Franco winery at an intimate lunch organized by Tony Didio. Primo was fascinating and an incredible “Signore del Vino.” His family winery is one of the first to make a name for themselves in the Prosecco trade, quite unimaginable today when Prosecco is so easy to find but according to Primo at the beginning there were just a very few producers trying to make a name for themselves and their area.

His family got started in 1919 just after World War I. His grandfather, Antonio and his father, Nino built up the winery. Primo, himself a graduate of the prestigious oenology school in Conegliano, took over in the 1970s and thereafter put in some modern techniques.

We tried a number of his wines, including a Rose’ calle Faive and Grave di Stecca. Both were interesting and the Grave di Stecca a very elegant and special cuvee but it is the brut that I feel represents the area and the category most profoundly.

Faive Nino Franco

There are many areas for Prosecco as we know and generally different styles as well, according to the level of residual sugar in the wine. The Brut is the driest version of Prosecco. This one had very bright acidity and was a real joy as it paired with a salmon burger.

So many others have also written about their encounters with Primo Franco, including Charles Scicolone in this relatively recent post, Dobianchi earlier this year, and Alfonso last year. What I found throughout everyone’s posts is a common sense of how wonderful both Primo and his wines truly are.

Primo Franco Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.

I like Alfonso’s vision of Primo as a great tree but when I met him, he was in his version of a very dapper Italian in midtown Manhattan. We all have our individual experiences with winemakers, either in Italy or in the States, but its the shared impressions that they leave on each of us, that strikes me. Meeting Primo was a highlight of my New York wine life this year. Thanks Tony for introducing me, again, to wonderful producers.

4 Comments

Filed under Italian indigenous Grape Varieties, Italian regions, Italian wineries, italy, Memorable Events, Travel, Veneto, wines

Wine of the Week: Faro from Palari (Sicily)

sicily

This week’s wine pick is Faro from Azienda Agricola Palari from Sicily. I first tasted this wine at a Tre Bicchieri event in New York some years ago. I was impressed with its unique blend of indigenous Sicilian grapes including Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Nocera, Acitana, and Jacche’.

The wine was ruby red in color with loads of berry fruits, spice and a hint of vanilla. It was velvety and harmonious on the palate with juicy tannins. A great wine to age, I was very impressed with this beauty.

I’m having a Sicilian thing this summer with many memories of a couple of wonderful trips I took to Sicily years ago. This winery is located near Messina. Faro is a very ancient wine that was produced in this area for many years. Production was then interrupted both because of production issues and because of Phylloxera. The wine is made in a very particular area with a great micro-climate and on a series of vineyards that change dramatically in terms of their altitude from sea level to 1,475 feet with an eight mile range. The vines grow on very steep slopes and are bush trained requiring hand harvesting.

The wine is fermented in stainless steel but ages in new French oak and then in the bottle for at least 18 months before release. This is a big Sicilian wine and needs hearty dishes to support it. A land of contrasts, this is one side of Sicily – big, passionate and intense.

Leave a comment

Filed under Italian indigenous Grape Varieties, Italian wineries, italy, Memorable Events, Sicily, Travel, Wine of the Week, wines

Italian Indigenous Varieties: Fumin from the Valle d’Aosta

Valle d'Aosta

This week’s grape variety is Fumin. It is the last variety that starts with the letter “F.” Amazing to me to note, but I have written 111 of these sorts of posts through the years. Italy has such an endless number of grape varieties, there is always something new to learn.

Fumin is a variety that comes from the Valle d’Aosta. It can be made into a blend but it is also used to make mono-varietal wines and is used in the Valle d’Aosta Denominazione d’origine controllata (D.O.C.) wine. In a blend it brings both color and acidity. In fact, it is a wine that should age a bit before drinking to mellow out some of its robust and rustic aromas and flavors.

Valle d'Aosta

Every year at Vinitaly, I try to spend time at the Valle d’Aosta booth. I like the wines and the people, straight forward and frank. Some examples of great Fumin are from the top producers in the Valle d’Aosta, including Grosjean, Les Cretes, and Ottin, among others.

Leave a comment

Filed under Indigeous varieties, Italian indigenous Grape Varieties, Italian regions, Italian wineries, italy, Valle d'Aosta

Sunday Sipping: New World Wines – The Napa Valley

Susannah:

Thinking of all the members of the wine industry and people who live in the Napa Valley who were impacted by the Earthquake. Hoping everyone will see their way to a better day in the near future. Very lucky that no one lost their lives. I’m posting this blog piece that I wrote last year about Napa as a way of showing solidarity and interest in the region and its fate.

Originally posted on avvinare:

“The Napa Valley, Then and Now: The Evoltion of Grapegrowing and Winemaking” was the title of a seminar I took this past summer at the Society of Wine Educators Conference in Orlando, Florida with Barry Wiss. With the cold weather outside, I am channeling summer and warmth and so Napa came to mind. The seminar was interesting but what I thought was most remarkable was how far the association has come that they are now showing the diversity of terroir, grapes grown and attention to microclimate variations.

I tended to think of Napa as a whole, homogenous region, with a warm climate. I was quite wrong apparently. This above all was made plain in this particular seminar. In the past, I have taken the Napa Rocks seminars about the soil variation but little had been discussed about climate, another fundamental part of what can be defined as “terroir.”

Terroir affects…

View original 1,077 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under wines