Cloudy Bay Vineyards is located in the town of Blenheim in the Marlborough section of New Zealand. The winery produces two Sauvignon Blancs, a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, and a sparkling wine.
The 2011 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for 3 to 5 months. The label listed ABV was 13.5%.
The 21st of June 2012 was International Sauvignon Blanc day. For the occasion, I set out to find a suitable bottle for consumption. I couldn’t recall drinking a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, so I decided to give the Cloudy Bay a try.
We really do need more wine holidays.
Tavarnelle Val di Pesa is a small town in the province of Florence in the Tuscany region of Italy. The town is home to Poggio Al Sole winery. In addition to wine, Poggio Al Sole also produces olive oil. The winery was purchased by the Davaz family of Switzerland in 1977, and is run by Johannes and Kathrin Davaz.
The 2009 Poggio Al Sole Chianti Classico was 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine was aged in old oak barrels. The ABV was 13.9%. There were 40,000 bottles of this vintage produced. The wine’s designation was DOCG.
I discovered this wine by way of Restaurant Nicholas, a local restaurant. Nicholas Haray, the restaurant’s owner, has a knack for finding some lesser known gems in the wine world. The wines I’ve gotten from him tend to be hit or miss. I’ve had some outstanding wines and then I’ve had some less than spectacular wines, but no recommendation has ever been a bad bottle.
I was unsure what to expect from this bottle from Italy.
Castello di Ama is based in the town of Ama in the province of Siena in the Tuscany region of Italy. In addition to red, white, and rose wines, they also produce olive oil.
The 2011 Castello di Ama Rosato was 93% Sangiovese and 7% Merlot. The wine was produced by means of the saingee method. It was aged in stainless steel tanks for 4 months. Its ABV was 13.5%. The wine was bottled in February of 2012 and had an IGT classification.
Although I was very pleased with the Caves de Donnas Larmes du Paradis, the kind people at Basil T’s, a local restaurant, insisted I try the 2011 Castello di Ama Rosato.
I was very glad they made the recommendation.
The town of Montepulciano in the Tuscany region of Italy is home to the Avignonesi winery. In addition to six red wines, a Chardonnay, and a Sauvignon Blanc, the winery produces dessert wines, grappa, and olive oil.
The 2008 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was a red blend comprised of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo Nero, and 5% Mammolo. The wine was aged in oak casks (50% Slovanian / 50% French) for 18 months, and spent an additional 6 months aging in the bottle prior to release. The wine carried an ABV of 14% and a DOCG classification.
In May 2012, I wrote up the Casanova di Neri wine tasting dinner at Undici. In his comments on my post, The Winegetter, a fellow wine blogger, asked for my thoughts on Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, recommending both Poliziano and Avignonesi. As I had not previously tasted either, I diligently set out to procure at least one of the two.
I happened upon the Avignonesi. I was glad I did.
Rockledge Vineyards is located in the St. Helena section of Napa Valley in California. The winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.
The 2009 Rockledge Vineyards The Rocks Cabernet Sauvignon was a red blend composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot (percentages unavailable). The label listed ABV was 14.5%.
I first tasted The Rocks at a wine tasting at Restaurant Nicholas in 2011. I couldn’t recall my exact impressions so I decided to give the wine another try.
The Casanova di Neri winery is located in the town of Montalcino in the Tuscany section of Italy. While they are best known for their Brunello di Montalcino, the winery also produces red wines with different varietals and blends, grappa, and olive oil.
The 2006 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto was 100% Sangiovese. The wine was aged in oak barrels for 31 months. The label listed ABV was 14.5%. The wine’s designation was DOCG. This vintage resulted in the production of 10417 (750 ml) bottles, 250 (1500ml) bottles, and 36 (3000ml) bottles.
This wine received a 100 point rating from James Suckling. As a result, on every trip to the cellar, I couldn’t help but look at the bottles, even though they were placed in an out-of-the-way spot on the racks. The curiosity of tasting the wine versus holding it for years became a regular battle. Did I break down and open a bottle ahead of its time to see what I thought of it?
Yes…yes, I did.
Kris Pinot Grigio is produced by the Franz Haas Winery in the Alto Adige section of northeast Italy. In addition to the Pinot Grigio, the winery produces a Pinot Noir and a red blend (Merlot, Montepulciano, and Cabernet Sauvignon).
The 2010 Kris Pinot Grigio was 100% Pinot Grigio. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for 3 to 6 months, and for an additional 3 to 4 months in the bottle prior to release. The labeled ABV was 12.5%. The wine carried a designation of IGT.
I have a few recipes that call for white wine. They usually use only 1 cup or less, so there is always something left over for the cook (me!) to sip. I was looking for a Pinot Grigio other than the large, commercial, overpriced brands *cough*SantaMargherita*cough*. The kind people at Wine Sellers recommended I try Kris Pinot Grigio.
I purchased a bottle and headed home. Several days later, I was preparing Swordfish Livornese, which just happened to require a cup of white wine (what a coincidence!).