Archive for the ‘Quattro’ Category

Just Arrived…

October 29, 2013 48 comments

When I saw a big sturdy envelope yesterday in the mail, my first thought was “is that the…” – and yes, it was – my Quatro certificate from The Wine Century Club!

Wine Century Clun Quattro Certificate

Wine Century Clun Quattro Certificate

Yes, I know that I tasted over 400 grapes, but somehow getting this piece of paper felt very good. And while I was thinking about the next level, the coveted 500, or Pentavini as it is called in The Wine Century Club, I didn’t feel encouraged – now I do. Thus you should expect to see more posts about obscure grapes and wines on this pages. But this is what makes it fun!

Join The Wine Century Club and start your journey now – you can thank me later! Cheers!

Spotting Rare Grapes

March 28, 2013 7 comments

It’s being a while since I talked about new additions to my “grape collection”. No, I didn’t stop looking for the new grapes (I think this will go on forever), I just couldn’t get around posting about the new grape discoveries.

Actually, one of the “pushers” for this post to come out was the fact that subject of Wine Century Club became very popular in my close “blogosphere”, the blogs I’m reading on more or less the regular basis. Oliver of The Wine Getter just crossed his first hundred grapes – here is the post where he explains what makes him going with the Wine Century Club. Here is account of another blogger, GourmetVicariously – she is undertaking the Wine Century Challenge in Australia, and you follow check on her progress here.

So for my own update, I finally submitted my Quattro application, and I’m inching little by little closer to the Pentavini status. As I didn’t post on this subject for a while, today’s update includes 22 grapes, a lot of them came through after the VinItaly and Gambero Rosso tastings I recently attended. Below you will see some pictures of the wine labels, and the names of the grapes and the wines follow right after. Another challenge for me will be to update my grapes of the world table, but I will worry about it later. This same table might be a good resource for you in terms of searching of the new wines and the grapes. Also, if you are using Pinterest, please make sure to check the Wine Centurions shared pinboard,  and feel free to join in and start contributing the rare grapes information. Also, if we are talking about resources for the aspiring Wine Centurions, here is the link to all the Wine Century Club posts in this blog, hope you will find it helpful.

Here are the labels:

And the grapes:

Groslot – Sparkling Brut Rose Bouvet ‘Excellence’ NV Bouvet-Ladubay

Carricante – 2010 Planeta Carricante, Sicilia IGT, Italy

Le Crescent – Boyden Valley Winery Cowtipper, Vermont

Rougeon – Palaia Joyful Pink, Hudson Valley, New York

Prensal – 2010 Binigrau Nounat Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Spain

Marquette – 2010 Lincoln Park Vineyard Maquette, Vermont

Turbiana – 2009 Lugana Superiore Il Rintocco

Malvasia di Candia Aromatica – 2011 Lusenti C.P. Malvasia Frizzante Emiliana

Caberlot – 2009 Podere Il Carnasciale Caberlot

Trebbiano Spoletino – 2010 Tabarrini Adarmando

Verdiso – Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut Jeio NV

Cesanese di Affile – 2010 Casale della Ioria Cesanese del Piglio Camponovo

Malvasia Puntinata – 2011 L’Olivella Frascati Superiore Racemo

Bellone – L’Olivella Frascati Superiore Racemo

Cesanese – 2008 L’Olivella Lazio Rosso “>”

Durello – Lessini Durello DOC Spumante 36 Mesi

Lambrusca di Sorbara – 2011 Chiarli 1860 Lambrusco di Sorbara del Fondatore

Lambrusca Grasparossa – 2011 Chiarli 1860 Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Vign. Enrico Cialdini

Ginestra – 2010 Marisa Cuomo Costa d’Amalfi Furore Bianco Fiorduva

Fenile – 2010 Marisa Cuomo Costa d’Amalfi Furore Bianco Fiorduva

Ripoli – 2010 Marisa Cuomo Costa d’Amalfi Furore Bianco Fiorduva

Perricone – 2010 Firriato Ribeca, Sicily

If you are not going through the Wine Century club challenge yet, you should really consider doing that, and if you are already living through your obsession – good luck in your journey and remember to have fun! Cheers!

Study of Grapes, 152 at a Time

July 31, 2012 6 comments

How do you experience 152 grape varieties, all at the same time? Easy. You get a bottle of Giribaldi Cento Uve wine and … voilà!

As you probably know, I’m an enthusiastic member of the Wine Century Club – a virtual club dedicated to the grape adventures. I already talked too many times about virtues of the Wine Century Club, thus I’m not going to bore you with those details again. Instead, let me focus on only one, dare I say it, sacred bottle of wine – 2005 Giribaldi Cento Uve Langhe DOC.

What makes this wine “sacred”? It is made out of 50% Nebbiolo and the other 50% containing additional 151 (!) varieties, so it can really help you to advance in the quest for higher levels of The Wine Century Club membership (except that it doesn’t count towards the first level of membership with 100 varieties). The wine is almost impossible to find in US – except one wine shop in Colorado which actually carries it (if you are interested, the wine is available from The Vineyard Wine Shop, 303-355-8324). When I called the store to order this wine, gentleman who answered the phone, Matt, said that he is quite convinced that they don’t have any wine under such name – after checking his computer, he was surprised more than me by actually finding it. At $60 + $20 for the shipping, this was definitely worth the experience.

Interestingly enough, finding this wine and drinking it was the easiest part – the tough (seriously tough) part was figuring out what grapes I already tasted and what grapes I can actually add to my list. As this is one of the coolest parts of Wine Century Club membership ( figuring out what is what in the grape world), let me explain it with appropriate level of details.

To begin with, the web site for this wine states that it contains 152 varieties. The list of grapes is nowhere to be found on the winemaker’s web site. The only place on internet where you can find the list is at the Indian Wine Academy. Well, list is a list, you say, right? Yes, but not precisely. As I need to properly account for all the grapes I already tasted, I need to go through that list very carefully, line by line. As soon as I started going through the list, I noticed duplications (same grapes listed twice, like Gamay, for instance) – I called it a red flag and decided that the right thing to do is to contact Giribaldi, the winemaker. After 2 or 3 of my e-mails went unanswered, I decided that it is a time to … get an audience support? No, call a friend! And as I happened to have a good friend in Italy, Corrado, I asked him to help me to get to the correct list. This was not easy, but after a few conversations with the winery, he was able to get full description of the wine, including the list of grapes.

Yay? Nope. The list of grapes was … identical to the one published on the site of the Indian Wine Academy! Fine. From here on, I had to figure it out myself. I converted the list to the Excel file, and sorted it alphabetically. Then I had to figure out how to get from 156 varieties listed to the 152 which we know this wine has. It later downed on me that 156 varieties  include Nebbiolo and 4 Nebbiolo clones , therefore if we will take all 5 Nebbiolo varieties from consideration we will get to the target number of 151. Whew. Tired of me yet? No? Let’s continue.

Next step was to remove obvious duplicates, then go through the list again. For every grape I didn’t know, I used Internet resources to verify that such a grape exists (i.e., referenced at least once on one or more sites). Here is the good list of references in case you ever need to conduct a search on grape etymology (Italian grapes, if you will):

After all the cleanup, removing duplicates, fixing the spelling and checking the references, I got to the final list of 138 grapes (don’t ask me where the 14 went – let’s keep it a grape mystery), out of which I was unable to find any references for the grape called Michele Pagliari – therefore I’m keeping it on the list, but not counting towards the new grapes. In case you want to see a transition here is an excel file for you – note that is has multiple spreadsheets inside starting from full list. Here is the list of those final 138 grapes.

Legend: letter N next to the grape stands for Nero (red), B is for Bianche (white), Rs is for Rose. Showing in Bold are the grapes which I count as new grapes for my grape count.

Aglianico N Michele Pagliari N
Albarola N Montepulciano N
Albarossa N Moscato bianco B
Aleatico N. Moscato giallo B
Alicante Bouschet N Moscato nero di Acqui N
Ancellotta N. Moscato Rosa Rs
Arneis B Muller Thurgau B
Avanà N Nascetta B
Avarengo N Nebbiolo  N.
Baco Nero N Nebbiolo ( Bolla) N
Barbera bianca B. Nebbiolo ( Rosè) N
Barbera N. Nebbiolo (Lampia) N
Becuet N. Nebbiolo (Michet)N
Bianchetta Tevigiano B Negrette N
Bianchetta Veronese B Neretta cuneese N.
Bombino Bianco B Neretto di Bairo N
Bombino Nero N Nero Buono N
Bonarda Piemontese N Nero d’Ala N
Bosco Nero N Nero d’Avola N
Brachetto N. Neyret N
Bracciola N Pampanuto N
Brunello N Pecorino N
Bussanello B Pelaverga (di Pagno) N
Cabernet Franc N Pelaverga N
Cabernet Sauvignon N Pelaverga piccolo N
Canaiolo B. Petit Arvine N
Canina N Petit Verdot N
Cannonau N Pigato B
Carica l’Asino N Pignola Nera N
Carignano N Pinot bianco B
Catarratto comune B Pinot Grigio G
Catarratto Nero N Pinot Nero N
Chardonnay B. Plassa N
Chatus N Pollera 1 N
Ciliegiolo N. Portugieser N
Colorino Nero N Primitivo N
Cornalin Prosecco B
Cornarea N Quagliano N
Cortese B Raboso Veronese N
Corvina Nera N Rebo Nero N
Croatina N Refosco da Peduncolo Rosso N
Crovassa N Riesling B
Dolcetto N Riesling italico B
Doux d’Henry N Riesling Renano B
Durasa N Rossese bianco B
Durasca (Dolcetto di Boca) N Rossese N
Enantio N Ruché N
Erbaluce B Sangiovese N
Favorita B Sauvignon Blanc B
Franconia N (Blaufränkisch) Schiava Gentile N
Freisa di Chieri N Schiava grossa N
Freisa di Nizza N Schiava N
Gamay N. Sylvaner Verde B
Gargiulo N Syrah N
Grechetto N Teroldego Nero N
Grignolino N Timorasso B
Grillo B Tocai Friulano B
Incrocio Manzoni N Tocai Rosso N
Lambrusca di Alessandria N Torbato B
Lambrusco Maestri N Traminer aromatico Rs
Lumassina N Trebbiano Toscano B
Maiolica N Uva di Troia N
Malvasia di Casorzo N Uva rara N
Malvasia di Schierano N Uvalino N
Malvasia Istriana N Veltlimer Fruhrot  N
Malvasia nera lunga N Verduzzo Trevigiano B
Manzoni bianco B Vermentino B
Marzemino N Vespolina N
Merlot N Zweigelt N
Grand total for the new grapes – 67. I think it is a pretty good leap in my grape counting adventure.

What is left to tell you? The tasting notes, of course. Considering that this wine is very close to Barolo (uses the same main grape, Nebbiolo), we decanted the wine prior to the tasting for about 3 hours. The wine showed considerable dry, very balanced, good tannins, sour cherries (we are going nicely alongside of typical Barolo, right?) and the showing flowery undertones after the sip – not your typical Barolo anymore. I guess those 151 grapes affect the taste, at least a little bit. All in all, this was a very nice wine. Drinkability: 8.

That’s all for now, folks. Consider starting your own grape adventure – the fun is all yours. Cheers!

Wine Century Club 7th Anniversary – Celebrating Grape Geeks Around The World

June 13, 2012 1 comment

As you already know from my previous post, last Saturday grape geeks all over the world celebrated 7th Anniversary of the Wine Century Club. Based on the current count, total of 179 different grape varieties were tasted by people participated in the festivities. This number can and will be adjusted based on some people reporting at the later time. You can find detailed report here.

Celebrating this kind of events needs a company (how many bottles can I open otherwise?), so I was lucky enough to be invited to the friends’ house for dinner, so we had an opportunity to drink a few bottles of wine. In no particular order, here are some notes for the wines we tried.

Let me start with 2004 Heretat Mont-Rubi Durona from Spain (13.5% ABV) – I got this wine from Wine Till Sold Out, and I really wanted to try it for a while, especially due to the fact that I never had one of the grapes in this wine, Sumoll. This red wine is a blend of 30% Sumoll, 20% Cariñena, 20% Garnacha, 20% Syrah and 10% Merlot. It had a very interesting herbal nose of sage and may be some oregano ( lightly hinted), and some nice red fruit on the palate, medium body, well balanced with pronounced tannins – I think it can still age for a while. Drinkability – 7+.

To tell you the truth, we actually started dinner from this light and simple NV Rosati Prosecco DOC (11% ABV) – it was rather a typical Prosecco, soft and round on the palate, with good acidity, drinkable but not exiting or thought provoking (Drinkability: 7-). This wine was of course made out of Prosecco grapes, which are also known as Glera.

What can be better on a hot summer day than … yes, you are correct – Rose? Not much. Rose as a category is a perfect summer wine, enough refreshing but also having a substance which some of the white wines are lacking. This 2011 Sauska Villanyi Rose from Hungary (12.5% ABV) is a blend of 35% Blaufrankisch, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah and 7% Pinot Noir. This wine had lots of cranberries both on the nose and the palate, medium body, very refreshing acidity – yes, just perfect match for the summer day. Drinkability: 7+

The next wine was 2009 Calina Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle del Maule, Chile (13.5% ABV). This wine was somewhat typical of Cabernet Savignon, with the green notes and hint of black currant. It was soft and drinkable, however after being open for a while, the wine developed quite a bit of sweetness, which is definitely not the best characteristic in my book of wines. Drinkability: 7-

Last, but not least was 2008 Tohani Domain Princiar Tamaioasa Romaneasca, Romania (11.5% ABV). To tell you the truth, I bought this wine just for the new grape, Tamaioasa Romaneasca, as in a lot of cases sweet wine of unknown pedigree are cloyingly sweet. This wine was definitely a great surprise – hint of white peaches on the nose, fresh and delicious white fruit on the palate, good acidity, very balanced – definitely great wine for the money ($11.99). Drinkability: 8-.

We also had NV Ramos Pinto Collector port, which was outstanding – reasonably (not overly) sweet with the hint of smokiness – definitely a very good port. The reason I don’t mention it in the same way as all other wines is that I was unable to find the exact grape composition for this wine, outside of the statement that indigenous Portuguese grape varieties had being used.

This is it for now, folks. 12 different grapes, 2 new grapes for my grape count (Sumoll and Tamaioasa Romaneasca). Journey continues – hop on! Cheers!

Across: Grape, Starts With “O”, 6 letters

April 15, 2012 4 comments

We like puzzles. We like those little challenges, which are innocent but give us a sense of fight, achievement and winning. Here is a little puzzle for you – let’s see how well do you know grapes. Please name a grape which starts with ”O”, 6 letters. I will give you couple of minutes, take your time. Done? What it is? I’m sure some of you could’ve known it, but I honestly think that majority would not.

I don’t want you to feel discouraged. There are about 8,000 different grapes in the world (or more), and about 1,600 of them are used in winemaking, so chances of knowing all of them by a one person are slim to none. Okay, so what is my point, you ask?

The whole point of this little puzzle exercise was to show you an opportunity. An opportunity for an exciting journey and discovery of new experiences. This is an easy journey, which doesn’t require months of planning and tons of special equipment. You can start it any day by joining Wine Century Club. You can download an application, check-mark at least 100 grapes you tasted in your life (doesn’t have to be single grape wines – all blends are perfectly ok), and voila – you can become a member.

I started this journey about 4 years ago. It was relatively simple to get to the first hundred grapes. By the time I received the certificate, I found out that the club now has a new level – Doppel, which requires tasting of 200 grapes. New challenge, great! I started a new journey which was not as simple, and … yes, you got it right – by the time I got to the 200 grapes mark, Treble and Quattro levels appeared! I got to the Treble mark last year, and it was quite hard – had to start including clones in order to get there. But – if you are a ”life traveler”, your arrival to a specific place only means an opportunity to start going to the next destination – so I kept on going.

Just to make myself clear – the point of all this “wine century” journey is not collecting accolades or feeling unique and special. Not at all. The whole point of this journey is a discovery. I can’t tell you how many amazing wines I tried along the way – if you are looking to expand your “grape universe” and collect new experiences – this is definitely what you can achieve with this exercise of purposefully seeking new grapes and unknown bottles.

Trying to reach the ”Quattro” I decided that this shouldn’t be set as a hard task, definitely should be enjoyed more and taken easier than before. I don’t call it a ”quattro journey”, I do very limited updates, and only keep the total grape counter, which you can see at the top of the page if you’re reading this post on the web site.

Nevertheless, it seems to be a good time to provide and update and change the grape counter, as I tasted a number of new wines (read: grapes), at Michael Skurnik tasting and not. First, an answer to the puzzle. The name of the grape which starts with ”O” and consists of 6 letters is Ortega – it is used in Germany and produces wines similar to Riesling. Overall, here are 10 new grapes to add the list:

Resi2010 Chanton Weine Resi  Visp Wallis AOC, Switzerland

Vidiano2010 Alexakis Vidiano, Greece

Malagousia2010 Alpha Estate Axia White, Greece

Clairette Rose2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc ‘Cuvée Speciale Vieilles Clairettes’

Doña Blanca2009 Godelia Bierzo Blanco, Spain

BacchusChâteau de Briat Armagnac, ‘Hors d’Age’ NV

Folle BlancheChâteau de Briat Armagnac, ‘Hors d’Age’ NV

Ortega2006 Anselmann Trockenbeerenauslese Ortega. Pfalz, Germany

Ojaleshi 2005 Marani Ojaleshi, Georgia

Agraman2009 Barkan Classic Merlot Agraman, Israel

And here are some pictures for you:

In case you want a head start on the project, I decided to share the list of grapes and reference wines  –  you can find a full table here. Note – if “reference wine” is empty next to the grape, it means I didn’t try that grape yet (example: Picpoul Noir). Conversely, if you got a suggestion for me as to where I can find an appropriate wine, I will be very appreciative…

That’s all for now, folks. Look for that unknown bottle on the shelf – who knows, you might find your best wine experience ever. Cheers!

Wines of United States

February 29, 2012 5 comments

When you run a wine tasting, one of the great ways to keep people engaged all the time is to ask questions – trivia type and not. One of the simple warmup questions I like to ask  the audience is “What do you think, how many states make the wine in the US? This sounds simple enough and goes into “your guess is as good as mine” category. People usually start with some random number (trying to put sense into it, though), and sometime someone will say “all 50” – often just as a joke . Actually, it is the correct answer – for w while, all 50 states produce some wines.

So did you ever think of exploring and experiencing the wines of all 50 states? I’m sure that you had California, Oregon, Washington and New York wines, but what about the other 46 states? Last week in Florida, I came across Lakeridge Winery Southern Red Premium Table Wine produced in Clermont, Florida.  This wine  allowed me to add one more grape to the grape count – Muscadin. And this wine prompted this blog post and the table which I would like to share with you, which lists my experiences with the grapes and wines of all United States to the date:


Tasted Wine

Visited Winery













Pineapple wine






Truro Vineyards, Nashoba Winery
New Hampshire
New Jersey


New Mexico


New York



Fingerlakes, LI, Hudson
North Carolina
North Dakota





Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota





Chrysalis, Williamsburg Winery


West Virginia

What is your experience with wines of 50 states? Can you count and share? It is definitely a fun exercise and it might bring some good memories back while you will be at it. Happy counting! Cheers!

As One Year Is Winding Down, Another Year Begins

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Year 2011 is ending very shortly – how was it?

I’m very happy with t he wines I had an opportunity to experience in 2011 (please forgive me, but the term “wine” is used here in all-inclusive way – it also includes Scotch and other tasty alcohol) . There were lots of great wines – I already gave you my “top dozen“, but there were probably another 30-40 wines equally qualified to be included in the “top” list – like these gems from Margaux, great Spanish wines and many others.

Am I happy with the content of the blog? I think some of it was good, and some was just okay (honestly, don’t know if I did something bad – you tell me). I really want you, my readers, to be the judge of it. Was here anything which you really liked? Can you share that with me?

What I’m not happy with is the level of interaction. I know many of you actually read the posts, can you also tell me what do you think? “Great, Cool, Crap, BS, nonsense” – I would gladly take feedback, and consequently, dialog, in any form. Pleeeease?

I also wanted to give you a summary in the numbers ( posts, readers and so on) – but you know what – let’s forget the numbers, not so important. Ahh, only one quick update – on the grape count. Over the past few weeks, I added another 5, so the total count now stands at 360. Here are the new grapes:

Saint George – 2009 Skouras Red saint George Cabernet sauvignon, Peloponese, Greece

Savagnin – 2008 Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Selection Arbois, Jura, France

Noah – Renault Noah, New Jersey

Mouhtaro – 2009 Muses Estates Mouhtaro, Thivakos, Greece

Pais – 2009 Cuvee Del Maule, Chile

And now let’s spin our crystal ball – what is ahead of us, in 2012? One thing for sure – there will be lots of great wines. Wines are becoming better all over the world, and they are becoming more interesting. There will be more amazing natural wines, wines which don’t taste like anything else you tasted before. There will be more sparkling wines, there will be more rose wines, even in the winter.

As for anything else – I will continue to write about my experiences with wine, food and life. And if I can have one New Year wish, only one – I would love to see more comments.

That’s all, folks, for 2011. Make sure your favorite bubbly is chilled, your favorite food is on the table, and your friends are surrounding you. I wish you lots of luck, lots of love, lots of happiness, lots of health, and lots of amazing experiences. Happy 2012! Cheers!

Counting Grapes, One at a Time

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m really glad I discovered Wine Century Club about four years ago. Ever since that happened, I’m on the lookout for the new grapes. What is so special about it? Once you get outside of the traditional circle of about 50 grapes, each new grape comes with its own unique personality. Once you cross 200 varieties, the process of finding new grapes becomes complicated, and once you cross 300, it is even trickier (just to put things in perspective, upcoming Jancis Robinson’s book lists more than 1,300 grape varieties used in the wine making). Nevertheless, search is well worth it, because what you find is unique and different.

Grape number 355 is Lafnetscha from Switzerland, courtesy of my friend Patrick. I would like to point out that this white wine was very hard to find even in Switzerland (he had to special-order it), as plantings of the grape are extremely limited.

This 2010 Chanton Visp Lafnetscha, AOC Wallis was an excellent wine. Very round and gentle with nice vegetable profile (not herbaceous and not fruity). Cucumbers and zucchini on the palate, good balancing acidity. I can only wish I had more than one bottle of it…

Next in line is Resi, another unique grape from Switzerland – but for now, this bottle just waits to be open. I’m well on the path to the 360 varieties, but I expect that finding those additional 40 grapes needed to reach Quattro level, will not be straightforward. Any ideas and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

Wine Experiences, From Canadian Riesling to Cult Californian and Beyond

September 30, 2011 4 comments

Delaying, delaying, delaying. I have so many experiences and moments to share – and literally whole September had being a dread. This September will have the least number of posts since I started to regularly write this blog. Oh well. It’s been a busy month, at work and outside, so hopefully October will be more fruitful in terms of wine (and life) writing.

Let me just sum up of some of the recent experiences. One of the very first things I want to mention is a substantial advance in the “grape count” – adding 11 new grapes (reaching total of 351) – well, yes, some of them a clones. The Clonal Project Riesling from Cattail Creek winery in Canada brings in 4 different Riesling clones. It was also possible to taste those clones individually, but at about $100 for the set, it was an expensive proposition. However this Clonal Riesling, which is a blend of four clones was outright delicious, with great harmony of fruit, earthiness and acidity – it was a great wine. Here is the list of all new grapes:

Riesling Clone 239, Riesling Clone 49, Riesling Clone 21 Young Vines, Riesling Clone 21 Old Vines2009 Riesling Clonal Blend, VQA Four Mile Creek, Canada

ZibibboDonnafugata Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria DOC

Pignolo2007 Bastianich Callabrone Rosso, Friuli DOC

Schioppettino2007 Bastianich Callabrone Rosso, Friuli DOC

VranacRubin Vranac, Serbia

Mavrotragano – 2006 Atlantis Red, Santorini, Greece

Carignan Blanc – 2009 Pico’VDP de l’Herault Blanc

Trepat Blanc – 2007 Blanc de Montsalvat, Priorat DOC

Have to honestly tell you that all these wines were very good, each having it’s own personality and very pleasant to drink. I’m also very glad to add Pignolo and Schioppettino grapes, as those two are part of the main table in the Wine Century club application – may be one day it will be complete!

During September I was lucky enough to attend two trade wine tastings. One word to describe the experience is – “overwhelming”. I can’t do a fair representation of all the great wines we tried – Paul Hobbs, Shafer Hillside, Honig, Evening Land, Bussia Barolo, Archery Summit, Blankiet Estate, Palmaz, …  – the list can go on and on (just to give you an idea, there were about 1400 wines in the first tasting, and about 700 wines in the second – of course nobody tried all those wines, but you understand the size). Here are some of the highlights, in pictures:

Paul Hobbs wines:

Evening Land Pinot Noirs from Oregon – amazing:


Shafer Hillside:


2001 Masi Mazzano Amarone  – this is what Amarone should taste like – absolutely amazing, my personal favorite in tasting:

To complete the updates, I started new series of blog posts at The Art Of Life Magazine – the series dedicated to spirits, and first two posts in the series are talking about Brandy and Scotch.

That’s all for now, folks. Have to go – talk to you later. Cheers!

Counting Grapes – Bulgaria and Turkey

August 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Few new grapes to report over the last couple of weeks. This time they come from Bulgaria and Turkey.

I tried couple of wines from Turkey last year, and was not very impressed. This time I had two wines from producer called Kavaklidere, and they both were quite good.

Here is information on grapes and wines:

Emir – 2010 Kavaklidere Cankaya Emir de Nevsehir. Very nice white wine, light, crispy, refreshing, good balance of fruit and acidity.

Öküzgözü, Boğazkere – 2010 Kavaklidere Yakut Okuzgozu d’Elazig. Red wine on a lighter side, somewhat reminiscent of good Beaujolais – good acidity, very light tannins, earthiness, very fresh and easy to drink.

Last time I had Bulgarian wines was more than 20 years ago, and it generates no memories of any kind. Now I tried four different wines from producer called Tcherga:

Each wine is a blend of a well known grape, such as Chardonnay, and one of the indigenous grapes. Here is the list of  the grapes and wines with short descriptions:

Misket: 2007 Tcherga Sauvignon Blanc & Misket. Muted fruit, limited acidity – drinkable, but not necessarily enjoyable.
Rubin – 2006 Tcherga Merlot & Rubin. This was an okay wine, somewhat limited acidity, good fruit, but overall not very memorable.
Dimyat – 2007 Tcherga Chardonnay & Dimyat. There are two distinct choices – either the wine was oxidized, or it was special style. Either way it was not very enjoyable.
Mavrud – 2006 Tcherga Cabernet Sauvignon & Mavrud. Good fruit on the nose and on the palate, hint of sweetness. This can pass as daily table wine, but not necessarily would be my choice.

All together these are 7 new grapes which bring grand total to the 340. I think this is good progress, and I’m happy with the new discoveries. Until the next time (and I have a couple of really long overdue posts) -cheers!

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