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Posts Tagged ‘Bourgogne wines’

The Organized Crime Winery of Ontario

Being an adult, scheduling, taking care of oneself, isn’t easy – but having 3 jobs, being in grad school, having family visit from the States, and Passover sales season descending – makes it that much harder.  Here are some fun, fantastic things to help us all through, I hope:

The Assassin in the Vineyard: a MUST READ.  I’ve mentioned the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti here before.  Here is a real-life crime-drama, the likes of which you’d find in a Dan Brown novel or the silver screen.  AND it happened just last year! Ancient French history, royalty, revolution, blackmail, suicide, and the finest wine in the world – you have GOT to read this story.  Excellent writing from  Maximillian Potter in Vanity Fair.

There is a food exhibition next week, the 5-7 of April called “Mevashlim” (google translation to English).  My winery (Golan Heights and Galil Mountain) will have a booth with several wines to taste there, and I will be working on Wednesday.  It should be a lot of fun, as you get to taste the food of many many different restaurants, and I’m sure that we will not be the only winery there.

Food and Wine Pairings: A load of hooey? Yes and no.  Always yes and no.  I don’t have the energy to go into it.  Drink wine with your meal if it makes you happy, why dontcha!  But it’s been in the news lately, so check these out:

The lies, lies, lies of food and wine pairings – Washington Post
Are Food and Wine Pairings Completely Bogus? – Huffington Post
The Albatross That is Food and Wine Pairing – Vinography: a wine blog

Just for fun: 7 Wacky Wine Labels

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A day late, but not a dollar short, I’m hoping.  There are a lot of exciting wine happenings going on this weekend.  In short – read on – and whatever you do – if you are drinking wine this weekend (and I hope you are) make sure it’s a good one.

Events:

Friday, April 25 – Yarden Single Vineyard tasting at ALL the Derekh HaYain stores.  I will be at the Hashmoniam Street store at 10 am to 3:30 pm tomorrow opening some ridiculously incredible wines including:

2009 Yarden Chardonnay, Odem Organic Single Vineyard
2007 Yarden Merlot
2005 Yarden Merlot, Tel Phares Single Vineyard
2006 Yarden Syrah
2006 Yarden Syrah, Tel Phares Single Vineyard
2007 Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon

Be there or be extremely square.

Saturday, March 26 – 2008 Bourgogne Wine Release Block Party @ Alkalay! From 12 pm to 12 am there will be dozens of the finest Burgundy wines available for half glasses, full glasses, half bottles, and bottles.  That’s right, you too can afford to drink a thousand shekel bottle, or at least a fraction of one.  It’s sickeningly awesome.  Wines included are:

Whites
Château de Puligny – Bourgogne Rosé 2009
Ramonet – Bourgogne Aligoté 2009
Jean Durup – Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2008
Deux Montille – Rully 2008
Héritiers du Comte Lafon – Mâcon-Milly-Lamartine 2009
Christian Moreau – Chablis 1er cru Vaillon 2009
Ramonet – Chassagne-Montrachet 2008
Domaine Leroy – Bourgogne Aligoté 2007
Antoine Jobard – Meursault En la Barre 2008
Château de Puligny – Puligny-Montrachet 2008
Roulot – Meursault 2008
Sauzet – Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru La Garenne 2008

Reds

Marcel Lapierre – Morgon 2009
Château de Puligny – Monthelie 2008
Vougeraie – Côte de Beaune “Pierres Blanches” 2008
Ramonet – Chassagne-Montrachet 2009
Leroy – Bourgogne 2007
Méo-Camuzet – Fixin 2008
Gouges – Nuits-St-Georges 2008
Denis Mortet – Gevrey-Chambertin 2008
Liger-Belair – Vosne-Romanée 2008
Emmanuel Rouget – Vosne-Romanée 2008
De Montille – Volnay 1er cru Taillepieds 2008
Prieuré Roch – Nuits-St-Georges 1er cru Vielles Vignes 2007

Be there or just be really uncool.

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A Vogne-Romanee over my notes.

I’m thinking of changing the name to “Wine Wednesday.” The W’s go so well with the day I happen to write these posts.  Opinions?  I’m also not sure anyone is reading — my more quirky culture posts seem more popular — so give me a shout out in any case to let me know your thoughts.

What I Tasted:

I was invited by my employer to attend a private wine tasting hosted by a major import company, featuring the wines of M. Chapoutier.  It was held at the Institut Francais on Rothschild Blv in Tel Aviv.  I’m a big fan of Rhone Valley wines, Syrahs can drive me nuts, I swear.  But, they’ve got to be good, and it’s a region that exports a lot of mediocre stuff.  Apart from the exceptional blini being served along with excessive amounts of French cheeses, a knowledgeable representative of Chapoutier presented a long array of his wines.  The only ones of note to me were the “Ermitage” wines.  Ermitage (without the more common “H” – Hermitage – is commonly used to denote the better single vineyard wines) wines that were best included their “Le Pavillion” and  “L’Ermite.” At the time I didn’t know that they were priced at 147 and 176 Euro per bottle, but it makes sense.  These single vineyards are ancient, the Pavillion on the slope side of the larger pf the two Hermitage hills, and the L’Ermite at the top, where the soil is very poor, the ancient vines really needing to fight to survive, and producing a terribly small yield.  The Hermitage region is one I will be keeping an eye on.  These wines are bold and full of fruit, that gorgeous cassis I adore so much, that rich magenta color – so different from the Bourgognes we drink often at the wine shop. Interesting facts: Hermitage wines were the favorite of the Czars of Russia, and in fact, in the 19th century Bordeaux wines were “hermitaged” (mixed with Hermitage) in order to fetch a higher price.  Cool beans.

I also had the pleasure of drinking the above pictured wine this week, and it was wonderful.  The “La Forge de Tart” is the second wine, one of two, that this domain makes, and it doesn’t come out every year.  As a “second” wine, it’s laughable, as it’s as good as most grand cru Bourgognes out there.  This producer’s got a crazy awesome story, so here’s a little about the “Clos de Tart:”

A rare gem, Clos de Tart has been owned by the Mommessin family since 1932 — only the third proprietor of this historic domaine founded in 1141 by Cistercian nuns, the Bernardines de Tart. Located on the very best slopes of Morey-Saint-Denis in the Côte de Nuits, Clos de Tart, only 7.53 hectares (18.6 acres) in size, is the largest grand cru monopole in Burgundy, with a picturesque, 15th-century, stone wall surrounding the grand cru vineyard. Clos de Tart carries the distinction of being one of the few grand cru monopoles in Burgundy that comprises an appellation in its entirety. Clos de Tart makes just two wines. Low-yield, old-vine vineyards are harvested by hand and vinified in six separate lots, and the best lots achieve the bottled status of Clos de Tart Grand Cru. In some vintages, the domaine also produces a second wine called La Forge de Tart Premier Cru, which is typically made from the younger vines (25 years and under).

That’s it for me this week, I’m afraid.  I’m exhausted and expected at the wine shop in under an hour.  Night before last was an all-nighter, spent writing a short story I should have been developing for over a month.  Oh well.  I’m still very proud of what I produced.  Perhaps I’ll post it here…after a couple revisions.  Human milk has been in the news a good amount these days… Cheers to you all!  Always remember to drink good wines…life is far too short.

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Welcome to weekly fun stories, facts,and resources about wine – usually gleaned during the past week by me.

News

Hubert de Montille

 

Hubert and Etienne de Montille, granddaddy of Domaine De Montille and his son, are in Israel this week.  The wine store where I work carries a large and exceptional array of their family’s wines.  It’s a bizarre honor for us to have him here.  There is an exclusive wine tasting with them on Monday, March 14, at Delal Restaurant (in Neve Tsedek).  Information in Hebrew (google translation into English).  It costs 600 shekels, but if you have the dough, go!

LA MAISON LADURÉE macarons, Paris, brought by the de Montilles. Best I’ve ever had.

Domaine De Montille: Located in Volnay, just south of Beaune, this winery boasts some of the most prized red wine producing vineyards of the Côte de Beaune.  From their holdings in Volnay and Pommard, Hubert and Etienne de Montille (father & son) craft some of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of Burgundy.  Their wines can be found on the lists of virtually every three star restraurant in France.

Visit to the Golan Heights Winery

I spent all day yesterday up in Katzrin – through torrents of rain, hail, and the thickest fog I have ever seen.  All this for work, but it was more than worth it.  A long tour, a comparison wine tasting with one of winery’s senior vintners, Tali Sandovsky, viewing the bottling of Golan Cabernet Sauvignon, finished with a lunch at what could only be described as an Israeli-Cowboy-Chalet of a restaurant – it was fantastic.  I managed to pick up an elusive rare bottle of Gamla Nebbiolo.  Here are some snapshots:

Wine tasting in the winery's private tasting room.

Final L'Chaim before bracing the elements once again.

Links

A handy guide to wine-tasting terms.  Fantastic little resource.

There’s a new Israeli website on Bourgogne wines!  And it’s the mecca on this region’s wines, in the Hebrew language that is.  Actually, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.  Those of you who struggle with or don’t have any Hebrew, use Google Translate.  A clear, detailed map, concise information on many domaines, descriptions of every vintage in recent memory, and much more.

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If I can muster the energy and discipline, I’m thinking of doing a weekly wine-oriented post. As I’ve been living and breathing nothing but wine, mostly trying to absorb as much knowledge on Bourgognes as fast as possible, I feel like I’m bursting. So without further ado:

Fun things I’ve learned:

  • Bourgogne wine families are, for lack of a better term, incestuous.  You know, like, this famous vinter’s daughter married this other guy from down the road who was an international playboy until his dad died and he had to take over the business who now makes world-class wine, and his sister-in-law’s cousin is the owner of the finest plot of grand cru in Beaune…. And on and on.  Hearing the stories is like watching an episode of 90210.
  • I would really, really, really like the opportunity to try a DRC.  Enough said.
  • I need to give Italian wines more of a chance.  Chianti be damned!  You give Italy a bad name.  No, no, I’m being too harsh.  Still…

Things you should read ASAP because it’s good and informative and entertaining:

Interesting tidbits either said to me or  overheard during a wine tasting I worked last week:

  • You didn’t succeed… (whispered a little old man to me with an evil wink in his eye as he walked out of the shop, not having purchased anything.  This after he told me he doesn’t drink anything but kiddush wine.  Yeah, I want your business, buster.)
  • You succeeded there… (posh middle-aged woman said to attractive 30-something man referring to his 4 year old son.)
  • People without money don’t like good wines… (said a really arrogant 40-something guy buying crap severely-overpriced Spanish Crianza with a fancy gold label.  You tell ’em.)

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Due in part to my ever-tentative decision-making, in part to terrified inaction, and in part to my asking for help (a brave gesture, I might add – something I rarely do because it scares me to no end), I have reached a scary-exciting and potentially happy-happy place: I will be making the majority, if not all, of my income through wine and food!

I got a part-time job in an incredible wine bar: Alkalay, in the Basel Square area.  It’s small, casual, and yet it has hands-down the best selection of Bourgogne wines in all of Israel.  This review says it all.  I feel honored to be working here.  I’ve learned so much, and I also get to cook!  Minor yet lovely little things.  Gourmet cheese plates, smoked and salted fish, charcuterie, crudites, bruschettas, and steamed dim sum, mostly.  I really think I’ll be happy here, and I can only hope the management’s feeling is mutual.  With other wine-and-food-business ideas I’ve got brewing on a few different levels, as well as my continuing work with the incredible Golan Heights Winery, I may actually be able to work, and succeed, doing something I love.  It’s going to be physically taxing.  Hard, hard work.  But it’s not eons away.  It’s here.  And it’s hard to believe.

Here are some photos and links.  Reviews of spectacular wines are forthcoming.  Hurrah for wine!  Indeed life is too short to squander.  If only it was easier to convince ourselves.

Ten things that can impair wine-drinking pleasure: a very sensible article.  Take a look.

Wine in Two Words: Sweet or Savory? Interesting article from yesterday’s New York Times.

Alkalay Wine Bar and Store, as seen from above. Isn't it beautiful?

The Burgundy section. Not the best photo, but you get the gist. Some of the best domaines are represented. Some mind-blowing grand and premier crus.

 

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