Belondrade Y Lurton, a Grand Cru for 20+ years

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Rueda has a fine-wine making tradition dating back centuries, especially the local white grape variety, Verdejo, has been regarded the best of Spain.

From the 1994 vintage onwards, the French husband and wife team, lead by Jean Belondrade, set out to create a great barrel-fermented dry white wine with Burgundian philosophy and values, resulting in a limited production Verdejo cherished by sommeliers from Paris, to London and Tokyo.

Belondrade Assemblages

30 hectares  (74 acres) divided up into 19 plots that bring different characteristics to the wine, depending on soil types, exposures, rootstocks and clones. The soils of this part of the plateau are generally made up of a 10-60cm deep layer of pebbles over a layer of clay and a deep stratum of limestone.

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The estate wine is 100% Verdejo fermented and aged on its lees in 300-litre French oak barrels. Each plot is fermented and aged separately. Spontaneous and controlled fermentation with indigenous yeasts.At the end of a 10-12 month ageing period, a selection and blending take place. The wine stays in bottle for a minimum time of six months. The average annual production is 80,000-90,000 bottles, 495 magnums (1.5 litres) and between 70 and 100 double-magnums (3 litres).

The family also produces an unoaked and fresher, lighter version called Quinta Apolonia, which is a good alternative for a fruity mid-weight wine for every day. While the estate garners ratings well above 90 points, the little brother gets reviewed between 88-90 depending vintage.

 

Christoph Hoch, next generation “on the rocks”

25 year old Christoph Hoch can build upon 370 years of winemaking tradition in his family and training at renowned wineries in Austria and Italy. He focusses completely on expressing the character of the unique rock formation “Hollenburger Konglomerat” and the special micro-climate of his home Hollenburg in his wines. The “Hollenburg conglomerate” is very rich in chalk, an essential requirement for the varieties cultivated, assuring a minerality and spiciness and a specific mouth-feel. Christoph’s high knowledge of geological and other natural peculiarities lead to his decision to work bio-dynamic in the vineyards according to Demeter – regulations. The wines are fermented spontaneously and different pressing systems (pneumatic, screw press) and processing strategies are applied for every lot of wine to gain the widest possible spectrum of flavours and structures. To achieve the optimum he is working with more than just one vintage in his wines.

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View overlooking Kremstal

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Showing of the various herbs grown in his vineyards, which are used in his herbal essence sprays in the vineyard.

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Christoph makes only 3 wines. A Gruner Veltliner, a Riesling, and above a PetNat, in his hands.

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Explaining his chart of drink-ability, barrel by barrel.

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His underground cellar has natural temperature around 15 degrees Celsius.

Venetian Cru Dinner at Riedel Wine Bar, May 28

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Diego Corradi of Vigna Pra will be in town on May 28th to share two of his terroir-focused Soaves. Please join us for an insightful evening visiting the top Venetian crus with menu prepared by Riedel’s talented chef Manu Guerra. Additional wines are Drusian’s Prosecco from Cartizze – considered a top 10 vineyard site in Italy – plus two renditions of Begali’s high-rated Amarone di Valpolicella.

 

Seating is individual table; cocktail starts at 630pm and sit down at 7pm

Menu Riedel Wine Bar Veneto Cru Dinner May 28 2016

For bookings please contact info@riedelwinebarbkk.in.th or call 02 656 1133

Domaine Montanet Thoden, Vezelay, Burgundy

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In 1989 I was lucky enough to have traveled to Marc Meneau’s Esperance in Vezelay – then one of France’s top dining destinations with 3 Michelin stars. I suppose everyone visiting this part of Burgundy will have remembered the restaurant, and quickly forget the name of the town. Not because it’s insignificant, but the restaurant was located several kilometers below the beautiful mountain top and likely wasn’t visited as often.

Fast forward 25 years. I was wondering around Millesime Bio, the largest organic wine fair in Montpellier, searching for Thomas Pico’s (Domaine Pattes Loup) father and sat down next to the charming and energetic Valentin Montanet. We did not really discuss his wines,  and focused on all sorts of things including his favorite honeymoon destination – Thailand. I parted, saying I would call him up when visiting Chablis few months later.

 

In April I arrived chez Domaine Montanet Thoden before flowering started in the vineyards. Only then did I realize I was in the same village as Marc Meneau’s restaurant. Now closed for business and as Valentin said “the days when Americans flew in by helicopter to lunch in one and go for dinner in another 3-star Michelin are over. This is now a sleepy village.”

No Michelin, who cares – they offer the best beef tartar and a gorgeous plum in a small bistro! And thank god the wines also improved! So good, they are now listed in many natural wine bars from Paris to Tokyo and Hong Kong. Made from beautiful old vine Chardonnay, organically grown on limestone soil, these are the prime ingredients for a mineralic Chardonnay comme un Chablis. You find here subtle citrus and nutty essence with white flowers.

One of France’s affordable trophies, and perfect lucky find!

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Red wines to cellar

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While a good one-to-three-hour aeration will help lift hidden flavors and aromas in a great young wine, it still cannot compete with a wine that has spent more time in a dark, cool place.

Wines that get a chance to shed their “baby fat” will produce a subtler, more complex set of flavors—the result of the gelling of tannins, phenols, glycerols, and sugars. Then there are the secondary aromas, as well as the development of texture and balance, that is not unlike a fine work of art.

Below are 6 wines, which can be laid down for 3-4 years. Upon opening you may wish to have more “Do Not Disturb” signs dangling in your cellar.

William Downie Pinot Noir Gippsland 2014, Victoria, Australia

Bill lived and worked in Burgundy before establishing his own label in 2003. He intends to produce wines of purity and detail that reflect their place of origin. Each of his cuvées are from Pinot Noir, however the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland are more different than they are similar. They are made in the most natural way possible, not pushed or shoved in any direction. William was the Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Young Australian Winemaker of The Year for 2006.

Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino 2010, Tuscany, Italy

This small, traditionally-minded property is located near the hamlet of Sant’Angelo in Colle. Wine Spectator “Menthol and eucalyptus notes shade the core of black cherry and plum in this broad, densely textured red. Balanced, in a powerful style, with dusty, mouthcoating tannins on the lingering finish. Needs grilled beef. Best from 2019 through 2032. 1,800 cases made. BS  (5/2015)”

Niepoort Redoma Tinto 2011, Duero, Portugal

“Niepoort is an independent family business since 1842. Through five generations, the business passed successfully from one Niepoort to the next Niepoort and in most cases older and younger generation worked side by side for a long period. At this time, we are enthusiastically looking forward to the future sixth generation, anticipating close collaboration. Redoma tinto is Niepoort’s original Douro wine, first released in 1991. It is like Douro: “extreme, with a rigorous character”. Old north-facing vineyards from Quinta de Nápoles and Pinhão Valley form the basis of Redoma. Its main varieties are Tinta Amarela, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca.” source Niepoort website

Stephane Ogier Cote Rotie Reserve 2011, Northern Rhone, France

The family-owned estate was previously a supplier to Chapoutier and Guigal. Today, this domaine ranks top in the region, and their wines express themselves with elegance, complexity and the purest definition of Syrah and Viognier. The grapes grow on extremely steep slopes, which rise up in terraces shaped of ancient stones. “the leading craftsmen from steep hillsides vineyards”– Robert Parker

Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2013, Central Otago, New Zealand

Is an integrated farm which replete chickens, sheep, cows, beehives and growing wines by using biodynamic methods since 2002. Despite its relative youth, the winery has seen a rapid rise to success, mainly due to the owner’s mission to produce honest and pure wines from top notch soil, and the help from an all-star team including Ted Lemon of Littorai (California) and Claire Mulholland, formerly of Martinborough Vineyards. “Burn Cottage …produces one truly great [wine]“ – Lisa Perotti Brown, MW for Robert Parker.

Hacienda Monasterio Crianza 2011, Ribera del Duero, Spain

An explosive and ripe wine made from local Tinta del Pais (aka Tempranillo) with some Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec to provide an extra dimension. Love this for its pure and polished appearance, and fine mineral aromas with notes of licorice and currants. “93 points. A gentle giant, a triumph for the vintage.” – Luis Gutierrez for Robert Parker.

Two Paddocks, Central Otago

Bob Campbell “I liked Two Paddocks from the get-go. Two Paddocks Pinot Noir has earned a credible average score of just 90 points since I tasted the first wine in 2002 vintage, while the average score of its Pinot Noir tasted in the past year is nearly 95 points. That’s a very positive trend.”

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Monkey Wines

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This January 23rd, we continue our guided tasting at Another Story, EMQuartier, Helix, 4th Floor.  To taste are charming, playful, and smart wines – these ape like qualities – in celebration of the upcoming Year of the Monkey.

THB 1,000 per person includes 6 wines, plus Amantee bread, Jean Yves Bordier Cheeses and Butter. Starts 5.00pm

The selection for tomorrow include

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Hannes Sabathi Gemischter Satz 2014, Styria, Austria

Jamsheed Harem Le Blanc Plonk 2014, Victoria, Australia

Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Tentations 2014, Provence, France

Chateau Massereau Bordeaux Superieur 2011, Barsac, France

El Hombre Bala (Garnacha) 2012, Madrid, Spain

Chaffey Bros Synonymous Shiraz 2013, Barossa, Australia

Come join us! To book please email anotherstory.emquartier@gmail.com. Limited to 12 seats only.

And the winners are!

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Hollywood

As the flurry of New Year festivities finally died down, we have had a chance to reflect and look back a little. 2015 was a big year for Wine Garage, as our portfolio grew to more than 150 organic or sustainable wines from more than 10 countries. We have also made more friends, as more of you have given us a chance and tried our wines.

Looking at what you–our customers old and new—drank, we thought you might be curious to know what some of the favorites were.

So herewith we present our winning wines from last year. We can’t disagree–they are quite special!

SPARKLER OF THE YEAR

Domaine de la Poultiere Pinon Vouvray Brut NV, Loire, France

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The dynamic Pinon family explores the subtle alliance between modernity and tradition of wine making in the town of Vouvray. All of their wines are made with Chenin Blanc which are vinified and aged in the “tuffeau”, a cave of limestone. The age of the vines ranges between 25-30 years; with some lots even older, producing very complex wines. “the perfect sparkler to enjoy without breaking the bank” Loire Uncorked

WHITE OF THE YEAR

Domaine Chiroulet Terres Blanches 2014, Gascony, France

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The Fezas family excels in making wines from lesser-known grapes in the rugged area where D’Artagnan lived before joining the Muskateers. Part of the vineyard consists of the Terres Blanches soil, aka Kimmeridgian marl, which is also prevalent in Sancerre. This important soil type helps to create an utterly lively, fruity and floral wine blended from Sauvignon Blanc, Gros Manseng and Ugni Blanc.

RED OF THE YEAR

Philippe Bramaz

Atlan & Artisan Epistem No 3, Yecla, Spain

Atlan & Artisan’s wines are created as a product of nature – with a sensory profile that resembles the particularity of that historic terroir. Here in Yecla, the founders Philippe and Sebastien, found up to 80-year old organic bush vines grown in non-irrigated vineyards with very particular soil and climate. The dark skinned vines, especially Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) are ideally suited to make profound wines which age well with time. Epistem No. 5 won top spot at a blind tasting of Mourvedre from around the Mediterranean coast – Zurich March 2014

Tis the season for wine

 

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Whether you’re Ebenezer Scrooge, or secretly feeding an inner elf, you’ll probably find yourself at no less than a few festivities this month. To help you prepare for the perfect do’s, below are a few of our suggestions, no matter where you end up this Christmas and New Year.

BEACH TIME

The ideal wine for a leisurely lunch outdoor should not clock more than 12.5% by volume, have good fruit intensity, and is without tannin. These are the kind of wines that don’t need the perfect environment and can also be enjoyed from a plastic cup if needed.

Anselmo Mendes Muros Antigos 2014, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Vinho Verde from the rugged and mountainous region that has been touched by Anselmo Mendes are one of the most interesting regional white wines in the world. He manages to take away the rustic edges and turn them into a classy and racy package. Parker 89

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from the King of Vinho Verde, no fizz

 

Hannes Sabathi Gemischter Satz 2014, Styria, Austria

Clocking in at 11%, this blend of various grapes known to Styria is intensively fruity yet dry on the palate. Good as a thirst quencher or subtly spicy food.

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Field blend

 

MOUNTAIN TIME

Whether in Khao Yai or Chiang Mai, the months of December and January bring the temperatures down below 20°C in the evenings. This is your perfect moment to open a structured red with tannins and a complex and layered white wine with power. You can decant without worry and enjoy the new found texture and aromas build up from the glass.

Weingut Rabl Gruner Veltliner Kaferberg Alte Reben 2013, Kamptal, Austria

A great wine that is juicy and intense with typical spice, rock flour, a dash of pepper corns paired with vegetal blossom tones, dried herbs and rhubarb. Falstaff 93

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fish, schnitzel or Thai food, you name it

 

Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf du Pape Quartz 2009, Rhone, France

A powerful Grenache led-blend with superb perfume of sweet black raspberry, creamy licorice, lavender and spice. Parker 95

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thrilling fruit and texture

 

CITY BUZZ

If you have dug out a carefully kept recipe and are cooking up a storm at home, here you will need a wine that will electrify your palate, dazzle the conversation, and maybe prepare you for a great night out later. Wines with intense fruit and aromatics that can compete with the surrounding noise is what you really want.

Weingut Zillinger Gruner Veltliner Reflexion 2014, Weinviertel, Austria

Utterly seductive Gruner Veltiner, which has structure from skin maceration, and a sublime texture and balance. Gault Millau 17

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biodynamically grown

 

Piedrasassi Syrah PS 2013, Central Coast, USA

California’s new generation seek out balance. And Sashi Moorman has become the leading light at not only this estate, but also makes wine for Sandhi and Domaine de la Cote. Parker 92

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eyeing Northern Rhone as benchmark

 

SEAFOOD

If you are prepared to chuck some oysters or dish out a seafood platter, the following wines with good acidity and minerality will cut through the briny flavors. Take your pick from:

Pra Soave Otto 2014, Veneto, Italy

Organic Garganega, according to the New York Times this one is “fresh, lively, delicious”. Parker 88 (’13)

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Garganega from volcanic soils

 

Domaine Montanet Thoden Vezelay Galerne 2014, Burgundy, France

Unknown little neighbor of Chablis is organic and the best kept secret at Zachy’s New York

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and a favorite in natural wine bars

 

Claude Riffault Sancerre Les Chasseignes 2014, Loire, France

A Sancerre from limestone soil is with “striking clarity, purity, and textural refinement” Robert Parker

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organic Sauvignon Blanc from the great 2014 vintage

 

BARBECUE

From the grill is beef, lamb, and sausages which all have smokey flavors and bit of fat. Here you should look for wines with a smoke character, dried herbs, or Provencal aromatics.

Kloof Street Rouge 2013, Swartland, South Africa

A Syrah-led bistro wine a la Côtes du Rhône. Vinous 89

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Mullineux is winemaker of the year in 2011 and 2014

 

Collemattoni Rosso di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Full and fleshy (Decanter Magazine). Vinous 91 (’12)

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rough but with real character

 

Jamsheed Harem La Syrah 2013, Victoria, Australia

Gary Mills is a self-taught genius who caresses plenty of earthy/meaty flavors from cool climate grapes. Parker 90+

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whole bunch pressed

 

WHITE MEATS

The traditionally lighter holiday roasts of turkey and ham are served with earthy vegetables and tangy jellies. Here fragrant reds that are not too rich fit the bill; wines that have good acidity to keep you wanting seconds.

Agostina Pavia Barbera Blina  2013,  Piedmont, Italy

epitome of the bright acidity and berry flavor (K&L Wines)

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tank aged, pure and vibrant

 

El Hombre Bala 2012, Madrid, Spain

Mountain Garnacha with the hedonistic and lush taste of cherries in liqueur. Parker 92p

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Gredo outside Madrid enjoys the fame of late

 

Rene Bouvier Marsannay 1er Champ Salomon 2012, Burgundy , France

Deep black and red cherry bouquet. Revue du Vin de France 16.5

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Less famous Marsannay over delivers

 

 

 

 

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