Domaine Charvin, Southern Rhone

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Laurent Charvin could not differ more than his peers, who often vinify separate parcels into barrel and create multiple cuvees; which are then priced based on rarity.

The staunch traditionalist keeps his range simple. One red, one white, one rose for the Cotes du Rhone, and only one Chateauneuf du Pape.

But there is more to why he is ranked one of the top 5 in the region. 150 years ago, the family sold much of their production to negociants such as Marcel Guigal. The new era began in 1990 when then young, energetic Laurent Charvin took over the estate. His wines are aromatic with good ageability and a Burgundian stylistic, somewhat contrary to the many soft, sweet and fat renditions, made for the American and Asian markets.

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His winemaking practice includes hand harvesting, whole-bunch pressed, use of indigenous yeast, tank fermentation and ageing, and bottling unfined and unfiltered.

Each year, reviewers praise the value this Cotes du Rhone, labelling it often as best buy.

Josh Raynolds for Vinous

Brilliant ruby-red. A complex bouquet evokes fresh red berries, potpourri and smoky minerals, and an intriguing suggestion of blood orange emerges as the wine opens up. Juicy and precise, offering sweet raspberry and lavender pastille flavors underscored by a suggestion of peppery spices. The mineral quality comes back strong on the finish, which features silky tannins and impressive persistence. This bottling always outperforms its humble origins and that’s especially the case in this vintage. 91 points

Jeb Dunnuck for Robert Parker

The 2014 Côtes du Rhône (80% Grenache and the balance Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan) is a peppery, pretty, rose petal and black cherry scented effort that has medium-bodied depth and richness, lots of tannin and a clean finish. Aged 18 months in concrete tanks, it should be very good and evolve nicely for a 7-8 years. 89 points

Wine Enthusiast’s Winemaker of the Year 2016

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The lucky couple met in the Rhone Valley, and took their impressions back to Chris’ home in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Working sustainable, or naturally as one can say, they intend to make old guard Cape wines, mainly from blends of Rhone or Mediterranean varietals. Their wines get a balanced feel from the 3 soil types spread across the plots, namely decomposed granite (freshness), schist/shale (richness) and red clay (mid-palate depth).

Kloof Street is made to impress on freshness, balance and great drinkability. And Rouge is a Syrah-based blend with Cinsault, Carignan, and Mourvedre exuding leafy, herbal character supported by raspberry and cherry aromatics.

Make this your juicy starter into the new South Africa.

Rated Robert Parker 88 points, Wine Anorak 90 points

Hacienda Monasterio, Ribera del Duero

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Year-in-year out Peter Sisseck and owner Carlos del Rio make one of the most impressive red wines of stature in region of Ribera del Duero. Low yields of 30HL, old vines planted on calcareous soils and elevation of 750 meters, the arid climate with cool nights, help achieve ripeness, intense aromatics, and of course full bodied wines that rank only behind Rioja among consumers’ recognition.

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The Crianza is a blend of 80% Tinta del Pais (aka Tempranillo),Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, that has spend 18 months in oak, of which 30% are new. Always, silky and polished, the 15% ABV is well hidden behind the fresh and mineral aromas with
licorice notes and currants. The signature notes of red wines from this region.

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This wine is often recognized among the finest values in the region, and accolades abound from the world’s leading palettes:

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Luis Gutierrez for Robert Parker “This could very well be the best crianza ever produced at Monasterio. This has to be one of the bargains of the vintage in Ribera, given the quality it delivers.” RP 94

Josh Raynolds for Vinous “Concentrated yet vibrant and precise, finishing with excellent clarity, velvety tannins and excellent tenacity.” Vinous 93

Jancis Robinson “Superbly charged with juicy black fruit. It combines richness and elegance on the back palate. Quite impressive.” 17/20

Domaine Claude Riffault, geological Sancerre

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The estate covers 13.5-hectares of vineyard with 10.5 hectares planted with Sauvignon Blanc and the rest with Pinot Noir. Vines are awaiting organic certification and vineyards spread across 6 locations in the north of Sancerre, all with their unique geological feature.

 

The grapes are harvested and vinified, as well as aged separately in used barrels, with Boucards and Les Chasseignes undergoing 50% oak treatment.

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According to Stephane, Les Chasseignes are common-place in the Sancerre appellation. The local name designates Caillottes soil: shallow limestone soil and subsoil containing overlapping stones. The vines are south-east exposed and receive the sun and wind from morning to evening, therefore quite full bodied and powerful in 2015.

We urge you to try with a grilled fish, and savor the flinty pure character of Sauvignon Blanc from France’s iconic appellation.

Basket Case

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Wine Garage and friends, or say neighbors in Sukhumvit  Soi 45, have prepared some interesting food and non-food items for gift giving season. Please browse through the 3 different sizes of hampers filled with home-made products from Quince Eatery & Bar, Casa Pagoda, Luka Cafe and Malou Tea.

SMALL – thb 3,300

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Petite Casa Pagoda metal wire basket designed by Japanese brand Puebco

Two Casa Pagoda Christmas ornaments for the tree

Small Casa Pagoda reindeer candle holder (10 cm) ancient gold color

Casa Pagoda aromatic candle Fig & Cypress

Artisanal Malou Tea: – can choose from 5 (Sri Lanka Breakfast, The Earl, Green Tea Spearmint, Roiboos Rose Lavender, White tea Silver Tips)

Luka handmade gingerbread man cookies

Half bottle red wine Niepoort Redoma Tinto 2011 from Duoro in Portugal

MEDIUM – thb 4,200

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Casa Pagoda market basket designed by Japanese brand Puebco

Two Casa Pagoda Christmas ornaments for the tree

Small Casa Pagoda reindeer candle holder (10 cm) ancient gold color

Casa Pagoda aromatic candle Fig & Cypress

Casa Pagoda Copper Cocktail Mug

Artisanal Malou Tea:  – can choose from 5 (Sri Lanka Breakfast, The Earl, Green Tea Spearmint, Roiboos Rose Lavender, White tea Silver Tips)

Quince Rosemary & Sesame crackers

Quince Greek olives

Luka handmade gingerbread man cookies

Red wine Chateau La Mothe du Barry Bordeaux Superieur 2014

LARGE – thb 6,500

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Handy Casa Pagoda market basket designed by Japanese brand Puebco

Two Casa Pagoda Christmas ornaments for the tree

Set of 2 Casa Pagoda reindeer candle holders (10 & 16 cm) ancient gold color

Casa Pagoda aromatic candle Fig & Cypress

Casa Pagoda Copper Cocktail Mug

Two artisanal Malou Teas: – can choose from 5 (Sri Lanka Breakfast, The Earl, Green Tea Spearmint, Roiboos Rose Lavender, White tea Silver Tips)

Quince Rosemary & Sesame crackers

Quince Greek olives

Luka handmade gingerbread man cookies

One bottle sparkling Drusian Prosecco Superiore & off dry white wine Pinon Vouvray Moelleux La Lune

For interest please email us: order@winegarage.asia

Alpamanta, not just another Malbec

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Half Dane-Half Austrian Andrej Razumovsky and his partners planted a new vineyard in Mendoza’s prime area of Luyan de Cuyo around 2005. They selected a patch of land that never was worked on before, with the aim to establish the first biodynamic vineyard in Argentina.

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The reds from these high altitude vineyards – 1,000 meters and more – often get long and intense sun hours, giving rise to potent wines. So it was the more surprising to taste through Alpamanta’s lineup, only to find beautiful perfume, but more importantly texture and balance holding up the intense flavors.

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The adhered methods in the vineyard and cellar follow Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic principles and define this style of wine. Try it and let us know if it’s to your liking. 36,000 bottles produced.

Gary Mills at Freebird, Bangkok

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Step into the latest sanctuary off busy Sukhumvit Road and take in a little Melbourne.

Dallas and Marcus have created this pairing menu using elements of British heritage joined by a range of flavor and cooking techniques from around the world.

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The menu is priced thb 2,700++ and includes 5 wines from Gary’s latest vintage showcasing his skills across 5 different varietals.

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.