Varietals: D-L

Wine Tasting Videos: Great Port Wines

In this episode of IntoWineTV, host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz convene at one of San Francisco's finest restaurants, Incanto, to taste and discuss great port wines.

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Wines to Go Buy This Week: Bargetto La Vita and Tahbilk Marsanne

Wines to Go Buy This Week: An "Italian-fusion" California Red by Bargetto and Tahbilk Marsanne, a deliciously rare single varietal white. 

This past weekend we filmed the latest round of IntoWineTV videos (the first video will be live in about a week, we're moving away from wine reviews to wine discussions. Sort of a wine version of The View if you will). As is typical when we film IntoWineTV, the cast and crew had the luxury of indulging in many fantastic wines. Heck these shoots have almost become an excuse for everyone involved to share their latest wine faves. Over the course of the weekend I discovered two wines that made me do a double take and which are the basis for this week's "Wines to Go Buy This Week":

La Vita Label

La Vita, Bargetto Family Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2006 - This wine arrived in a recent California Wine Club Signature Series shipment (and kudos to CWC as yet again they delivered a hit. I love the Signature Series.). La Vita is an unusual California red blend in that it is made from the traditionally Italian varietals of Dolcetto, Refosco, and Nebbiolo. Traditionalists may scoff at the notion of a California producer making its version of an Italian red -I'm just waiting for someone to complain that this wine has "no sense of place" - but the end result is a delicious wine that reflects qualities of both California and Italy. If this were a restaurant this wine would be labeled "Italian fusion". No it's not authentic or traditional but it is delicious, unique, and well worth a try (though at $60 a bottle, it's hardly a value buy). Buy Bargetto La Vita

Port Wine Truffle Sauce

I think Port is an underappreciated wine.  At least in my life, I’ve always restricted it to dessert wine, and not being a dessert person, the bottles I acquired tended to sit around in my wine cabinet to gather dust and “age”.  But, about a year ago, a friend (let’s call him John) at work called me over to his desk, pointed to an open bottle of port and a glass (fortunately he doesn’t operate heavy machinery) and asked me try his “…favorite $20 bottle of port, the best deal around”.  The wine tasted very nice, but what interested me more than the flavor, was the way he thought about Port.

Chateau D’Yquem: Greatest Wine in the World?

In the series on the 1855 Classification of the First Growths, I spoke exclusively about red wines.  In that same year, however, the sweet dessert wines from the Bordeaux communes of Barsac and Sauternes were also classified.  All of the dessert wines listed were rated as either premier cru (first growth) or second growth status.  That is, all but Yquem which was rated Premier Cru Superieur (First Great Growth), a higher rating even than any red wine achieved in their 1855 Classification.  Yquem is quite possibly the greatest wine made anywhere and has a history dating back four hundred years!  While every wine region has its stars, there is probably no other winery that so dominates the quality of a region and has such as a lofty reputation as Chateau Yquem.

What makes these wines so special is that they develop a rot called botrytis cinera also known as Noble Rot.  When certain grapes are attacked they get moldy which, in a wonderful twist of fate, causes the grapes to lose much of their moisture, concentrating the flavors.  The resulting grapes look like moldy shriveled raisins that produce a sweet nectar.

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Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba "San Rocco" 2008 - IntoWineTV Episode 102

"Piedmont Reds" Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent, Cezar Kusik, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the 2008 Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba "San Rocco."

Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 Year Tawny Port - IntoWineTV Episode 94

Great Port Wines. Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 Year Tawny Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

Ferreira Quinta do Porto 10 Year Tawny Port - IntoWineTV Episode 90

"Great Port Wines". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the Ferreira Quinta do Porto 10 Year Tawny Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

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Broadbent Auction Reserve Port - IntoWineTV Episode 85

"Great Port Wines". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the Broadbent Auction Reserve Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

Ferreira Ruby Port - IntoWineTV Episode 80

"Great Port Wines". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the Ferreira Ruby Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

1995 Niepoort Colheita Port - IntoWineTV Episode 75

"Great Port Wines". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Loren Sonkin, Mulan Chan, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss the 1995 Niepoort Colheita Port from the Douro Valley, Portugal.

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