Posts Filed Under elegant wines

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)

Vinted on December 3, 2015 binned in elegant wines, going pro, on the road, wine review
Furmint 5

“The Furmint Five” (image: FurmintUSA)

As you’ll see from the vid published earlier this week’s, I recently had the pleasure of going back to Hungary, primarily to engage in Phase 2 of the FurmintUSA promotional program, filming a new set of videos for the Furmint Adventures series.

That’s always fun, because the wines are largely excellent, the scenery settings beautiful, the producers amicable, and the crew totally professional. And it gave me a chance to eat at pretty much every restaurant in Tokaj (again).

This time, however, I was also able to take part in a media tour, tagging along with Master Somm’s Peter Granoff and Scott Harper, Balzac Communications’ Paul Wagner, and Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant’s Debbie Zachareas. Great travel companions all, and (an added bonus) people who aren’t afraid to share their deeply-educated wine opinions (I fit right in, unsurprisingly). Photog evidence provided below after the jump.

In going back to Hungary, it was in the latter capacity that I got to get all deep-thoughts-by-Jack-Handy on the future of dry Furmint wines. Which began one evening when I was thinking about the Fermi Paradox (don’t worry, it’ll all make some sort of sense in a few minutes)…

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“The Worst Place In The World To Make Wine” (Tasting With The Madeira Wine Institute)

Vinted on November 25, 2015 binned in crowd pleaser wines, elegant wines, kick-ass wines, wine review

Madeira tasting 2015“If you’re looking for the worst place in the world to make wine, Madeira would be a candidate.”

Also sprach Rui Falcão, during a recent tasting/masterclass for the media in Philly, hosted by the Madeira Wine Institute.

You see, this is why I love Madeira with a passion bordering on unreasonableness. And the border is quite close. And porous. It’s not a style of wine that could be planned or designed; it had to evolve. It’s the wine world’s version of the triumph of evolution over intelligent design. Well, that and the fact that it’s responsible for what might have been the single most interesting wine to ever get processed by my liver.

Falcão’s talk on the wines of Madeira was fascinating in its highlights of just how absurd Maderia wine is, and how f*cking lucky we wine geeks are to have it.

For starters, the raw material seems… well… underwhelming.

Compared to Champagne, the base wines for Madeira are “truly awful,” according to Falcão; these are wines that are obnoxiously high in acids, and laughably low in alcohol by volume. But of course, they then become “something extraordinary. Madeira is all about how you age the wine…”

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The Ugly Truth, The Pretty Bubbles (Mailly Champagne Recent Releases)

The ugly truth is that I – quite lazily – did not really want to write about Champagne cooperative Mailly (which takes its moniker, and the fruit from its Grand Cru vineyards, from the town of the same name). In fact, I felt so lazy about it, that I employed the writer’s laziest device (the dash) in the very first sentence (shame on me!).

Mailly tasting room

Founded in 1929, this mainly Pinot Noir brand of Champers is owned by twenty-five families (three of which account for more than eighty percent of the outfit overall), produces 500,000 bottles a year, and is farming from the same spots it has since the 1960s. It’s a co-op; the least sexy of Champagne’s production options from a consumer perspective.

Mailly viewNo fancy house (though the fact that the seven floors of the co-op stretch down over twenty meters underground is pretty cool). There’s a neat little tasting room, white chalk roads, and cellars dug by hand (over a period of thirty-six years; by the company founders, mind you, and not by the Gauls).

But while Mailly might not be much in the way of looks when considered next to its more, uhm… media-friendly Champers peers, its wines give plenty of those superficially sexier houses in the region a total run for their money…

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