New Chilean Reserva Varietals Arrive in U.S.

The rapid acceptance and growth of Chilean wines in the U.S. and the immediate success of Escudo Rojo has encouraged Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile, to unveil varietal “reserva” wines from three different regions of the country.

Under the direction of Pascal Marty, the winemaker responsible for both the Escudo Rojo blend and, with Conche y Toro, for Almaviva, the wines include a Cabernet Sauvignon from the renowned Maipo Valley, a Chardonnay from the emerging Casablanca Valley and a Carmenere (a native Chilean grape) from the Rapel Valley. All three wines have a distinctive, colorful label that is reminiscent of the bright red label on Escudo Rojo.

According to Olivier Lebret, president of Baron Philippe de Rothschild USA, “Since its creation, Baron Philippe de Rothschild has been relentless in its ambition of making the world’s finest wines from grapes that grow in the best vineyards and regions—first in Bordeaux, then California and the Languedoc-Rousillon, and now in Chile. We’re very encouraged by the U.S. wine-lovers reaction to Escudo Rojo, our “assemblage” of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Carmenere, and believe these three new Chilean Reserva Varietals will meet the with the same enthusiasm and sales success.”

The Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile Chardonnay Reserva comes from the Casablanca Valley, which is north of Santiago and very close to the Pacific Ocean—Chile’s best region for white wine grapes, especially Chardonnay. The wine has a fine, deep golden color and a bouquet of citrus fruit, pineapple and mangos. A crisp mouth feel gives way to fruit flavors combining pleasantly with well-integrated oak that brings a touch of toast and vanilla (the wine is matured for five months to one year in old oak barrels before bottling). A long, lingering finish expresses all the character of the Chardonnay grape.

From Maipo Valley, perhaps the best-known wine region in Chile, comes the Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva. Nestling at the foot of the Andes Mountains, this valley has a long-standing viticultural tradition, offering some of the best growing conditions for the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. The wine has a deep, dark color and a very forward nose on which vanilla, liquorice and spice notes mingle with the roast coffee and toast aromas of the oak. From a dense and powerful attack, the body develops on smooth, but firm, tannins. An excellent balance between freshness, fruit and structure gives an ample and impressively persistent finish.

The third wine, Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile Carmenere Reserva utilizes native grapes from the Rapel Valley, which is south of Santiago and ideal Carmenere country. Long confused with Merlot, Carmenere usually manifests itself in a subtle spiciness. This unique wine has a fine red color with a cherry tint, and a rich, complex nose displaying very ripe berry fruit aromas and notes of cedarwood, tobacco and vanilla. The body is round and smooth, with the soft, persistent tannins typical of Chilean Carmenere. Highly refined notes of oak return in a long, dense, substantial finish.

The 2000 vintage of the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva and the 2001 vintage of both the Chardonnay Reserva and Camernere Reserva will be available in September,2002 at a suggested retail price of $9.99. The Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chile Reserva Varietals are imported exclusively through Caravelle Wine Selections, Avon, CT.

Grapes Without Wrath

Fine dining without the pang of restaurant wine prices may have just become the new trend in San Diego. Starting now, The Brasserie Restaurant offers their clientele an expansive wine list at unprecedented retail based pricing.

Gourmands and wine aficionado’s who make the foray to The WineSellar & Brasserie may find a bit of fun hand picking their bottles in The WineSellar, which houses one of San Diego’s most extensive selections of fine and rare wine at competitive prices. What will be most exciting is that rather than pay restaurant prices for the wine, they can simply add 20% to the wine shop price and enjoy it in The Brasserie Restaurant.

When asked why a restaurant would cut their prices like this, Founder Gary Parker commented, “Times are different. We have been through a recession, an energy crisis, a terrorist attack, a war against terrorism, layoffs, and corporate greed. We are generally not indulging ourselves as we had before. I want to provide something unique and uplifting to brighten the lives of those who dine at The Brasserie. I can do that by offering this world class selection of fine wines at prices that will raise eyebrows with delight and excitement.”

Parker continues, “I consider myself a culinary crusader. I love to provide and promote epicurean pleasures to others through my restaurants, wine shop, and wine of the month clubs.”

The Brasserie restaurant has been the recipient of the Wine Spectator Grand Award every year since it opened in 1989. This award acknowledges The Brasserie wine list as being one of the 95 best wine lists in the world today because of its depth and selections.

Adds Parker: “That list just got bigger. I took our three separate sets of inventory (The WineSellar, The Brasserie and, our continuous on-line wine auction) and merged them into one list, assigning them a competitive retail price. There are over 3,500 selections, with pricing for some everyday wines as low as five dollars side-by-side with rare gems reaching into the thousands. We are hoping that wine lovers will find our selection and pricing very compelling, and take advantage of our offer.”

When asked about the wine opening fee (for the restaurant), Parker responds: “The Brasserie has an elegant setting, provides superb glassware, has wine knowledgeable staff and our food rating in the Zagat Guide has ranged between first to fifth over the last ten years. Given these high standards of service, the small fee seems fair and appropriate.

The list is going to be encyclopedic. Parker says a wine-knowledgeable sales person will be on hand to offer assistance if needed. And for the connoisseurs, a temperature-controlled room has been built in The WineSellar to house and display all of the many bottles of rare wines that The WineSellar & Brasserie has accumulated over the years.

From an outstanding vintage to an excellent wine

The Taltarni team, lead by senior winemaker, Shane Clohesy, is very proud of the Taltarni Shiraz 2000.

The Victorian Pyrenees has an international reputation for its shiraz wines, a noble variety that thrives in the region’s rich red soils and temperate climate and Taltarni Shiraz 2000 doesn’t disappoint, it is a benchmark Pyrenees and Taltarni style shiraz.

“Taltarni Shiraz 2000 is an outstanding wine and exemplifies our belief that mature, carefully nurtured vines, and low-intervention winemaking, create distinctive wines.

“Some of our shiraz vines are 30 years old and producing the most sumptuously flavoured and complete wines. Taltarni Shiraz 2000 is among them,” said Mr Clohesy.

Taltarni’s vineyard management, the matching of varieties to suitable sites, harvesting and winemaking techniques all feature a combination of traditional and contemporary practices that culminate in the creation of the premium Taltarni range – Taltarni Shiraz leading the pack.

“2000 was one of the very best vintages for the Pyrenees region. It was a year when the weather fostered gradual and even ripening, creating wines characterised by fully ripe fruit tannins and very attractive silkiness.

“Taltarni Shiraz 2000 is very approachable now while maintaining excellent structure and balance for mid-term cellaring,” added Mr Clohesy.

Taltarni’s Shiraz 2000 has a deep rich magenta colour with purple hues, it opens with enticing lifted white pepper and aromatic spice backed by ripe dark plum and blackberry and underpinned by subtle hints of mocha and smoky oak. The full-flavoured, velvety smooth palate has plum, jam and berry characteristics. Perfect with roasted meat such as eye fillet steak accompanied with steamed fresh green beans.

Certain Winemaking Terms You Need to Know

As soon as you decided to do a little winemaking, you decided that the first thing to do would be to do some research until you learned as much as you could about how to make wine, this included reading books, finding out about the equipment to buy, the best wine to make in your first attempt at winemaking and a whole lot more. During your research however, you turned up a number of unfamiliar terms because the art of winemaking has its own confusing terms. It is essential that you understand the terms that are to be used, what they mean and how they will affect the process of winemaking.

Some of these simple terms are listed and explained here. For example fermentation is a process through which yeast is used to change sugars into alcohol and which uses carbon dioxide to change grape juice to wine. If a person says that the lees need to be removed, they are talking about the deposits at the bottom of the wine in the second stage of fermentation. When someone says that your wine has matured, it means that the wine is ready to drink.

If a person talks about the aroma of a wine, he can easily use the terms nose or bouquet as well. A peak is the particular point at which a wine will taste its best. However due to the fact that it is not so easy to determine, it ultimately boils down to a matter of opinion. Vintage refers to the particular year which a wine was made in. Other wines also exist and these include wines defined as non-vintage. What this usually means is that they were created in different years and then combined to give rise to a particular taste.

Tannin can be found in wines and most especially the red wines, it tends to come from grape skins, the stems as well as the seeds. It is also a natural preservative which aids in aging the wine when it is being made. Tartaric acid is also the main acid which can be found in the wine. Three other types of acid also exist and they can all be found in wines as well. These acids include: malic, lactic as well as citric acid. All these acids end up affecting the taste of the wine. The term methode champenoise is a French term which depicts the method through which champagne is made.

Oxidized wine refers to wine which has been left out in the air for too long and has changed color from red to brown and no longer smells fresh. Other terms can be used in the place of oxidized and they include maderized and sherrified. If someone says that wine has an aggressive taste, they are usually trying to say that the wine is too harsh or that it has too much acid in it and they don’t like it.

These are just a few terms but these terms give you a sound knowledge of what viniculture is all about and what this means is that you know your grapes, wine and the art of winemaking. Some simple terms can easily summarize the immense amount of work that you do in brewing wine.