#WineWednesday Spotlight #37: Csendes Dűlő Kéknyelü & Hárslevelű

This tasting note has been translated from the original German text written by Peter Klingler for his blog Borwerk (a Hungarian-German word combination meaning “WineWorks”). As if German is not tough enough, Peter’s distinctly short-hand style is not easy to transfer to English prose. We tried to make it readable and still retain the flavor of his personality. Most striking at first: how inconspicuous both wines are. It seems as if the Kéknyelü – AKA Blaustengler in German – and the Hárslevelü as well, do justice to the name of the estate: Csendes Dűlő. Quiet, tranquil vineyard. But unobtrusiveness and silence change over time. Formative for a specific style, if you can say that at all about one of the first vintages of a new producer on the fine wine market, the impression of a distinct character remains, nevertheless. This can simply be explained with time, or rather with their youth. In the first few minutes in the glass, both wines appear closed. This changes over time, mainly with the Kéknyelû. After a few days it packs a bunch of flavors on top. The fruit remains rather sparse, pears, quince, yellow stone fruit, half-ripe and somewhat restrained. A fine mineral … Continue reading #WineWednesday Spotlight #37: Csendes Dűlő Kéknyelü & Hárslevelű

#WineWednesday Spotlight #4: Shumi Zigu

Shumi Zigu​ – A Georgian “Port” wine made from more than 300 native grape varieties​ The Shumi Winery sits in the appellation of Tsinandali within Georgia’s largest wine region, Kakheti. The specialty of the appellation is a dry white wine of the same name. We visited Shumi on our first trip to Georgia and were immediately impressed. ​They are a mid-size operation and everyone from CEO and wine maker to the marketing and bottling teams is extremely down to earth​, ​friendly​, and competent.​ Shumi greeted us with a special tasting of ​​wines and one of the most delicious meals during the trip. We sat in a beautiful garden setting enjoying kebabs grilled over grapevines, the freshest salads you can imagine, exquisite traditional vegetable stews, and heavenly bread, straight from the oven. Of course we were enjoying our tasting of the Shumi wines as well. Then a small bottle was brought out and we were simply told that it was a special wine the winery was trying out. What it turned out to be was “Zigu”, a ​field-blend of grapes picked from the winery’s experimental vineyard. This vineyard contains around 300 grape varieties, mostly Georgian in origin. The grapes are co-harvested … Continue reading #WineWednesday Spotlight #4: Shumi Zigu

Miloš Stagnum: The Perfect Thanksgiving Wine

Stagnum, the flagship wine made from Plavac Mali grapes by Frano Miloš and his children is my first choice for Thanksgiving. Stagnum is the Latin name for the small Croatian town Ston where the Miloš family lives and tends their organic vineyards. Here,the Pelješac Peninsula connects with the Dalmatian mainland less than 50 miles north of Dubrovnik. If there is one Plavac which truly represents the land from where it comes and what this popular Croatian grape tastes like, it’s Stagnum. It’s not cheap but worth every single drop. The 2006 vintage we offer is excellent, making this wine a special treat for every wine lover. Miloš makes Plavac Pur!   The main reason that Stagnum fits so well on our Thanksgiving dinner table is its versatility. Naturally, Plavac pairs well with BBQ meats of all kinds. More surprisingly is that it also works very well with Turkey, Chicken, and even more gamey fowl. Most visitors to Dalmatia are amazed when they experience that Plavac also is a great match for Oysters regardless of how they are prepared: fresh on the shell with just a touch of lemon juice, or baked with bacon, hot sauce, and other flavorful condiments. Plavac also reminds … Continue reading Miloš Stagnum: The Perfect Thanksgiving Wine

#WineStudio – Croatian Wines on Twitter

PROTOCOL wine studio is dedicated to exploring the culture of wine via educational events. As we lay our roots, we’re exploring various concepts in group wine experiences. We invite you to review our event schedule and attend: #WineStudio Led by successful local Social Media guru Bill Eyer of The Cuvee Corner Wine Blog, PROTOCOL wine studio presents a twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! “Meet” and taste with other wine-minded folks throughout the country and beyond. Contact us for more info. Hashtag: #winestudio 6:00pm – 7:00pm Pacific Time Mondays Session III – Croatia We’ll tackle five producers and taste grapes that we can’t pronounce without pronunciation keys! We’ll also host a few guests who just returned from the International Wine Tourism Conference – stay tuned! If you’d like to taste the below wines along with the studio gang, connect with us. 4/8: Sipun Zlahtina 2011 Blanc 4/15: Piquentum Malvasia 2011 Blanc 4/22: Daruvar Grasevina 2011 Blanc 4/29: Dingac Plavac 2010 Red 5/6: Bibich R6 Riserva 2009 Rouge For more information see: Croatian Wines and other Unpronounceable Things

Out of the BLUE tasting in LA

Dear Friends of Blue Danube Wine, We are happy to invite you to “Out of the Blue” a casual impromptu pre-holiday trade only tasting. Thanks to your support the Blue Danube Wine Co. portfolio is evolving. We are delving into regions, varieties and styles that demand further study and that the market has shown a taste for. Monday September 17th we will present our deepest selection of wines from Croatia and Slovenia as well as all wines which are now available in our TAKE 5 sales promotion. At this tasting we will pour the wines of ten leading estates. Some of them see their first premiere in the U.S., many are the new vintages which just arrived. This is a rare opportunity to taste them in a comprehensive line-up. SLOVENIA: Batic, Kabaj, Kogl, Crnko, and Stoka CROATIA: BIBICh, Coronica, Piquentum, Terzolo, Dingac Winery We’re sure you will enjoy exploring our expanding portfolio. Please see attached invitation. Thank you for your interest, we hope to see you at the tasting! Cheers, Frank, David, and Michael (and Stetson from New York) Bacaro LA 2308 South Union Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90007 good parking on surrounding streets Monday September 17th 2012 – 12pm-4pm Light … Continue reading Out of the BLUE tasting in LA

The Terroir Meter

Can you taste terroir? In their Fall 2012 special issue, Wine & Spirits Magazine introduces the Terroir Top 100, 100 wines that “rocked our critics over the last 12 months, wines that transport us to another place: These 100 terroir-expressive selections make us believe that the earth, the sun, the wind and the rain are present in the glass, their combination distinctive and delicious.” The only Croatian wine in the TOP 100 is our Intrada Pošip by Krajančić. Čestitam, Luka! Krajančić 2009 Korčula Intrada Pošip: Terroir score 6.2, 90 points “Korcula is basically a sun-drenched, 100-square mile chunk of karst off the coast of Croatia. The climate is Mediterranean, and water is scarce, as it drains right through the limestone. Tasting Luca Krajancic’s Intrada, it tastes as through its pošip vines must have developed a taste for seawater in self-defense, it is so mouth-wateringly saline, with a sunny, fresh orange marmelade flavor to balance. There is no need to be familiar with the Dalmatian Coast to “get” this wine: it’s the sort of wine that immediately brings to mind seaside vacations and seafood in tis flavors and feel.”

Kudos for Kabaj, Kogl, and Batič

Wine & Spirits Magazine recently published excellent reviews of our Slovenian producers Kabaj, Kogl, and Batič: 91 Points Kabaj 2006 Goriška Brda Cuvée Morel: Winemaker Jean-Michel Morel bases this blend on merlot (60 percent) along with cabernets sauvignon and franc and a small amount of petit verdot. But it is not merlot-easy. The musky scent and potent, gravelly tannins made it austere, a powerful, chewy red that needs bottle age. Already sophisticated, with a bit of a swagger in its personality, this is built to cellar. 91 Points Kabaj 2009 Goriška Brda Ravan: Ravan is another name for zeleni sauvignon, which is [tokaj] friulano across the border in Friuli. This one is golden in color and massively fruity, balancing its grassy passionfruit flavors with a clean, tense line of acidity. It ends on a smoky note. A match for roast partridge. 88 Points Kabaj 2009 Goriška Brda Rebula (Best Buy): Deep gold in color and smoky in its scent, this wine focuses on lees and tannins, holding juicy apple flavors underneath. The structure lends it a pleasing textual roundness, finishing firm, almost gruff. For braised dark meat chicken. 92 Points Kabaj 2007 Goriška Brda Amphora: Fermented as whole berries in … Continue reading Kudos for Kabaj, Kogl, and Batič

Kudos for Geyerhof!

Our Austrian bio-estate Geyerhof continues to gather many kudos from wine critics. In their July edition the Wine Enthusiast awarded 90+ points to two Gruner Veltliner: Steinleithn and Gaisberg, both from premier cru vineyards: 93 Points Geyerhof 2010 Steinleithn Erste Lage Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal): Steely and mineral in character, this is a taut, nervy wine. It has great acidity and balance, with green fruit and sliced apple flavors. Keep for 3–4 years. Screwcap. 92 Points Geyerhof 2010 Gaisberg Erste Lage Reserve Grüner Veltliner (Kremstal): While the wine is technically dry, its richness gives it a sweeter sensation. The ripe apricot and pineapple fruit is cut with knife-like acidity, allowing this concentrated wine to remain poised, with a crisp finish. The Kirchensteig Vineyard was a cellar selection, online exclusive: 93 Points Geyerhof 2010 Kirchensteig Erste Lage Reserve Riesling (Kremstal): One of a series of great single-vineyard wines from Geyerhof, this is as impressive as the rest. It has weight, complexity and richness. Its perfumed fruits provide a delicate counterpoint to the acidity, taut minerality and herbal edge. For aging over at least five years. And Jon Bonné of the San Francisco Chronicle marvels about the Geyerhof 2010 Gaisberg Reserve Grüner … Continue reading Kudos for Geyerhof!