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Showing posts from July, 2016

Loire Valley Chenin Blanc - Notes from a Lecture and Tasting

Jon-David Headrick was at Camerata Houston on Tuesday to educate local wine professionals on Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley and to participate in Houston's Loire Fest which is taking place all this month at local wine bars around town. He has a portfolio of wines called Jon-David Headrick Selections of which a portion were tasted during the lecture. Most of his wines are organic or biodynamic. All of the grapes used in these wines were hand-harvested which Headrick says is less common in the Loire Valley than one might think. He chooses wines that have no oak treatment or were aged in neutral oak for an added textural component rather than as a major part of the flavor. He spoke of the massive diversity in the soil types of the region and how this diversity is particularly reflected in the single varietal wines. The Loire Valley stretches from the Atlantic almost to Burgundy and the vineyards lie near the Loire River. Chenin Blanc is indigenous to the Loire Valley and is

Learning the Art of Living Sicilianly with Lucio Matricardi

Lucio Matricardi, the  winemaker for  Stemmari , was in Houston at Coppa Osteria last month to introduce the Stemmari line of wines to a group of Houston writers. He spoke passionately about the many changes that have been taking place in Sicily regarding winemaking. He explained how the generations before him focused on the easily exportable Marsala cooking wine while younger generations on the island are now focusing on making higher quality dry wines.  He believes the climate and terroir lend themselves to more natural and sustainable vineyard practices. He says he is interested in making wines that he, himself, wants to drink.  Enjoying wine with meals is part of Sicily’s culture, it is part of “the art living Sicilianly”, according to Matricardi, and he wants his wine to be at the same quality level as the produce he would choose for his meals.  Across the region, growers and winemakers are committed to using the most modern winemaking techniques to best showcase their

2011 Malabrigo Tempranillo

Last night, we enjoyed a #TempranilloTuesday   at home with grilled   pork chops and a bottle of the 2011 Malabrigo  by Bodegas Cepa 21 from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain.  Only 5,000 bottles of this wine were produced.  It is made from 100% Tempranillo grapes, also known as Tinto Fino, sourced from the clay and loam soils of the Castrillo de Duero village. This vineyard area is one of the highest elevations and coolest parts of the Ribera del Duero wine region which gives the grapes a longer time to fully ripen while allowing them to retain their acidity. More elegant than some Ribera del Duero wines, this well-structured dry red has a full body, good acidity and silky tannins with blackberry and licorice flavors, a hint of smoky cedar and a long, spicy white pepper finish, very delectable and highly recommended. Although the wine was delicious with our meal, after opening and tasting the wine, I wished I had served it with Texas brisket. The finish on this wine makes

On the wine list: 2013 Faury Cote-Rotie

Recommended to our table by Steven McDonald, the wine director at the original Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston, this northern Rhone red from the Cote-Rotie sub-region did not disappoint. This blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Viognier is produced by the artisanal father/son team at Domaine Faury and are carefully aged in a mix of mostly neutral barrels in various sizes. Rustic elegance are the key words when describing this wine. Full body, smoky red berry flavor and a long, stony mineral finish, delicious and recommended.

Greek Wines for a Galveston Summer

As originally seen in the July 2016 issue of  Galveston Monthly magazine