Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vintage LIVIO FELLUGA, MONSANTO and CAPEZZANA Dazzle New York's Finest Wine Writers!! by Philip S.Kampe

As our Palates develop through the years and our sense and Understanding of Wine Grows, it is fitting to say that at a recent MOET HENNESSY Italian Wine Portfolio Tasting, hosted by Amelia Durand, the Vintage wines presented exceeded all expectations of this wine writer.

Danny Meyer, New York's top Restauranteur, and owner of the new and incredible Roman Trattoria, MAIALINO Restaurant http://www.maialinonyc.com/ , overlooking Gramercy Park, paired these incredible wines with food that was beyond your imagination.

The tasting was originally scheduled to have Family members from LIVIO FELLUGA, MONSANTO and CAPEZZANA present, but, due to the Volcanic eruption in Iceland, the plan was abandoned. Well, not really! Thanks to Amelia Durands' GENIUS, the Represenatives from the three vineyards were present, due to a Virtual hook-up.

It was as if Andrea Felluga (Felluga), Beatrice Bonacossi ( Capezzana) and Laura Bianchi ( Monsanto) were in the room with us. This twist and imaginative solution made this special tasting intense and focused.

How often can you ask live questions to visual wine producers who are six time zones away?

How often can you dine on Carciofini Fritti ( Fried artichokes with Anchovy bread sauce); Spaghetti alle Vongole ( Pasta with white wine, garlic and clams) and Abbacchio alla Cacciatora ( Braised lamb with potatoes and frascati), while speaking virtually to these wine producers?
In the 21st Century, anything electronic is possible.

The wines:
Terre Alte 1996 2001
Picolit 2004
Vertigo 2007
Pinot Grigio 2008

Il Poggio 1968 1977 1997 2004
Vin Santo 1993
Nemo 2003

Villa di Capezzzana 1983 1996 2000 2005
Tiefiano 2003
Barco Reale 2007

MyTop Three Favorites:

Livio Felluga TERRE ALTE 2001 is considered one of Italy's most prestigious wines. The balanced blend of Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc and Friulano create an intense, well structured wine with a nose of flower and fruit aromas yielding a rich, harmonious, seductive mineral and herb, soft, vibrant flavor with butterscotch notes.

Monsanto IL POGGIO CHIANTI CLASSICO RESERVA 1996 is a true Sangiovese classic. This magnificent wine has a bright garnet hue, complex ripe fruit aromas and classic strawberry and cherry fruit flavors mixed with a hint of leather and spice. The intensity of this wine and it's drinkability make 1996 a true classic.

Capezzana VILLA di CAPEZZANA 1996. The Count Bonasossi family in Tuscany's Carmigiano region is renowed for it's vineyards that date back to 804. A.D. The Villa di Capezzana 1996 is a historic wine in true Carmigiano fashion. Using 80% Sangiovese grapes combined with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is rich and intense with dark fruit flavors followed by hints of chocolate, mint and spice.

It was not an easy task to choose only three wines to comment on. All of the wines are or will be Exceptional with time.

Moet Hennessy http://www.mhusa.com/ is not a company that is known only for it's Champagne:

Dom Perignon
Moet & Chandon
Veuve Clicquot

or Spirits:

10 Cane
Grand Marnier

Moet Hennessy is known in the Wine World as an "Industry Leader".
Vineyards, as special as, LIVIO FELLUGA, MONSANTO AND CAPEZZANA are only a few examples of Moet Hennessy's amazing wine portfolio, which includes:

Cape Mentelle Vineyards
Chateau Cheval Blanc
Chateau d'Yquem
Chateau de Sancerre
Chateau la Nerthe
Cheval des Andes
Cloudy Bay Vineyards
Newton Vineyard
Terrazas de los Andes

Tasting the Complete Wine Portfolio of Moet Hennessy is my GOAL.
It is a task I look forward to.
And I hope you do, as well!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


MANUAEL FARINA , one of the owner's of Spain's (TORO) family (Farina) owned vineyard, is a wonderful and happy gentleman who is blessed with a positive disposition and a personality that wins everyone over. I was happy to join Manuela at a focused tasting with several other notable journalists including Ed McCarthy (Wine for Dummies) and writer, legendary speech maker and Spanish travel and food authority, Gerry Dawes.

The event took place at Manhattan's 'Colicchio and Sons' and was hosted by Melanie Young Communications http://www.myoungcom.com/ and her staff. Melanie Young's agency is a leading New York-based public relations and wine related event agency with top clients from around the world.
BODEGAS FARINA fits into that catagory.

A little history lesson about BODEGAS FARINA:
++ Founded in 1942 by SALVADOR FARINA
++ The vineyard is located near the medieval city of TORO
++ The vineyard is near the banks of the famed DUERO River
++ BODEGAS FARINA is noted for scarce rainfall, stony soils and high altitude
++ The proximity to the DUERO River moderates the temperature of the vineyard
++ BODEGAS FARINA is run by MANUEL Farina with his sons, BERNARDO and MANUEL JR.
++ BERNARDO FARINA is the Winemaker
++ The TORO region was reognized as a D.O. in 1987
++ MANUEL FARINA is noted as the true pioneer and founding father for the TORO region
++ BODEGAS FARINA is considered a state-of-the-art winery
++ BODEGAS FARINA uses both stainless steel and French and American oak barrels
++ ALL wines are made with either TINTA de TORO (Tempranillo) or Malvasia

BODEGAS FARINA wines are distributed throughout the world and are leading values for wines that come from the D.O. TORO region.

The wines that we tasted were priced from $9.99 to $14.99 per bottle ( A true bargain!)

Upon arrival, we were treated with a DUEBA OLD VINES SPARKLING MALVASIA, followed by a 2009 DAMA de TORO MALVASIA. Both wines were somewhat dry and rich with flavor.

Our first course consisted of Spice-Roasted Lobster with cabbage and Bodegas Farina Red Wine Sauce. The lobster was paired with A 2009 PEROMATO and A 2009 DAMA de TORO TEMPRANILLO. This match was made in heaven, as the wines were both fruity and rich, pairing perfectly with the delicate lobster.

Our second course consited of White Bean Agnoltti with Chorizo, Pork Belly and Octopus. This complex dish was paired with two amazing wines, a 2008 DAMA de TORO BARREL-AGED TEMPRANILLO and a 2004 DAMA de TORO CRIANZA.

The main course was an incredible Lamb Loin with Marquez and Lentils. Chef Tom Colicchoio's restaurant is Rated as one of New York's Finest ( Top Ten). This dish is certainly one of the reasons. BODEGAS FARINA brought out their heavy-weight wine, the 2004 GRAN DAMA de TORO to pair with this labor intensive, creative entree. The wine was complex, well structured and pleasently elegent. It paired beautifully with this incrdible dish.

To top off the meal, Chef Colicchio served a Chocolate Expresso Tart with Blood Orange Sorbet, which was a perfect match for the VAL de REYES LATE HARVEST TEMPRANILLO that we were served.

BODEGAS FARINA'S Wines are wines of exceptional quality and value. They are a perfect match for both complex and simple food pairings.

MANUEL FARINA and the FARINA Family wines from TORO should be on your list as "MUST WINES TO PURCHASE".


Saturday, April 17, 2010

THE WINE HUB T-SHIRTS....A MUST BUY!!!!! by Philip S. Kampe

Consider wearing a WINE HUB T-Shirt.....
It is Amazing how many people ask, "Where do you purchase a T-Shirt like that".

I tell them...Go to www.thewinehub.com
On the Home Page, left hand side says PURCHASE...Press that Icon
Go to FUN STUFF TO BUY..Press that Icon
And then Hit T-SHIRTS

You are now IN!!

For $20 including shipping (U.S.) you can purchase either a Burgundy or Black T-Shirt (S-2XL)

There are two wine sayings on the back of each shirt, with The Wine Hub LOGO on the Front.
The choices are:



Th e T-Shirts are eye openers. Plus they show Support for The Wine Hub website.
They are only $20 for the US, including delivery.
Overseas add $10 per shirt for shipping.

I am in-charge of their distibution..


Sunday, April 11, 2010

CAVE SPRING CELLERS 2008..Canada's ANSWER to RIESLING...by Philip S. Kampe

As you know by now, I am a true sucker for Riesling wines from North America. The Finger Lakes "Dr. Frank" and "Wagner Vineyard wines" top the scale for me from wines on this side of the border.

Once you cross the border into Canada, the Niagara Peninsula boasts exceptional wines, highlighted by a well known (for good reason) vineyard that makes wines that delight the palate.
CAVE SPRING CELLERS (originally known as Cave Spring Vineyards) is one of Canada's most acclaimed wineries.

Named, by Europeon settlers in the 18th century, for the limestone caves and mineral springs on the property, Cave Spring Celllers location offers the perfect opportunity to grow and harvest the Riesling grape.

Nestled along the sloping Niagara Escarpment, overlooking Lake Ontario, Cave Spring's land is ripe for perfect cool-climate viticulture for growing grapes that display sophistication and character. The growing conditions are similar to those of Germany and France where the Riesling grape thrives.

The land is owned by the Pennachetti family and dates back to the 1920's when Giuseppe Pennachetti, a mason, emigrated from Fermo, Italy. After retirement, Giuseppe followed his hobby, winemaking. He was the inspiration for John Sr., his son, and grandson Leonard, who run the present day Cave Spring operations.

In 1973, John Sr. and Leonard (Len) acquired land on Niagara's Beamsville Bench. In 1978, they planted their first Riesling and Chardonnay vines. By 1983, Angelo Pavan partnered with the Pennachetti family and became their first and present day winemaker.

As Cave Spring has grown, the family has joined in to help. The company is primarily run by family members, including family links to the famous German vineyard, St. Urbans-Hof.

Winemaker Angelo Pavan sums up Cave Spring's wines and high standards he sets by saying: "The measure of a winemaker is not his ability to speak for great vineyards, but rather his faith in the idea that great vineyards can speak for themselves"

The four 2008 Rieslings I tasted (Thanks to Carol Sullivan) "speak for themselves".

...stainless steel fermentation..medium dry...limestone-clay soil..breezes from Lake Ontario..lush fruit...vibrant acidity...aromas of apple, peach, apricot...spice, grapefruit finish

....stainless steel fermentation...medium body...aromas of green apple, citrus...crisp...acidic..ripe..grapefruit overtones

....cool fermentation..stainless steel for three weeks..then left on lees for two months...strong aromas of anise, grapefruit and pear...dry...medium body....acidic...mineral...granny smith..anise..long finish

...old vines...cool fermentation..stainless steel for four weeks..left on lees for three months...complex...full body...past dry...mineral....acidic...nose of plum and fennel..taste of ripe fruit..long, spice finish

The wines from north of the border vie for Riesling domination in North America.
Cave Spring Celler wines are a true example of what 'terroir' means to wine and what Angelo Pavan is to winemaking!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

VODKA TASTING...The "BEST" Vodka in a Blind Tasting...Guess what Vodka WON??? by Philip S. Kampe

Did you know that there is a company called 'THE FIFTY BEST" http://www.thefiftybest.com/ , founded by William Rosenberg, that is solely dedicated to judging the Best, shall we say, In the Catagory of Spirits.

I was fortunate to have been on the guestlist to judge the Best Vodka, a bi-annual event, in a blind tasting. For me, this was a new experience, as spirits are a new world compared to the numerous adventures we have all had in the Wine World.

Words to describe vodka are familiar to those of us who know the wine lingo, inside and out. Smooth, spicy, sweet, hints of vanilla, white peppercorn, etc., all prevail.

Did you know that there are over 300 'Premium Vodkas available in the U.S. marketplace?
According to William Rosenberg william@thefiftybest.com , the new vodkas are " Sexy, Mysterious and Complex". (Sounds like my wife!!!!)

Did you know that three Billion liters of Vodka are sold worldwide?

Historians and rumor believe Vodka was invented in Poland in 1405. Vodka was transported to Russia and named by the Russians. Vodka, in Russian, means " Little Water". The original use of vodka was to combat the cold and help relieve life's hardships. I guess you could say that is also true today.

Prior to 1950, vodka was rarely consumed outside of Russia. Today, Vodka is now the dominant worldwide white spirits leader.

The tasting took place at Cipriani's, 55 Wall Street, in New York. 25 Vodkas were presented in this blind tasting. Each Vodka was 80 proof, all Imports and without flavoring. The judges consisted of bartenders, vodka afiicionados, bar owners and a few wine and spirits journalists.

Vodka was served at slightly above room temperature, in seperate flights. After nine flights, we were given light food and ample time to rest before consuming the next eight flights. Same story, a little food and rest and then the final eight flights. Within two hours, we had consumed 25 different vodkas.

The 25 Vodkas were judged on a 1 to 5 point scoring system. Five was the best. The totals were added up to determine a winner. Tasting notes were necessary to accurately describe each Vodka we tasted. To determine how to taste Vodka correctly, Rosenberg went over a few simple rules:
1) For tasting purposes, Vodka should be served at 'room temperature'.
2) Smell or nose the Vodka by swirling it in the glass.
3) Take a small sip and roll it around your tongue.
4) Draw a little air over the vodka to release it's flavors. Swallow and evaluate it's finish. 'Pure' Vodka should have no bite and feel smooth and pleasing on your palate without an aftertaste or burn.

What I learned from the tasting:
1) Premium vodkas have a personality, similar to wine without oak.
2) Vodka is complex.
3) Multiple distillation or circulation does not enhance the nuances of Vodka's flavors.
4) Vodka can be made from wheat, potaotos, corn, grapes or rye, just to name a few sources.
5) Aging Vodka does not improve flavor.


There was a Thee Way Tie for Number ONE:
ABSOLUTE (Sweden $22) Wheat based
FINLANDIA (Finland $22) Barley based with fresh spring water
RUS Bogorodskaya (Russia $22) Grain based, spring water

2) REYKA (Iceland $28) Wheat based, glacial water filtered through lava rocks

3) CIROC (France $32) Grape based, five times distilled

4) FRIS (Denmark $24) Wheat based, spring water, freeze-distilled six times

BELVEDERE ( Poland $35) Gold rye based, artesian well water-four distillations
EFFEN (Holland $33) Grain based, filtered through peat, not charcoal

6) PEARL ( Canada $20) Winter wheat based, Canadian Rocky Mountain water

7) ULTIMAT ( Poland $45) Wheat, rye and potato based, artisan well water, six times distilled

8) AKVINTA ( Croatia $40) Wheat based, Quintuple distillation (Birch charcoal, marble, silver, platinum), mountain spring water

GREY GOOSE ( France $30) Winter wheat based, spring water purified through champagne limestone
ICEBERG (Canada $20) Sweet corn based
SOBIESKI (Poland $12) Rye based, spring water, 8 times distilled

42 BELOW (New Zealand $22) Wheat based, spring water, four distillations
JEWEL OF RUSSIA one liter (Russia $38) Wheat and Rye based, Quadruple distilled, 5 dtep filtaration
WHAITE DIAMOND (Latvia $22) Ryae and Wheat based, 5 times distilled, 14 step mountain crystals filtration

KETTLE ONE (Holland $26) Wheat based
ORZEL (Poland $46) Grain based, 6 times distilled, quartz filtered
U'LUVKA (Poland $57) Rye, barley and wheat based, 3 times distilled

LUKSUSOWA (Poland $17) Potato based, artisan well water, distilled 3 times
STOLICHNAYA (Russia $24) Wheat and Rye based, glacial water, double distillation

13) VOX (Holland $28) Wheat based, 5 times distilled

14) CHOPIN (Poland $43) Potato based, distilled 4 times

Many of these results will AMAZE you. The household names, often pricey, were much lower on the list than expected.

When drinking Premium Vodka, "It's all ON the PALATE"!!

For complete analysis of each vodka in this blind tasting, go to:


One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries... TheWineHub exists to help you with that.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Top 10 players of our weekly wine quiz - March Edition

Congratulations to Mark Shipway and to the other top 10 players of the weekly wine quiz.
Great job!

1st - SHIPWAY MARK - 3800pts

2nd - COCHARD MARK - 3700pts

3rd - KINNAN DON - 3650pts

4th - BASSET FRANCIS - 3600pts

5th - MALAGRIFA PAUL - 3600pts

6th - BOULANGER RODOLPHE - 3600pts

7th - WELLS EVAN - 3550pts

8th - ROSS RICK - 3550pts

9th - MCNALLY NEIL - 3500pts

10th - CROSLEY JOE - 3500pts

To play our quizzes, please go to www.thewinehub.com and click on "Test you Knowledge"

How Hungarian Cabernet Franc Changed My Life by Philip S. Kampe

My Dad was known to his friends as ‘Cab Franc.’ You see, his name was really Joseph and all of his social time with visiting frien...