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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NAVARRA...DIVERSE WINES at REASONABLE PRICES by Philip S. Kampe

At a recent wine tasting, complete with regional music and food from the NAVARRA region of northern SPAIN and a simulated 'RUNNING OF THE BULLS' experience, I discovered a new found love for WINES from this region.

The diverse geography of the mountainous region of NAVARRA extends from the PYRENEES Mountains to the EBRO Basin, located on the edge of the RIOJO Baja. The climate is influenced by both the MEDITERRANEAN Sea and the ADRIATIC Ocean. The Pyrenees mountains help to protect the area from France's MISTRAL winds.

Wine making in the NAVARRA region has existed since the ROMAN Occupation. Navarra was conquered by CHARLEMAGNE in the Eighth century and shortly afterwards became a KINGDOM, with it's own Civil Rights. During the CRUSADES, of the Middle Ages, PILGRIMS passed through Navarra along "THE WAY of SAINT JAMES".

With them came the French MONKS, who established vineyards throughout the area.

Today, Navarra combines INDIGINOUS grapes with CONTINENTAL Varieties to offer a wide range of high-quality wines. Red wines often combine TEMPRANILLO and GARNACHA with CABERNET SAUVIGNON and MERLOT. CHARDONNAY is commonly used for white wines and 'Free-Run ROSSADO', light strawberry in color, represents the roses, often made with CABERNET SAUVIGNON.

NAVARRA'S most fertile soil is rich in ALLUVIAL SILT and is south of PAMPLONA (remember the Running of the Bulls), between the cities of PUENTE la REINA, SANGUESA and TUDELA.

NAVARRA has 32,800 acres, which are divided into five zones for winemaking.

RIBERA ALTA forms the Heart of Navarra and is the largest winemaking region.. Sandy soil with limestone dominate the vineyards, which produce 35% of the regions wines.

RIBERA BAJA, the southern most area in Navarra produces 29% of the regions production.

Limestone and gravel are present in roses favorite region, BAJA MONTANA, which produces 13% of Navarras' wines.

16% of production takes place in TIERRA ESTRELLA, while 7% of production is located in north central Navarra, in the VALDIZARBE region. Both areas have chalky soil with a reddish-grey tint.

WHITE grape varieties from Navarra include: VIURA; CHARDONNAY; WHITE GARNACHA; MALVASIA; MUSCAT de GRAN MENUDO and SAUVIGNON BLANC.

RED grapes include: CABERNET SAUVIGNON; MERLOT; PINOT NOIR; SYRAH; GRACIANO; TEMPRANILLO; GARNACHA and CARIGNAN (Mazuelo).

SPECIAL VINEYARDS produce OUTSTANDING Wines from NAVARRA.

LOOK for wines from any of these VINEYARDS and you will EXPERIENCE Navarra Wines at their PEAK. Most retail prices range from under $10 a bottle up to $39.

My FAVORITE Vineyards include:
Bodegas AZUL y GARANZA
Bodegas ARTAJONA
Bodegas CAMILO CASTILLA
Bodegas CASTILLO de MONJARDIN
Bodegas CHIVITE
Bodegas ENANZO
Bodegas INUERRIETA
Bodegas ONDARRE
Bodegas ORVALAIZ
Bodegas PAGO de CIRSUS
Bodegas PRINCIPE de VIANA y ALBRET
Bodegas 1877 SPANISH WINE DEALERS
SENORIO de OTAZU

Many of these wines can be found at your local wine shop or on the internet.
Just ask for WINES FROM NAVARRA.
Most wines are COMPLEX, some dry, some with upfront fruit and soft on the palate with a long, flavorful finish. Dollar for dollar, the Wines from Navarra are a BARGAIN....

To learn more about NAVARRA, visit:
www.NavarraWine.com or http://www.camaranavarra.com/

PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ROYAL WINE hosts the 5th Annual "KOSHER WINE and FOOD EXPERIENCE" on February 22nd at Chelsea Piers in New York by Philip S. Kampe

It's that time again...to EXPERIENCE New York's 'PREMIER KOSHER' Wine and Food Event, which takes place at 6:30pm on February 22nd at Chelsea Piers (Pier 60) in New York City.

Last year's attendance of over 1,500 guests PROVED that the events' host, The ROYAL WINE Company, know how to throw a BIG party. The ROYAL WINE Company, owned and operated by the HERZOG Family, trace their wine making roots (1848) back to Czechoslavakia. ROYAL WINE supplied wine for Austro-Hungarian Emporor, FRANZ JOSEPH. Phillip Herzog was made a BARON because of his service to the Emporor.

At the KOSHER WINE and FOOD ECPERIENCE, The ROYAL WINE Company will offer over 300 wines from around the world to sample. Wines include: HERZOG, YATIR, CASTEL, CAPCANES, ELVI and GOOSE BAY. In addition, The Royal Wine Company will be launching some new wines.including the HERZOG Special Editon 'CLARK HILL WARNECKE VINEYARD 2008 and the OAK KNOLL Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, plus a new line of GAMLA RESERVES.

Add food from Celeberity Chefs and Cookbook authors, JEFF NATHAN, SUZY FISHBEIN, JAMIE GELLER, LEVANA KIRSCHENBAUM and JOAN NATHAN to the 300 wines and you have a WINE and FOOD Party.

WHEN: FEBRUARY 22nd (Tuesday) at 6:30pm
WHERE: Pier 60 at CHELSEA PIERS
TICKET INFORMATION: http://www.kfwe2011.com/

PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

Friday, February 11, 2011

VALENTINE'S DAY...WHAT SHOULD I SERVE to my SWEETHEART on VALENTINE'S DAY?...by Philip S. Kampe

On New Year's Week, we hosted a special 'RING IN THE NEW YEAR' Party for many of my numerous friends in the wine industry. Many wine shop owners from the New York metro area attended, as well as some from Massachusetts.

My dilema? What can I possibly serve for the evening when all of our guests know more about wine than I do. Remember, they are all in the wine business and live wine day by day. Should I serve a variety of the top wines to them, including Brunello, Barolo, Amarone, Bordeaux Blends or white Burgundies?

Whoever knows me, knows that I like to live on the edge...And I usually have answers and solutions for most situations. But, in this case, I was really LOST!!

After some brain storming with a few wine and spirit PR friends, the obvious (not for me) SOLUTION presented itself.

WHY NOT SERVE THEM CHAMPAGNE FOR THE WHOLE EVENING?
So, we did...

But, not just one type....

From my earlier posts, you should remember how much I like NICOLAS FEUILLATTE and his entire portfolio of Champagnes. Keeping in-mind that I am originally from New Orleans , it was obvious that I was going to serve all of the food groups that pair perfectly with Champagne: oysters, salmon, shrimp, lobsters, mussels and goat cheese. Not to mention desserts like lemon tart, strawberries and raspberries.

I chose the following NICOLAS FEUILLATTE Champagnes for the evening:

VINTAGE BRUT Blanc de Blanc
BRUT ROSE

VINTAGE CUVEE SPECIALE
BRUT RESERVE PARTICULUERE

CUVEE 225 VINTAGE
PALMES d'OR

Needless to say, the Party was a HIT!
I was a HERO to the wine merchants because I found a SOLUTION to my dilema.

The moral of the story: ALWAYS SERVE CHAMPAGNE WHEN IN DOUBT!!

I prefer NICOLAS FEUILLATTE for the obvious reason. QUALITY at a fair PRICE.

I guess you know what I will serve to my wife on VALENTINE'S DAY?

PLEASE take CUPID'S hint:
PURCHASE a bottle of NICOLAS FEUILLATTE Champagne for your VALENTINE.
FEBRUARY 14th only comes once a year...

PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CHABLIS...Day 4...the last day of Vineyard Visits by Philip S. Kampe

CHABLIS is HEAVEN!

The French are wonderful people, smart, loving, cheerful and optomisitic.

My last day's journey brought me to several vineyards:

DOMAINE de la MEULIERE

DOMAINE BROCARD

LA CHABLISIENNE

CHATEAU de BERU

Each vineyard is a story on it's own. The universal thread between each vineyard is the love and respect for the 'TERROIR', or SOIL in the Chablis World. Another common thread is the real passion for winemaking that unites all of the vineyards. Whether production is 30,000 bottles or well over a million, the philosophy of the vineyard is the same.

RESPECT the SOIL.

PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinbehub.com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CHABLIS....WHITE BURGUNDIES TRUE EXPRESSION....Day 3 by Philip S. kampe

CHABLIS, I was told by DANIEL-ETIENNE DEFAIX of Chablis Defaix is defined by his mentor, his Grandfather, as, "THE WINE THAT IS IN-BETWEEN THE SKY AND THE SOIL". After spending several hours with Daniel-Etienne Defaix and sampling his complete Chablis Portfolio, I must agree.

My CHABLIS journey began early with a wonderful regional French breakfast at my hotel, HOSTELLERIE LES CLOS (highly recommended) on Rue Jules Rathier in Chablis http://www.hostellerie-des-clos.fr/ .

My schedule read like a book:

9a.m.
Visit and tasting at Maison LAROCHE http://www.larochewines.com/ . I was met by Winemaker DENIS de la BOURDONNAYE and was given a tour of the XIII century wine making facility. The LAROCHE Family has been making and producing Chablis since 1850. Their headquarters, once an abbey, houses a wooden screw type wine press from the 1300's, which is still in use, thanks to 5th genertion Michael Larouche's restoration skills. The LAROCHE family vineyards occupy over 250 acres, home to their award winning Chablis portfolio.

10:30am
Visit and tasting at Domaine Daniel-Etienne DEFAIX http://www.chablisfaix.com/ . Daniel-Etienne DEFAIX is credited with establishing wine-tourism in the town of Chablis. Twenty-five years ago he established the first vineyard driven retail shop in the center of Chablis, which promotes the wines from his vineyard. The following year, twenty other vineyards followed his idea and opened shops in chablis, thus creating a center for wine-tourism. Daniel or Etienne, as he likes to be called, follows his family's 18th century winemaking philiosophy.

12:30pm
Lunch at Restaurant Au Vrai Chablis with three other British journalists. We exchanged stories while eating local cuisine--Coq au Vin, paired with a Chablis Premier Crus.

2:00pm
Discovery of vineyards in 2CV...the heart of Chablis with ERIC SZABLOWSKI http://www.aucoeurduvin.com/ . Eric is one of those special types of people who stands out in a crowd. His wine knowledge and love of the terroir is mind shattering. We waundered through the vineyards, rock by rock. Eric explained that the SOIL is what Chablis is all about. This was the common thread amongst today's visit with the winemakers. If the soil is healthy, the wine will be healthy. Limestone, with fossils and oyster shells make the wine what it is today. We visited several plots, learned about the subsoil and vineyard history a la Eric's incredible details. We entered Eric's World for the journey, a 1981 2CV CITROEN, and drove with windows open and the top down to Eric's favorite vineyard, FEVRE, for a wine tasting.

3:00pm
Visit and tasting at Domaine Gilles et Nathalie FEVRE http://www.nathalieetgillesfevre.com/ . The FEVRE family began several centuries ago in the heart of Chablis producing eceptional wines. Today, Gilles is in charge of the vineyards and Nathalie takes care of the winery. The cellar is composed of small thrmo-regulated stainless steel tanks in order to vinify each parcel seperately.

4:30pm
Visit and tasting at Domaine Jean-Francois BERSAN http://www.domainebersan.com/ . Jean-Francois BERSAN is a lucky man. His wine cellar is from the XII th century. It is like an underground city that leads to six kilometers of tunnels, once used to hide from enemies, centuries ago. Today it is a wine cellar, complete with several thousand year old marble wine crushing stations. The labyrinthine houses Sean-Fancois's Saint-Bris grape varieties. Like father, like son, Pierre-Louis is following in his father's footsteps and will soon be the 25th generation wine maker in the BERSAN family.

8:45pm
Dinner at Le Bistrot des Grands Crus with Chablis Commission Vice President, Jean-Francois BORDET and Celine BOCARD-Gueguen of Jean-Marc BROCARD.

As you can see, Day 3 was an overly busy day.
More to follow on each vineyard and wine tasting in day's to come.

CHABLIS RULES!!

PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

Monday, February 7, 2011

THE SAINT-VINCENT FESTIVAL IN CHABLIS....DAY 2 by Philip S. Kampe

Like New Orleans at Mardi Gras, the town of CHABLS came alive for the Patron Saint of Winegrowers, SAINT-VINCENT Festival.

The Festival took place in the town of Chablis. The Festival moves from town to town, yearly. Chablis last hosted the event in 1999. Preperation took place months in advance.

The town was dressed up. Flags, flowers, and everything imaginable, wine and grape related covered the streets and buildings. It was a feast for the eyes.

The day started at 9am at St. Martin Church. The two hour mass included offerings to SAINT-VINCENT, festive songs and sharing of local bread from man's bounty.

Afterwards, a procession began with the carrying of Saint-Vincent through the streets. Each wine appellation carried their flag with their version of Saint-Vincent through the town. A band played and marshalls dressed in the traditional yellow and green robes marched through the streets.

The town of Chablis was alive!

The processional ended and speeches in honor of Saint-Vincent began. At noon the speeches ended and the party began. The sidewalks were alive with Chablis flowing. Vendors sold oysters and escargot to accompany your glass of Chablis. A one time charge of 5 euros secured a glass that could be refilled all day at the festival.

I managed to find a huge tent that served Chablis and food with musical entertainment. I found a seat at a table, ordered oysters and paid homage to Saint-Vincent., glass by glass.
PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tasting Note of the Day - Ca'Nova Ghemme DOCG 2004

This Nebbiolo-based wine from the "Alto Piemonte" in Italy has a brilliant ruby red color, with a complex bouquet of dried berries, violets and spices. This wine can be described as "Intense & Powerful" but, by being totally dry, well balanced, with a refreshing acidity and "only" 13.5% alcohol; it delivers a sensation of elegance with every sip. 
Plenty of red berries, cherries and spices with hints of tobacco. The tannins are very present on the palate, but they are pretty mellow, giving a firm structure to the ripe fruit of the wine. The finish is pleasant and long. It is good to drink now (with some light aeration - even less than one hour in a decanter should be enough), but it will develop even more complexity in the bottle for years to come. You can certainly lay it down in the cellar for a few more years. 
This full-bodied red wine had enough intensity of flavors and paired really well with the juicy rib eye steak I had last night.
 You can buy this wine in the United States at the EdM store: http://bit.ly/i5EmGV

To know more about the winery:

http://www.thewinehub.com/
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.

BURGUNDY...Day 1 DOMAINE des TEMPS PERDUS--Clotilde DAVENNE by Philip S. Kampe

After arriving in PARIS at 6am on 5 February, I was picked up by Taxi and driven to the Paris Bercy Train Station, where I was met by CHABLIS WINE COMMISSION represenative and FLEISHMAN-HILLARD PARIS contact, ISABELLE GILQUIN. I was briefed and caught my train to AUXERRE.

Auxerre is a lovely town, west of Chablis (my final destination). I was picked up by Taxi and rushed for my first meal in Burgundy. Lunch was at the one fork restaurant, La P'TITE BEURSAUDE.

My 3 STAR lunch started with a glass of Chablis and a dozen escargots. Heaven in a shell.
Fois gras followed with a local red wine from Irancy.
Already full and happy, a cheese plate of six local cheeses was dropped off at my table.
What a great beginning to a trip to Burgndy.

After lunch, I met my taxi driver, who drove me to meet with the winemaker and owner of LES TEMPS PERDUS--Clotilde Davenne.

I sampled all of her wines and found all of them to be perfect represenatives of the Burgundien style. Acidic, minerality and finesse driven.
The wines I sampled included:
SAINT BRIS
SAINT-BRIS VICILLES VIGNES
BOURGOGNE ALIGOTE
BOURGOGNE BLANC
PETIT CHABLIS
CHABLIS
CHABLIS 1er CRU
CHABLIS 1er CRU MONTMAINS
CHABLIS GRAND CRU
IRANCY
BOURGOGNE COTES d'AUXERRE
CREMANT de BOURGOGNE

The high quality of these wines were unbelievable. Fortunately, they are distributed in the states and are readily available...

Day 2 has not yet begun.

SAINT-VINCENT is the Patron Saint of the Winegrowers.. The town of CHABLIS hosts the Festival, which I will attend on Sunday.
Parades, barrel tasting, and processions should set the mood...
The adventure continues..

PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinehub.com

Thursday, February 3, 2011

WINE MEDIA GUILD...A Professional Wine Writer's Group Visits UMBRIA by Philip S. kampe

IMAGINE sitting near ED McCARTHEY, co-author of WINE FOR DUMMIES and across from CHARLES SCICOLONE, ex-Wine Director of I TRULLI and ENOTECA.

FELIDIA'S (143 East 58th) is the monthly meeting place for the 35 members of the WINE MEDIA GUILD, who are true wine media professionals. Each nominee for this organization must meet special requirements and must be Voted In by memebers to become a part of this prestigious society.

To become a member, your income must be earned from writing about wine.

Nominees cannot earn their income from another job. Articles must be published in print, which is a far cry from today's new batch of bloggers. Only print articles are reviewed by members .
PAT SAVOIE , co-chair of the Wime Media Guild said "Our members must write and be paid for the articles they write. So, BLOGS don't count".

CHIARA LUNGAROTTI from Cantine Giorgio Lungarotti (Perugia, Umbria) and CHARLES SCICOLONE were hosts for this all Umbrian afternoon. NINETEEN Wines from all parts of Umbria flowed during the pre-meal tasting and later were poured at each table.

My favorites included:
WHITES
CANTINA FANINI--ROBBIANO 2009 Chardonnay ($22)
LUNGAROTTI--2009 Pinot Grigio ($15)
CANTINE PEPPUCCI--2009 MONTORSOLO Grechetto ($12)

REDS
LUNGAROTTI--RUBESCO 2007 ($15)
SPORTOLETTI--VILLA FIDELIA 2006 ROSSO ($38)
LUNGAROTTI--ROSSO MONTEFALCO 2008 ($28)
LA PALAZZOLA--RUBINO della PALAZZOLA 2005 ($50)

The food at FELIDIA'S was outstanding. Courses included a soup of warm tomato puree topped with mozzarella and basil; pasta with duck in a red sauce and veal with lentils.

The food paired perfectly with the wines.

The WINE MEDIA GUILD is a group of Wine professionals that know how to eat and drink well.
My hat goes off to them.....and all of the Wine Professionals who Write in Print!!

PHILIP S. KAMPE

philip.kampe@thewinehub.com