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Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Restaurant Worth Writng About--the Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn (Park Slope) by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley


It doesn't take much, seafood wise, to make me happy. Growing up in New Orleans and enjoying shrimp, oysters, crabs, crayfish, oysters and whatever the Gulf of Mexico and the bayous had to offer made my core existence 'seafood oriented' and far from meat--except for the rare cannibal burger from Camilla Grill (uptown New Orleans) and Bud's Broiler's famous grilled BBQ burger.
There are over '30' selections of fresh oysters at the Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn

The New Orleans experience has taken me to corners of the world where seafood is cherished. I must admit, going to the newly opened 'Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn' in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn does not mentally compare with dining on seafood at the Isle of Capri's (Italy) premier restaurant, La Capannina.
What I quickly learned was that the seafood at the Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn was as fresh and tasty as any seafood I have tasted anywhere in the world, including the Isle of Capri. Maria Reveley, my writing partner, photographer and wife joined me for this seafood excursion to Park Slope. The reason we came to the Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn was for both curiosity and  for the fresh 'Crayfish Boil', a Wednesday night special.                                                                                                                                                    
          

        Oysters for kids, 12 and under, are on the menu for 25 cents each (No sharing allowed)

Proprietor Jonathon Young explained that the 25 cent Bluepoint oysters are popular with the kids when they visit the restaurant with their parents. He explained that last week, a four year old, ate two dozen oysters in record time. It brings back pleasant memories of my early days in New Orleans, where my parents claimed that I ate ten pounds of crayfish in less than thirty minutes. I was eight years old.

Mr. Young, a happy and hard working entrepreneur, explained that the restaurant is nearly complete. There are a  few details to complete before the launch. He explained that the restaurant is like a Broadway play, the Previews are ending and the Opening Night is within sight.
As a customer, the restaurant looked complete to me--great ambiance--terrific waitstaff--knowledgeable--a complete wine list that matches perfectly with seafood--and a beer line-up, both draft and in bottles that has few holes (add an IPA and Abita from New Orleans to the line-up).

The menu is extensive, with highlights of Shrimp Etouffee, a crayfish boil on Wednesdays, crab cakes to die for, Happy Hour specials and a menu with over 57 selections (I counted them), 18 oyster choices plus little neck and cherrystone clams.



                                               
                        The Best Lump Crabcake Appetizer in New York ($12.95)

                                                 
                                Fresh Ipswich Clams that were amazing ($15.95)



                                                                        
Wednesday nights during crayfish season features a 'Crayfish Boil' with corn on the cobb, fingerling potatoes and cole slaw  ($18.95)



I have not been to a seafood restaurant that I enjoyed as much as the 'Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn' in a very long time. I came because I heard about the crayfish and knew that fresh crayfish are hard to find in New York. The trip from mid-town Manhattan on the subway (D line is best) took less than twenty minutes.
I encourage you to take the trip and try what I consider New York's 'Freshest and Best Seafood Restaurant'.

You can find the 'Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn' online at: www.OysterBarBrooklyn.com
The restaurant is located at 256 Fifth Avenue (Park Slope) Brooklyn.
Call (347) 294-0596

Open noon-10pm daily
Happy Hour 5-7pm Everyday


                                                 
                                      The main dining room seats 125 patrons



                                                                
                                                   The open air kitchen


                                                               
                                       The bar area, home of $1 Happy Hour oysters


                                                                    
                                                  Happy Hour Specials



The beer list includes on Tap: Angry Orchard Cider,Brooklyn Summer Ale, Lelso 'Nut Brown', Bluepoint 'Hoptical Illusion'. Lagunitas 'Czech Style Pilzner', Anchor Steam, Narragansett Lager, Stella Artois, Bronx Pale Ale and Porterhouse 'Oyster Stout'.

The wine list is extensive 62 wines) , featuring Sparkling wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and various other wines, including Roses and a few Sake offerings.


Philip S. Kampe
Maria Reveley
Philip.Kampe@TheWineHub.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrate EARTH DAY Today, April 22nd by Philip S. Kampe



This is just a reminder to Thank the Earth for all it has given us in our lifetime.
I could add a Million more photos, but, you get the idea.


Philip S. Kampe
Philip.Kampe@TheWineHub.com


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why not Celebrate 'Earth Day', April 22nd, with the only Organic Prosecco on this Earth-- Mionetto? by Philip S. Kampe


Nothing says it's time to Celebrate Earth Day more than a toast with Mionetto Organic Prosecco D.O.C. Treviso. I am told that the Mionetto Organic Prosecco is the only Organic Prosecco in the market. In fact, the bottles lettering is in green, highlighting their devotion to the organic movement.

The demand for organic products has grown throughout the years, first food, then wine. A sustainable and organic wine importer, Jenny & Francois,  has grown from a few tables of offerings five years ago to an importer with close to two hundred selections in 2014.

The consumer market is ripe for organic wine offerings. And at under $14 a bottle, the Mionetti Organic Prosecco is an obvious choice for Earth Day on April 22nd, as well as the rest of the year.

My taste buds found the Prosecco to be a bit drier than usual, a big plus for me. No rough edges, clean with highlights of green apple, which dominates, followed by hints of pear and peach. Medium mousse, the beads, remained intact, while the aromatics engaged my senses with green apple, honey and citrus. The Prosecco was well balanced, medium bodied with a lingering finish. It is an obvious food wine.

The Glera grapes are from an organic winery in the town of Vazzola, in the hills of Treviso. The winery practices organic farming techniques and grows the grapes without synthetic chemicals and fertilizers. The Glera grapes are certified Organic.

I stumbled upon a bottle of Mionetto Organic Prosecco at one of my favorite wine merchants and thought that if it were Organic, why not sample it before Earth Day to see if it was worthwhile for my readers to consider on April 22nd.

The result is an astounding 'Yes'.

Philip S. Kampe
Philip.Kampe@TheWineHub.com


                                                          Philip S. Kampe
                                                    

Saturday, April 19, 2014

One Night In Argentina--CAMBALACHE--Visits Brooklyn on Malbec World Day by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley


CAMBALACHE is a word that is used to describe something that is totally chaotic, haphazard, something that is filled with contrast and is above all exciting. In this case, the word CAMBALACHE represents the heart and soul of Argentina.
Argentina is a large country with many wide open spaces. Argentina is more than Buenos Aires, wine and grass-fed beef. Argentina is also wide open plains where the Gauchos rule the way their fathers ruled before them.
Tradition is what Argentina is all about.
At Malbec World Day we met a few gauchos who shared their life experience with us, as well as sharing Argentina's national hot drink, mate, made with hot water and dried yerba leaves. The people of Argentina drink yerba all day long, often carrying thermos bottles of hot water to pour on top of dried yerba leaves. Mate is a national epidemic.

MALBEC WORLD DAY takes place in April each year and is celebrated world wide, especially where Malbec wine is sold.
The event brings ARGENTINA to you.
In my case Argentina came to Brooklyn and transformed an event space into multiple Argentine experiences.
Street food of empanadas, meat and vegetable filled were sampled, as well as individual BBQ sandwiches of either chorizo or tenderloin steak with chimichurri sauce.
The food was made by the staff of SUR (Lexington Avenue near 55th street), an Argentine food shop in Manhattan.

                                 Street art-a masterpiece painted in under an hour.
The street art of Argentina was painted before my eyes by three Argentine 'cult' grafitti street arttists: Cebaio Stencil, Roma and Tec. Within an hour a blank canvas was transformed into this masterpiece.

                                       Fifteen minutes into street art painting.

Argentina is also known for Tango and the music that accompanies it. Young people have started Nuevo Tango during the past twenty years, a somewhat different style of Tango that is a bit more modern. Malbec World Day featured young dancers from New York's, Strictly Tango. The dancers offered their services to teach Tango to anyone in the audience.  Of course, older Tango specialist, Henry Weingarten (see photo below) took advantage and showed the youngsters his moves in the modern day Milonga ( a place to dance Tango) that was set-up for the event.



Henry Weingarten and an unidentified female Tango enthusiast brought the house down with their spectacular dancing style and fancy footwork.

Argentina is known for wine, especially Malbec. The evening featured 26 Bodega tables set-up with all of the wines from Argentina.Wine is part of the Argentine culture and has played a role in everything the Argentines do, from the family asado to a night at the milonga.
Wine is a symbol of unity, friendship and of course, fun.


Twenty six Bodega tables of wine were set-up, pouring well over 200 wines from all regions of Argentina. The wines covered the 1242 miles of vineyards from north to south in Argentina, which translates to wines from Salta in the north to Patagonia in the south.



The wineries that participated in Malbec World Day included: Achaval Ferrer, Alamos, Escorihuela Gascon, Argento, Caro, Del Fin Del Mundo, Dominio Del Plata, Familia Schroeder,
Familia Zuccardi, Finca El Origen, Funckenhausen Vineyards, Graffigna, Los Haroldos, Luigi Bosca, Michel Torino Estate, Monteviejo, Kaiken, Norton, Pascual Toso, Salentein, Trapiche, Trivento, Valentin Bianchi, Vicentin and Zorzal Wines.

In fact, Argentina is such a focused wine country, a music and wine tasting seminar, led by Professors Barry Smith and Charles Spence, the leading British authorities on the philosophy of sensory exploration, captivated the attendees of the thirty minute hands-on seminar. As a participant, I was led on a sensory journey from the tip of my tongue to my nose and my ears--all sources of our complex sensory system. Your senses are all about sounds, smells and sights. And all of us are different--which makes the perception of one person to another often debatable.

           Professor Charles Spence leading a Wine & Music Tasting Seminar
In a separate area where the street art was being painted, the vibes of the evening were masterfully mixed by Buenos Aires native and now Brooklyn based, DJ Uproot Andy. Most visitors to this area listened to themusic while eating empanadas and chowing down on sandwiches from SUR, while clutching a bottle of  Quilmes beer, an Argentine favorite.

James Bracken, author of Argentine slang book, 'Che Boludo'

If you chose to escape the DJ and the music you may have ended up listening to the fascinating and charismatic James Bracken, motivational speaker of  'lunfardo', better known as street slang. James illustrated through hand and face gestures what the common Argentinean faces day to day in their bustling country. There is a language, through hand, face and verbal gestures that is the backbone to Argentine life. This language is universal, yet, more rooted in Argentine society than most others.
His seminar was aptly titled, 'Speaking Like An Argentine'.
If wine wasn't enough for your palate, Malbec House, in NYC, created signature cocktails for the evening that were made from a wine base, either Sauvignon Blanc or Bonardo, mixed with exotic fruit. The younger palate in wine making countries often prefer cocktails rather than wine. This new trend has taken off and Malbec House has captured the flavors they are looking for.

Of course, all evenings must come to an end--in this case, on a sweet note.
The evening ended, for me, with a hand made ice cream cup from CONES, an Argentine ice cream parlour at Cambalache, that specializes in 'Mate ' and 'Dulce de Leche' ice cream. You can find CONES in NYC. They are the only producers of Argentine ice cream in the Big Apple

CAMBALACHE means a lot more to me than when I entered the door at MALBEC World Day, five hours before.
 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If you want to learn about Argentine wines and events, visit www.WinesOfArgentina.com
If you want to visit Argentina and Cambalache, feel free to contact Ines Segarra at Argentine Tourism: isegarra@argentine.travel
If you have interest in personal wine trips to Argentina, contact Nora Favelukas at: www.qwwineexperts.com


Philip S. Kampe
Maria Reveley
Philip.Kampe@TheWineHub.com




                                        Nora Favekukes and your author


                               As you can see, I really enjoyed CAMBALACHE 2014











Thursday, April 17, 2014

The World Celebrates Argentina and the Malbec Grape by Philip S. Kampe



                                                       The square in Mendoza

Today, April 17th is WORLD DAY MALBEC.
It is a time to celebrate this great grape--the grape that has put Argentina on the map.

This article covers my journey to Argentina in September, a time when the harvest was six months away.
I hope, one day, yo visit Argentina during the harvest, which takes place in March, the time a wine and travel writer can experience, first-hand what a harvest and the celebrations involved in Argentina is all about.

It has been over 500 years since the first vines were planted in northern Argentina, specifically, the area near and around Mendoza.  The wine industry had been slowly developing and not until recently were the wines of Argentina well known internationally.

The history of Argentine wine making starts with the arrival of Italian, French and Spanish immigrants in the 19th century. Intertwined within this group were winemakers, by trade, who carried international and indigenous varieties with them during their long, agonizing journey to Argentina.
This group replaced the Jesuits ‘Criollo wines’ with noble varietals, like merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Consumption was only domestic for many years until, like magic, the Argentinean wine trade took off in the early 2000’s, due mainly to the economic crash.

There are a number of obvious reasons for the quick spurt of growth, as well: Quality improved, exports increased while local consumption fell, controlled irrigation was established and variations in altitude enabled varieties to be planted at their correct height, favoring slopes at the 3,500 to 6,100 foot range.
In the Mendoza region water is piped in from the melting snow of the Andes.

Mendoza is known for Malbec and Malbec only.

The truth is, many winemakers are making expressive wines and blends focusing on the Bonardo, Tempranillo, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
Regarding daily high and low temperatures for the vineyards, Mendoza has a distinct advantage. Warm days encourage sugar production and help the grapes develop a nice, thick skin. Cool nights help create high acidity levels.

Today, the winemakers are improving quality by producing fewer grapes per hectare with higher quality characteristics. Add oak barrels for aging and plantings of noble varieties to the game plan and you have a top quality wine.

You can’t talk about the wines of Argentina without noting that the price-to-quality ratio is amazingly low for the consumer.

The economic crash in 2001 turned, once non-competitive wines, into overly competitive wines overnight.
Prices plummeted as quality improved. Argentina was a key player on the world stage, after nearly 500 years of heartaches.

With the economic problems the United States is facing, many Americans are modifying their lifestyles, including the kind of wine they drink and where they travel for vacation.

For those of us who love viticulture and trips abroad, Argentina’s Mendoza region is the answer.
Mendoza, set against the foothills of the Andes mountains is a beautiful town that is visually Spanish oriented versus the European flair that Buenos Aires presents.

The town gathering place is the Plaza Independencia, where craft sellers stalls highlight silver jewelry, leather goods and gourds for the herbal drink yerba mate.
Street performers stage shows and lovers kiss on the benches.

On one side of the square is the elegant Park Hyatt, while the other side of the main square is Sacrimento, where the smell of meat grilling, outdoor cafes and urban outfitters prepare for customers who want to hike and river raft the nearby towering peak of Aconcagua.
Inside the Park Hyatt, you can start your introduction of Argentinean wines at the Vines of Mendoza tasting room, where flights from over 125 wines from the region are offered.

Malbec thrives in Mendoza.

Malbec was brought to Argentina from France, where it was used mainly as a blending grape. Mendoza is blessed with over 300 days a year of sunlight. Add hot days and cool nights to the theory and you have the perfect growing conditions for Malbec.

Malbec is planted at high altitudes, ensuring thick skin development, deep colors and rich and robust flavors.
Malbec wines are usually full-bodied, due in part to the tannins. Tannic wines are generally paired with fattier cuts of meat, like the ones in Argentina.

In fact, growth of Argentinean wine exports to the U.S. grew 23% last year, with sales of 6.9 million cases, creating $271 million dollars in revenue.
                                                       The Andes

If you haven’t experienced ‘Malbec’ wines from Argentina, this is the time to start.

There are over 500,000 acres of vineyards in Argentina, of which over 75,000 acres are planted with the Malbec grape, followed by, possibly the next breakthrough grape, Bonarda (50,000 acres).  Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 40,000 acres.

The flagship white grape is Torrontes, grown specifically in the Salta region, followed by Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Grigio.

Wines made with the Torrontes grape stand out from the pack due to their fragrant aromatics, orange blossoms characteristics and the dry, full tropical fruit flavor on the palate, somewhat like an Alsatian Muscat.

Of the over 1400 wineries in Argentina, 1200 are in Mendoza. Europeans have invested their money in the Mendoza region as well as the emerging region of Patagonia, where numerous state-of-the-art technology wineries exist.

I have numerous recommendations of wineries that export great wines internationally.
If you can’t make it to Argentina, the next greatest pleasure is opening a bottle of Argentine wine at home or in a restaurant.

I have limited my favorite vineyards to make it easier for you to find these wines from the three major wine regions of Argentina: Salta, Mendoza and Patagonia.
                                           A 'rare' September snow in Mendoza
 SALTA:
El Porvenir de Cafeyate; San Pedro de Yaccochuya; Amalaya; Colone and Bodega dal Desierto

MENDOZA:
Caligore; Don Cristobal; Ruca Malen; Norton & Callia; Viicentin, Finca Don Martino; Don Cristobal; The Argento Wine Company; Familia Blanco Wines; Finca Las Moras; Finca Flichman; Navarro Correas; Mendel; Melipal; Ricomminciare Bodega de Familia, Angulo Innocenti; Alta Vista; Rutini; Hacienda del Plata; Nieto Senetiner; Altocedro; Finca El Origen; Cruzat; TintoNegro & Manos Negras; O. Fournier; Domaine Bousquet; Rafty; Clos de los Siete; Masi Tupungato; Finca La Cella; Alpasion; Huarpe Wines; Finca Decero; Pascual Toso; Proemio Wines and Trapiche.

PATAGONIA:
Familia Schroeder; Humberto Canale; Noemia; Bodega Patritti; NQN and Bodega del Fin del Mundo.

Argentina is an amazing destination for the true #Winelover.

The staff from the Wines of Argentina coupled with Nora and Kendra from QW Wine Experts ( www.qwwineexperts.com) helped make my trip to Argentina the most memorable wine journey of my life.
If you have interest about a visit to Argentina on your own, please contact the staff at Wines of Argentina. I am sure that all inquiries about the wine possibilities in Argentina can be answered by the loving staff from the ‘Wines of Argentina’.

With questions, contact either Soledad Juncosa, Hospitality Manager for the Wines of Argentina at: sjuncosa@winesofargentina.com or Sofia Brazzolotto, Hospitality Assistant at: sbrazzolotto@winesofargentina.com

Travel and Tourism questions to Argentina can be answered by Ines Segarra of the New York based, 'Argentina', National Institute of Tourism Promotion (212) 603-0425, 12 West 56th Street.

Philip S. Kampe


                                                                   Your author






Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Celebrate MALBEC WORLD DAY at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Thursday, APRIL 17th from 6-11pm posted by Philip S. Kampe

 


                                                The Wines of Mendoza



Wines of Argentina
In Celebration of Malbec World Day We Present
CAMBALACHE
 
One Night in Argentina:
Bringing the Passion, Warmth, and Soul of Argentina
To New York April 17th
 
Get ready New York: !
A celebration of the passion, complexity and contradiction that defines Argentine culture has arrived today. After a wildly successful debut in London in 2013, Cambalache*--One Night in Argentina will transform the Brooklyn Night Bazaar into a sizzling mix of music, wine, food, live street art and culture on April 17th from 6pm to 11pm. Not your stereotypical swirling and sipping event, Cambalache will invoke all of the senses and offers:
 
·      Over 120 of Argentina’s finest wines from 26 of the top Argentine wineries all in celebration of Malbec World Day **
·      The unconventional art of pairing wines with music, hosted by renowned multisensory experts and flavor consultants, Oxford and London professors Charles Spence and Barry Smith
·      True Buenos Aires street food from Sur Empanada, historical Argentine cocktails, circa 1940, from Malbec House and the famed Dulce de Leche ice cream from Cones
·      Three of Argentina’s most prolific street artists Cabaio Stencil, Roma and Tec will create a live mural during the event
·      A lesson in Buenos Aires street slang (to stir up trouble) with James Bracken, author of the cult book Che Boludo
·      Music from DJ Uproot Andy, whose label Que Bajo spotlights bass-filled South American music
·      Plus a host of other uniquely Argentine experiences including exposure to the spirit of Argentine literature, dancing Nuevo Tango with Strictly Tango and rubbing elbows with Gauchos
 
*Cambalache, which means ‘bazaar’ in Spanish, was immortalized in the 1934 Argentine Tango song of the same name. Used at the time as a provocative commentary on society, in modern Argentine vernacular it describes something that is chaotic, haphazard, full of contrast and contradiction and above all exciting—epitomizing the heart and soul of the country.
 
**On April 17, Wines of Argentina proudly present the fourth annual edition of Malbec World Day, an international celebration dedicated entirely to the country’s most emblematic grape. For 2014 they are linking Malbec with all things music related under the title of ‘Malbec Making Noise’. They will be hosting a range of events, promotions and online activity around this theme both in the US and abroad. For more info visit www.malbecworldday.com.
Brooklyn Night Bazaar/165 Banker St. Brooklyn, NY 11222
April 17th, 2014/6-11PM
Tickets are $80, Including all Food and Drink and are Available at


                                                    Buenos Aires


Philip S. Kampe
Philip.Kampe@TheWineHub.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Easter Wine Selections according to Sherry-Lehmann Wine Inventory Specialist, Dawn Gabriele Land" posted by Philip S. Kampe





Easter is upon us. As the years change, so, do our food preferences. In the past, the food associated with Easter was either ham or lamb.
According to Dawn Gabriele Land of Sherry-Lehmann, "Times have changed and so have the wine pairing suggestions".

In today's world, Dawn has included wine selections for ham, lamb, poultry, fish, vegetarian plus a new category title, unusual pairing, which means, a wine, cider or spirit that will pair with an unusual dish.

The wine selections are broken down into five separate categories: Sparkling, White, Rose, Red and Unusual Pairing. The list below are recommendations for Easter 2014.

Ham:
Sparkling: Bouvet Brut NV ($14)
White: Torbreck Woodcutter Semillion 2010 ($17)
Rose: Chateau d’Aqueria Tavel Rose 2012  ($18)
Red: Domaine Terres Dorees Beaujolais L’Ancien Vieilles Vignes 2012  ($22)
Unusual pairing: Lustau Papirusa Light Manzanilla Sherry ($13)

Lamb:
Sparkling: Deutz Brut NV ($35)
White: Marques de Murrieta Rioja Blanco Capellania 2008 ($23)
Rose: Domaine du Pegau 2012  ($22)
Red: Domaine Duclaux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007  ($35)
Unusual pairing: Ian McLeod Isle of Skye 12 Year Blended  ($48)

Poultry:
Sparkling: Pol Roger Reserve Brut NV ($40)
White: Acacia Carneros Chardonnay 2011 ($17)
Rose: Chateau d’Esclans Cotes de Provence Rose Whispering Angel 2013  ($18)
Red: Joseph Drouhin Volnay 2011  ($45)
Unusual pairing: Christian Drouin Cider ($12)

Fish:
Sparkling: Piper Heidsieck Brut NV ($28)
White: Estate Biblia Chora Estate White 2012  ($37)
Rose: Massaya Rose 2012  ($13)
Red: Maison Champy Pommard 2009 ($45)
Unusual pairing: Tozai Nigora Voices in the Mist Sake ($23)

Vegetarian:
Sparkling: Perrier Jouet NV ($33)
White: Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino 2012  ($20)
Rose: Gaujal de Saint Bon Roses Cotes de Thau 2012  ($15)
Red: Ceretto Dolcetto d’Alba 2012  ($22)
Unusual pairing: Hendricks Gin  ($27)



Philip S. Kampe


Monday, April 7, 2014

"Why Terroir Matters" Six Wines that prove the point by Philip S. Kampe



                                              Six Wines 'Terroir-driven"


Wine tasting may be an art. Importers who focus on the art of sampling thousands of wines before choosing the few to import may have the most difficult job of anyone in the wine industry.
That challenge was recently executed to perfection was I attended what was billed as the ‘Pasternak Prestige Event’.
The event focused on six winemakers and an emcee that created audience involvement with the theme of “Why Terroir Matters?”.
After an hour and a half discussion about why terroir matters, including Q&A from the packed house, many obvious conclusions resulted. It’s the soil, the location, the land that the vines grow on that is most important. To me, it’s that magic spot where nature takes over and vines mature like none other.
Enough of that—we all know that with the best terroir and help from the winemaker and his staff, the resulting wine, given normal growing conditions will result into excellent wine—way above the norm.

The defining quote from Diane Flamand Collection Wine Manager for Les Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite) regarding the definition of terroir was simply put: “ Terroir is a word to define something we can’t define”.

                                            The six wine presenters

We sampled six wines from the finest estates and properties that President Stephen Brauer of Pasternak  import from “Bordeaux and Beyond”. The results were as anticipated—well over the top—in body, character, length of finish and aromatics.

Terroir does matter.

Rather than describe the incredible properties of each wine, I will leave that task to you.
The journey is amazing and the price points are reasonable.
The order of the wines is naturally from the lightest to the heaviest.
If you take this wine adventure to heart, follow the order that is suggested.


Champagne Barons De Rothschild, Blanc de Blanc NV (Champagne, France)
100% Chardonnay made from the crus Avize, Cramant, Mesnil-Sur-Ogar, Ogar and Vertus.  Low sugar and long aging after disgorgement (6-9 months). Three years of cellar aging.

Le Domaine Saget Pouilly-Fume 2012  (Loire Valley, France)

Saget La Perrere
The 2012 is very characteristic of its appellation. The acidity shines. Yeast is not added before fermentation. Saget is aged on lees and is further aged for six months in the bottle.

Clos de Beauvenir Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010  (Rhone Valley, France)
Chateau La Nerthe
A ‘cooler and wetter’ year for the Roussanne, Clairette nad Grenache grapes created a higher degree of color in the Grenache grape. 2010 was known for cool nights and warm, not hot, days. The vines average 40 years and grow in sandy-clay soil.
   
Pensees de Lafleur 2007  (Pomerol, France)
Chateau Lafleur
Hand harvested, bunch by bunch, the Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes are aged in oak barrels for at least eighteen months. Only 500 cases are made of the second growth  Pomerol.

Lafite Reserve Speciale Pauillac 2010  (Pauillac, France)
Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite)
Difficult weather conditions combined low yield somehow help produce a wine made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot into a historic wine that will be known for its acidity and balance.

Carruades de Lafite 2008  (Pauillac, France)
Chateau Lafite Rothschild
The combination of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc in 10% new barrels and 90% one use barrels from Lafite’s cooperage has helped create what may, in the future, be considered one of Lafite’s ‘classic wines’.


Philip S. KampePhilip.Kampe@TheWineHub.com


                                                                 Your author