Thursday, January 23, 2020

Bodegas CARO Winery-A First Choice for Serious Celebratory Occasions by Philip S- Kampe

Its my wife’s Birthday (January 29th). We will be in Spain ( Madrid) to celebrate this once a year tradition. My baggage will be checked, fortunately, so, I’ll be able to bring wine with me. I am going to pack a great vintage bottle of Champagme and one of Maria’s bottles of red wine-specifically an Argentinian bottle of Bodegas CARO 2016, a Bordeaux red blend from Mendoza ($60).

This is the red wine Maria loves.

 Its a very interesting wine, A wine made between a partnership that combines Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and the Catena Family. The partnership began in 1999. The idea was to combine Argentine and French ingenuity into one wine that focuses on each countries signature grapes-Malbec from Argentina and Cabernet Sauvignon from France.

The first vintage was in 2000, at the Bodegas CARO winery, in the heart of Mendoza.

The Catena family has produced wine for four generations, so, its knowledge of what terroir for Malbec was best was not an issue. Barons Rothschild skills of vinifying and ageing Cabernet Sauvignon from centuries of winemaking added expertise that did not exist with the Catena family. The high altitude grapes that were selected from the family vineyard came from the most respected terroir in their winery. All grapes are harvested by hand and are immediately sorted after harvest. Both grapes are aged separately for 18 months in specially toasted oak barrels. The elegance and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon marries Malbecs powerful, fruity profile.

The rest is magic and a wine that should be shared during special occasions.
Think Valentines Day!

CARO is made from 74% Malbec and 26% Cabernet Sauvignon
The winemaker is Philippe Rolet
CARO has soft tannins, is well balanced with a refreshing acidity. Its intense ruby color and complex aromas allure your tastebuds. The first sips leads you to wanting the second. And a third....

Philip S. Kampe

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

GAIA Red Blend 2018 An Argentine Secret by Philip S. Kampe

The postman came by the house with a small package for me.

Minutes later, I pulled out a gorgeously labeled bottle of wine from the producer, Domaine Bosquet from red wine country in Argentina, specifically Mendoza.

The red blend consists of Malbec, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon,

I poured the wine. It was dark, ruby red in the glass with obvious aromas of menthol and black licorice that blew you away, followed by  faint plum and ground black pepper odors. The fragrance was very seductive. You could stop there and your mind would be full of curiosity because the lead up to the palate taste was special.

My palate opened up immediately once I modestly sampled the first drops of this wine. I took immediate pleasure with its depth and intensity. As I enjoyed the second sip, it was obvious this was a full-bodied, silky wine with that irresistible smoky element that was married with black licorice and violet lozenges from my youth.

The intense, smooth flavor lingered in my palate for several minutes.

At well under $20 a bottle and age worthy, this is a wine to drink now and put away for the future.

Philip S, Kampe

Monday, January 13, 2020

Tenuta del Meriggio’s Luscious 2017 DOCG Greco di Tufo by Philip S. Kampe

Its been less than a month since I had the opportunity to overdose on the best 2017 Greco di Tufo that I had the opportunity to sample, or should I say, drink non-stop during my visit to the vineyards of Tenuta del Meriggio in Irpinia (Campania) Italy.

The vineyard was acquired by the Pizza Family (yes, that’s their real name) in 2010. Father and mother, Bruno and Nunziz, with their college age kids, Saverio and Emilia, run the family business from their estate near the town of Avellino.

On my recent visit, I felt connected with both the family and the wine. Its not the only wine from Tenuta del Meriggio that I fell in love with, but, just the first one I will tell you about. Its aged in stainless steel, bright yellow like papayas, full of minerality, as fresh as a newborn and as bright as the sun. The rounded taste lingers for minutes, a true invitation to sip more.

Historically, Geco di Tufo was transplanted to the village of Tufo in 1660. It is truly a noble grape with an ancient origin and considered the most prestigious white grape from Irpinia. Originally, it was brought to the region 2,500 years ago by Greek settlers.

And today, I believe Tenuta del Meriggio may be producing the best Greco di Tufo in the history of the grape.
What do you think?

Philip S. Kampe

Friday, January 3, 2020

Dueling Pistols Tense Wine Blend from Terlato by Philip S. Kampe

                             Dueling Pistols Red Wine Blends Shoots to Win the Market

‘Dueling Pistols’ red blends may be considered both a disruptive and innovative wine at the same time. The wine label is tension-packed, opening a story line the consumer can be part of. We are talking about you, Gen X., the consumer. You are the generation that wants to understand the products you consume, both visually and in this case, internally.

Tension in the bottle is when the two blends in each bottle duel for superiority. Both blends are bold, but, in different ways. The Paso Robles is half Cabernet Sauvignon and half Petit Sirah, while the Dry Creek is half Zinfandel and half Syrah. Get the idea?  Competing varietals fighting for dominance only make good bed partners who work together in the end.

Somehow, the Dueling Pistols (the two varietals) emerge as one.

Its not magic, but, intrigue, on the winemakers part. Both wines rested in French Oak (American & Hungarian) for fifteen (15) to eighteen (18) months. During that period, interplay between the varietals peaked, having end products blend into one.

What I thought about the wines:

Dueling Pistols Dry Creek Red Blend 2016   (50% Zinfandel  50% Syrah)   $49.99
Bright cherry aromas, lively acidity, lots of spice, dense, 50 year old Zinfandel vines and twelve (12) Syrah vines planted in clay soils, velvety in the mid-palate.

Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red Blend 2016    (50% Cabernet Sauvignon & 50% Petite Sirah)   $49.99
This is certainly a tough wine to master. Rarely planted Petite Sirah, with its huge, intense tannins are hard to balance. Bring on a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon and you have met your match. The result is a jammy, dense, soft edged wine with under the ocean tannins that linger throughout the night. Sweet plum and black cherry dominate the palate.

Philip S. Kampe

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...