Sunday, December 11, 2011

12 Cool Suggestions for the #WineLover >>> Books and Wines (part 2)

Thinking of a present for the holidays (even if intention is to keep it to yourself) and a baboon is not the easiest thing to find these days?
Well, here are some cool suggestions for books and wines:

Naturalness is a hot topic in the wine world. But what exactly is a "natural wine"? For this pioneering book, best-selling wine writer Jamie Goode has teamed up with winemaker and Master of Wine Sam Harrop to explore the wide range of issues surrounding authenticity in wine. They begin by emphasizing that wine's diversity, one of its strengths, is currently under threat from increasingly homogenized commercial wines that lack a sense of place. Drawing on a global array of examples and anecdotes, Goode and Harrop examine complex concepts--terroir, biodynamics, and sustainability--in clear language. They also discuss topics including cultured and wild yeasts, wine "faults," the carbon footprint of the wine industry, "natural" as a marketing concept, and more. Authentic Wine illuminates a subject of great interest to wine producers, consumers, and anyone wondering where the wine industry is headed.
Made from the indigenous Tocai grape (nothing to do with Tokay wines from Hungary that are made mostly from the Furmint grape) it produces delicate and slightly aromatic white wines that perfectly compliment the most delicate courses. It works well with a variety of vegetables, but if you will have mint in your food... This is going to be the perfect match!

The last two decades have seen a revolution in Bordeaux. What Price Bordeaux? takes a novel approach in explaining the forces responsible for this change. The top châteaux have been obtaining unprecedented prices for their wines, while at the same time smaller chateau owners are going bankrupt. Enormous changes in the production and style of wine have been accomplished by advances in viticulture and vinification coupled with climatic changes. The battle between modernists and traditionalists plays out through the garage wines, felt by some to be the newest wave, and by others to be a caricature of Bordeaux. Pulling together information from a variety of sources including the market in Bordeaux, changing patterns of ownership, and new possibilities in viticulture and vinification, this book presents a unique overview of the forces making Bordeaux wine what it is today. The book considers the role of terroir, how events ranging from the phylloxera plague to global warming have changed the fundamental nature of Bordeaux, the mysteries of the en primeur system, the rising influence of oenologues and critics, the changing nature of the wine itself, and the rise and fall of various chateaux. A running theme is the powerful effect that the classification of 1855 continues to have on the chateaux of both Left and Right Banks, and this and the other classification systems are considered before concluding with a new classification of the châteaux based on the existing market.

Ruby red in color,  with an aromatic and bold fragrance of red berry fruits, cherries and a hint of mint; this "Super Tuscan" Syrah is well balanced with firm tannins. The grapes were manually harvested in the Valdrighi vineyard, soft destemming and pressing, carbonic maceration, 15 days in oak tanks, malolactic fermentation, and 18 months in new barriques. 


Born in 1956 (unfortunately a poor vintage in Europe), Harry Karis's first encounter with wine occurred when he played guitar in a rock and roll band in the mid 70s, enjoying 'more or less' good wine at a young age. In the early 80s, he opened a restaurant with his wife Josi and became increasingly fascinated by the world of fine wine. This was the beginning of a long and infinitely pleasurable journey. A late-bloomer, Harry finished medical school at the age of 40. Thanks to a certain degree of prosperity, he began drinking more exclusive and rare wines, expanding his minded and appreciating wines from all over the world, Bordeaux was his first love. Mainly self-educated, with an inquisitive nature and a drive to learn, Harry studied almost every possible wine-related subject.At the end of the 1990s, Harry became more focused on quality Southern Rhone wines, especially Chateauneuf-du-Pape. He greatly appreciated these wines with different personalities and styles, but all sharing a lush, exciting and very exuberant quality. This led to a completely different, more hedonistic approach to wine drinking rather than a merely analytical one. Harry's instinctive eagerness motivated him to delve deeper into all aspects of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. He soon realized that all available documentation was fragmented, incomplete, behind the times, and lacking in insight.He therefore decided to undertake a major challenge and write his own book about Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
This Brunello di Montalcino wine represents the ultimate expression of the fine wines produced by Molino di Sant’Antimo.  During the transformation into wine, the carefully selected pure Sangiovese grapes undergo constant checks while aging for three years in oak vats and six months in bottle. If well cellared, the wine will age nicely for 10 to 15 years.


The wines of Tuscany were famous long before Leonardo da Vinci described them as "bottled sunshine," and they are at the forefront of the remarkable renaissance of Italian wine over the past 30 years. In this groundbreaking new book, Nicolas Belfrage shares his insider's knowledge acquired as a specialist wine trader and writer. Mindful of the region's fascinating past, Belfrage brings its story up to date, discussing such subjects as geology and geography, grape varieties, and the latest research into Sangiovese, the variety used in the top wines of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. He also clarifies the regulatory framework and follows the recent controversial developments in viticulture and winemaking, including the rise of the Super-Tuscans and the ongoing "Brunellogate" scandal that broke in 2008. At the heart of the book are in-depth, illustrated profiles of more than 90 of the most interesting producers, large and small, with insightful notes on the essential character of their finest wines. The author also offers a comprehensive review of vintages and selects his top 100 wines in ten different categories, while wines of special quality or value are indicated throughout.
Find this book on Amazon

  On the nose, pure black fruits and lavender balanced by minerality. Really pleasant blueberry action on the palate with a hint of vanilla and possibly vanilla ice-cream. Smooth tannins and good acidity with a long finish. 
Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss: Oscar Quevedo, a new star of the Douro, has produced a stylish wine, suffused with tannins, fresh acidity, solid black fruits and a lively bright feel. It is ready to drink, but could age 3–4 years. (11/1/2010) - 88
 Find this wine on TheWineHub store


 In Wine & Philosophy, philosophers, wine critics, and winemakers share their passion for wine through well-crafted essays that explore wine’s deeper meaning, nature, and significance.
“A fascinating symposium that proves one thing: wine is worth thinking about.”
–Hugh Johnson, author of the World Atlas of Wine

“Most wine books are narrow in scope. Not Wine & Philosophy: these far-ranging essays are fascinating and diverse, placing the wine in your glass in a context spanning civilizations and centuries.”
–Stephen Tanzer, editor/publisher, International Wine Cellar

Wine & Philosophy is remarkably accessible; the writers and winemakers contributing to this work are amazingly accomplished and all have an abiding interest in philosophy, literature, and wine. This combination of scholarship and passion makes for a fascinating, illuminating, and highly entertaining work.”
–Larry Stone, Master Sommelier
Find this book on Amazon


Cherry red with great robe and slight blood-coloured edge. Bouquet predominately of Cabernet-Sauvignon, with certain hints of rusticity in attack, dry land, cedar, smoked holm oak, cured meat and dried flowers (house leeks). In the glass it opens out and expresses hints of freeze-dried strawberries, minerals, (very subtle) dates and very concentrated black fruit. An elegant palate with a good weight of fruit and agile when drinking. Fine and sensual. Fine aftertaste and cherry liqueur finish. 


This brand-new, second edition of The New Spain is the only up-to-date, illustrated reference to Spanish wines. John Radford takes the reader on a region-by-region tour of Spain’s rapidly changing vineyards and wineries. All aspects of Spanish wines are covered in depth, from soil types and vineyard classification to the most innovative bodegas and newest styles of red, white, and sparkling wines. There are comprehensive producer profiles for each wine region, as well as tips on the best wines available and an easy-to-use glossary of Spanish wine terms. More than 150 color photographs and detailed maps showing the location of all wine regions complete this indispensable book.

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.

That's it for now... 

"Laugh when you can, apologize when you should,
and let go of what you can’t change. 
Kiss slowly, forgive quickly, play hard,
take chances, give everything,
and have no regrets.
Life is too short to be anything but happy"
Thomas J. Petrik

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1 comment:

Kent Benson said...

Luiz, While the 2nd edition of the New Spain book is the latest it is not "brand new", it was published in 2006. Unfortunately, it seems to be out of print. Amazon has no new copies and the used ones start at $199. I'll do some checking and see if I can find it cheaper elsewhere.

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