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The soul of Indian Soil Carefully Crafted into our Boutique wines

Chalone Vineyards crown jewel of Salinas Valley wine region
The Salinas Californian
(As a reminder – AVA means American Viticulture Area, a federally designated wine grape-growing region.) It straddles Monterey and San Benito counties – though all of the nine vineyards (most family owned) and the one winery are in Monterey. At 1,800 ...

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Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine)  |  Cabernet Shiraz India  |  Rosé India

Fine wine can be found in almost every corner of the globe these days, but sourcing a decent, if not exceptional kosher wine, well, that may take some legwork — unless you know where to point your palate.  For a change of pace this year, picking up a little Spanish may be the way to go. Although Spanish wines are often lost in the shuffle to grab the latest Beaujolais from Brouilly, Primitivo from Puglia or Cabernet from California, these Old World wines with a rich history are some of the greatest wine bargains anywhere.

Chenin Blanc

Drinking the Circle of Life Dr. Moisés Cohen knows his Spanish history well. Until as recently as 1976, Jews had been prohibited from owning land in Spain, going all the way back to the Inquisition. According to Cohen, he became the first Sephardic Jew in half a millennium to buy land in Spain when he purchased a vineyard in 2000. His company, Elvi Wines, in the Priorat region of Catalonia, southwest of Barcelona, produces the prestigious Clos Mesorah label, as well as several other outstanding wines.

Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine)

Winemaking and agronomy is in his family’s blood, says Cohen, who holds a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from the Technion in Haifa. “To develop this vineyard, with its 105-year-old vines, with modern innovations and sensitivity to what has to be done properly, it has been very rewarding,” he says.

Cabernet Shiraz India



A gorgeous red from Spain made by Mariano Garcia, former cellarmaster at the legendary Vega Sicilia in Ribera del Duero. Ninety percent Tempranillo and 10 percent Syrah, the 2010 Mauro is pure pleasure to drink. On the first sip, this full-bodied red seems very straightforward, just pure fruit. Another sip, and another, and the wine reveals not only concentrated sweet fruit, but also earth, tobacco, cedar and more, all tightly fused. It's feisty and smooth. From $40 to $45.

Sauvignon Blanc

One of the revelatory taste experiences of my life was eating baby lamb grilled over vine cuttings at the wine estate Tinto Pesquera in Ribera del Duero, Spain. Owner Alejandro Pesquera waited until the fire had died down to embers to cook the lamb, watching it carefully, turning the pieces to brown them evenly. It was unbelievably succulent and sweet and when you followed a bite of lamb with a sip of his gorgeous Tinto Pesquera, sublime.

Chenin Blanc

Lamb is a constant on menus in almost every wine region. Pinot Noir with roast leg of lamb is classic. Or baby lamb from the salt marshes with Châteauneuf-du-Pape or a Gigondas. Grilled lamb chops with Sangiovese is another favorite. I could go on and on.

Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine)



All were featured at the sixth annual New Jersey Wine and Food Festival held at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg March 28 through 30.

Rosé

All were featured at the sixth annual New Jersey Wine and Food Festival held at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg March 28 through 30.

Sauvignon Blanc

The Unionville Vineyards Chardonnay, and Unionville’s classically trained winemaker, Cameron Stark, were honored to be invited as the first New Jersey Wine and Winemaker selected for the prestigious “Top Chefs and Top Wines Dinner.” The dinner was held at the resort’s Wine Spectator Award of Excellence- winning venue, “Restaurant Latour”. This special event paired five top wines and winemakers with five of the Nation’s Top Chefs.

Chenin Blanc



Six Organic Wines To Try Now Talking about organic wine is surprisingly complicated. When I set out to write this column I planned on rounding up some organic producers, tasting some wines and calling out the tastiest selections. Easy peasy, unless you start asking questions. First, organic wine and wine made with organic grapes are two entirely different things. Then there are some who purport that organic farming requires too much tilling and sustainable farming is the better direction. And, then we have the biodynamic producers who preach the benefits of manure teas and can be found burying cow horns in the soil during a descending moon phase.

Cabernet Shiraz

The conversation about which practice is better (organic, sustainable or biodynamic) is hot right now. At a recent wine tasting a winemaker, and disciple of sustainable farming, vented to me that organic farming was crap because, among other things, it requires heavy soil tillage. Or, consider Burgundian (and biodynamic) winemaker Emmanuel Giboulot who was recently fined several hundred euros for not spraying his vines to kill a flying pest. The French authorities believed his decision might possibly endanger nearby vineyards from the traveling pest. What’s most interesting is that we are having the conversation at all. Given the volume of opinion on the matter, I’ve broken this story into a three-part series to give proper space to each approach. In honor of Earth Day, and because it’s the term we are all most familiar with, it seems fitting to start with organic wine.

Rosé

Wines made from certified organically grown grapes are farmed without synthetic additives and pesticides. But, these winemakers add sulphur at the bottling stage to control for spoilage. Without the addition of sulphur, the wines really have no shelf life. In contrast, “organic wines” are made from organically grown grapes and have no added sulfites, but, take note, some may be present naturally. Organic farming does require more soil tillage to manage weeds, (this is a problem if vines are growing on a hillside, as it leads to topsoil erosion), and generally prohibits synthetic pesticides but, it does allow for the use of natural pesticides.

Sauvignon Blanc



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