Tag Archives: wine

Blending In with Raymond Vineyards and Abacus

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by Andrew Chalk

It was a packed house at Abacus in Uptown Dallas this week as Chef Kent Rathbun welcomed Raymond Vineyards Chief Blending Officer Tyson Madden for two important responsibilities. First, Kent Rathbun Concepts’ (Abacus’ parent company) own Director of Operations, Matthew Scott (who oversees wine operations as part of a broader mandate) was one of eight sommeliers selected by Raymond to blend a special wine, the 2012 Sommelier Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, for sale in a limited number of restaurant locations and to the winery’s mailing list. Madden explained how the sommeliers took base wines from Napa, Sonoma and Lake Counties in California’s North Coast and experimented until they came up with a Sommelier’s Blend that was 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and a nominal 5% Petit Verdot. We tasted their work and they made an elegant, easy-drinking wine with an unmistakable backbone of Cabernet.   Continue reading

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Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines

by Steven Doyle

From the author of the bestselling Red, White and Drunk All Over, comes, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines that will amuse and enthrall with its character sketches of obsessive personalities, travel to gorgeous vineyards, mouth-watering descriptions of food and wine, “hidden” wine education and neurotic humor.

Packed with colorful stories about the passionate personalities who inhabit the world of wine, award-winning wine writer Natalie MacLean whisks you to the mountainside vineyards of Germany, the baked red earth of Australia, and the shady verandahs of Niagara–as well as to scenic, offbeat locations in southern Italy, the Mediterranean, Argentina, Chile and South Africa–all in search of the best value bottles the world has to offer.   Continue reading

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Wines of the Week

wineby Andrew Chalk

2011 Carmen Carmenere ‘Gran Reserva’, Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley $15

The problem with Carmenere is that it is difficult to ripen.That leads to wines characterized by green pepper aroma and taste characteristics. Plaudits to Carmen at having avoided this this problem in 2011 and producing a wine with just enough green notes to contribute breed and structure without the negative side effects.

This wine has a an opaque ruby color. Smoky coffee, clove, black pepper, raspberry and black cherry aromas and bouquet. The mouthfeel is full of luxuriant tannins, complex fruit flavors confirming the nose, medium acid and a medium long finish.   Continue reading

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A Leisurely Luncheon Respite At Nonna

nonnaby Steven Doyle

A proper lunch is a wonderful thing, especially when paired with a sparkling Prosecco. When you have worked hard all week, or when you need a few hours of total relaxation,  that is when you make reservations to NonnaContinue reading

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Wines for 2015

wine_glassby Andrew Chalk

As we look to the new year for more excitement and rejuvenation, Andrew has a nice list of wines to start your 2015 off right.

2011 Col Solare Red Wine, Red Mountain, Washington. $75

This wine of the product of a collaboration between the Marchesi Antinori of Tuscany and Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington State. It is as blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec.

Although a Bordeaux blend this would never be taken as an old world wine. It is firmly fruit-driven and ripe, luscious fruit at that. It needs to be aged 5-10 years for best enjoyment but can be drunk today if infanticide is one of your sidelines.   Continue reading

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A Wine Roundup

wineby Andrew Chalk

2012 Angelini Pergola Rosso, DOC Marche, Italy

100% Pergola grapes. From the Marche region of Italy. Dark ruby color. Red fruit, herbs and rose petals in nose. Confirmed in the mouth. Black cherry flavors as well. Medium plus acid and chewy tannins. Not a huge amount of complexity but pleasant to drink now or near-term ageing. A red-sauce pasta wine.   Continue reading

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Value Christmas Wines Bring Holiday Cheer

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With Christmas just weeks away, the 2014 holiday season is coming to a close. No holiday party would be complete without wine bottles with festive holiday wine labels. Here are our top wines for Christmas dinner, a holiday holiday party or simply to just to fill your wine glass! Whether your big celebration falls on Christmas Eve, Christmas day or anywhere in between, being around family and those who matter most to you is what it is all about. But, don’t forget to celebrate with some great tasting food and wine. Luckily there are some great Christmas themed bottles to make any table complete! We recommend a few fabulous bottles of wine and beer, as well as a traditional holiday cocktail recipe that are pure Christmas cheer.   Continue reading

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