Argentina’s Innovacion Torrontes-Pinot Grigio 2010 by Santa Julia

Standard

Interesting how almost a year to date after discovering this wine at a local Whole Foods Market I am now employed as their Specialty Beverage Buyer in the beautiful new store in North Miami Florida. I was very excited to see this wine in our set and will be recommending it to our white wine drinkers. This is a perfect Spring and Summer choice for those who prefer a dry white. SALUD!

 

Whine And Cheers For Wine

Santa Julia Innovacion Torrontes-Pinot Grigio  2010

I discovered this wine last year while shopping at Whole Foods Market.  Three things made it jump out at me;

The fact that it was a Torrontes blend. The price, on sale at $10.99. The size, it is packaged in; a 1 litre bottle instead of the usual 750ml or 1.5 litre.

Appreciating everything wine from Argentina I had not yet come across a Torrontes blend. I actually still have not seen any others but I admit I have not gone out of my way to search them out either. Over the last year we have taste tested various Torrontes and I must admit that for me it is a varietal that I am learning to appreciate. In other words not love at first pour.

The taste is different from any other wine I have ever had. I would describe it as having substantial minerality, some…

View original post 251 more words

Argentina’s 2011 PHEBUS – Are my tastes expanding or is this an excellent Torrontés?

Standard

2011 Phebus Torrontés

I recently came across this lovely wine during our Malbec and Other Sexy Wines of South America class at Total Wines and More.  Having recently written about the Torrontés varietal and in particular a Torrontés/Pinot Grigio blend, I continue to be on the lookout for a good example.

https://whineandcheersforwine.wordpress.com/?s=torrontes

A month ago I was “learning to appreciate” this varietal. Well today, or better yet last night, I believe I am there. This particular wine spoke to me during our class  and luckily I purchased 2 bottles. Regularly priced $9.99 but class price of $7.99 may have had something to do with it. I am so glad I did. This has to be the most delicate Torrontés I have tasted to date. Gone is the usual and almost overpowering strength of Lychee on the nose and palate.

My research shows there are actually 3 different Torrontés grapes. The one being reviewed here is the Torrontes Riojano; accounting for 18% of total white wine grapes produced in Argentina.  These Mendoza vines in particular average 10 years of age, harvested manually March 5-10 with meticulous sorting performed by hand prior to vinification. Fermentation [with yeast] is done in stainless tanks at a controlled temperature of 15 degrees C, with skin maceration during 8 hours.

PHEBUS wines are crafted at Fabre Montmayou Bodega using state of the art wine-making techniques. Diane and Herve Joyaux have owned this estate since 1999.

Pale in color with a pleasant bouquet I detected aromas of peach, pear, melon, and some citrus. Smooth and acidic on the palate I noted; pear, peach, honeysuckle, with lemon and grapefruit on the lingering finish. I found the flavors to be appealing, abundant and harmonious.

On-line I have seen reviews calling this wine “above average nearly excellent” and “excellent”.  I would have to whole heartedly agree and once again mention what a great value this is. This is perfect for those who might want an introduction to the Torrontés grape and I would add lovers of Sauvignon Blanc.

SALUD!

Argentina’s Innovacion Torrontes-Pinot Grigio 2010 by Santa Julia

Standard

Santa Julia Innovacion Torrontes-Pinot Grigio  2010

I discovered this wine last year while shopping at Whole Foods Market.  Three things made it jump out at me;

The fact that it was a Torrontes blend. The price, on sale at $10.99. The size, it is packaged in; a 1 litre bottle instead of the usual 750ml or 1.5 litre.

Appreciating everything wine from Argentina I had not yet come across a Torrontes blend. I actually still have not seen any others but I admit I have not gone out of my way to search them out either. Over the last year we have taste tested various Torrontes and I must admit that for me it is a varietal that I am learning to appreciate. In other words not love at first pour.

The taste is different from any other wine I have ever had. I would describe it as having substantial minerality, some petrol flavoring but mostly the standout for me is honeysuckle and lychee both in taste and nose. As stated before; it is an acquired taste. One that I am actually coming to like which brings me back to the topic at hand the Innovacion blend.  The grapes are separately fermented in stainless steel,  then blended prior to bottling by this Zuccardi family owned vineyard.

This is a perfect match! So much so that I would easily consider having this stocked all the time as a “go to” white wine. The sweet factor of the Torrontes grape is nicely balanced with the acidity of the crisp Pinot Grigio. A perfect weekday wine, a great picnic wine and best yet a refreshing libation for the too soon approaching summer.  Combine all this with the agreeable price and 1 litre size and I would say you have a home run!  SALUD!

Online notes:

The aroma is typical Torrontes: grapefruit, tropical fruits, pineapple, with  floral notes. The flavor is grapefruit, pears, pineapple, a hint of vegetal.

This 90% Torrontes – 10% Pinot Grigio blend is made of 100% sustainably farmed grapes. The Torrontes is from Maipu vineyards, Mendoza and the Pinot Grigio is from Santa Rosa vineyards, Mendoza. The nose is complex and aromatic with notes of roses, orange peel and chamomile. There are also ripe fruit notes, such as peach and pear with notes of citrus. This wine has a soft and fresh entry, unctuous. It is elegant and balanced.

Celebrating Holidays or Better Yet Every Day!

Standard

As this years Pumpkin displays turn to harvest motifs with cider, our in-store Halloween candy has changed over to chocolate turkeys and candy canes.

Celebrations are in the air and I have come to realize that the end of the year will soon be upon us.  Of course celebrating with libations shouldn’t only occur once or twice a year. I like to think I celebrate it all whether they be small accomplishments or BIG holidays.

For example just last week Whine and Cheers for Wine passed the 20,000+ visitor mark. This week the well-known California winemaker Michael Martini was nice enough to contact me after being directed to my review of his Louis M. Martini Napa Cabernet.  Yes it’s been a good few weeks and all good reasons to celebrate.

As I went back and reviewed last years holiday post, HARK! The Holidays Approacheth!! I came to realize how much has changed. 2012: I was a Wine Steward spreading my time between a grocery store wine department and their liquor store. 2013: I became a Wine Buyer or better yet a Specialty Beverage Buyer for Whole Foods Market. Regularly teaching classes and planning wine events. I’ve had opportunities to meet wine makers face to face and the good fortune to have my writings shared by wine companies and news agencies on their social media sites.  Yes it’s been a good couple of years; all good reasons to celebrate.

This year I’ve decided to let “the people” pick our top 10 wines for 2013 and the holiday season.  These are the wines that have garnered the most visits and searches at Whine and Cheers. We already know how I feel about these wines. Now you’ll know the wines the public is researching, buying and hopefully celebrating with.

Here you go in no particular order. The Whine and Cheers For Wine Top 10 of 2013 picked by the general wine public. I’ve averaged the top vote getters for the month, quarter and year. Giving a chance to recent reviews that have not had time to garner as many visits as a review posted 9 months ago.   Drum-roll please!!!

Dr Loosen Riesling Just what the Doctor ordered!

Kirkland Signature Bordeaux:  I guess there is something to be said about Costco wine…..

19 Crimes: GUILTY! Great marketing and tasty wine.

Dreaming Tree Crush: The Luck of the Blends. Steve Reeder and Dave Matthews ROCK!

Joel Gott Zinfandel: The 2011 vs. 2009 battle

Chateau Lafitte Marcellin: 2009 Cotes de Bordeaux. 2009 great vintage for Bordeaux.

Winking Owl Vineyards Shiraz: something to be said about Aldi and Trader Joe wines?

Pinot Noir Smackdown: Concannon 2010 Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir

Chateau de Macard Bordeaux Perfect holiday gift wine per the NBC Today Show

Louis M. Martini: 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Go Mike! Martini that is.

A baker’s dozen or runners-up would add these to the list:

Innovacion Torrontes Pinot Grigio Blend: by Argentina’s Santa Julia

HANDS Cabernet Sauvignon: Robertson Valley South Africa

Gran Valle de Niebla Reserve Pinot Noir: Chile

I am glad to see many countries represented on our list; Chile, Argentina, South Africa, USA, France, Australia and Germany!

Speaking of countries, these stats always amaze me, below are the TOP 12 traveling over to this here site for wine information, minus my own USA:

Canada FlagCanada
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom
Germany FlagGermany
Australia FlagAustralia
France FlagFrance
Spain FlagSpain
Philippines FlagPhilippines
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation
India FlagIndia
Mexico FlagMexico
Denmark FlagDenmark
Netherlands FlagNetherlands

So with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day and New Years Eve around the corner, I wish and hope, that we not only are able to celebrate these obvious big events in our lives but also appreciate and recognize the day-to-day happenings. Events also meant to be shared and noted. All good reasons to celebrate!

¡SALUD! and Happy Holidays

Whole Foods Market North Miami – The Day After the Day Before

Standard

WF_GOpening

The Day After the Day Before.  An opening sentence that may need a little explaining.  The Day After: Yesterday was our stores PREVIEW day with sold out tours from noon to 8 PM. My unofficial estimate is about 400 guests [including me!] got to enjoy not only the visuals but many sample products to taste and take home in their goodie bags.  The Day Before: because tomorrow is GRAND OPENING! All kinds of sampling events are planned including free breakfast being served between 8-9 AM and even more goodie bags to the first 500 shoppers.  We have been told not to be surprised if the truly dedicated start lining up as early as 4 AM 🙂

Wisconsin Cheese

The Specialty Teams first week in the store was a lot of work and fun as we all got to know each other and continued to realize what a great team we have.  The  daily tastings of products we will be carrying didn’t hurt either YUM!  Pictured here was the unveiling of a Wisconsin cheese sculpture designed for us with our Art Deco store as its theme. Also pictured here is my wheel cracking training for Parmigiano Reggiano.  Thank you Erin for the great pics! We’ll also be doing this at the store and via a live web feed on Saturday. BTW that’s an 80 lb wheel!

947287_10200985216495765_1713788964_n164266_10200985216895775_561650777_n

The wines started to arrive a little over a week ago and continue to do so daily leading up to tomorrows BIG day.

922975_10200985217335786_1753826288_n (1)Of course my favorite day was on a recent Friday. Not because of the usual reasons one would think on this particularly favored day of the week but because that was the day the wine started to arrive.  As we unloaded the palettes and cases I was like a kid in a candy shop in awe of all the names I recognized and even more so over the ones I did not and would soon be discovering.

I have to say our wine set is beautiful. Over 900 wines; Old World [France, Italy, Germany…] divided by countries and New World  Chile and Argentina along with domestic [USA!] divided by varietals [Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay …].  Also included in our set are; hundreds of beers, Port, Sauterne, Mead, Kosher wine, Saki, Kombucha, Eco-friendly and Biodynamic wines.

As mentioned earlier along with the excitement of having all these new wines to research and taste I was very happy to see many familiar wines I have written about here.  I did a little digging and found at least 20 such examples.  Below you’ll find links to these wines.

As I begin this new and exciting chapter with Whole Foods Market North Miami I found this to be the perfect opportunity to look back as I move forward.  A perfect segueway to ending The Day After the Day Before 🙂   ¡SALUD! 

The Prisoner Orin Swift blend.  Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Show Pinot Noir from Chile.   Joel Gott California Zinfandel.

Chateau Macard Bordeaux.    Four Vines Zinfandel.

Stags Leap  Artemis Blend.  Los Vascos Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

Innovacion  Torrontes blend.  The Dreaming Tree – Crush California Red Blend.

St Francis Multiple varieties.  Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling.

Dr Loosen Riesling.    Folie a Deux Chardonnay.

Chateau Bonnet white Bordeaux.    Spain’s EVODIA Old Vine Garnacha.

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon.    Hogue Cellars Genesis.

Lamadrid – Cabernet Sauvignon , Malbec Gran Reserva and Malbec Reserva.

WF_sign