Chapter 2.2.General View on Wine

This is Chapter II with regards to wine .I’ll post some new wine descriptions / specs , first of all , some photos and any other info linked to the above.

If anyone has any questions , please be so kind and leave a message!


Amidst grand hoopla in the wine world, Robert Mondavi and the late Baron Phillipe de Rothschild released Opus One. “It isn’t Mouton and it isn’t Mondavi,” said Robert Mondavi. Opus One is a Bordeaux-style blend made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes grown in Napa Valley. It was originally produced at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley, but is now produced across Highway 29 in its own spectacular winery.

opus oneGrape Variety : Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot & Cabernet Franc

Type : Full Bodied

DSCF5804Opus One huge Bottle at Graycliff Estate Cellar


Tresor” for “ Treasure,” the grapes are hand harvested from dry-farmed, low yielding vines.

Tasting Notes: “Expensive, ripe aromas of blackberry, currant and boysenberry from the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot pair with earthy notes mocha, cherry cobbler, cinnamon and vanilla from the Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Oak.” “With a full bodied and richly textured tannin profile, this blend exudes a concentrated palate of intense red and black berries –  My favourite !, followed by layers of chocolate and espresso. Upfront silkiness and a round expressive finish with unbelievable length.”


Ferrari-Carano “Tresor” – such a beautiful label and one extraordinary wine !





Rich ruby red in color, luscious aromatics of black cherry, blackberries, and plum greet the nose with a slight back note of earth, leather, and bittersweet chocolate. Flavors of plum compote, spice, green tea, and cocoa are the introduction to this wine as velvety, unctuous tannins blend with a juicy, naturally balanced mid-palate of complex structure. Layers of spice, coffee and cream integrate with fruit notes to the end.



Tasting Notes:

Rich layers of cassis, boysenberry and black cherry slowly unfold in this Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Intriguing nuances of spice, cedar forest and licorice heighten the wine’s complexity. The excellent structure, with broad, muscular tannins and a long, velvety finish, promises even greater development with bottle aging for 15 or more years. Our Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is made from several highly acclaimed Napa Valley vineyards, primarily from the Oakville District, that we have chosen as having the most expressive fruit character and finest balance of the vintage. Extended maceration, a long malolactic fermentation and aging in new French oak barrels, captured and enhanced the wine’s expression of vineyard terroir.”

About Varietal:
Cabernet is the king of wines. Full flavored, full bodied, full tannins. Cabernet is for people who like big wines. California Cabernets are the biggest and boldest, French Cabernets (Often from Bordeaux) tend to be more mellow and subtle. Many of the best Cabernets have flavors and aromas of berries, plums, currants, cocoa, smoke, leather, cedar and oak.


I did recently a short presentation of a couple of wines from Vinarte , here are a few shots :

Speech start , proudly holding my Chateau Laguiole

Wine should always be handled with extreme care !


Ten years old and still going strong. First made in 1997 and released in 1999, Le Serre Nuove is a complex aromatic red by the acclaimed Tenuta dell’Ornellaia winery in Tuscany.

One of the Tenuta’s three wines, it came 12 years after the flagship Ornellaia and, like its big brother, it quickly garnered international praise.

Le Serre Nuove is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, mainly made with grapes from younger vineyards. Technically, it is a second vin, a byproduct of Ornellaia, because it is produced with base wines that don’t make the cut during the flagship wine’s extremely rigorous selection process.

But second vin doesn’t mean it is a second rate wine. Its combination of intense aroma, structure, balance, but also freshness, softness and approachability captured critics’ interest from the very early days.

Each of the base wines is fermented and aged separately, first in stainless steel vats, then in barrels. After 12 months, the blending takes place. Once blended, the wine is aged in barrels for three months, and in bottle for six more. The end result has been described as “gorgeous”, “mellifluous”, “very rich”, and “elegant”, and, over the years, was awarded a minimum of 88 points (for the 1997 vintage) and a maximum of 92 (for the 2004 vintage) by wine bible The Wine Spectator.

Now the tenth anniversary vintage, which dates from 2007, promises to be among Le Serre Nuove’s very best. The weather was perfect in September two years ago, with hot sunny days and cool nights, ensuring the grapes ripened to perfection.

The resulting wine has “a complex bouquet, with intense red berry fruit, sweet spice and balsamic mint and eucalyptus accents,” according to Axel Heinz, winemaker of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia. “Ample and silky on the palate, it displays an elegant, deft tannic structure, fresh sweet fruit, and intense minty accents.”

The 2007 vintage of Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia is available now.

Well ,I think it’s time to add a few more wines …

I’ll continue with a very well known Zinfandel from Ferrari Carano Winery


Deep purple in color with rich layers of fruit complexity, Ferrari-Carano’s Zinfandel boasts aromas of boysenberry and blueberry pie with hints of vanilla and baking spices. Concentrated fruit continues on the palate with juicy, sweet wild berries that linger well into a finish that is highlighted by smooth, silky tannins.

Vintage Notes
From our Estate Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, the Zinfandel grapes are dry farmed in a complex, riverside clay loam soil that is rocky and deep, adding impressive depth and concentration of flavor intensity to the wine. A wet winter and spring set vine maturity back a few weeks from a typical year, followed by a very warm July and a temperate August and September that gave way to early rains in October. A late warming trend in October dried the vines out and perfectly concentrated the berries prior to harvest later in the month.

Winemakers Notes
This wine is primarily composed of Zinfandel, blended with small amounts of Petite Sirah and Carignane. Upon entering the winery, the hand-harvested grapes are destemmed, hand sorted and then whole berries are fermented in tank before pressing. Individual lots are moved to barrels, then blended and barrel aged in American and French oak for 16 months prior to bottling, and aged another five months prior to release.

Appelation : Dry Creek Valley

Blend: 88% Zinfandel , 6% Petit Sirah , 5% Carignane.

Cooperage :33% new French and American oak , 67% older French oak.

Now , coming back to Romanian wines , let me tell You that I have recently discovered a Winery named “Rotenberg” ( “Cramele Rotenberg” ) ….needless to say that I have been impressed , first of all , by the quality of the labels and the unusual print on them:


It’s kind of medieval reproduction from the walls of some church , cathedral or so …the characters depicted look so alive …one can almost hear the music those fiddlers ( minstrels ) play.

However , when it comes to the wine …hm , I have been even more impressed !It is a unfiltered Merlot, powerful, fresh and fruity, elegant and balanced, 13.1%.

The fermentation took place in huge concrete vats and the used manual debourbage.

50% of the wine was matured in oak barrels, half had no contact with oak to strengthen fruitiness.

The aromas are intense of black fruit flavors of berries, nuanced tones of cocoa, dried spices and truffles. Sweet sensations that occur in the first attack gives volume and soft texture makes it easy to drink. Long aftertaste make notes of sweet cherry, vanilla and wood orchestrated by a dark spice.

The thing is that opening this wine , one should be patient for some half an hour in order to allow this wine to develop.

This has been one of the biggest surprises this Year !

On another note now , here are some photos from the Republic of Moldova fro one of the biggest cellars in the world , a cellar one could even drive in (even with a truck if you will)

And You know what? Since I enjoy this wine that much , why not sharing with everyone??

So , here is the link :

If one wishes , the wine could be purchased on-line !

Outside the cellar , the way in

My kinda vineyard

Is there anything better than this?

And now going inside the cellar …


Chardonnay Street

You can see that one can drive a truck on this subterranean road


…and more barrels

Can you imagine how old some of those wines might be?…

Towards one of the tasting rooms

This is …endless…

…and more bottles…

…wish I could get lost in this cellar…

and then , around the corner , guess what?….more wine !….

Now , some heavy stuff…

Former President Mr. Vladimir Putin has some wines here

Yuri Gagarin has visited this cellar and left a note

some stuff from 1947


…and more old wine…

dusty wine bottles…

I have seen only in one place such way of wine storage …Saumur

Champagne is also stored like this

…and more wines …I could never get enough of these images!

Bin 587

spider webs…really old

Ukrainian Tokai 1956

Some Easter wine from…1902

some more recent wines

towards the tasting rooms…nice chandelier

remember…all this is underground!

looks like a conference hall…but it’s tasting room…a very large one…

check this one out…

no plasma displays…just a simple map on the wall…the old style

More wines ,

Shiraz “The Barossa” Peter Lehmann, Barossa Valley

In the face of a serious overproduction of grapes and the real possibility of growers facing financial ruin, Peter Lehmann found some investment partners, established a consortium and built the Peter Lehmann Wines winery. It was 1979.

The first vintage was processed in 1980 and in 1982 the winery was formally named Peter Lehmann Wines. From then on, its wines have been marketed under the Peter Lehmann Wines label.

Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Barossa produces beautifully structured wines with hints of violet and mint, and having superb cassis blackcurrant on the palate. They are noted for their longevity and give a handsome reward to those who choose to cellar these wines.

Colour : Rich red with purple rim
Bouquet : Very soft, deep black cherry.
Palate : Basketfuls of soft ripe fruit,given structural underpinningby gentle fine tannins. It has great length, finishing cleanwith undertones of maraschino.
Wood : 12 months maturation in a mixture of French and American oak hogsheads.
The Vineyards : Barossa Valley.
Cellaring : Cellared carefully, this wine will continue to develop for 10 plus years.
Enjoy With : A delicious BBQ partner, especially for grilled spicy sausages. Also fantastic with wood fired pizza, spaghetti & meat balls, a pasta bake or a good oldfashioned meat pie…Enjoy!

75cl Bottle.

14% Vol.

Pinot Noir, La Crema, Sonoma County

La Crema was founded in 1979 and quickly established itself as a pioneer for intensely flavored Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the cool Sonoma Coast. Continuing this tradition, La Crema pursues the ultimate expression of the Russian River Valley, Carneros and Anderson Valley, handcrafting wines of distinctive flavor, which achieve elegance and balance.

Wine Type:
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier

Chianti Classico Reserva “Badia a Passignagno” D.O.C.G., Antinori, Tuscany

This Chianti was a classic indeed. Bearing the old vertical, Swiss Bank Note style label (a lot more interesting than the very classy current sepia version), my 1998 Badia, made from a 50-hectare vineyard on an estate bought by Piero Antinori in 1987, was brought out to celebrate an anniversary – and it was worth it.

Right from the opening, the wine showed well, with a nice, full garnet color, and classic (there’s that word again) aromas of cherries, cedar and tobacco, with well-integrated oak. After a couple of hours of decanting, the flavors had gained in intensity, if anything, while the cherry notes came out in full on tasting, on a lively acidity, yet with a velvety-smooth mouthfeel. Good length, with some toasty notes along the way.

A solid performer, the wine held its own beautifully with a couscous featuring chicken, lamb and yes, even some fairly spicy merguez. The ras-al-hanout spices (a touch of clove, cinnamon and pepper), along with the saffron in the broth balanced nicely with the cigar-box, slightly spicy touches of the wine. Leg of lamb with thyme and rosemary would have done great too, as well as a number of Italian classics of the pasta persuasion.

The interesting thing is that the wine was, if anything, still a little compact. I’m sure the wine could have gone on and shown beautifully for another five to ten years, and perhaps present a little more complexity and nuances over time.

Chateau Castera, Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, Médoc, Bordeaux

Rich with a prestigious past, Chateau Castera and its vineyards are known and recognized since the fourteenth century.
Located in Saint Germain Esteuil the heart of the Medoc vineyard, the estate covers 185 hectares of vineyards. The soil consists of a hand around the Castle, clay and limestone ridges resting on a limestone subsoil exposed south-southeast and on the other hand, the plateau Ordonnac, 10 hectares of Graves Pyrenees. The planting is 62% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. The property preserves very old vines, some of which, at least forty years, are still in production.
The Chateau Castera belongs to the category of Médoc, a traditional vinification, promote the local character. The name of Chateau Castera, synonymous with quality, is known worldwide and is in many countries the standard of Crus Bourgeois.
Following the acquisition of a neighboring property in 1973, the Chateau Bourbon La Chapelle has become since the early 90s the second wine of Chateau Castera. From a careful selection, the wine usually comes from young vines and the blend is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Francis, Sonoma County

St. Francis Sonoma County is styled to emphasize rich varietal character and body in a classic Sonoma style. The fragrant Cabernet aromas of cassis and black fruit are underscored by discreet notes of vanilla, cedar and tobacco, and carry into ripe, intense berry fruit flavors on the palate. The structure is firm and well balanced, with excellent depth and supple, generous tannins. These impressions are confirmed on the finish, which is long and marked by a complex notes of spice and oak.

Merlot “Private Selection” Robert Mondavi Winery, North Coast

79% Merlot, 19% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Grenache

Displays classic Merlot attributes: bright, ripe black cherry and plum aromas with subtle notes of spice and chocolate; soft, juicy, balanced flavors; and a smooth, supple texture with well-rounded tannins and bright acidity. The wine’s exceptional character comes from choice Central Coast grapes, primarily from Monterey County, a region that provides the temperate climate, cool breezes and moist alluvial soils that Merlot loves.

Enjoy this wine with wild mushroom pizza, spaghetti Bolognese, Cornish game hens, grilled beef or lamb shanks.

Barbera D’Alba, D.O.C., Piedmont, Alfredo Prunotto

Following World War II, Alfredo Prunotto and his wife took over and restored an old cooperative winery called “Vini delle Langhe”, establishing a new era under the Prunotto name. Prunotto imposed new standards on production, elevating the level of quality and succeeding in exporting his wines to several countries. Prunotto was the first winery to individually select grapes from the finest vineyards and to designate the name of the vineyard (cru) as a symbol of the quality and specific characteristics of the wine. The Antinori group purchased the winery in 1989 and made great investments towards improvements. The strategic vision brought by Antinori is well represented by the acquisition of prominent vineyards in the most exclusive areas: the Bussia vineyard, acquired in 1990, and the Bric Turot vineyard, bought in 1997, to name two. Prunotto’s desire to control every detail in all phases of production, starting from the vine and ending in the glass has become a distinctive feature of their high quality. The balance between tradition and innovation continues to be a distinctive feature of Prunotto wines. The meticulous care for each bottle is the result of a century of experience, great passion for wine and love for the land of Piedmont. These characteristics made Prunotto a leader in the production of Alba’s finest wines.

Respect is rarely automatic, not always deserved and not taken lightly. Barbera has lacked respect in the wine world because it was said to be too acidic, too rustic, too coarse, lacking flavor and compromised too easily. Barbera’s only apparent redeeming quality was its cheapness or more modestly put, its value. Perhaps it has had a bad reputation because it is a primary Piedmont resident in Italy’s northwest wine region, where the other two grape varietals, Nebbiolo and Dolcetto, overshadow the lowly Barbera in respect and admiration. It’s grown in other Italian wine regions, in fact, after Sangiovese, Barbera is the second most planted grape in the boot-country, but there’s no correlation with that fact and that people love and praise their Chiantis, their Brunellos, and their Barolos more. While Barbera has been sneered at, spat upon and spurned, bottles of it are commonly found as the table wine in Italian restaurants. What do they know that the snooty critics don’t? Barbera may be underrated, but it’s the everyday underrated drinking wine.

Contrary to Barolo or Barbaresco, a Barbera wine is not a dark and sinister purple but a brighter ruby red. Also, Barbera has negligible tannins and does not age as well. It’s probably a good idea to drink the wine when it’s fairly young, say within four to six years of the vintage date. As it ages, the color will turn to garnet with brownish edges. Regarding its flavors, when expertly done, Barbera shows modes of black cherries, black berries, currants and plums.

Hope you enjoyed it !

Published on November 10, 2009 at 13:18  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very cool Adrian! Thanks for the kind words about our Tresor and for including us in your noteworthy wines!

    • Thank You so much for taking the time visiting My blog….With Your permission I’ll add some more wines from Your winery!
      Please receive My Best Regards !

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