Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT 2014

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Estate: Tenutae Lageder [or Alois Lageder Wineries] was founded by Johann Lageder in 1823 in Alto Adige, northern Italy. Today, five generations later, Alois Lageder is at the helm of the family estate. Since the early 1990’s he has been a pioneering force at the estate; he expanded the vineyard holdings and transformed all of the viticulture practices to organic and biodynamic principles, and constructed a high tech, sustainable, solar powered winery. He is renowned for his commitment to ecological awareness, sustainable practices, as well as cultural projects involving art and music, believing that these are important sources of inspiration that “enhance the experience of wine”.

Philosophy: Simply stated: “to pay attention to the natural properties of our vineyards and to make the best possible use of them”. A more comprehensive explanation is: “to understand the ways in which the following relate to one another: the rhythms and forces of nature, the human being and cultural traditions, technology, the cosmos, the past and the future, tradition and life in the modern world”. To further explore their impressive ideology and biodynamic principles, please click here.

Winemaking: Committed to sustainable, holistic methods, they strive to carry organic and biodynamic principles from the vineyard into the winery with the use of “non-invasive procedures” along with the “most advanced technology” in the cellar. Grapes were sourced from vines 3-60 years old located in the southern part of Alto Adige with an elevation of 750-1380 feet. The soil is a blend of rocks and sand, with a distinguishing limestone content. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, aged for “approximately four months on the lees”.

Tasting Notes: Brilliant gold in colour with radiant aromas of apple blossom, chalk minerals and spice. Sunny and cheerful with a clean mineral streak running thru fresh apple and pear notes, the steely lemon finish adds to the irresistibility of this crisp, clean Pinot Grigio.

Suggested Food Parings from the Winery: Starters, fish and shellfish, poultry, white meat and mushrooms.

100% Pinot Grigio
Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT
Italy
Bottled by Alois Lageder
12.5% Alcohol
$13
Enjoy now thru 2018

Old York Cellars Gold Medal Winning Pinot Gris & Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting

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Two fantastic wines for summer bbq, patio and roof deck sipping. [Photobomb by Violet]

I had the pleasure of participating in a Virtual Vines discussion last month with winemaker Scott Gares of Old York Cellars and sommelier Laurin Dorman. Old York Cellars is located in the Ringoes section of Hunterdon County and contains some of the oldest vineyards in New Jersey. Owner David Wolin currently has 12 acres of vineyards, cultivating a diverse selection including Barbera, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Syrah and Riesling. In addition to award winning wines and a lovely tasting room, they also hold special events such as art exhibits, yoga classes and Master Chef Dinners. Check out their website oldyorkcellars.com for current special offers and to purchase the wines below.

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Old York Cellars Pinot Gris 2013
Crafted in the French style, this is a heartier version of Pinot Grigio. A interesting example of winemaker prowess, Scott used R-2 Yeast, a yeast that is typically paired with Riesling; the result is the crisp apple character and the clean, dry finish. Incredibly pale gold in colour, this Pinot Gris exudes tart granny smith apple flavours that are backed by grapefruit zest, minerals and the tiniest trace of coconut. Lemon and pink grapefruit shine on the dry finish. Super refreshing, like taking a bite out of a granny smith apple. [Gold Medal Winner of the 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition]
100% Pinot Gris
$16

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Old York Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
Aged for 8 months in American oak, which Scott explained imparts a little less vanilla flavour to the wine then French oak. A juicy summer red that is light on its feet with ripe cherry and blackberry flavours, hints of oak, soft tannins and a fantastic spicy dry finish. One of the signs of good winemaking, the 15.6% alcohol is unnoticeable [so watch out, it does sneak up on you!]
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
$21

Media event hosted by Old York Cellars

Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris 2010

 
Long summer holiday weekends seem to clamor for the pouring of white wines. With so many varying types of activities that tend to include all kinds of friends and family and generally take place in the sun and heat, I am always on the lookout for refreshing, simple, crowd-pleasing bottles of white. A combination of early afternoon heat and readying for a wedding found me plucking Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris 2010 from the fridge. Jean Sparr founded Domaine Sparr in 1680, many generations later, Pierre Sparr revitalized his family’s estate with his business sense and pioneering practice of estate bottling his wines. Today his sons René and Charles have continued to enlarge the vineyards and practice sustainable and organic viticulture. Following their father’s motto of “invest, progress and maintain”, they have enlarged the estate and adopted sustainable and organic farming methods. They produce a varied range of wines from single vineyard grand crus, to reserve cuvees to entry level, budget friendly everyday wines.
 
Pale gold in colour, aromas of citrus blossom and traces of dried herbs swirled about in the glass. Tart lemon notes in the nearly medium body brightened up flavours of summer apple and pear. Zesty grapefruit and stony minerals comprised the racy, snappy finish. Sunny and refreshing, this is a friendly glass great with appetizers and lighter meals.
Alsace
France
Bottled by Mason Pierre Sparr Successeurs
13.5% Alcohol
$13
Enjoy now thru 2013

Domaine Mittnacht Freres Pinot Gris 2009

My husband and I had an exceptionally productive trip to the farmers market this weekend, and came home with a cornucopia of fantastic organic and sustainably harvested items [he is a conscientious, selective carnivore]. To accompany our lovely bounty, I selected Domaine Mittnacht Freres Pinot Gris 2009. Founded in 1958, Mittnacht Freres is a family run estate that has been called “a domaine to watch” as they excel at producing “expressive, beautifully made wines from traditional Alsace varietals”. Headed by Christophe Mittnacht and his cousin Marc, the domaine is organic and has been biodynamic for the last 5 years. Mittnacht’s focus is on respecting the environment and creating “biologically complex, complete soils” in order to produce “original, meaningful wines”. 

 

Pale golden straw in colour, exuberant aromas of honeysuckle, citrus and wet slate rose from my glass.  Summer tree fruit flavours of apple, pear and apricot embraced rich honey notes along with a vibrant acidity in the light to medium body. Spicy white pepper and enlivening sea minerals composed the zesty finish. Smooth and well balanced, this is an elegant glass, brilliant on its own or at the table.

 
 
 
 


100% PinotGris
Alsace
France
Mis en Bouteille Au Domaine [Estate Bottled]
14.5% Alcohol
$17
Enjoy now

Barth René Grand Cru Marckrain Pinot Gris 2003

Admittedly I’m a red wine type of chic. Once in a blue moon tho I find myself with an occasion where white wine is the perfect choice. Basically whenever I don’t want to have purple wine teeth. Or when it’s ridiculously hot and humid. Or when there’s a high probability of me spilling my beverage all over myself, such as when tubing.  As these instances can occur quite unexpectedly, I always have a few bottles of white chilling in the fridge at all times.

The other day an entirely different rationale came up for enjoying a bottle of white; I wanted to make risotto. While my mushrooms, garlic and onions were frying, I opened a bottle of Barth René Alsace Grand Cru Marckrain Pinot Gris 2003. I usually fancy a French Pinot Gris over an Italian Pinot Grigio only because I enjoy the minerality and weightier body the Pinot Gris can have.  I poured about half a cup into my velvety risotto, and then poured myself a glass so I didn’t get bored with having to stir the risotto nonstop for the next 15 minutes.  I was greeted with the smell of apple blossoms, which was followed by flavours of summer apples, absolutely juicy and sweet.  Ripe pear aspects were rounded out by smoky honey fullness. The finish was clean and fruity with just the slightest bit of tartness that livened up all the sweet fruit flavours.  The floral and fruit elements brightened up my risotto, whilst the easygoing nature of the wine obliged me to polish it off.
100% Pinot Gris
Alsace
France
12% Alcohol
$11