Thursday, March 14th, 2019
Thursday, March 14th, 2019
Ser Passo was conceived as an attempt to surprise and delight the wine consumer with new flavors, tastes and aromas. The unique flavors are of intense, strong and ripe fruits, such as cherries and black cherries. A velvety structure on the palate leaves a graceful softness in the mouth which make it suitable for tasty pasta, red meats and game in general.
Focus Group Said:
"strong black cherry flavor
"touch of chocolate"
"could enjoy alone or with food"
"can handle meat"
Among Group last night was a sommelier from Italy, Roberto, who said "This wine is a good example of the great values coming out of Italy. You could definitely take this wine to a dinner or party with confidence."
We say: $11.99 !!
Over the past years Anne Pichon Wines acquired more old vineyards to bring the size of the domaine to 21 hectares. “The best vineyards in Ventoux are low-yielding and difficult to cultivate,” said Marc. “They’re the ones that people want to get rid of.” With organically farmed holdings that include 9ha Grenache, 5ha Syrah, 1ha Merlot, 0.8ha Carignan, 1.2ha Roussanne, 1.5ha Viognier, 0.7ha Grenache Blanc, 1.5ha Clairette and 0.3ha Bourboulenc, the micro-climate at Anne Pichon is dry, with cool, manually tilled soils that retain moisture when it rains. And because of the Mistral that sweeps up from the hills below, fruit is less susceptible to rot and disease, providing and ideal environment for organic viticulture.
Employing careful vineyard management, low yields and late harvesting, Pichon hand-harvests and destems all of the fruit. Reds are vinified in small 50 hL cement tanks or stainless steel, at low temperature to achieve a long maceration. For extraction Marc generally performed two gentle pump overs daily, with additional manual punch downs if necessary. The fermentations extend 3 to 4 weeks with a slow progressive increase in temperature to extract a very fine tannin structure. The malolactic fermentation and ageing take place partly in oak barrels but mostly in cements tanks. White wines are made from only a light pressing of first run juice and vinified in stainless steel tanks with strict temperature control to maintain a balance of ripe fruit and freshness.
News Release: Thursday, January 10th, 2019
45 customers gathered to consider the wines presented by Richard McKinney and Nick Demos of Tryon Distribution.
We talked wine, soil, biodynamic methods, Chile and Argentina, Bordeaux grapes, and herbaceous flavors!
We liked all of the 4 wines presented and thought they met the quality to price ratio challenge. But in the end, one was the most impressive to most of the group. While everyone has a different palate and preferences and every wine has a different best use, the fact that most people liked this one is a good indicator that most customers will like this wine. And in a small shop with limited space, that matters! And the winner is.......
“I don’t buy wine because of the label. “ But the research says some of us, actually many of us, do. Wineries want you to look. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And so it is for the wine label. Who can resist the lure of Kungfu Girl Riesling?
Labels were originally intended to provide legally required information. Wine Searcher, a service that posts information from online wine shops, says countries around the world have laws for both wines produced in country as well as imported wines. Labeling laws typically require name, region of origin, vintage, often the varietal or blend, volume and percentage of alcohol.
But fierce competition in the wine world has forced the label to become a marketing tool. “99 Bottles of Wine,” a new book by wine label designer David Schuemann, tells all in his book revealing the wine marketing strategy. The label, Schuemann says, is easier to remember than the taste of the wine.
Schuemann notes that at a wine tasting held at the Edinburgh Science Festival in Scotland showed that while people could not consistently differentiate wines, they were consistently drawn back to the label they knew. So, from a wine marketing perspective, wine consumers look for the label, the brand, just like with any other product. And, again, just like any other product, research shows that an eye catching label can encourage the consumer to buy a more expensive bottle.
Labels range from the traditional coat of arms style to animal portraits to high end design by artists whose works are seen in museums! Little did I know when I saw an exhibition by Mickalene Thomas at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, that her work might be sitting on my dining room table in the form of a wine label!
Label designs also carry subtle messages and invoke what might be called wine label prejudice. People associate minimalist, uncluttered design with high end vintages, says Schuemann. Wine connoisseurs are attracted to labels with cream or white backgrounds, a touch of gold or metal. Labels with “critters” are out. The wine neophyte, Schuemann says, are attracted to labels that “pop” and that means color, design and sometimes, “critters!”
Label prejudice can influence taste as well. An experiment conducted by Cornell University Professor of Marketing Brian Wansink, proved the point. Professor Wansink filled all the bottles with the same $2 wine, labeling half as wine from California and the other half as wine from North Dakota. Those drinking the wine with the California label stayed longer, drank more and rated the wine higher!
But, in the end, the label really tells the story of the winery, the philosophy, the history, how the winery wants to be seen. There is no better example than the label on the Washington State Red Blend by highly regarded winemaker Eric Dunham. One night, Dunham heard a dog fight. He ran out to find and rescue a badly wounded puppy. The puppy lost his leg that night but, as Dunham said, the puppy found a home and Dunham a best friend. With a drawing of the puppy on the label, Dunham named a wine for his new friend, “Three Legged Dog.”
When it comes to wine, make your own decisions and have the courage of yor convictions!
News Release: Thursday, December 13th, 2018
About: January Wine Focus Group
Join us on Wednesday, January 9th for the Asheville Wine Focus Group from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. Our hosts will be Richard McKinney and Nick Demos from Tryon Distributing (https://tryondist.com/).
The event is "on the house" but you need to reserve a seat. Register by calling (828) 575-9525 or online: https://
What is "A Biltmore SmackDown"
Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution was our host for the evening. For consideration, Juniper submitted wines that would complement a Thanksgiving Table including an Pinot Blanc from Alsace, a French Minervois, California Red Blend and a California Zinfandel.
News Release: Friday, October 12th
We had a rollicking, rollicking I say, night at the October Wine Focus Group @MetroWines. Stacy Strong of Empire Distriution hosted presenting four wines and Any Hale, Director of The Asheville Shool of Wine, added commentary on fining, filtering as well as describing what "biodynamic" is all about. We leaned. We laughed. We left with confidence.
Yangarra PF Shiraz from McLarenvale, Australia, was the wine that nearly everyone agreed upon. Made more in the old world style than other popular versions of Shiraz, Yangarra has returned to the tradition of Shiraz. Rather than a big, let's be frank here, fruitbomb, Yangarra presents complexity in flavors and aromas in a slightly lighter body. Comments of leather and chocolate were common. And this is what we like to hear when a wine is presented, that the wine is so well made that you can actually identify flavors!
The Focus Group was of the opinion that this wine stood in a class of its own. Yangarra is a new world wine made with old world traditions and minimal, if any, interference from vine to bottle. The Group thought this wine coudl be served chilled and could handle a concoction of flavors that you might find on a holiday table. Shop Yangarra @MetroWines!
PF (Preservative Free) Shiraz is made from grapes grown on our certified biodynamic single-estate vineyard, grown without herbicides, fungicides or synthetic chemicals. It is made without additions of any kind: sulphur (preservative), acid, tannin or finings. It’s medium bodied, fresh, fruit driven wine that is delicious enjoyed as a young wine. With that in mind, we do have PF shiraz back to our first vintage of 2013 that is still showing some of lovely vibrant characters.
WINE COMPOSITION: 100% Shiraz
REGION: Estate grown in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale, SA
WINEMAKING: Cold soaked, wild yeast ferment, pressed after 10-12 days on skins, no additives, no fining, only filtration.
Reserve Your Seat HERE!
News Release: Thursday, September 13th, 2018
Just a quick note to say that the Wine Enthusiast just gave this one, one of our Focus Group Wines!! a great review. We got game people!
Winery Tasting Notes: "This classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon showcases pronounced aromas of cherry and blackcurrant with undertones of toasted oak. A smooth, well-balanced palate framed with lingering tannins on the finish."
News Release: Friday, August 17th
News Release: Monday, July 16th, 2018
News Release: Thursday, July 12th, 2018
The WINNER of the July Asheville Wine Focus Group is Carlos Serres Reserva Rioja! By WINNER, we mean the bottle that sold the most and the fastest! Finding an affordable "Reserva" with this much age on it is rare.
The Group thought the wine was complex presenting identifiable flavors followed by a long finish. This wine, with just the right amount of acidity, would be a perfect match for food but could also go solo. And most thought, because of its versatility, this bottle would be great to bring to a dinner.
Wine has a history. And history is full of wine. That of Carlos Serres (Charles, in French) is one of them. One of those which happen once in a lifetime and perdure.
Not only because he saw in Haro a perfect place to make wine of great quality but, above all, because he envisaged a new horizon for Rioja wine not considered until then: international exports.
He came from Bordeaux, where the phylloxera pest had compromised winemaking. This famous French wine consultant found in Haro the perfect terroir to make Bordeaux style wines, with a climate and terrain which reminded him of the best terroirs in Bordeaux.
A perfect place to make wines that met the quality, flavour and personality expectations of the most discerning international palates. Elegant wines with a Rioja flavour, ready to conquer; even overseas.